HOA’s can be fantastic for the neighborhood, they surely have their benefits as they keep the neighborhood nice and the housing values up.  You pay your monthly dues and everything else is their problem to fix…that is until you get that dreaded letter from them!  It usually starts like this:

“Dear _______,

Recently on our inspection rounds we noticed a violation in one or more of our codes…..your exterior stucco is in need of repaint”

Of course I am summarizing because I am not a lawyer and I do not “speak lawyer” but you get the drift.  The HOA wants you to repaint your home and they usually give you a deadline of between 30-60 days to complete the entire project.  If you are like most people you were not expecting this letter or maybe you were not expecting it THIS year.  This is usually about the time when your heart drops and you realize that the moment has arrived…..you immediately wonder….NOW WHAT DO I DO?

Here in Phoenix this HOA letter is a common theme and we get calls about it nearly every day.  Our mission today is to give you a guideline of the process so you have a better idea of what to expect moving forward.

STEP 1:

Don’t Panic!

This is very common and even if they gave you a crazy deadline it can usually be extended with a simple phone call.  The HOA merely wants to know you acknowledge you have to paint and they want to see you are moving forward in the process.

STEP 2:

Call to schedule an estimate with a trusted painting company.

You will want to start the process of getting quotes to complete your house painting job.  The earlier you know what the cost will be the better you will be able to plan the financial side of this project.  You may have an idea of the cost from one of your neighbors or friends but every home is a little different so make sure you get an on-site written quote.

STEP 3:

Call your HOA to ask about the process, every association has a little different process.

Some may require you submit for approval with your paint color names, while others may not.  Most associations have colors that are pre-approved and you can either pick from their new colors or match your existing colors.  Dunn Edwards and Sherwin Williams both have archives full of pre-approved HOA colors and they most likely will have your HOA on the list.

Sherwin Williams Color Archive

Dunn Edwards Color Archive

STEP 4:

Pick your colors.

This is usually the hardest but one of the most important parts of painting the exterior of your house.  Hopefully you found a few colors you like from searching the color archives above.  A good idea is to drive your neighborhood and write down the addresses of some homes you like.  Your painting estimator can usually match those homes to the approved colors on your HOA color list.  Its always better to see the colors on a large surface versus a little tiny paint chip.  If you are one of those visual people you can even upload a photo of your home and give it a “virtual paint job” to give you an even better idea of what the finished product would look like.  Dunn Edwards and Sherwin Williams both have similar programs available here.

Sherwin Williams Color Snap

Dunn Edwards InstaColor

If you are still having trouble deciding, ask your painting estimator.  They can usually help guide you to something that will look great on your home.  We can also have a professional color consultant come to give their opinion.

STEP 5:

Submit for paint approval with your HOA (if required).

Most associations approve colors within 30 days, sometimes sooner.  Get this submitted as soon as possible, even if you aren’t planning on painting for a month or two, or more.  There are times when the color may not be approved and you want to leave yourself some time to re-submit in case your selection was not approved.  Two of the most common reasons for colors not being approved are because they were not pre-approved colors or they were the same as your next door neighbor.

STEP 6:

Hire a licensed and insured painting company.

You don’t have to wait until last to do this but it’s the way to go.  Painting the exterior of your home is something you want to leave to a professional.  There are so many steps that need to be done correctly or the paint job will fail and it will cost you more in the long run.

STEP 7:

Call your HOA to make sure they received your request for paint approval.

There have been many times where this gets lost and you want to make sure it got to the right person so you get approval at the next board meeting.

STEP 8:

When you receive your paint approval from your HOA send it over to your painting company.

They will want to keep this in your file and it will also ensure you get the correct colors painted on the correct surfaces.  We’ve learned that it is always better to have these things in writing prior to starting your paint job.

STEP 9:

Sit back and relax, let the professionals finish your paint job from here on out.

Getting your home painted can be a fun and exciting experience.  Its only every 7-10 years you get to do this so get excited!  Your home will soon have a fresh coat of protection on it and your neighbors will all be jealous!