Navigating Pergolas in HOAs: Guidelines, Approvals, and Safety

Dreaming of a pergola oasis on your property? Unravel the intricacies of installing pergolas in HOA-controlled communities. This guide delves into the rules, approvals, and safety measures to ensure your pergola project aligns seamlessly with your HOA’s regulations.

Whether you’re a sun seeker or looking to enhance your outdoor space, this comprehensive update provides key insights for homeowners navigating the complexities of pergola installations within HOAs.

Homeowners, HOA clash over backyard gazebo
Pergolas in HOAs: The article discusses the topic of whether pergolas are allowed in HOAs.
HOA Regulations: It explains that HOAs have their own set of regulations and guidelines regarding the installation and construction of pergolas.
Architectural Review: Homeowners need to consult their HOA’s architectural review committee or guidelines to understand any restrictions or requirements for building a pergola.
Approval Process: Most HOAs require homeowners to seek permission and obtain approval before making significant modifications to their property, including installing a pergola.
Compliance with Guidelines: Homeowners should ensure that their pergola project aligns with the size, design, and placement restrictions outlined by their HOA.

Unlocking the Essence of Homeowners Associations (HOAs)

A Homeowners Association (HOA) stands as a private entity designed to uphold rules and regulations, serving the collective benefit of its members. Within the realm of HOAs, two predominant board structures exist: elected and appointed.

In the elected model, each member exercises their right to vote, determining representatives to champion their interests. Conversely, an appointed board selects its members internally, shaping the leadership autonomously.

Membership fees or dues form a financial backbone for HOAs, funding essential initiatives like repairs and maintenance. Additionally, HOAs possess the authority to impose fines upon those who breach established rules, ensuring adherence and community harmony. Understanding these foundational aspects unveils the pivotal role HOAs play in shaping residential environments.

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Navigating Pergola Installation in HOAs: Decoding the Possibilities

The prospect of erecting a pergola in an HOA-controlled community carries a nuanced answer—sometimes a resounding yes, but occasionally a definitive no. The permissibility hinges on the unique rules dictated by each HOA.

Certain HOAs may prohibit pergolas, deeming them unsightly additions to the community. To ascertain whether your HOA welcomes or frowns upon pergolas, proactive communication is key. Prior to embarking on your pergola project, seek clarification from your HOA to avoid potential conflicts.

It’s crucial to note that while HOAs wield authority akin to rules, they aren’t legal frameworks. Rather, they function as private communities, crafting and enforcing their regulations. These regulations extend to various aspects, encompassing landscaping choices and alterations to home exteriors, including the installation of structures like fences.

These guidelines may dictate the permissible color palette for houses, the erection of fences along property lines, and even the presence or absence of certain fences. Understanding this distinction illuminates the context within which decisions about pergola installations are made within HOAs. Ultimately, the feasibility of a pergola project in an HOA hinges on a delicate interplay between community aesthetics and established regulations.

Check HOA RulesReview the HOA’s guidelines to understand any restrictions or requirements regarding the installation of a pergola.
Seek ApprovalObtain permission and approval from the HOA before putting up a pergola to ensure compliance with the community’s regulations.
Size and PlacementConsider the size and placement restrictions specified by the HOA when choosing a suitable location for the pergola.
Material RestrictionsCheck if the HOA has any specific requirements or limitations on the materials that can be used for the pergola.
Design ApprovalSome HOAs may require design approval to ensure the pergola aligns with the overall aesthetics of the community.
Architectural Review CommitteeConsult the architectural review committee, if applicable, to understand the process and requirements for installing a pergola.
Additional PermitsDepending on local regulations, additional permits or approvals may be required for the installation of a pergola within an HOA.
Professional InstallationConsider hiring a professional installer who is familiar with HOA regulations and can ensure proper installation of the pergola.
Insurance CoverageCheck with your insurance provider to ensure that the addition of a pergola is covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Communication with NeighborsInform and communicate with your neighbors about your plans to install a pergola to address any concerns or conflicts.

Prioritize Harmony: Verify with HOA Before Pergola Construction

an outdoor dining area with a pergola and chairs

Embarking on a pergola construction venture demands a crucial preliminary step: a thorough check-in with your Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Functioning as a community association, an HOA holds sway over the property ownership standards within your neighborhood.

