How to Streamline Your Design Approval Process

If you’ve ever lived in an HOA but not been on the board, then you probably know how confusing it can be to get design changes to your home approved. Even if the process is simple, many people don’t know what it is. Some might even put off exterior home improvement projects because they don’t want to deal with the approval!

Make sure your homeowners feel confident about asking for the design changes they need by making your approval process easy and communicating it clearly to everyone involved.

Make Forms Simple

Approval forms don’t need to be complicated to be effective. Make a checklist of project types that the committee approves. Allow homeowners to check off the project type, provide a place where they can give you contact information and their address, and make sure they know when they need to add diagrams, landscape plots, etc.

Make sure the form includes instructions for submitting it. Email submission is usually the easiest unless homeowners need to submit paint colors, etc.

Have a Designated Design Person

Make sure there is one person who processes these forms as they come in. When multiple board members are dealing with them, it’s easier for things to get lost or for people to get confused. Even if that person doesn’t approve the changes on their own, having one process person will make it go smoother for everyone.

Choose Standard Home Colors & Make Them Easy to Access

Many HOAs have standard home colors that homeowners need to choose from, but these can be hard to access. If home colors are only available at a certain store or are otherwise hard to see, homeowners may put off painting the exteriors of their homes. Looking at colors online is not always a solution, either, as different monitors can make the colors look significantly different.

Having paint swatches that a homeowner can request and delivering them to the home is an option, as is putting the paint swatches in a central location, like a clubhouse or a pool house, and allowing homeowners to access them there.

Provide a List of Approved Contractors

Some HOAs have found that having a list of approved contractors makes design updates easier. These boards go as far as to say that any project these contractors perform is already approved. Since the board works closely with the contractors, no one has to worry about projects taking away from the value of the neighborhood.

Be Consistent

Rules are easier to apply when you apply them consistently. If you have standard responses to certain types of submissions or projects, it’s easier to get through them quickly and get the homeowner the response they need in a timely manner. This also ensures that everyone gets treated the same, no matter what.

If you want help streamlining your HOA’s design approval process, contact us at AMI today. Our experts can help you get the process you need to make your HOA run better!

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