How Do I Make an Addition to My Home in an HOA?

How Homeowner Association Management Companies Can Help With Home Additions in HOA Communities

Adding an addition to your home can be a great way to increase your living space and improve the function of your home. If you are like most people, you probably think that adding an addition is a daunting task. And, if you live in a community with a homeowners’ association (HOA), it can seem downright impossible! 

But don’t worry, we are here to help. In this post, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about making an addition to your home in an HOA community, including how homeowner association management companies can help. So, whether you are looking to add on a new room or increase your living space by finishing your basement, read on for tips and advice from the pros.

Why Does Your Neighborhood Have an HOA?

Before we dive into a few tips on how to work with your HOA for your home additions, let’s take a look at why an HOA exists in the first place. That way, we’ll have some better context for how an HOA considers major changes to homes – like additions and new builds.

Living in a community with common areas and shared spaces come with a lot of benefits. You may not have to worry about mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges, and you can enjoy the company of your neighbors without having to worry about all the home upkeep. However, all of these property management benefits come at a cost. To ensure that the common areas are well-maintained, most communities have an HOA board that oversees the budget and hiring of landscaping and maintenance crews.

Additionally, most HOAs have an architectural review committee that helps to keep the community looking its best. As a result, everyone who lives in the community is required to pay an HOA fee. While this fee can be a bit of a burden, it’s important to remember that it helps to keep the community a beautiful and enjoyable place to live.

Benefits of HOA

HOAs can benefit a community by holding everyone to a high aesthetic standard. Even though HOAs often get a bad rap, they can be a great way to keep a neighborhood looking good. An HOA board or architectural review committee can help to ensure that new construction is in line with the community’s standards and that existing homes are well-maintained. As a result, HOAs can help to make a community more attractive and welcoming. In addition, by setting and enforcing standards, HOAs can help to protect property values. So, even though they may not be perfect, HOAs can be a valuable asset to a community.

First: Prepare to Request Permission from Your HOA

Let’s say you want to build an addition to your Nashville, Brentwood, or Franklin home. Adding an extra bedroom, a garage, or even just a patio can make your home feel much more spacious and comfortable, and could also increase the value of your home. But before you start planning your addition, it’s important to check with your HOA to see if there are any restrictions on home modifications. If you proceed without getting permission, you may run into fees and other difficulties as a result. And with the average cost of adding a single room to a home being $17,000, you don’t want to start something you may not get to finish.

Home addition steps

Many HOAs have rules in place governing what kind of additions and renovations are allowed, and they may require special permission before you can begin construction. So if you’re thinking about adding on to your home, here’s what you need to know about getting HOA approval.

Apply for Permission from the State Before Excavation

Before going directly to the HOA, you’ll need to go through the proper channels at the State-level to seek approval that your new build will comply with regulations. Excavation can be a tricky business. One wrong move and you could cause some serious damage. That’s why it’s a legal requirement in Tennessee to get permission from the state before beginning any excavation project, regardless of whether or not you have an HOA.

The best way to do this is to call 811. They’ll be able to tell you whether any underground systems could be affected by your excavation, and they’ll give you the green light to proceed. Of course, even if you’re not in danger of hitting any underground pipes or wires, you should take a look at the Tennessee Homeowners Protection Bureau next to see if any additional state-led requirements are mandated. 

Your HOA will want to see evidence that you’ve gained the appropriate state-level approvals, too; so, make sure you stay organized and document your applications.

Read Your HOA Manual and Make an Effort to Comply as Much as Possible

HOA rules can vary greatly from one HOA to another, so it’s important to be familiar with the rules governing yours. The best way to do this is to obtain a copy of your HOA’s manual and read it carefully. You can usually obtain a manual by contacting your HOA board or attending a meeting.

Once you’ve read the manual, you should have a good understanding of what projects require HOA approval and which ones do not. If you’re still unsure, you can always contact the HOA board or architectural review committee for clarification. By taking the time to understand your HOA’s rules, you can thoroughly prepare yourself to make the case for why you want permission to start your project.

Explain the Benefits Your Addition Will Bring

If you’re planning to make an addition to your home and you do need your HOA’s permission, you’ll need to convince the board that your project is a good idea. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your case.

First, gather up any paperwork you have related to the project, including plans and permits. This is why you want to reach out to the state first – you can use that proactivity as a point in your favor as you make your case. Next, reach out to your neighbors and see if they’re supportive of the idea. It’s always helpful to have community backing when making your case to the HOA. Finally, set up a meeting with the HOA board or architectural review committee and present your case clearly and concisely. With a little preparation, you should be able to convince your HOA that your addition is a benefit to both your home and the community as a whole.

What if the HOA Rejects Your Request?

If you live in a community with an HOA, you may have experienced the frustration of having a request denied. While it can be tempting to chalk it up to a bunch of stuffy old people who just don’t want anything to change, there are usually legitimate reasons behind an HOA’s decision. 

For example, the HOA board might be worried about setting a precedent that could negatively impact the community as a whole. Or, the architectural review committee might feel that your proposed changes would clash with the existing style of the neighborhood. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that the HOA is acting in the best interests of the community. If you’re respectful and patient, you may be able to find a way to get your request approved after all.

Identify the Specific Problem

If you’re hoping to make changes to your Nashville, Brentwood, or Franklin home that will require HOA approval, it’s important to first identify the specific problem that the HOA has with your request. Is it a concern about the aesthetics of the proposed changes? Or is there a worry that the changes will negatively impact the property values of neighboring homes?

Once you’ve identified the problem, you can start brainstorming possible compromises or ways to eliminate that particular part of the project. For example, if the HOA is concerned about the way your proposed changes will look, you might be able to submit revised plans that are more in line with their aesthetic preferences. Or, if they’re worried about property values, you might be able to agree to only make changes that fall within a certain budget. By taking the time to understand the HOA’s specific concerns, you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate a compromise that everyone can live with.

Alter Your Proposal and Try Again

Make a new proposal for the project with their rules and recommendations in mind. And no matter how annoyed you may feel toward the HOA, remember to keep your choice of words and tone polite and humble as you prepare to make your case a second time. Remember that a patient and respectful manner will go a lot farther with them than belligerence, even if you feel differently.

Once you have a revised plan that is in line with their preferences, set up a meeting with the HOA board or the architectural review committee. Explain your new proposal and why you think it will be acceptable to the HOA. Be prepared to answer any questions they may have. With a little patience and perseverance, you should be able to get the HOA on board with your new plan.

How Homeowner Association Management Companies Can Help You

Homeowners’ associations play an important role in keeping Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin neighborhoods clean, safe, and well-maintained. However, they can also be a source of friction for residents, who may feel that the rules are too restrictive or that the dues are too high. Homeowner association management companies can help to strike the right balance between these two competing interests.

On the one hand, the management company can help to enforce the rules and regulations set by the HOA. But on the other hand, they can also advocate on behalf of residents when it comes to setting dues or making decisions about common areas. In short, good homeowner association management companies can help to make an HOA more reasonable and responsive to the needs of its residents.

Recent home addition

Want Help from One of the Best Homeowner Association Management Companies in Tennessee?

If you’re a homeowner in an HOA community in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, or the surrounding area, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities. And if you’re a board member or in charge of property management for an HOA, it’s essential to have the right tools to keep things running smoothly. That’s where a good HOA management company comes in.

Westwood Management is one of Nashville’s best homeowner association management companies, and we pride ourselves on our neighborly approach and our ability to help HOAs and their residents work together for the common good. We offer a range of services that can take some of the load off of board members so they can focus on bigger issues, and we always work with residents to ensure that they are getting the best possible service. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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