Within this regulatory framework, your HOA is likely to have meticulously crafted rules that govern the types of structures permissible on your property. These regulations extend their influence from commonplace elements like fences to more artistic endeavors such as sculptures. Therefore, before breaking ground on any extensive landscaping initiatives, consulting with the HOA is imperative.

Consider, for instance, the potential requirement for an architectural review by some HOAs before allowing specific structures like pergolas. Further nuances may involve restrictions on certain construction materials or delineations on where particular structures, be it sheds or pools, can be erected.

Awareness of such stipulations at your neighborhood or condo complex is pivotal before committing time and resources to any construction project. By prioritizing this proactive communication with your HOA, you not only navigate potential restrictions but also ensure that your pergola vision aligns seamlessly with the established standards, fostering a harmonious coexistence within the community.

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Blueprinting Success: Crafting Plans for Your Pergola Project

Embarking on the construction of a pergola necessitates meticulous planning. Before breaking ground, the initial step is to draw up comprehensive plans, ensuring not only aesthetic appeal but also safety and compliance.

1. Safety and Security First:

  • Ensure the structural integrity of your pergola by incorporating robust safety features. Prioritize stability to withstand various weather conditions and potential challenges.

2. Adherence to Local and HOA Regulations:

  • Scrutinize your plans to ensure alignment with both local regulations and the specific guidelines set forth by your Homeowner’s Association (HOA). This includes considerations for size, design, and placement.

3. Obtain Necessary Permits:

  • Check and secure all required permits before initiating any construction activities. This step ensures that your pergola project remains in full compliance with local building codes and regulations.

By diligently crafting and scrutinizing your plans, you not only guarantee the safety and security of your pergola but also lay the groundwork for a construction process that seamlessly adheres to both local and HOA regulations. This foresight not only streamlines the construction journey but also paves the way for a pergola that enhances both form and function in your outdoor space.

Navigating Legal Terrain: Considerations After Obtaining a Permit

Securing a permit is a pivotal step in the pergola construction journey, but additional considerations loom on the horizon. Understanding your Homeowner’s Association’s (HOA) requirements and enforcement mechanisms is crucial, especially if seeking approval is mandatory for modifications.

1. HOA Approval Requirements:

  • Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements outlined by your HOA for seeking approval before making modifications. This may include adherence to size, design, and placement criteria.

2. HOA Enforcement Dynamics:

  • Ascertain how rigorously your HOA intends to enforce its regulations. Some HOAs may have lax enforcement plans, while others may employ fines or legal actions for non-compliance.

3. Legal Consultation Prudence:

  • In scenarios where HOAs are stringent in enforcing regulations, it’s prudent to consult with an attorney before proceeding with installations. Legal advice can offer insights into potential risks and mitigate the chances of fines or legal actions.

4. HOA Board’s Role:

  • Understand the role of the HOA board. If the board lacks plans for regulation enforcement or is non-existent, the need for seeking explicit permission might diminish.

Navigating these post-permit considerations demands a nuanced approach. While some communities may afford flexibility, others uphold strict regulations. Being cognizant of your HOA’s stance and potential legal implications ensures a smoother pergola construction process and fosters amicable relations within the community.

Navigating the Permit Process for Pergola Construction

a patio area with a gazebo, a table, and a couch

Acquiring a permit for your pergola project is a pivotal step in ensuring legal compliance and a seamless construction process. Here’s a concise guide to obtaining a permit:

1. Application Process:

  • Contact your city or county’s local government agency to initiate the permit application. Depending on your location, application methods may include online submissions, phone applications, in-person visits, or mailing.

2. Fee Payment:

  • Ensure prompt payment of any required fees accompanying the permit application. These fees contribute to covering administrative costs and are a standard part of the permitting process.

3. Varied Application Methods:

  • Take advantage of the flexibility in application methods offered by different municipalities. Whether it’s a convenient online process or traditional in-person submissions, choose the method that aligns with your preferences and local regulations.

4. Permit Approval:

  • Await the approval of your permit application. The local government agency will review your plans to ensure compliance with building codes and regulations.

5. Commence Construction:

  • Once the permit is approved and any necessary fees are settled, you are cleared to begin the construction of your pergola. This signifies the official green light to translate your plans into reality.

