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Creativity Solves Persistent Painting Problems


Back in 1985, the Board passed a resolution requiring that each home’s exterior be painted every three years, and specifying particular colors to be used. While in theory, this resolution should have ensured an attractive appearance for the community, several practical issues got in the way of achieving this result. Some owners required multiple reminders to paint on schedule. More importantly, each painter bought the least expensive paint wherever he happened to have a credit account. This gave rise to the use of low quality paint that sometimes failed to last three years. In addition, multiple sourcing led to poor color matching. Both the owners and the Board were frustrated.


To address these issues, in 1999 the Board rewrote the painting resolution. Every Spring, the HOA now issues a voucher, exchangeable for a top quality national brand of paint at a local store, to each owner scheduled to paint that year. The store bills the HOA based on these vouchers, and HOA assessments cover the costs. As before, each homeowner hires and pays for his own painter.


Since unused vouchers expire at the end of the year, a key benefit of this approach is to create an incentive for owners to paint on schedule. Moreover, the new resolution does away with the economic incentive for painters to buy inexpensive paint. Ensuring high paint quality has allowed the HOA to extend the painting cycle from three to four years, lowering costs for homeowners. In addition, eliminating color variations among houses has improved our curb appeal. Because of our bulk purchasing power, the HOA has negotiated discounted paint pricing at contractor rates, which we pass on to homeowners. And finally, each owner gets the leftover paint from his job for touchups.


Our incentive-based solution to what had been perennial painting problems has served us well for more than 18 years, resulting in a clear win-win for the Board and homeowners. Learn more about our approach by visiting these web pages:


Original paint resolution Resolution 84-7 (click on link) (Note who was Secretary!)

Current paint resolution (click on link) as of May 2019


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