If your home is located in an HOA, you’ll need to manage any roof owners with respect to the Home Owners Associations guidelines, often referred to as the CC&R’s (Covenants, Codes & Restrictions). It is imperative that you review the rules and, if possible, contact the HOA directly to ensure you know the rules.
Helpful Guidelines for Working with an HOA & Roof Repairs
If not, your upcoming roof repair or replacement may have to be redone if it doesn’t meet the HOA’s guidelines, OR you may wind up paying for annual inspections, roof maintenance, repairs, or replacements that were supposed to be paid for by the HOA.
Here are some of the guidelines we’ve learned while working with HOA’s all around the Bay Area.
Always Contact the HOA Before Contacting a Roofer
Contact your HOA before doing anything on your own. Depending on the community’s setup, some maintenance or minor repair may fall to them. In that case, you don’t want to pay for any work that isn’t yours to pay for. Your HOA representative or the board can tell you exactly what they handle and what is the responsibility of the homeowners.
If your home shares a roofline with another, they also have a vested interest in knowing what’s going on so they can address it with your neighbor. Then there is the question of aesthetics. Many HOAs have rules around which roofing materials can and can’t be used as well as roof color recommendations or restrictions, so you’ll want to make sure you understand those parameters as well.
Finally, they may already have a list of preferred roofing contractors they want you to contact, and those companies may offer discounts you wouldn’t otherwise receive.
Contact roofing contractors
If you don’t already have a relationship with a roofing contractor now’s the time to form one. As neighbors for recommendations and call at least a few different licensed roofers. One or more of them may have already done work in your neighborhood, which can streamline the process because they already know how to cooperate with the HOA.
Read our post, Questions to Ask When Choosing a Roofing Contractor, to help guide your selection process.
Keep the lines of communication open
In some cases, the HOA might send you a notice that says you need particular roofing repairs and provide guidelines on how to do that. It is absolutely your right to have a second opinion from a licensed roofer as long as the roofer’s inspections align with the HOA’s regulations.
If a licensed contractor says your roof requires lesser maintenance or repairs than the HOA initially suggested, request a meeting and present the contractor’s detailed explanation/bid. For example, they may say you need to replace a roof because shingles blew off, while the roof inspection may show the roofing deck is sound and well-matched replacement shingles are all that’s needed.
It can be easy to feel defensive but remaining calm, getting all the evidence you need, and following the HOAs rules for how to proceed in these circumstances is the wisest course. Keep those lines of communication open so it’s clear you want to cooperate with everyone’s best interests as the focus.
Present a complete, professional estimate
Your contractor’s estimate should be professionally presented on letterhead and with detailed itemizations. Details are key because it allows the HOA to compare apples-to-apples if they get an estimate from a roofing contractor of their own to compare.
Like most homeowners, the HOA may balk at certain “extra” costs such as warranty charges or the replacement of other roofing features, like flashing, gutters, etc. Ask if there are any licensed contractors on the board or on the committee. If not, recommend the committee enlist the support of professional, licensed contractors to form a third-party assessment of all of the buildings. Failure to honor legitimate “extras,” may save everyone money in the form of reduced repairs or roof replacement in the future.
Only seek legal advice as a last resort
All too often small HOA issues can become heated and lead to homeowners threatening litigation, or vice versa. Legal advice and support should only be used as a last resort after going through all of the channels possible to resolve the roofing issues with your HOA as peacefully and cooperatively as possible.
Who knows? You might find that your situation and level head help to form better and more transparent guidelines around roof repair and maintenance in the future.
We Can Help
Could you use some support managing roofing issues and your HOA? Contact Pacific Coast Roofing. We’ve worked with dozens of different HOAs around the Bay Area for more than 25 years, and we’re happy to help you negotiate with yours.