By diligently navigating the permit process, you not only adhere to legal obligations but also set the stage for a successful and code-compliant pergola construction. This process ensures that your project aligns seamlessly with local regulations, fostering a smooth journey from permit acquisition to the realization of your outdoor oasis.

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Crafting the Perfect Pergola: Strategic Material Selection

When envisioning your pergola, the first pivotal decision revolves around selecting the right materials. This strategic choice is influenced by various factors, including HOA requirements, local climate considerations, and your personal preferences regarding maintenance.

1. Consider HOA Requirements:

  • Align your material choice with the stipulations outlined by your Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Ensure that your selection adheres to any guidelines pertaining to aesthetics, durability, and construction materials.

2. Climate and Weather Considerations:

  • Factor in local weather patterns and climate when choosing materials. Materials must withstand the elements prevalent in your region, ensuring longevity and minimal maintenance.

3. Material Options:

  • Explore the diverse range of materials available for pergola construction. While wood and metal are common choices, consider alternatives like vinyl or composite materials, each presenting unique attributes.

4. Pros and Cons:

  • Understand the merits and drawbacks of each material. Wood offers design flexibility, metal is cost-effective but challenging to work with, vinyl demands minimal maintenance, and composite materials balance lightweight structure with strength, ideal for areas prone to heavy snowfall.

5. Easy Maintenance and Cleaning:

  • Prioritize materials that are easy to clean, minimizing the risk of mold growth and discoloration from sun exposure. Regular cleaning ensures the pergola maintains its aesthetic appeal over time.

6. Replacement Costs:

  • Anticipate potential replacement costs. For instance, well-maintained wooden pergolas can endure up to 25 years, while aluminum alternatives may require repairs after approximately 15 years due to corrosion from prolonged exposure to wind gusts.

By strategically navigating the myriad material options and considering both immediate and long-term implications, you pave the way for a pergola that not only enhances your outdoor space but also stands resilient against the test of time and environmental elements.

Financial Foundations: Establishing and Adhering to Your Pergola Budget

Embarking on a pergola construction project necessitates a foundational element: a meticulously planned budget. This financial roadmap is instrumental in ensuring a smooth and cost-effective journey from conception to realization. Here’s a concise guide on budgeting for your pergola project:

1. Set a Clear Budget:

  • Establish a comprehensive budget for your construction project from the outset. This proactive measure lays the groundwork for financial clarity and informed decision-making.

2. Prevent Unnecessary Costs:

  • A well-defined budget serves as a protective barrier against unnecessary costs. By having a clear plan, you can easily track expenditures and prevent unforeseen expenses from derailing your project.

3. Financial Vigilance:

  • Maintain vigilance over your budget throughout the construction process. Regularly assess your financial standing and make adjustments as needed to ensure adherence to the established budgetary constraints.

4. Avoid Rushed Decisions:

  • Adequately fund your project to mitigate the risk of rushed decisions driven solely by a lack of cash flow. This ensures that no aspect of your pergola construction is compromised due to financial constraints.

5. Allocate Sufficient Funds:

  • Allocate funds prudently to each aspect of the construction process, preventing any corner-cutting or compromises in quality. A well-allocated budget guarantees a holistic and satisfactory outcome.

By setting a clear budget and steadfastly adhering to it, you not only foster financial discipline but also pave the way for a pergola project that seamlessly aligns with your vision without unnecessary financial strain. This approach ensures a harmonious balance between your aspirations and fiscal responsibility.

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Invest Wisely: Prioritizing Quality in Pergola Construction

a wooden pergola

While the temptation to cut costs may be present, it’s crucial to approach pergola construction with a focus on quality and safety. Here’s a strategic guide to making informed decisions:

1. Evaluate Possible Shortcuts:

  • Assess potential shortcuts, ensuring they do not compromise the quality or safety of your pergola. If shortcuts align with both these factors, they can be considered, but only after thorough evaluation.

2. Consider Cost-Effectiveness:

  • Balance cost considerations with quality. While there’s no shame in opting for cost-effective solutions, ensure that cheaper materials meet the necessary standards to avoid potential issues down the line.

