Under pressure


Following yesterday’s chat about the high costs of home repair, we now jaunt off to that other favorite confection of modern homes – the HOA, or Homeowner’s Association.

Once again, I won’t take this time to bemoan the dunderhead things some HOA’s do to homeowners, nor will I use this space to pick nits with mine own.

Nope, today we’ll be addressing the good and bad of HOA decisions all wrapped up in a single activity: repainting the exterior of the community homes.

In the past, this has been an event preceded by the dreaded “special assessment”, that unique creation of HOA’s to charge you even more than their bloated budget for “one-off” type needs, such as, say, painting the exterior of the community homes.

This time, though, we received no such special assessment. Curious, but not disagreeable.

All of my neighbors received a notice in late April that pressure cleaning would precede painting and all this would be happening in May. Our instructions were to either remove all items from the front and back of our homes or move them away from the surfaces and cover them with plastic and/or tarps.

Most of us complied (there are always those people, like the ones you see on TV at the beach when a hurricane is coming, who don’t follow instructions) and we moved our cars to the guest spots so as not to get “accidental” paint sprayed on them.

The HOA warned us they would not be responsible for such mishaps, completely ignoring the fact that they are the ones who picked the painters and had, presumably, checked them for carefulness and quality of work.

Many people took this period to hire workers to fix up their fences and exteriors. The HOA warned us they would not be responsible for broken wood or damaged facings. Yes, pretty much that’s all the HOA does, warn us of things they are not responsible for.

May came and went. No painting. No pressure cleaning. No new letters.

Half of June came and went. Same.

Finally, earlier this week, the pressure cleaners came. Or should I call them pressure blasters. People with loose boards on their fences soon had no boards. People with slightly damaged wood now had severely damaged wood.

I was fortunate and unfortunate. Fortunate in that I only had one piece of facing, behind my fencing, that had some weakness on the lower foot and a half. Unfortunate, in that it was too little to hire someone to do (and, in my opinion, it exceeded my limited carpentry skills, but I may have just decided that out of laziness).

The blasting was impressive. I lost a bit more of the base of the one small facing area and paint was blasted off the fence (no biggie, they’re getting repainted). But that’s the extent of it.

Except, that was the extent of it. Despite the stern warning about our back patios, no pressure cleaning was extended to that area, which likewise confirmed no painting would be done there either.

Huh? It’s the external part of the home. It’s always been included in painting before. Humph. Guess the reason for no special assessment was becoming clear now. What a joke, an infuriating one, to be sure, to all of us who worked on our patios in the June heat.

I’m sure the non-compliers felt just like those beach-goers when a hurricane doesn’t hit.

Yesterday, they began the process of painting the home, effectively sealing me inside my house. I had lunch plans by late afternoon. I could escape out my back patio, but that would mean I had to leave the sliding glass doors unlocked.

I checked with one of the painters and we were able to bridge our language gap enough to find out I could take off the knob and lock protection from the front doors, since they weren’t going to paint the doors until tomorrow (today).

They’re doing trim today and I don’t know when they are doing fences. All the fences are the same color while the homes alternate between four colors (thankfully, I didn’t get the horrid dark green). It may be that they do all the houses first and come back later for the fences.

That leaves all of us with some confusion on when we can park in our driveways again. It’s only an issue during our rainy season. Oh, goodness, guess what we’re in the middle of?

Ah well, as far as pressure goes, I think both the house and I came through it reasonably well.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)