REMODELING AT REYNOLDS
Working with the Architectural Review Board
There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with an active and engaged Architectural Review Board (“ARB”), like the one that serves on behalf of Reynolds Lake Oconee homeowners and property owners. Charged with enforcement of the architectural guidelines, the ARB is responsible for sustaining a consistent and cohesive look within the various Reynolds communities. To the extent that this helps maintain property values, it provides a direct benefit to everyone Inside the Gates. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of the individual homeowner that wants to make a change or improvement that the ARB deems to be inconsistent with the architectural guidelines.
As the first in a series of articles focused on the unique challenges (and opportunities) associated with completing a remodeling project at Reynolds Lake Oconee, let’s begin with the limits of ARB oversight. In brief, any project that changes the exterior of a home or the property is subject to ARB review. This includes maintenance work, such as reroofing, repainting, window and door replacement, driveway replacement, and landscaping. Of primary concern are colors, materials, window and door styles. On a more expansive exterior remodeling project, the ARB will be interested in shape and size of columns, transition points between materials, the overall color palette of the home, roof connections, door and window configurations, etc. Certain areas within the community are also limited by the amount of conditioned area in your home. However, the ARB’s authority does not extend to interior work, where you can fully express your individuality – as long as the modifications satisfy the building code requirements of Greene County.
While there are a number of hoops to jump through as part of the ARB review process, it is not overly difficult. It starts with a good understanding of the guidelines applicable to your project. Whether you take on this task personally or hire someone familiar with both the architectural guidelines and the ARB to assist, this is the first step to a successful project. Not sure how to begin or if you even need ARB approval for your project? Just call the ARB and speak to one if it’s team members. You will find them very receptive to your call, with a sincere desire to help you achieve your goals. They can point you to the provisions within the guidelines that are applicable to your project, explain the review process, clarify what information will be needed for submittal to the Board, and the upcoming dates for both submittal and review.
In addition to initial guidance, it is also advantageous to continue seeking input from the ARB as a project develops. By getting feedback early, you can avoid investing significant time and money creating plans, selecting materials or identifying finishes that are likely to be rejected by the Board. As a result of a conceptual review, you will receive valuable insight into the aspects of your project that will potentially derail it during the official Board review. While you are not obligated to make suggested changes, a little flexibility goes a long way with the Board and greatly increases your odds of getting approval on the first official review.
Ultimately, the requirement to obtain ARB approval for exterior improvements may prevent you from making desired value enhancing changes to the exterior of your residence. However, it also prevents your creatively challenged neighbor from making changes that would bring home values down. It’s a delicate balance, but with proper planning, ARB assistance, and a cooperative approach to the process, it can be a win-win for everybody.
Key Contacts at the Reynolds ARB
Marc Strickland, ARB Administrator (706) 467-1475
Heather Dion, ARB Coordinator (706) 467-1217
Interested in a remodel at our Greensboro office, call Kris Marshall at (706) 749-7300.