3. Prioritize Quality Materials:

  • Emphasize the use of quality materials. Even if slightly more expensive upfront, investing in materials that meet safety standards and durability requirements prevents future complications and higher replacement costs.

4. Professional Installation:

  • Hiring professionals for installation ensures proper construction, minimizing the risk of errors and guaranteeing safety. Professional installers bring expertise to the project, ensuring optimal functionality and adherence to regulations.

5. Weigh Risks and Rewards:

  • Before deciding on shortcuts or cost-saving measures, carefully weigh the risks against potential rewards. Consider the long-term implications and evaluate if the chosen approach aligns with your priorities for the pergola project.

By prioritizing quality over cost-cutting measures, you not only safeguard the integrity of your pergola but also mitigate the risk of future issues and expenses. This approach ensures that your outdoor space investment stands the test of time and provides enduring value.

Quality MaterialsInvesting in high-quality materials ensures durability, longevity, and overall performance of the project.
Professional InstallationHiring experienced professionals ensures proper installation, minimizing the risk of errors and ensuring optimal functionality.
Safety and SecurityQuality materials and professional installation enhance safety measures, reducing the risk of accidents or failures.
Cost-effectivenessWhile cheap materials may seem cost-saving initially, they often require frequent repairs or replacements, resulting in higher long-term expenses.
Warranty and SupportQuality materials often come with warranties and after-sales support, providing peace of mind and assistance in case of any issues.
Aesthetics and ValueUsing superior materials and professional installation enhances the visual appeal and adds value to the property or project.
Compliance with RegulationsHigh-quality materials and professional installation ensure compliance with relevant building codes and regulations.
Time and EffortProfessional installation saves time and effort compared to DIY attempts, ensuring the project is completed efficiently and effectively.
Long-term SatisfactionInvesting in quality materials and professional installation leads to long-term satisfaction, avoiding the frustration of constant repairs or subpar performance.
Resale ValueUsing quality materials and professional installation can positively impact the resale value of a property or project.

Ensuring Stability: Key Measures for a Secure Pergola

The structural integrity of your pergola is paramount for its longevity and safety. Unlike permanent structures, a pergola relies on its design and support to withstand external forces, making securing it a crucial step. Here’s a guide to ensure the stability of your pergola:

1. Structural Support:

  • Prioritize proper support beams in the design and construction of your pergola. These beams play a vital role in ensuring stability and preventing the structure from succumbing to external forces such as wind.

2. Secure Installation:

  • During installation, meticulously follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensure that the pergola is securely anchored. Proper anchoring prevents displacement and enhances the overall stability of the structure.

3. Regular Inspections:

  • Conduct regular inspections of your pergola to identify any signs of wear, loose components, or structural issues. Addressing these concerns promptly can prevent potential risks and extend the lifespan of your pergola.

4. Wind Resistance:

  • Recognize the impact of wind on your pergola’s stability. Ensure that the design and construction account for wind resistance, and consider additional measures such as installing windbreakers or choosing materials that can withstand strong winds.

5. Professional Assessment:

  • If uncertain about the stability of your pergola, consider seeking a professional assessment. Structural engineers can provide insights into potential vulnerabilities and recommend reinforcement measures.

6. Adequate Weight Distribution:

  • Be mindful of the weight distribution in your pergola design. Balanced distribution ensures that the structure relies on its own weight effectively, contributing to its stability.

By prioritizing these measures, you not only enhance the stability of your pergola but also contribute to its safety and long-term resilience against external forces. Regular vigilance and proactive steps ensure that your outdoor space remains a secure and enjoyable haven.

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Navigating HOA Regulations: Ensuring Compliance with Pergola Installations

When contemplating a pergola addition to your property within an HOA-governed community, meticulous adherence to regulations and safety standards is paramount. Here’s a comprehensive guide to navigating inspections, certifications, and HOA compliance:

1. Association Covenants:

  • Examine your association’s covenants thoroughly. If a pergola is not explicitly addressed, seek clarity from the association or safely assume that it may be prohibited.

2. Local Building Codes:

  • Verify adherence to local building codes. While some HOA communities accept pergolas compliant with building codes, others may have more stringent regulations. Align your pergola plans with both HOA and local building code requirements.

