How to Prep Your HOA for the Perfectly Compliant Paint Job
Homeowners associations (HOAs) handle residential painting projects in well-regulated ways in order to maintain a cohesive neighborhood and keep property values high. While these various renovation restrictions benefit HOA property managers and residents alike, they can also create roadblocks. Those living within the HOA must make sure that their painting decisions fall in line with the organization’s rules, while property managers must coordinate with residents and painting professionals to make sure each property receives the same level of attention -- if even a single home stands out from the pack for whatever reason, the HOA can suffer as a whole.
Before painting even begins, however, each HOA property must be prepared to receive fresh coatings. Surfaces that lack proper preparation aren’t as receptive to new coats of paint, meaning a new paint job won’t have as clean a finish or last as long as it should. The challenge for HOA residents and managers alike is investing in quality surface preparation solutions that don’t oppose the association’s guidelines and then doing the same when it comes to painting.
How to Prep an HOA for a Paint Job
Know What’s Allowed in Your HOA
The best place to start in this endeavor is understanding the ins and outs of your HOA’s rules, which will be written out in its Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). This document will break down important details such as resident and manager responsibilities (e.g., landscaping, appliance repair, painting), pet ownership, garage and driveway use, allowable types of interior and exterior house paint, and more. In this case, your main focus in perusing your CC&Rs will be on anything involving home painting. Most HOAs will feature a painting cycle that runs about every 5-7 or 7-10 years; this cycle indicates the frequency at which each property inside the HOA requires a fresh coat of paint, primarily regarding exterior painting since this determines curb appeal and therefore has a larger bearing on property value. On top of that, you might notice rules about exterior paint color choices. Bright, vibrant, and/or unusual exterior colors are often out of bounds, while neutral tones like beiges, grays, and whites tend to dominate.
The more familiar you are with your HOA’s particular conditions and restrictions, the easier it will be to make compliant decisions from the get-go. This is especially important for residents, as failing to follow the HOA’s rules can result in hefty fines and penalties.
Screen Painting Contractors for the Right Fit
Depending on how your HOA operates, residents or property manager(s) may be the ones in charge of hiring an interior or exterior painting contractor to tackle the project. Even if residents do have some say in this matter, they will most likely be limited to a select group of painters pre-screened by the HOA itself. Property managers, on the other hand, will often be responsible for choosing said contractor(s). Whatever the case may be, making the right choice requires a good deal of research and care. For starters, not all painting services have the capacity or experience to handle an HOA surface prep and painting project. And for another, the painters you choose must be willing and able to abide by the HOA’s existing regulations. If you’re looking to prepare your HOA for the most compliant paint job, then take your time comparing nearby painting companies until you land on one that fits all the key requirements (punctual, communicative, offers fair pricing, uses quality products, has enough laborers, etc.).
Properly Clean Your Property
The first step to preparing any home for a fresh coat of paint is thoroughly cleaning its surfaces. For exteriors, a pressure washer comes in handy here. Pressure washers blast away dirt, debris, grime, mold, and mildew with minimal effort and can also help remove any old, peeling paint that needs to go. It’s best to hire professional pressure washers or go with a painting contractor that also offers pressure washing services to perform this task, as the wrong approach can end up damaging your property or injuring those nearby. As for interiors, you’ll want to put the pressure washer away and do some manual cleaning. Surfaces should be dusted and/or vacuumed before being carefully scrubbed with water and cleaning solution. As always, consult your HOA and/or CC&Rs to make sure the cleaning methods you employ are fair game -- some HOAs might have rules against certain types of pressure washers, detergents, etc., for liability reasons.
Further Prepare Your Surfaces for Painting
Surface cleaning might be the primary task involved in surface preparation, but it’s certainly not the only one. Complete surface preparation involves a variety of other duties, including repairs, caulking, sanding, and more, in order to ensure the best painting results. To further prepare the outside of an HOA property, you or your painting professional should closely inspect every inch of the exterior with a carbide razor to scrape away any remaining loose paint. Faulty caulking must be replaced to keep the exterior well-sealed. Interior surface prep involves tasks such as setting and spackling nailheads, patching holes in drywall, taping joints, and caulking gaps. Both exterior and interior surfaces should also be sanded down to aid in paint adhesion when the time comes, and priming might be necessary if the previous coat of paint hasn’t stood the test of time. Hiring a painting contractor that uses the latest and greatest surface preparation technologies is your best bet toward ensuring a perfectly compliant paint job.
Color Coordination Considerations
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most common elements of an HOA’s CC&Rs is color selection, namely for home exteriors. If you manage your HOA properties, you’ll want to ensure that the painters you hire stick to the association’s pre-approved colors. If you’re an HOA resident and unsure of how to select house paint colors, look closely at your CC&Rs to see if they include a complete list of approved colors for residential exterior painting. If the document lacks this information or isn’t clear, contact your HOA board to set the record straight. And no matter which color(s) you decide to go with, always seek approval from your HOA ahead of time just to make sure you steer clear of any violations. In some cases, your HOA might even allow you to go with an unlisted color, as long as it doesn’t stray too far (this varies from HOA to HOA).
The Bottom Line on HOA Compliance and Paint Prepping
The red tape imposed by your HOA on your upcoming painting project can be both daunting and frustrating. But simply knowing what to expect from the outset and taking the time to find the best contractor for your HOA paint job can save you plenty of headaches. It’s important to receive approval from your HOA before making any renovations on your property. Fortunately, some painting professionals such as Nash Painting are well versed in navigating the complexities of HOA painting. We’ve provided HOA property managers and residents alike across Nashville, Brentwood, or Franklin, TN, with the guidance and results they were looking for in their HOA preparation and painting projects. To learn more about us, our hassle free painting services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!