If you have purchased a home that is bound by the rules of a Homeowner’s Association, then you will need to take that into consideration for almost every single new addition you make to your house. While every Homeowner’s Association is different, and some are stricter than others, not abiding by their rules can be expensive. Want to paint your house? They may only allow certain colors. Want to build a deck? You need their approval. And yes, if you want to install a fence, you have to follow their guidelines.
For many who are living in a subdivision or community ruled over by an HOA, they need the approval of the board before they can build a fence. We’ve all likely heard this horror story in some form or another: Someone builds a beautiful fence, the HOA finds some way to complain about it, and that homeowner ends up tearing it down or replacing it at their own cost unless they want to accrue monthly, or even daily fines by the HOA. This is why you want to find your Homeowner’s Association charter and find out what they will allow and what they won’t allow when it comes to fencing.
Common Homeowner’s Association Guidelines
While every charter is different, they all have a few commonalities when it comes to fencing choices. If you are considering having a fence installed, you may want to keep these in mind.
Fence Height Restrictions
Even the most lax HOA charters have something that limits the maximum height a fence can be. If you live in the middle of nowhere, you could certainly build that 20-foot high fence to keep out deer if you so choose, but in your suburb, that probably won’t fly.
It is important to look up height restrictions as it can differ from community to community, and even from lot to lot. An extremely common example is that corner lots may not be allowed to have high fences or fences at all because it may obstruct traffic’s view at the intersection.
Obstruction of Views and Visibility
A number of gated communities and other HOA-bound areas invest a significant amount into their landscaping, and people pay for those views. If you live by a pond, man-made lake, or other beautified area, then you will want to highly consider your fencing options. Typically the major issue that HOA’s have with even standard fences is that it will obstruct the views that your neighbors may have paid for.
In many cases, you may not be all together banned from putting up a fence, but rather it will need to be lower, made of specific materials, or in a specific style so that it does not obstruct the view. In many cases, privacy fences won’t fly because they dramatically obstruct the views.
The reason that most communities put a Homeowner’s Association in place is to keep the neighborhood looking nicer. They make sure there are no cars on cinder blocks on the front lawn and all the houses have a certain uniformity to them that keeps the neighborhood looking nice. Often when you decide to put in a fence, you need to keep this in mind. Some neighborhoods may not allow privacy fences, others may only allow certain styles and materials of fences to keep the neighborhood-wide uniformity in place.
Getting an HOA-Approved Fence
When choosing to get a fence installed at your home, typically the best option is to choose the style and material you want, get the HOA’s approval, and then contact your fencing company to have it installed. By operating in this order, it assures that you won’t have to tear down or replace a fence once it was put up due to a nitpicky association.
If you are looking to put in a fence around your home and want more information on style, height, and materials to take to your HOA for approval and fence in your yard, contact us today.