Dealing with Homeowner's Association

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by bigslick7878, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    So I have a nice 15k job locked up (and 10k more next year, ready to roll and customer emails me today saying he needs the plans to submit to his HOA for approval. He mentioned this to me before but didn't dawn on me until he said that today and the hoops I might have to jump through....or will I?

    What will they typically do? Just look at it and approve it? Require me to submit all types of paperwork and a bunch of other stuff? Anything else? I don't really have time to waste with a bunch of BS from these people, already spent enough time working with the client on design and what not.

    I honestly have no idea what to expect because I really have never had to deal with this before, maybe it has just been random luck but a lot of older neighborhoods/houses in my area where this is not an issue.

    Have heard all the "horror stories" about HOA's, but wanted to get some feedback from contractors with experience dealing with them when it comes to hardscaping specifically.

  2. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,358

    Usually they have guidelines in place of what works or not on stricter hoa's. Others just go past the board, make sure it doesn't affect the lawn/snow crews and addresses irrigation (if they have that).

    Basically be kind to them. You may need to make some changes but when isn't there changes on a job?

    If you do a good job there could be a lot of referral work.
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  3. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

    Some are fine some are a royal pita. Had one a few years ago that we started a job 2 months past the original start date because of all the hoops we and the customer had to jump through. Finally my client got pissed and said enough is enough were starting whether you like it or not.... and we did and not another peep from them.
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  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,620

    Not sure how the "$15k" and the "$10K" correlate with the HOA aspect?

    But anywho (don't you hate people that say "anywho"?), it's customary that plans be submitted to the HOA's.

    In terms of hardscapes - many of them wanna make sure the patio doesn't come past the sides of the dwelling.

    In terms of plantings - many of them will want a list of the plants, possible to make sure certain plants ARE NOT being used.

    I never supply the prospective client with anything to provide to their HOA without receiving a deposit first. Many folks want to hold off on the deposit until the HOA has approved the project. And many folks want to hold off on the deposit until necessary permits are in hand. Which with us - holding off on signing the contract and submitting the deposit....only delays the start date.

  5. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    There are some that are very easy to get along with and others make it so you can't hardly do anything different than what the other yards have. Most of them that I have dealt with don't say much if it is all flat work like pavers, edging and plants but when you get into walls, decks and anything raised then they notice more and want it to fit in with their guidelines. Some are strict that if you don't have approval first they fine you or make you remove what you installed. I have only heard those stories but good to know i guess.
  6. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    All flat work. Removing builder walkway from front to around side of house, installing some brick edging for beds around house, and adding lighting. Bunch of new plants too, but that is it. No walls or anything like that.
  7. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Its in my design agreement that submitting and dealing with the HOA is their responsibility. Its also their responsibility to get me all CC & Rs, design guidelines, etc before I start designing. And if the HOA kicks it back for any reason, my revision policy applies to any resubmittals (x hrs revision are included, additional revisions hourly at $xx per hr).

    Some associations are goofy and want weird stuff. You need to know that before you spend any time.

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