Look, we get it. Things come up and emergencies happen that drain the bank account. There are bills to pay, your car breaks down, inflation makes items more expensive, your dog needs a vet appointment after eating too much chocolate, you need new clothes for your kids as they grow up, you’re paying hundreds of dollars monthly toward your Home-owners Association, and everything is adding up more and more.
Then you notice cracks on your walls both in and outside of the house. Windows and doors are sticking together. And as you look out your window, you’re looking at life at literally a different angle.
Your house is going further into the ground, or it’s heaving upward.
Of course, finances can be a struggle when the most unexpected things surprise you in life. Debt can be a concern. Though what if there’s a way to alleviate that stress?
If you live in an HOA community, there is a chance you might not need to pay a cent. If finances to repair your foundation have become a problem, Dalinghaus Construction is here to help see if your HOA will help cover your repair.
Our team at Dalinghaus Construction has fixed more than ten-thousand homes with foundation repair projects across Southern California and Arizona. Financial aspects are a concern, though that doesn’t mean you have to figure them out by yourself. If you want to see about your HOA covering your repair, this article is for you.
The purpose of an HOA:
I’m sure you’re reading this and thinking, “wait, I know how an HOA works.” That’s fair. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of how operations work where you may live. Not all HOAs are run the same way. Yours may work a little differently, though there are common aspects to almost all of them.
An HOA, or homeowner’s association, is an incorporated non-profit governing board in a community that creates and enforces bylaws known as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). They make rules in planned communities and enforce them. HOA boards are all voluntary, meaning they take the brunt of complaints from their respective communities, as well as let homeowners know if rules are being broken.
HOAs are like the parent who volunteers at an elementary school to make sure the children don’t get out of hand during recess. They give warnings when rules are being broken. They also make sure things run smoothly on the playground.
What decision-making does an HOA have?
An HOA influences exterior aspects of the home such as hiring who cleans the pool, who’s hired for landscaping, gardening services, fulfilling maintenance requests, and maybe who will do the foundation repair on your property.
How does an HOA finance and budget?
Again, HOAs are non-profit organizations, meaning they have members instead of shareholders. Homeowners part of an HOA pay a fee that ranges from $250-$2,500 per month depending on what is offered by the community.
An HOA is able to fund minor projects for you such as fence repair or painting an area of your home’s exterior, though major projects such as solar, large roofing projects, and large foundation repair projects have to go through special assessment and board meetings to be sure everyone in the community is on the same page with those future projects.
What damage should I look for with my foundation?
It’s fair to say not all HOA volunteers understand what it means to have a damaged foundation. They may see something looks off with their home, though they may not know the exact issues. Here are common signs you may see with a damaged foundation:
- Cracks in stucco and drywall.
- Doors not opening or closing properly.
- Damp walls, leaks, or water intrusions.
- Floors are slanted.
- The chimney starts to lean.
- Gaps between walls, windows, or doors.
- In an older home with carpet or tile, there might be cracks on your floor.
How do I know if my HOA covers my foundation repair?
The best way for you to know is to read your community’s CC&R. We understand the reading is about as dry as overcooked chicken, especially when lawyers are writing the CC&Rs. will let you know what you can and cannot do with your home or condo. You’ll need to keep in mind these documents vary depending on the community.
When all is said and done, it’s important to read your CC&R to know what’s covered.
It’s not the most exciting thing to do, especially with how much of a pain legal jargon can be. We understand reading legal documents can be as exciting as watching one of the three gray shades of paint your HOA allows you to choose dry. If you are able, consider finding a lawyer to read those documents for easier understanding and to figure out the legalities. If the documents are written by lawyers, they are likely to be understood by lawyers.
How likely is it that my HOA will cover my foundation repair?
It depends. When it comes to HOA communities, they cover the exteriors of your home, where the homeowner is responsible for the interior. So an HOA will likely cover the minor fix to your broken fence, but they won’t cover the repair to fix your living room wall when you were getting too into your VR game, resulting in a hole in your drywall.
How often does your company work with an HOA?
It varies. Dalinghaus Construction will probably hear from an HOA homeowner once every couple of weeks. This said we have no issue working with any HOA and attending board meetings.
How long will the process take with an HOA?
With it acting sort of like a government entity, it can take a few months. It depends on the committee meetings, working with the HOA board meetings, and having discussions with Structural Engineers. For larger projects, it has sometimes taken a couple of years between the initial inspection and starting the repair project.
Smaller projects involving foundation repair have to get the city and engineers involved, conference calls may be required and you may or may not want to be involved with their meeting–they’ll more than likely want you available to explain what is happening in further detail.
What are some circumstances where an HOA has covered the foundation repair?
On an individual instance, let’s say your CC&R requires you to have one tree in your front yard. If the root system extends to be like Doc Brown’s hair from Back to the Future, those roots can make contact and raise the foundation of your home. In those cases, the HOA has covered the foundation repair, understanding it’s “gotta go back” to being level.
On a larger scale, let’s say multiple foundations of homes in your vicinity experience some sort of sinking, making it so you can pose like Michael Jackson at multiple locations. It is more than likely the HOA will have the cost covered due to it affecting multiple properties on a larger scale.
With larger-scale projects, know that your HOA will want the project done sooner than later, especially when they don’t want to be responsible for further damages to multiple properties.
Will my HOA cover my new house if it starts to sink?
New houses won’t be covered by the HOA if your house is new. It’s not because they’re being cheap or malicious; it’s because your new home has a 10-year warranty from the housing developer. At that point, the housing developer will be responsible for covering the cost of repairs.
What can I leverage to have my HOA cover my foundation repair?
There is obviously the legal element, which is a hassle for anyone to deal with on its own. If for whatever reason your HOA is being difficult, attempt to leverage it in these ways:
- The repairs need to happen sooner than later, or else it will cost someone more money as the issue gets worse.
- Costs will likely increase on products for the repairs in the future, making repairs more expensive.
- HOAs are community focused. They want their communities to look symmetrical. A noticeable foundation issue can be an eyesore, whether for neighbors or future buyers.
- It can concern other homeowners about the foundation problems of an individual place or it impacting multiple units.
Do these leverages always work? No. Regardless, it won’t hurt to let the people in charge of your HOA consider these factors.
And when you do attempt to leverage with your HOA board, remember to be kind. Those on the board are volunteers who have to put up with a lot of flack while unpaid as it is. There’s no need to have foundation issues in other areas. Dalinghaus and other foundation repair companies can’t help with that.
Also read: Push Piers and Helical Anchors
Is it even worth attempting to get my HOA to cover my foundation repair?
It depends on the amount and if you can afford it. You can have a contractor like Dalinghaus give you a proposal. And you will want a structural engineer on your side to give you the ammunition you will need. Maybe see if other neighbors are dealing with similar issues. Have your ducks in a row to present to the HOA board. Then see about negotiating the problem.
When it comes down to it, the worst they can say is “no.” It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if it can save you both time and money.
If my HOA won’t cover my foundation repair, what alternatives can I look into?
Look into getting your project financed. Dalinghaus Construction works with financial companies such as Greensky and Enerbank for a variety of loan packages for this type of work. If you’re on a budget, check out our page on 0% financing!
And if you’re still having trouble with your financing, never be afraid to contact us at Dalinghaus Construction for any questions you may have at 877-360-9227. If you live in Southern California, Arizona, or Nevada, you can schedule a Free Evaluation by clicking the link below!
The free evaluation will help you understand what is happening with your home, where you’re home is being affected, and the total cost. That way you can talk to your HOA at some point starting today.