Color selection can take longer than you think, especially when you have an entire neighborhood of people involved in the decision. Luckily, there are a few best practices that can streamline the process and keep your headaches to a minimum. After painting thousands of properties for homeowner associations (HOAs), here are the strategies we’ve found work best:
1. Don’t expect to please everybody.
Whether you have 50 residents or 5,000, everyone’s taste is a little different. That means somebody isn’t going to like the colors that are eventually selected. And it will most likely be somebody vocal.
You’ll probably have fewer squabbles if you’re simply refreshing your community by repainting in the same colors you have now. But even then, expect to hear at least a few people saying “those ugly colors again?”
Whatever you chose, don’t take criticism personally. The best way to minimize disruption from individuals is for the HOA to put its best foot forward and act in the best interest of the community as a whole. You may not be able to please everyone, but you’ll have a lot less hassle if you can satisfy as many people as possible. Follow the other tips below and you’ll be well on your way.
2. Let everyone vote.
Every HOA is different. Some communities simply appoint a paint committee to make choices without consulting residents. Others let the board make the decision. After decades of experience, however, we’ve found that it’s better in both the short and the long run to let the entire association vote.
Even though this can lead to some emotional board meetings, it’s worth your while to go through it. Everyone gets a chance to be heard and to buy in, which will save you a lot of trouble.
In addition, the folks from tip #1 often show up at the end of the process wanting to tear up all the hard work others have done since the beginning. It’s a lot easier to say “sorry, you didn’t attend when that vote was taken” if you’ve given everyone the chance to be involved.
3. Start early.
Plan to spend six months to a year to select the colors for your community. There are literally thousands of colors to chose from, and people have strong opinions. Remember too that your residents won’t be thinking about selecting colors full time. Selection will be a process over the course of multiple board meetings, committee meetings and presentations, not to mention the time needed for the association to vote.
4. Use free professional resources.
Paint company property services representatives can assist your paint committee in many ways. They’ve seen what their paint colors actually look like on buildings, have some design and color selection training, and have access to software that can “plug and play” colors into pictures of buildings in your community.
After an initial meeting to learn what your association is looking for, they can prepare renderings of color options for you to chose from. In addition to streamlining the selection process, most provide this service at no cost.
Want more help planning for your own color selection process? Contact us to speak with one of our trained color experts.