HOA Guidelines: Renovation Do’s & Don’ts



A homeowners association (HOA) is a governing body that oversees a residential community through an elected board. The HOA’s purpose is to increase property values by subjecting all homeowners to the same set of standards. As a result, there may be color, height and design restrictions for the inside or exterior of a property. If you want to plan a home renovation but live in an HOA community, find out what you can and can’t do in general, as well as how to work with an HOA.

Renovation Do’s

  • Remember to get applicable permits. Your HOA may also need to approve more complex changes. Before you start your remodel, ask a “remodeler near me” and your committee if they have any added requirements.
  • Read the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) for your HOA carefully to learn what is and isn’t common property, and what renovations are and aren’t allowed.
  • Never start work without the HOA’s consent. Infractions may result in fines. Worse, you might have to tear out renovations to comply with the rules.
  • Be patient. The approval process usually takes a month or two but the larger your renovation job, the longer it could take.
  • When you gain HOA approval, make sure it’s in writing. Having it in writing protects you in case of future complications.
  • Be considerate of others. Your remodeling crew must respect the community’s other residents by following construction hours as specified in the CC&Rs.

Renovation Don’ts

  • Don’t get only one estimate. A remodel estimate can help you plan your home renovation budget. Obtain at least three estimates and choose the contractor who best combines knowledge and value.
  • Don’t rely on your contractor to understand your HOA rules. Even if your contractor reads your CC&Rs, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure the project is compliant.
  • Don’t start work until the HOA board approves it.
  • Construction waste should not be dumped in community trash cans. That means more money for your HOA, which may end up passing the charges on to you.
  • Don’t forget to ask for warranties on both supplies and labor from your contractor. You’ll need these documents if something goes wrong.
  • Don’t forget to notify the HOA when your renovation is complete. 

Let’s Start a Conversation!

Make an appointment with DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Southern Lakes! Visit us in our design center or give us a call today at (479) 315-5253. You may also fill out our contact form to connect with our experts and request a quote. We are proud to serve homeowners in Kenosha, Racine, Burlington, Lake Geneva, Pleasant Prairie, Union Grove, Salem, Bristol, Sturtevant, Somers, Paris, Twin Lakes, Brighton and Kansasville.

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