HOA Painting  Guidelines

Living in a community with a designated homeowners association, a.k.a. HOA, has many perks, like well-kept community landscapes and parks, private community pools, and more. However, with the perks come the rules associated with HOA living – from keeping lawns and trash bins tidy to abiding by designated HOA exterior paint colors.

These bylaws aren’t trivial and often serve a purpose. Additionally, every homeowner in the neighborhood is bound by the same guidelines, which are designed to keep the neighborhood looking its best and protect the value of all properties within the community.

Today’s post discusses homeowners association paint colors and the common policies most must follow when painting or repainting their home’s exterior. We’ll also review some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve encountered when providing HOA paint services.

HOA Painting Rules Overview

Every community is different – so the rules will vary. However, HOA painting guidelines are typically established to retain the integrity of the neighborhood’s preferred aesthetics so the community maintains an appealing uniform look. For reference, here is an example of how HOA house painting guidelines can read:

If you are repainting your home or replacing your roof in the same color scheme as the original, no review is required.

  • If you are changing color schemes, paint/shingle selections must be approved.
  • Exterior paint for all siding, trim, gutters, and garages should be neutral/light in color.
  • Gutters and trim should match.
  • Bright or dark accent colors are allowed for front doors and shutters only. No fluorescent, hot pink, orange, lime green, etc. are allowed.
  • Painting over brick requires a more detailed review of the exact paint and method to be used. The issue is long-term maintenance, so it is reviewed on an individual basis to ensure the highest quality materials, colors, etc.

These guidelines are pretty straightforward and standard and an excellent “general” example of HOA exterior home painting restrictions. For the most part, HOA exterior paint colors, regardless of the area you live in, must conform to the overall design scheme presented by the neighborhood. So, if you live among primarily light, neutral-colored homes, that sky-blue home exterior color you’ve always loved likely won’t get HOA approval.

One guideline is not mentioned in the above example, and it’s worth noting because it applies to many HOA communities across the country. It pertains to exterior painting upkeep. In many communities, the HOA requires you to repaint your home’s exterior every 7-8 years for upkeep. Again, since every HOA varies, it’s important to read and understand what is expected before signing the dotted line for a new home in a community governed by a homeowners association.

HOA Approved Exterior Paint Colors

Although all communities with an HOA can have their own unique set of bylaws to ensure the uniformity and appeal of the neighborhood, most communities with HOA oversight favor neutral-colored homes with contrasting or complimentary accent colors. Although HOA-approved paint colors may change as trends change, any newly approved colors will probably not be too different from the original color scheme.

Also some HOAs also have rules about matching a neighbor’s home too closely. For example, if your neighbor just repainted their house a beautiful tan the HOA approved, the same color scheme may not be approved for your house because you are right next door. That’s right, even HOAs that gravitate toward uniformity don’t want a street lined with house clones.

Large paint retailers, like Sherwin Williams, have made browsing for HOA-approved exterior paint colors as easy as possible by including a section specifically for approved colors. Google “Sherwin Williams HOA paint schemes” to find the website, then look under “Homeowners Association Color Archive,” where you can search for your state, city, and neighborhood. If it is listed, they will provide swatches of the HOA exterior paint colors approved for that neighborhood, including primary and accent colors.

HOA Painting FAQs

As an established HOA commercial painting company, we’ve worked with many homeowners associations over the years. In our experience, these are the most frequently asked questions we encounter when hired for our HOA painting services.

Can HOA Make You Paint Your House?

Yes – and this should not be surprising if you have read your HOA community’s bylaws. If you paint your home’s exterior with a color not included in the preferred HOA paint colors, they are within their rights to enforce the bylaws and make you repaint it. The best way to avoid an HOA paint violation and repainting costs is to check with your HOA before you paint the exterior. In the long run, this will save you both time and money.

What Happens if You Paint Your House Without HOA Approval?

There are a few outcomes in this scenario, and it mainly depends on the community and how strictly it enforces exterior painting guidelines. For example, if you repaint your house the same color without HOA approval, you should be fine. On the other hand, if you paint your home’s exterior without permission and it’s a different color, get ready for a letter from the HOA.

The severity of this outcome will depend on the non-approved color you chose. If it’s very similar to the original color or many other houses in your neighborhood, you may suffer a fine for using a non-approved color and avoid repainting. However, if you went totally rogue and chose a color that sticks out like a sore thumb, expect action from the HOA – and be ready to repaint or suffer the consequences.

Since every HOA is different, we’re speaking in general terms. However, the best rule of thumb is to just check with your HOA prior to any exterior home changes to ensure you are within the required guidelines.

Are There Any Exceptions to HOA Painting Rules?

Again, there isn’t one concrete answer to this question since HOA oversight and bylaws can vary from community to community. The best way to find your answer to this question is to ask the HOA directly or attend one of their scheduled meetings. Since HOA house painting, exteriors specifically, is so visible to all passersby, the board will likely carefully examine exceptions around exterior paint colors before granting.

Do HOA Painting Contractors Need to Be Approved?

Some HOAs go as far as designating a specific HOA painting company to ensure the project is executed professionally and correctly. However, this isn’t the norm. Although some HOA boards can provide a list of preferred vendors for exterior painting, most will not care who does the job as long as HOA paint colors are used and the execution looks good.

After all, HOA bodies are there to maintain the integrity of the community, not issue letters and fines without cause.

How Often Do You Need to Paint Your Home?

Exterior paint requires maintenance to protect the surface and your investment. How often depends on factors such as location, climate, and more. However, a general rule of thumb for homeowners with painted exteriors is every 10 years. Repainting your home within this timetable keeps the paint looking great and protects the exterior surface as it should.

Homes are typically our greatest assets, so protecting them should be a priority. Maintaining exterior paint is one of the first lines of defense for your home’s exterior. You may have heard of PPD Painting if you live in a Chicago or Cincinnati HOA-governed community, as we’ve worked closely with these associations to help maintain the beauty of their communities for over 13 years.

As a highly experienced and professional HOA painting company, we’re very familiar with the process. We will ensure your home’s exterior color is not just HOA-approved but also loved by you. Not to mention the professional service we guarantee. Every one of our experienced HOA paint contractors understands the importance of communication, efficiency, and cleanliness. Contact us for a free estimate today!


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