When the time comes to replace the roof on your condominium, townhome, or other HOA-managed property, the question can arise: “Do I need HOA approval?”.
The answer isn’t always obvious, because some HOA organizations have bylaws that contain specific stipulations related to significant remodeling projects. And, sometimes, these stipulations have clauses that directly mention any work that is done to the roof. This can include basic repairs or full-scope roof replacements.
A-to-Z Roofing & Exteriors has been assisting homeowners and HOAs in the repair and replacement of roofs since 1993, and we’ve encountered all manners of HOA restrictions. Sometimes, the homeowner has free reign to choose the contractor and roof type of their preference. Other times, the HOA will require that the roof contractor and their quote are approved by the HOA board before any work can start.
Because this can be a complex and confusing subject, we’re giving you some things to consider if your property is due for a roof replacement and you find yourself wondering what role the HOA will play in the overall project.
Determining the Need for a New Roof
If an HOA is going to have anything to do with a roof replacement project, one of the first questions they’re likely to ask is how you know you need a new roof. This is a fair question, because sometimes, a roof restoration or repair can be perfectly acceptable (and less expensive).
Some of the telltale signs of a roof that is beyond repair or restoration include:
- A prevalence of cracked, worn, or bald shingles
- Discolored interior surfaces indicating roof leaks
- Areas of daylight peeking in through damaged roof boards
- Severely damaged flashing throughout the roof
- Extensive curling or cupped shingle tabs
If your roof is exhibiting two or more of these symptoms, it’s probably going to need a full replacement. However, only a trained roofing technician can determine for sure whether or not this is the case.
Get to Know the Standards
All HOAs have rules of governance when it comes to major modifications made to the properties that fall under the HOAs purview. Often, these rules are known as ‘standards’, and they’re almost always contained in the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCRs) agreements that are legally binding between the HOA and the property owner.
So, in order to know for sure what the HOAs stance is on approving or denying a roof replacement, you’ll want to contact your HOA and ask for a current copy of all CCRs. Once you get this documentation, read through it thoroughly and don’t hesitate to contact your HOA with any questions you might have.
Forms and Permits
Prior to allowing any roof replacement, many HOAs will require that certain forms be filled out as part of a permitting process. These forms will often require detailed information about the work that is to be done, what materials will be used, the cost of the project, and so on.
It can be helpful to complete the required forms with your roofing contractor so that nothing is left to chance. Then, when the time comes to obtain the permit, you’ll have a much higher level of confidence that your project will be approved and the work can start on schedule.
Avoid the Bureaucratic Time Trap
We see this time and time again: an HOAs policies and procedures for roof replacement wind up being so confusing and time-intensive that the homeowner simply puts off the project until they have more time to commit to cutting through all of the red tape.
However, this is not a good idea! Leaving an already damaged roof to succumb even further to ongoing deterioration can spell disaster for other areas of the home. So, even though your HOA may inundate you with requirements and paperwork, try to be patient and work with your roofing contractor to ensure that all of your t’s are crossed. Don’t allow the derelict roof to sit unattended for a single day longer than is absolutely necessary.
Most HOAs carry insurance for the exteriors of the buildings they manage. Part of the HOA fees you pay every month, quarter, or year go towards paying these insurance premiums. Be sure to find out if a roof replacement is something that is covered by the HOAs insurance policy, or if your existing homeowners insurance policy covers it.