When it comes to Mother Nature, spring and summer are seasons of renewal and change. This renewal and change also extend to home improvement and remodeling projects. Many homeowners may get tax refunds and want to make the most of the beautiful weather to take care of home projects. It’s always a good idea to improve and enhance the biggest investment you are most likely ever to make. Not only do you get more enjoyment from it, but you also can potentially raise the value of your property. Read our blog as we discuss everything you need to know about architectural requests and what that means for your home improvement project.
Your Home: Your Identity and Your Castle
Every homeowner is unique and wants their home to reflect their individual style. Adhering to the established architectural standards does not mean you cannot personalize your home. However, installing a fence, changing the exterior paint color, or changing your yard means that you must submit an architectural request. Whether you are new to the Association or it’s your first time doing a major external home improvement project, it’s important to understand the architectural request process.
The Benefit of an Architectural Standard
The Association has specific requirements in their governing documents designed to maintain a consistent and aesthetically pleasing community. That higher standard means no vehicles parked on the lawn or a boat blocking your street view. There are no shocking paint colors or dilapidated property, causing your home value to plummet.
Also, architectural standards help guide homeowners on how to plan their home improvement projects. For example, if a homeowner wants to install a fence but they don’t know where to start, the governing architectural documents may say you can install a fence. Yet, those guidelines may also say that the fence can only be wrought-iron, black in color, and cannot exceed four feet. Following the direction and guidance from the architectural standards, a homeowner can understand how to personalize their fence project while maintaining the cohesive look of the community.
In another situation, we created a Lot Management Policy that stated the expectations for landscaping improvements and lawn mowing. As a result, homeowners understand their responsibility and expectations. If, for example, a homeowner planted a tree and put it outside of their property lines or moved it too close to their home, there could be issues with structural damage. By serving as an outside review, the Architectural Request process also ensures there will not be future problems.
Developing Architectural Guidelines
Homeowners often wonder where the architectural guidelines came from and who dreamed them up. When the Association is first created, we work with the board to create the standards and boundaries that address common issues that arise in communities based on our experience.
We also address those areas that may not fit within the guidelines. From there, the Board of Directors or Architectural Committee reviews the documents and finalizes it for the Association.
How the Architectural Request Process Works
To better understand the process, let’s return to the fence example. A homeowner completes the architectural request form. This includes specifications, such as size, style, fencing color, and a property plan that shows fence location. Additionally, a homeowner must share city permit requirements and vendor information, including their certificate of insurance.
After collecting all the documentation, we share it with the Board or Architectural Committee for review. Upon approval, the homeowner receives a letter to move forward with their project. If the project is not approved, the homeowner can learn more about why the project was not approved and what changes they can make so that they can proceed.
Collaboration Adds Community Value
Along with the Board of Directors, we as the property management company value the Architectural Committee for the time and energy they put into the homeowner request review process. Working in partnership with homeowners, we can make good decisions for the community that add value for all.
Omega Property Management is ready to serve all your association’s needs. For additional information and questions, please email our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 763.449.9100.