Working with HOA Rules and Regulations When Painting a House - AMC Painting

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Working with HOA Rules and Regulations When Painting a House

July 3, 2023

Painting a house in compliance with HOA rules and regulations does not have to be a stressful home improvement project. The bylaws can feel intimidating, as can the approval process. Homeowners’ associations are governing bodies that create, implement and enforce bylaws intended to maintain the community as a whole. These rules tend to focus on public safety, home appearance and other issues like street parking, trash removal, quiet hours and yes, the paint color of your siding, decking and trim.

Colorado is home to a variety of HOA communities with several bylaws that guide homeowners in selecting exterior paint colors and completing a home exterior painting project. As a painting company with years of experience working within HOA communities in both Southern and Northern Colorado, we’d like to share some of our top tips for working with an HOA when painting your home. Let’s get started!

Know Your HOA Bylaws and Guidelines for Painting

One of the easiest ways to create challenges when painting a house in an HOA community is to ignore your neighborhood covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). Before painting your home, it is very important that you review all of the rules that govern residential painting in your community. If you have lived in a different HOA in the past, don’t assume the governing documents are the same. Every association has different rules because every neighborhood has different needs. Some HOAs have no restrictions on landscaping but strict regulations on parking. Others restrict only the main house paint color while others may require a very specific color palette that includes even the trim, windows and doors, decking and roof shingles. When in doubt, contact your HOA block captain or an HOA board member for clarification.

hoa-house-colorReview Your HOA Paint Colors — Setting Expectations

One of the key limitations in an HOA typically involves the selection of housing paint colors. There are several reasons an association might have a list of approved colors and HOA color restrictions.

  • Aesthetics — Every house in a neighborhood doesn’t necessarily have to be identical. However, planned communities typically have an aesthetic that is unique to the development that the HOA is expected to maintain.
  • Property Values — It is unfortunate, but there are times when your neighbor’s house color can impact the value of your home. Yes, even in Colorado’s thriving housing market. Some buyers will absolutely reject a home if the neighbor has, say, a hot pink home with glowing orange trim. HOA-approved paint colors are part of a coordinated effort to keep the neighborhood housing values up, along with supporting better resalesbility for all neighbors.
  • Community Harmony — The hot pink example above is also an example of how paint color can create discord. If your neighbor’s paint color begins to have an impact on your home (like the scenario noted above) it’s also going to have an impact on your relationship with your neighbor. If everyone has the same list of options, no one can be upset when you or a neighbor pick from those options.

How to Choose Paint Colors in an HOA

HOA-approved exterior paint colors tend to stick to neutral palettes or a specific color scheme. Some HOAs painting guidelines have a more “fun” color list than others, but still restrict the overall available palette to maintain the look of the community. You can usually get the vibe when you tour a neighborhood before purchasing. You’ll see the different homeowners’ association paint colors reflected in houses throughout the community. Colors can even vary within a community to designate new housing phases or differentiate neighborhoods based on amenities or restrictions.

Where to Find Your HOA Approved Paint Color List

The first place to look for your HOA’s approved paint color list is your HOA website. They may also have an exterior color book you can use to begin the color selection process. Another more unexpected location is on the paint manufacturers website. At AMC Painting, our preferred brand, Sherwin-Williams, has partnered with several Colorado HOAs to provide color lists on the website. Sherwin-Williams HOA colors are vetted and approved by your association. Some of the most popular and prominent HOA communities in Colorado can be located on the Sherwin-Williams website, giving you access to colors and many of the company’s tools, like large paint swatches or a free consultation with a color specialist.

If your HOA does not have a color list or online support (like the aforementioned Sherwin-Williams HOA-approved colors), you will likely be required to provide your desired swatches for approval. Some HOAs also request that you paint a small portion of the home exterior in your desired paint color so that a block captain or board members can review it in the context of the surrounding houses. Remember to check the most recent set of association rules so you can follow the right process.

Pick a Painter — Should You DIY or Hire a Painting Contractor?

Picking a painter can actually be trickier than selecting a color, especially when working with an HOA. Many homeowner associations have stringent requirements for selecting contractors in order to ensure that work performed on homes in the community is up to standard. Some communities require you to hire a professional or use a specific HOA painting contractor. Let’s talk about why:

  1. A professional HOA painting company will ensure the job is completed in a timely manner. No HOA (or neighbors) want a home surrounded by scaffolding with half-painted siding sitting in the community for months at a time. DIY is a money saver but it’s not a time saver and when life happens, finishing the house paint is going to be first to go.
  2. A painting contractor will ensure the completed job is up to the high standards required in an HOA community. They will use quality products that have durability and a warranty. They will do the prep work necessary to ensure the home is ready for paint and a walkthrough upon completion.
  3. A pro painter will keep the worksite clean and professional. Pros are pros because they have perfected a process that minimizes disruption and maintains a clean and safe job site. They also care about keeping positive neighborly relations, which means not giving the neighbor’s new car a free paint job with the paint sprayer. Drop cloths, skilled hands and conscientious painters are a requirement, not a bonus.

Even if your HOA does not require a contractor, you may want to hire one to ease the process and ensure compliance with your bylaws. Remember that all painting contractors are not the same so look for a house painter or house painting company with the following criteria:

  • Experience working within an HOA
  • Licensed and insured
  • Professional, clean vehicles
  • Polite employees in appropriate work attire
  • A commitment to drug- and alcohol-free worksites
  • A strict site clean-up policy
  • A solid portfolio showcasing home exteriors painted by the company
  • Positive reviews online
  • Use of long-lasting, quality paint
  • A commitment to protecting personal property and neighboring property

These helpful tips will provide property owners the best chances of success when it comes to ensuring a successful, HOA-approved exterior house painting project from start to finish. Want even more help with your upcoming paint project? Give AMC Painting a call. Our reliable, professional team can complete your project with the right HOA colors, following all community guidelines from your complimentary estimate to your final walkthrough.


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