Re: Exterior modifications
From: Randy Sailer (
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 04:12:56 -0800 (PST)
At Rocky Hill (a condo where the whole generally owns the outside of the 
buildings), we address the issues raised in a couple of ways…

1. If someone wants to do something to the outside of their home, (chimney, 
addition, solar panels), they are responsible for repairs for three years. Any 
plans get reviewed and approved by a design review committee via a process that 
gets more intense based on the size and scope of the project. When we built, we 
had some specific expansion areas designated for our homes (generally out back).

2. We are pretty specific already about who is responsible for what in terms of 
maintenance. The association is responsible for siding, and painting; the 
homeowner for windows and doors. The association handles roofs and front 
porches; the owner for decks and side and rear porches. To protect the 
association, if someone doesn’t maintain a screen porch or deck, the 
association can handle that and bill the homeowner (hasn’t been done yet).

3. When someone adds or finishes space (either finishing an attic or adding a 
porch or a room), their condo fee not only goes up (based on a formula that 
values interior space more and decks and porches less), the owner pays original 
common cost per square foot assessment (formula again) to the community. This 
was originally in place to prevent folks from buying a small place and 
expanding to get by the common cost assessment. As a practical matter, it 
functions as a bit of a tax that slows down additions. It also provides some 
capital income to the community. We have lots of on-going discussion on how to 
use this income (reduce condo fees, do projects, add amenities, save for a 
rainy day, etc).

So far this has worked pretty well. We will see how it goes as we start needing 
more maintenance. 


Rocky Hill Cohousing
Florence, MA

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