Your local Homeowners Association (HOA) may seem like its goal is to restrict residents from expressing their individuality; but their purpose is really to regulate the neighborhood with a set of guidelines and measures for the homes and surrounding property. You may be thinking, “But it’s my house!,” and that’s certainly true, but that doesn’t mean a HOA will allow complete freedom of expression.
Homeowners Associations exist to maintain a neighborhood or community by encouraging a variety of restrictions and rules regarding what you can and can’t do on your property. When it comes to building and maintaining a shed in your yard, it’s likely that there are several regulations you must adhere to in order to meet the standards set out by your HOA.
Factors to Consider When Building a Shed
Regardless of how visible your shed is to people passing by, HOAs care about how a shed is built and how it looks. Failure to adhere to any regulations set out by your HOA will result in fines, so read them thoroughly to ensure that any actions you take with building and maintaining a shed will be within the guidelines. When adding a shed in your yard, keep in mind some of these visual and structural factors that many HOAs regulate.
Most HOAs will require that a shed be located in the backyard. That shouldn’t be an issue for most, but it can get a bit trickier when they specify where in the backyard it is allowed to be. You may be restricted to a certain area in the backyard, and you might have to consider your shed’s visibility from the road.
Your HOA could require that your shed not be set to the far left or right of your property, as this could be seen as not in line with the standards set out by your HOA. If you live in a neighborhood where your yard backs up to another’s backyard, there might be restrictions about placing your shed on the property line, as well.
Another factor to consider is the dimensions of your shed. You are likely going to be restricted to certain square footage and height. 150 square feet is a commonly used maximum. HOAs have these regulations in place to protect against homeowners adding very large structures, and potentially diminishing property values, and detracting from the overall appearance of the community.
If you have a lot of equipment and require a second or even third shed to store it all, it would be a good idea to check with your HOA, as they are likely to have restrictions on the number of sheds you can have on your property. Some HOAs may even set a maximum of one shed.
While it might feel like your HOA is restricting your creative freedom when it comes to the visual style of your shed, they have their vision of what they want the community and the properties within the community to look like. It can get pretty specific, with some HOAs even requesting that the exterior siding and shingles be of the same style and color as your home.
Along with the overall appearance of a shed, your HOA can also require that your structure be built with certain materials. For example, many HOAs request that all sheds have a solid floor, such as a concrete slab. Gravel or dirt floors usually aren’t permitted. Additionally, your HOA may also regulate the material of the shed’s siding, or the type of roof used.
After your shed is built, HOAs require that you take care of it and maintain its appearance. Failing to do so will likely result in a fine. It’s expected that you will not let your shed fall into disrepair; a clean and well-maintained shed reflects positively on the community as a whole, and your HOA will appreciate your dedication to the integrity of your property.
The Approval Process
Getting your shed approved for building typically requires written and visual documentation of the shed, its dimensions, and where it will be located on the property. Being thorough with your application shows a dedication to the values of your HOA, which will go a long way in getting approved for your shed.
Ready to put a shed in your backyard? Check out what Cincinnati Sheds has to offer today!
View Our Sheds