If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, you will have to get approval from them prior to constructing your precast concrete fence. They will need to see the plans and any details you may have about the project. While a good precast concrete contractor will help guide you, you are responsible for getting approval from the HOA. The time for approval from your HOA can take, on average, one to six weeks.
Make no assumptions about the process. Here’s why: say you have neighbors around you with a particular fence, so you assume you can have that type. You skip the approval process and start the installation. Midway through the expensive installation of your new residential fence, you get a notice from the HOA that your fence is illegal.
Maybe your neighbors put up their fence without telling the HOA and got away with it. Perhaps the HOA has changed their guidelines. Whatever the case may be, you are now responsible for tearing down the work that has been done and building a new, approved fence.
Dealing with an HOA can be an aggravating experience. Here are some suggestions for making it run a whole lot smoother.
- Read the material provided by the HOA and fully understand it. Contact your HOA board. Make sure you have the most recent version of regulations and talk to the board about all questions you have. Leave no stone unturned during this phone call, even if the question you have seems dumb. When you call, it is recommended that you either record the phone call (and any other phone call with the board) or create a log of the date and time of the call, who you spoke with, and what you discussed. Depending on what state you are in, you might have to let the board member know you are recording the phone call. Check your state laws about recording phone calls.
- When you are talking to the board, ask them detailed questions about what they want to see answered in your letter. Take notes during the phone call and then make sure to address everything they mention in your letter. Take time to think about things they might want to know that they didn’t mention. The more you can anticipate their questions, the quicker the process will go.
- Include every bit of information you can in your request – specific dimensions, exact paint samples, blueprints, pictures, project drawings, etc. Error on the side of too much info.
- Keep copies of everything you send out in the mail. Include all the best contact info in your letter – make it easy for them to contact you.
- A week after mailing your letter, follow up if you haven’t heard from them already. Make sure they got the request (you would be surprised by how often it gets misplaced) and ask if they already have any questions for you or the contractor. Ask them for a date that they will get back to you by – expect it to be an approximation.
- If they deny your request, don’t forget that you can ask for a variance. A variance is essentially a case-by-case bending of the rules. You will have a hearing that you can use to argue your case.
Building a new fence around your home doesn’t have to be difficult. When you are ready to build your precast concrete fence or have questioned about getting your fence approved by your HOA, contact American Precast Concrete for answers and a free cost estimate.