Can I Paint My House a Different Color?
As a member of a homeowners association, you are no doubt aware that you must go through the association before making any changes to the outward appearance of your home. While it is your home, you must abide by the association rules and this pertains to the color you repaint your home. The association has a color palate which homeowners must stick to in order for the neighborhood to fit the style wanted by the board. This is a limiting factor, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t paint your home to match your style. It may take some work and some political maneuvering, but you may get what you want in the end.
Why A Certain Color Palate
Homeowners associations are particular about the exterior color of their member homes because of two main reasons. They don’t want a rogue homeowner painting their home a crazy combination of obnoxious colors and disturb the look of the neighborhood. This contributes to the second reason, which is that they want to hold up the value of homes in the neighborhood. Your neighbor’s actions can affect the value of your home. Unkempt and badly painted homes in a neighborhood can make it harder to sell a home and drive down the selling price. For this reason, homeowners associations choose a color palate for homeowners to give them a choice, but also to limit any potential damage that can be done.
Color Palates are Updated
It is a good idea to update the association color palate on occasion. In fact, many HOAs do update their selection on a regular basis in order to keep the neighborhood from becoming dated. This leaves the door open for you to influence change in this area. If it has been a while since your association’s palate has been updated, then push for an update and include the colors you would like. Try adding more than one color. If passed it will give you more freedom in the future, plus by asking for several colors, you may be able to reach a compromise to get the color you really want.
Go Before The Board
If you do want to paint your home a color or color scheme that is not within the regulations of your HOA, you can petition the board for a waiver. Each HOA will be different, but usually there is a form available that you fill out and include examples of the colors you want to paint your home. When the board meets again, your petition will be on the agenda. If your colors are approved, you may have to pay a fee to the board. This may be only $25 or $50, of course it could be more depending upon the rules of your HOA. This will generally result in your colors being added to the association’s color palate as well.
If Your Color Selection is Rejected
If you are rejected by your HOA, you may be able to go to small claims court. This will depend upon the laws of your state. Some states restrict the ability to bring a claim against HOAs, so you will need to do some research first. Of course, you also need to weigh the cost and time commitment needed to go to court against your desire to have your home painted a color outside of the association’s palate. It may not be worth the hassle. Keep in mind, it is not a good idea to defy the homeowners association and paint your home the way you want. If you do, at the very least you will need to re-paint and probably also face a fine. If you do not remedy the violation, it is possible in some states that the HOA can kick you out of the neighborhood and force the sale of your home.