Typical Community Appearance Standards

Adopting Appearance Standards

One of the most important policies a homeowners association board can enact involves acceptable appearance standards. These are particularly important in condominiums and townhomes where uniform appearance underscores market value.

Many current owners formerly lived in detached housing where they were free to express themselves with gnomes, pink flamingos, etc. Some folks feel the further need for personalized fences, trellises, decks, light fixtures, security doors, security bars, awnings and other structural modifications. The ways owners are driven to “customize” the common area are limitless. The Board can never be prepared for some of the more creative ways. However, it helps to establish an appearance philosophy with guidelines.

Common Community Appearance Standards

Community Appearance Philosophy: The homeowners association has responsibility to maintain the grounds and building exteriors. To accomplish that objective, guidelines have been established to standardize appearance to sustain high home resale values plus maintenance efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Storm Doors: ABC brand- model 123 Storm doors with bronze finish

Common area landscaping: No alteration or addition to the landscaping by unit owners is allowed

Exterior light fixtures: All fixtures are standardized by brand, color, type and to be replace by the homeowners association only

Deck/Patio Appearance: Only potted plants, barbeques and outdoor furniture are permitted. For safety reasons, plants should never be place on upper level deck rails.

Security Bars: These may only be installed inside the unit and painted white

Signs: “For Sale” or “For Rent” signs may be displayed in the unit windows only

Unit structural Modifications: All structural modifications must be approved in advance and in writing by the board.

Most of the appearance conflicts boards experience are avoidable by establishing clear and reasonable standards. Consider enacting appearance standards for your community and communicate them regularly to the owners.