A whirl of emotions overcome you as you sit down and prepare to sign your name by the “X” staring up at you. Confidently grabbing the pen, you sign your name on the stack of paperwork consisting of your contract, title information, HOA handbook, home buyers guide, and more. You’ve done it! You are now the proud owner of a new home! You release a big sigh, a strange mixture of relief, excitement, joy, and nervousness at the thoughts of what comes next.
Plans and ideas are swimming in your mind. You’ve thought of all kinds of ways to make your home exactly what you envisioned from the first time you walked through it: equipment storage for the manicured lawn and landscape; the kids’ very own playhouse under the giant oak in the backyard; the workshop or home office to which you retreat for peace, creativity, and productivity. The possibilities are endless as you ponder the many uses for the beautiful outdoor building you envision for your new backyard.
Outdoor sheds can add valuable storage space and organization to your life without the headache of driving across town to a rental facility. Sometimes a shed simply fills the need for a convenient and practical space to store items. Other times it completely transforms your way of life—allowing you to work from home with an office, studio, or workshop. However, if you live in a community governed by an HOA, there are some things you should know before shopping for your dream shed.
What is a Homeowner Association?
A homeowner association (HOA) is usually a non-profit corporation created by the developer of a particular community. The developer typically forms the association prior to the sale of any homes while the community is still in the planning stages. Membership in the association is mandatory for anyone who purchases a home in the governed community.
HOAs are subject to state laws governing non-profit corporations, and may include additional laws that govern homeowner associations in particular. These laws can vary widely by state. Homeowner associations are also subject to federal guidelines on fair housing regulations, satellite dishes, swimming pools, and more.
Your HOA is likely governed by a board of directors elected by the residents of the community. The board of directors enforces a set of documents created to define standards of the community in order to protect property values.
What does being part of a HOA mean for you?
The bylaws created by an HOA are legally binding documents all property owners must abide by. These may vary widely from one association to the other, so make sure to stay on top of your HOA requirements. Your HOA’s requirements can include standards on everything from parking, fences, and sheds to property improvements such as porches, pools, and home additions. Guidelines on paint colors, roofing materials, and lawn care are all issues that a homeowner association may speak to.
Failing to comply with the HOA bylaws can result in something as minor as the removal of an item, but can also escalate to being fined, or worse.
What every HOA resident should know
You need to know and understand the rules and regulations set forth by your HOA. You must maintain your property within those guidelines at all times. If you are thinking about buying a shed:
- Stay informed on changing standards and regulations as they pertain to your home. They may limit the shed’s size, color, and/or materials so it conforms to the standards they place on your community.
- Be aware that other factors they may enforce are distance to property line or fence, the architectural style of the shed, purpose for the shed, and delivery restrictions.
- Determine if your city requires engineering plans, elevation plans, or city permits.
Our experts at The Shed Builders are experienced in working with HOA guidelines. We can assist you in finding and customizing the shed that is perfect for both you and your HOA!