Condominium subdivisions are very often built according to a "neighborhood
scheme". This is especially the case when you have homes that share a common
wall or are part of a building containing multiple units. The term "neighborhood
scheme" refers to a certain style of architecture, color palette, dimensions,
and outward appearance.
Generally speaking, it is what style that you are trying to convey to the
observer. Victorian, modern, brick, vinyl sided and numerous other adjectives
are examples of neighborhood schemes. This is why when you drive through a
community, you will not see a patchwork of dull and vibrant colors, different
sizes, makes and models of doors, windows, moldings, mailboxes and other
elements. It is what keeps a community uniform in style, and unfortunately, the
only thing standing between a community and compliance with the neighborhood
scheme, over and above the law itself, is a strong Engineering Committee.
Engineering Committee accepts or rejects alteration request forms following
discussions at monthly meetings and then submits the approved or rejected
proposals to the Board for final vote. A resident completes an alteration form
for any exterior and some interior modifications, including adding a deck,
patio, satellite dish, changing the windows, doors, trim, adding a handrail or
handicapped ramp, just to name a few. If the request varies too widely from the
common scheme, it will most likely be rejected, as is the case if the materials
used are substandard or not completed by a licensed contractor.
Failure to follow the engineering guidelines will result in penalties or more
severe action. If you doubt the ability to complete a project without
Engineering or Board approval, always ask first.