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As many a homeowner can attest, HOAs – or Home Owners Associations – can be powerful entities. They have rules that seem pesky when you disagree, and spot-on when you agree. Either way, if you’re one of the approximately 62 million Americans who belong to an HOA, you want to stay on its good side.  So if you have a new project to propose, it pays to take some time to strategize. This week we’ll look at how to best work with your HOA to get approval for that desired new fence.

First, do your homework.

Just because a neighbor put up a certain kind of fence doesn’t mean it’s in compliance with HOA regulations. Nor can you expect a fence building company to be intimately acquainted with the rules of your HOA. You need to do your own homework before you start any project. Otherwise, both you and your neighbor might be demolishing your pretty new fences.

Be thorough.

Enclose all relevant materials with your proposal, such as project drawings and blueprints. State the exact dimensions of your desired fence and what building material you plan to use. Write your plan plainly, so people can easily understand your intentions. Make sure to include your contact information and make copies before mailing your plans.
new fence project

Document everything.

You might have questions along the way. If you speak with an HOA board member about your proposal, log the call, including the person’s name, the date and time, and whatever info you glean.

No news isn’t necessarily good news.

Did you submit all the information about your fence weeks ago and the HOA hasn’t gotten back to you? Don’t take this as tacit approval. Your proposal might not have been reviewed yet – some boards only meet a couple of times a year. Or it could have been lost. So have patience. And if you haven’t heard anything for a few weeks, politely follow up to make sure your paperwork was received.
Once you get the okay, give your friends at Buzz a call. We’ll follow your approved plans, sticking to the letter of the law so that you, your HOA and your neighbors can feel good about your new fence.
 
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