3. HOA Rules and Restrictions:

  • Understand HOA rules and restrictions pertaining to property modifications. Some HOAs may have specific guidelines for structures like pergolas, addressing aspects such as design, size, and placement.

4. Proactive Compliance:

  • Prior to installation, proactively ensure that your pergola complies with safety standards, building codes, and HOA regulations. This diligence helps prevent potential conflicts with the HOA community and ensures a smooth installation process.

5. Structural Engineer Inspection:

  • Engage an independent structural engineer to inspect your pergola plans. This professional assessment guarantees that your pergola meets code requirements and is structurally sound, reducing the risk of issues arising post-installation.

6. Transparent Communication:

  • Maintain transparent communication with your HOA. Provide them with necessary documentation, certifications, and inspection reports to demonstrate the compliance of your pergola project.

By aligning your pergola plans with HOA regulations, local building codes, and safety standards, you not only ensure a seamless installation process but also foster a positive relationship with your HOA community. Proactive compliance safeguards against potential conflicts, allowing you to enjoy your pergola within the bounds of community guidelines.

Home InspectionsComprehensive assessments of residential properties to identify any issues or deficiencies.
Vehicle InspectionsExaminations of automobiles, motorcycles, or other vehicles to ensure they meet safety and emission standards.
Building InspectionsEvaluations of construction projects to verify compliance with local building codes and regulations.
Food Safety CertificationsCredentials obtained by restaurants and food establishments to demonstrate compliance with health and safety standards.
ISO CertificationsInternationally recognized certifications awarded to organizations for meeting specific quality management standards.
Electrical Safety InspectionsAssessments of electrical systems in buildings to identify potential hazards and ensure compliance with safety regulations.
Plumbing InspectionsInspections of plumbing systems to check for leaks, faulty connections, and compliance with plumbing codes.
Energy Efficiency CertificationsCertifications granted to buildings or appliances that demonstrate energy efficiency and sustainability.
Health InspectionsEvaluations of healthcare facilities to ensure compliance with sanitation, hygiene, and patient safety standards.
Fire Safety InspectionsAssessments of buildings and structures to verify compliance with fire safety codes and regulations.

Prioritizing Safety: Essential Guidelines for Pergola Installation in HOAs

When embarking on a pergola installation within an HOA-regulated community, safety considerations take precedence. Here are key guidelines to ensure a safe and compliant pergola installation:

1. Consult with Your HOA:

  • Before initiating any construction, consult with your HOA to understand their regulations and obtain necessary approvals. This proactive step mitigates the risk of fines or structural removal due to non-compliance.

2. Comprehensive Planning:

  • Prioritize thorough planning to address safety concerns comprehensively. Consider aspects such as electrical wiring, plumbing systems, and structural integrity during the design phase to preempt potential hazards.

3. Adherence to HOA Policies:

  • Familiarize yourself with HOA policies governing property modifications and structures like pergolas. Ensure that your pergola design aligns with HOA guidelines to avoid rejection or disputes post-installation.

4. Proactive Compliance:

  • Take proactive measures to comply with safety standards and HOA regulations. Adhering to guidelines not only enhances safety but also fosters harmonious relationships within the community.

5. Review Safety Guidelines:

  • Thoroughly review all safety guidelines pertinent to pergola installation. Prioritize safety protocols related to electrical wiring, structural stability, and other potential hazards to minimize risks during and after construction.

6. Engage Professional Expertise:

  • Consider engaging professional expertise, such as structural engineers or contractors, to ensure compliance with safety standards and building codes. Their insights and assessments contribute to a secure and durable pergola structure.

By adhering to safety guidelines, consulting with your HOA, and proactively addressing potential hazards, you not only ensure a safe pergola installation but also promote a positive community environment. Prioritizing safety underscores your commitment to responsible homeownership within the HOA-regulated landscape.

Professional Installation: Ensuring a Secure Pergola Setup

When considering a pergola installation within an HOA, opting for professional expertise can significantly enhance the process’s efficiency and guarantee a secure outcome. Here’s why hiring an expert for pergola installation is a prudent choice:

1. HOA Rule Adherence:

  • Professionals are well-versed in navigating HOA regulations. Hiring an expert ensures meticulous adherence to HOA rules, securing necessary approvals, and mitigating potential conflicts.

