Dealing With An HOA
When it comes to installing a metal roof in many neighborhoods across South Carolina, you first have to convince your HOA to let you, and that can be difficult for some.
I’ve had the pleasure, and I’m not being sarcastic when I say that, of sitting in front of HOA boards throughout South Carolina, helping homeowners present their case as to why they want to install a metal roof and why it won’t detract, but actually add value to the neighborhood. I’ve also had the unique opportunity to sit in front of my own board for my own house and explain to them why I want to install a metal roof
Take a just a minute. Picture a metal roof.
Okay, does it look like a Pizza Hut or a bank or an old farm-house? Probably so, and you aren’t alone. That’s exactly what HOA’s are thinking as well. They don’t want some big ‘ol shiny silver or red barn roof messing up the otherwise traditional houses.
I know, from talking with friends and clients and from reading comments online, a lot of people just dismiss HOA’s altogether, saying they are a joke and people are crazy forever living in a subdivision that has one. I don’t believe that at all. Even though they can be frustrating at times, I’ve found in most cases, if they understand what it is exactly that is being installed and why, they are open to a homeowner doing what’s best for them and their house (especially something that is being installed to make the home more energy-efficient).
A client (homeowner) in Hilton Head, SC wanted to install a metal roof but was told the HOA would not approve it. Needless to say, he was a bit nervous when he had to meet with the board. He asked me to come and just be there to answer any technical questions they may have, and I happily obliged. That meeting lasted all of about 10 minutes. They looked at the product (Country Manor Shake by Classic Metal Roofing Systems), saw the color, and approved it right on the spot. And actually, two of the members of the board wanted my card so I could look at their house as well.
In the end, the homeowner was amazed at how easily the process had been.
Now, they aren’t all that easy. In a subdivision in Mount Pleasant, SC, after meeting with the HOA (small) board, the application for a metal roof was denied. However, through an appeal, we met again with the full board and things went differently. The rules stated that a sheet metal roof was not allowed and it was denied on that premise. (we were not installing a sheet metal “standing seam” roof but an aluminum shingle)
After reading and re-reading the rules, we realized that there was a provision for “new and/or advanced” types of construction materials to be decided on a case by case basis. After looking at the product and taking into account the advancements over the last 30 years in metal roofing, the application was approved, and once again, members of the board were very curious and one came by the house during installation to say he lived down the street and loved the way it looked.
Now, with my HOA, it was somewhat different as well. When I submitted the application to the committee I was originally told probably not. Why? Because they didn’t want anything “exotic” in the neighborhood. After asking exactly what that meant, it boiled down to the fact that there are 600+ houses in this subdivision and not a single metal roof. I was told mine would be setting a “precedent”.
I can understand their initial hesitation, and, just between you and me, I expected it. Like I explained a few minutes ago, most people think of a commercial type look when they hear the words “metal roof”. But, that was not what I wanted to install. (I was installing the Oxford Aluminum shingle by Classic Metal Roofing Systems). And, after seeing it up close and looking at the benefits of it, the board happily approved it.
In fact, after the roof was started, a member of the board called and wanted to drop by to take pictures. Come to find out, he wanted to take pictures so he could use them in a class he teaches on energy-efficient construction materials and methodologies.
I’ve sat with homeowners in HOA meetings all over this state and I’ve yet to see a board deny a metal roof that looks like shingles, or wood shakes, and fits in color-wise with the rest of the homes in the neighborhood.
Now, the BAR (Board of Architectural Review) in Charleston is a different story. I love working with them and on those houses too, it’s just a different animal altogether.
Bottom line: If you are installing a metal roof that will blend in with the neighborhood and the energy-efficient properties are readily available and apparent, don’t be afraid of your HOA.
If you have questions about a specific area of South Carolina or a specific type of roofing, give us a call at803-955-0374 or fill out our quick contact form, and someone will call you back as quick as humanly possible.