The world of HOAs, or Homeowner Associations, can be overwhelming. And if you’re looking to make some exterior improvements, it’s crucial you know what you can and can’t do with your home.
To ensure that you’re complying with your local and state HOA, we’ve compiled this guide to help you. We’ll outline the purpose of an HOA, reasons to abide by the regulations, and where to find HOA garage door rules.
What is an HOA?
If you’re new to an area or a first-time homeowner, you may not be as familiar with Homeowner Associations, or HOAs. If you reside within an area that has an HOA, you will need to follow a document of home guidelines.
In general, the Association regulates what you can and cannot renovate, how you can decorate the exterior of your home and standards for maintaining and cleaning. Later in this blog, we’ll talk more about why these HOAs exist.
A Homeowners Association typically is installed in a residential neighborhood, a subdivision, a planned community, or a condominium building. If you move into an area with an HOA, you will automatically become a member.
Once you become a member, you’ll likely need to pay monthly or annual fees to the association. These fees help the association with more extensive renovation projects or emergency funding for repairs.
This could include improvements to sidewalks, landscaping, and common areas such as the pool or gym. Additionally, if a major storm goes through your residential area, there’s money for larger repairs.
This Association covers a wide range of standards and some states even have HOA guidelines for garage doors.
HOA Architectural Control Committee
If you reside in a fairly large area, your HOA may be quite expansive. If that’s the case, your HOA garage door regulations may fall under the Architectural Control Committee. So, if you’re looking to file documents or ask questions, you can go directly to this committee.
This subcommittee usually only exists when the HOA handles a vast variety of tasks within the residential development. If you reside in a smaller neighborhood, you may not have different committees and may only have one contact.
Does an HOA Cover a Garage Door?
The short answer is yes.
A majority of Homeowner Associations have some standards or regulations on your garage door.
There are categories within the document where you can find detailed information about HOA guidelines for garage doors. These regulations are set in place to ensure safety and enhance curb appeal throughout the neighborhood or residential area.
Common HOA Categories That Include Garage Regulations
The documentation that outlines your HOA laws can be hard to decipher. We’ve outlined some of the most common sections where you’ll find information about your garage door.
- Usage and Storage. Some HOA regulations restrict what you can store inside your garage space. This is put in place to eliminate clutter and potential hazards in the area.
- Parking. Your HOA may require you to store and park all vehicles either in the garage or in the driveway, rather than on the street. This helps maintain a clean look and enhance curb appeal.
- Maintenance and Appearance. Maintaining garage doors in an HOA usually means making sure your paint isn’t chipped, the hardware is firmly secure, and your garage door opens and closes properly.
Sometimes, state HOAs have specific standards for the color, material, and style of your garage door. This will be especially important to review if you’re looking to make a garage door upgrade to your home.
Alongside these guidelines, it’s likely the HOA will have information about maintaining and cleaning your garage door. These are set in place because the HOA wants to make sure the area is attractive to potential new homeowners.
- Noise and Activity Limits. You may find yourself using your garage area for something more than a storage space. Maybe you’ve taken up a hobby, maybe your child has started a band, or you’re looking to put in a workbench.
Depending on the activity you’re doing, your HOA may have some restrictions on the noise level. More than likely, there are “quiet hours” where you’re expected to reduce noise. There may also be limits on what you can do within your garage space so the residential area remains a peaceful place.
- Safety Compliance. Not surprisingly, your HOA outlines building regulations and codes, which include your garage door. In general, this just ensures your home has the proper safety devices installed, like a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm.
Finding Your State & Local HOA
Now that we’ve outlined the importance and purpose of Homeowner Associations, we’ll provide insight on how to find your specific state HOA law. There are databases and resources available so you can gather information about both your state HOA laws and your local management association.
Finding Your State HOA Laws. The HOA Management site has links for every state and each section of that state’s HOA document. A majority of states have an overarching legislature that will govern your local HOA.
Based on your state laws, you can find information about your HOA garage door regulations when you’re looking to alter the exterior of your home. If you need to file documentation or pay fees, that will go through your local Homeowners Association.
Finding Your Local Association.
The easiest way to find your local Homeowners Association is to look at your property deed. You should find the community name or subdivision listed. If you’ve recently moved into your home, your realtor should also have contact information for your HOA.
Typically, a local HOA runs as a non-profit organization so you can also find information about it through your city or county website.
The HOA State Law Acts
As you’re reading through your state’s HOA website, you may see a few different Acts listed. The type of housing you reside in will determine what Act you need to follow. There’s also usually a Corporate Governance section that applies since an HOA typically operates as a non-profit organization.
- Real Property Law. Also known as fixed property, and represents real estate.
- Condominium Act. As the name suggests, this Act encompasses condominium buildings. This Act will probably have more guidance on public spaces within the condominium, for example, parking, the gym, or a pool.
- Corporate Governance. This Act won’t necessarily give you specifics on HOA garage door rules, but it will provide information on how your HOA can run. This can be useful information if you’re going to HOA meetings or interested in being on the board.
The Importance of Abiding by the HOA Laws
It’s important to have a general understanding of these laws because your home can incur fees if you violate any of the regulations. A few characteristics will help you determine how much your HOA violation fee will be.
- Community’s Economic Status. Consider the wealth of your community. The HOA will want to have a fee high enough that discourage homeowners from violating the regulations.
- Severity of the Violation. The fee will vary in cost depending on how bad the violation is. If you’re consistently loud and breaking noise ordinances, your fee will likely be less than if you’re damaging common property around the neighborhood.