Does builder have control of home 30 years later?

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  #1  
Old 05-17-16, 02:11 PM
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Does builder have control of home 30 years later?

My subdivision was built by one developer, but there were many different exterior styles. (Starting 1985) Anyway, a lot of homeowners with tudor and hardboard style homes have replaced the stucco, hardboard, etc. with vinyl. I would like to do the same, however, I received a unsigned letter at my door.
The letter basically said, a lot of people have changed the homes from the way they were built. They appreciate I have kept mine the way it was intended. When the subdivision was built there were 50 tudors, like mine. Including mine, now there are only 12 left in the same style. The letter also said eventually there will be no more like them if people keep residing with new materials.
Do I have to obey this letter?
 
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Old 05-17-16, 02:34 PM
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That letter sounds more like an encouragement to keep the current style, not an order that it can't be changed. Generally the only ones that can prohibit a change in the architectural style are the zoning board and/or an HOA.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 02:41 PM
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We don't have an HOA. I have no clue who the letter was from.
I'm looking down the street, and right this minute another house is being redone.
This now leaves 11.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 02:43 PM
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If the letter was unsigned, my guess it was written by someone that really likes the tudor style and doesn't want to see it disappear from the neighborhood ..... but that is their problem, not yours.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 03:26 PM
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Once the house is sold to you.... the builder loses any say in what you can do unless it interferes in the first year new home warranty.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 03:30 PM
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If the letter was unsigned, my guess it was written by someone that really likes the tudor style and doesn't want to see it disappear from the neighborhood ....
That seems the most likely.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 08:22 PM
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You have title, you have the say so as long as it meets local codes.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 04:11 AM
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As for who wrote it, seems that is narrowed down to 10 home owners (11 minus you). Not that it matters but at least you have some idea who is looking over your shoulder.

Bud
 
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Old 05-18-16, 05:25 AM
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It is your house, you can do want you want.

Is there someway I could shield my microphone from it? At least that way I could shield a room so I wouldn't have to deal with the problem.
There is a reason why they are changing it, likely because it is a maintenance nightmare. Hardboard is not a very good material for exterior applications.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 05:51 AM
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When I bought my home it was already thirteen years old. There was no HOA but there were notations on the county records (plat) referring to an "architectural control committee" that had to okay any changes to the external appearance of any house in the development. This was, the only list of this committee was at least ten years out of date and most of the members lived in California. I saw numerous changes on different houses ion the area and wondered how many, if any, had been "approved" changes. When it started to become clear that I would need a new roof in the next year or so I started looking at all the other houses and found that almost every single house that had bee re-roofed had asphalt shingles rather than the original cedar shingles. One house (out of maybe 100) was redone with cedar and one now has a standing seam copper roof but all the rest are asphalt architectural shingles.

So the answer is...unless there is an ACTIVE HOA or architectural control group you can pretty much do what you like. Further, the longer something in conflict with the rules of the HOA or ACC has existed the harder it will be to enforce any of their rules.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 05:51 AM
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You don't live in an historic district as your house is too young for that, you don't live in an HOA community and apparently there are no city or town bylaws that say you must keep your siding the way it is. In my opinion I agree with everyone else that the letter you received is just advisory and is not binding. If you are going with vinyl siding though there are right ways and wrong ways to have it installed around windows. Many times vinyl siding installers will remove some parts of your windows because they stick out, good installers will not remove anything.

Maybe that is part of what your unknown neighbor is complaining about as windows really don't always look real great after the siding people leave. So talk it over with potential installers and see what you and they like to do and if you and the installer are on the same page then I say go for the new siding it will save on maintenance costs. I would have them remove the old siding first though and not just cover over it as it just looks better that way.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 02:50 PM
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I went to village hall today to inquire. Apparently when the tudors were built, they had fiber cement panels. But, about five years later there was an issue with them. Pulte (builder) came back to replace them. They were replaced with Masonite panels. My house was affected, and previous owners had called Pulte for replacement. The only homes with original panels were the one resided yesterday, and model home.
The Masonite has failed from the elements, and owners grew tired of maintenance. The home just resided was flagged by village for "dilapidation". Photo is of "dilapidated" house before residing. Photo used with permission.
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Old 05-18-16, 05:10 PM
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I'm no fan of Tudor style but other than perhaps needing some paint or other fairly minor repair of the trim on the right-hand projection I see nothing wrong with that house. Of course, if I were actually there I might see more.

Bottom line, an unsigned note is just that. It carries no force of law. I would just toss the note in the recycle bin and forget it. If the PTB (Powers That Be) in your governmental offices don't want to let you do away with the Tudor styling they will pass an ordinance prohibiting it. Whether or not such an ordinance would pass court muster could only be determined after the fact. My personal opinion, which is worth less than a pack of chewing gum, is that at this late date (after so many other houses have changed from the Tudor styling) such an ordinance would be laughed out of any courtroom.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 05:36 PM
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As others have said, you can design the exterior appearance any way you want. However, there are standards for sheathing or stucco, at least out here.
For example if I started ripping off the stucco from my home and resheathing without a permit, the building inspector might stop by and halt all operations until a permit is obtained.

Personally I really like the Tudor style, but the picture above isn't the best example IMO.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 06:03 PM
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True. These weren't custom built. They were just cookie cutter homes, and the the tudor just happened to be one of the exterior choices.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 03:33 AM
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The Masonite has failed from the elements
I've painted a lot of masonite over the years. It will hold up well providing it never gets wet which is asking a lot from the paint. Masonite should always be coated first with an exterior oil base primer, a step many skip because it's so easy [and cheaper] to just apply latex paint directly to the masonite. The primer is needed not for adhesion but to better seal the masonite. There is a reason it is no longer used today
 
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