2. Permitting Assistance:

  • Obtaining permits is a crucial step in pergola installation. Professionals are adept at navigating the permitting process, streamlining approvals, and ensuring compliance with local regulations.

3. Safety Assurance:

  • Professional installers prioritize safety protocols. Their expertise in structural integrity, proper anchoring, and adherence to building codes ensures a secure pergola setup, reducing the risk of accidents or structural issues.

4. Efficient Installation:

  • Professionals bring efficiency to the installation process. Their experience allows for swift and precise execution, minimizing disruptions and ensuring timely completion of the pergola project.

5. Quality Craftsmanship:

  • Hiring experts guarantees quality craftsmanship. Professional installers possess the skills and knowledge to construct a durable and aesthetically pleasing pergola, enhancing the overall value and appeal of your property.

6. Permitting Expertise:

  • Professionals can navigate the intricacies of permitting effortlessly. Their understanding of local regulations and permit requirements streamlines the process, sparing you the complexities of bureaucratic hurdles.

Whether you choose to install your own pergola or enlist professional assistance, prioritizing adherence to HOA rules, securing permits, and ensuring safety are non-negotiable. However, opting for professional installation not only alleviates the burden but also guarantees a seamless and secure pergola addition to your outdoor space.


Before embarking on a pergola installation journey within your HOA-governed community, thorough preparation and adherence to regulations are essential. Here’s a concise recap of key considerations:

1. HOA Consultation:

  • Prioritize consultation with your HOA before initiating any pergola project. Understanding HOA regulations and obtaining necessary approvals set the stage for a smooth installation process.

2. Expert Installation:

  • Consider hiring professionals for pergola installation to ensure compliance with HOA rules, local regulations, and safety standards. Their expertise streamlines the process and guarantees a secure, legally compliant outcome.

3. Regulatory Compliance:

  • Adhere to HOA guidelines, secure required permits, and prioritize safety protocols throughout the installation process. Proactive compliance safeguards against conflicts and ensures a positive homeowner experience.

4. Harmonious Community Living:

  • By prioritizing adherence to HOA regulations and engaging in transparent communication, you foster a harmonious community environment. Respecting HOA guidelines underscores your commitment to responsible homeownership.

In summary, proactive engagement with your HOA, adherence to regulations, and consideration of expert installation options pave the way for a successful pergola addition to your HOA-governed property. By navigating the process diligently, you can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful pergola while contributing to the cohesion and vibrancy of your community.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on related topics:

Do You Need a Permit for a Pergola?: Find out whether obtaining a permit is necessary when building a pergola and understand the potential legal requirements and regulations involved.

Patio Guidelines – Westside HOA: Explore the patio guidelines provided by Westside HOA to understand the rules and regulations regarding outdoor spaces in a homeowner’s association.

Outdoor Living Spaces – Westside HOA: Discover information and guidelines from Westside HOA about outdoor living spaces, including insights into patio design, landscaping, and community regulations.


Here are some frequently asked questions about pergolas and patio regulations:

Are there any specific rules or guidelines regarding the construction of pergolas within an HOA?

HOA regulations can vary, but it’s essential to consult your specific HOA guidelines or architectural review committee to determine any restrictions or requirements for building pergolas.

Do I need permission or approval from my HOA before installing a patio?

Most HOAs require homeowners to seek permission and obtain approval before making any significant modifications to their property, such as installing a patio. It is crucial to review your HOA’s guidelines and follow the necessary approval process.

Are there any restrictions on the size or design of a patio within an HOA?

HOAs often have guidelines regarding the size, placement, and design of patios to maintain the overall aesthetics and harmony of the community. Check with your HOA to ensure compliance with any size or design restrictions.

Can I add additional features, such as lighting or furniture, to my patio within an HOA?

The regulations regarding additional features on a patio can vary among HOAs. It’s recommended to review your HOA guidelines to determine any restrictions or approvals needed for adding lighting, furniture, or other elements to your patio.

What should I do if my patio project violates HOA guidelines?

If you have inadvertently violated HOA guidelines with your patio project, it’s best to reach out to your HOA and discuss the situation. They may provide guidance on resolving the issue, such as submitting a modification request or making necessary adjustments to bring the project into compliance.