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A LUXURY DESIGN + LIFESTYLE BLOG BY VERONICA SOLOMON

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My HOA Denied My She-Shed Dreams. Here's How I Got Even.

Updated: Jul 1

If you've been following me for a while, you may have seen my post about building a studio shed in my backyard.


You may also already know that about 4 years ago, I bought a new construction builder basic home and completely remodeled and upgraded every single room to reflect my maximalist style.


My home was even featured in HGTV Magazine....twice!





New to the blog and Casa Vilora Interiors? That's ok, we will get you caught up. Haha. And BTW, welcome! Always great to see a new face in our little slice of the internet.




Rendering Of Backyard Shed Studio

Well, despite the extensive renovation I did on the inside of the house, one thing that never got any love is my backyard.



My Current Backyard

It is still to this day barren and pretty ugly.


Yes I know! Embarrassing......








I didn't even lay sod in the backyard. It all just grew in from my neighbors' backyards. Haha (free grass....and weeds). The same spot I left the outdoor furniture on moving day, is the same spot they are to this day.


The backyard has been way overdue for some love.



Backyard Shed Studio Rendering


Well, true to form, I wanted more than just a basic backyard; I wanted something a little extra.


My HOA was not having it though.


They said NO to the studio shed design I came up with.





The truth is that with so much that was going on at work with the new studio build-out, I had my hands full and actually wasn't ready to tackle the backyard just yet, but ended up fast-tracking it as a potential space to office out of while our new office is being built. This means that I was really counting on it being approved, as our current studio lease expires the end of August 2022


Even though I fast-tracked it, I was very thoughtful about the design, and knew exactly what I wanted.


Here's an excerpt from their denial letter.







I knew the HOA by-laws state that the outdoor structure cannot be more than 7' tall, so I designed it to attach to the house via a pergola to make it more of an addition (technically). They allow additions to be normal ceiling heights. I did not know that it cannot be more than 80 square feet. There is nothing ugly about this structure, so why were they so quick to deny it?





Our HOA is still mostly controlled by the homebuilder for our subdivision, and not the actual homeowners, so they just don't care to deal with anything with any critical thinking. I respect and understand that the laws are there for our ultimate good, but they should consider re-assessing them every so often, as the needs of modern families change over time.


I pled my case in every way I could.


I finally did tell them to get with the times, as there are many people now doing home studio sheds in their backyards, post-pandemic. Tiny houses, she-sheds, man-caves, backyard studios & offices are almost expected these days, yet they think this one was an eyesore to the community.


I was planning to add plantings and raised veggie beds too, so it was planned to be a lush and beautiful backyard.


At this point, I am over it and moving on...........


So I bet you're wondering how I got even?




Well, this should give you a clue.......



New (To Me) Home On 1.79 Acres

Still no clue?


Ok, enough with the suspense already!



The Kids And I After Closing - August 1, 2022

I BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!





Yep, I bought an old house built in 1940 in need of major repairs on 1.8 acres of UNRESTRICTED land!


Unrestricted as in NO HOA *happy dance!*


I can build 10 she-sheds if I want at 50' tall if I want. Haha.





Ok, I am sure you are wondering how I went from building a shed in my backyard to buying a derelict of a house??


There is a story behind it, which I think I will save for another post.


But basically, I was casually scrolling online, saw it, and reached out to my realtor, Linse Meadows. One showing later, I put in an offer, followed by some tough negotiations, finally accepted and just closed on it this week. Linse is a long time friend and we've done business before in the past. I am so happy for her help with this new house.


This will be interesting and fun......


The 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house should be a total tear down, but I will see first if I can renovate it. It's the land and location out in the country that drew me in.


God put this on my heart a couple of years ago to buy land, and I did buy about 3 acres of deed-restricted land in January 2022. It was a bit further out than I was hoping for, but the price was right. It also had some restrictions, but pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.


I was planning to develop it in a couple of years, but I will just let it sit for now as I move forward with this new property. This one is more of what I was looking for in terms of the location and the fact that it has no restrictions.



Listing Photo of Land Purchased In January 2022. There Were Less Trees In Real Life. Haha


I plan to take you along on this journey with me, so you will get the full scoop and full tour later. I promise that it will all make sense soon.


If you are not subscribed to the blog, please subscribe at the top of this page so you won't miss this blog series.





Of course I am keeping my current home, as I am sure it will be a while before this new house will be habitable. I will be taking my time with the renovations. No rush here! :-)


I suspect that my HOA couldn't careless about how I got even, despite my blog title, Haha. That "getting even" only exists in my head. Haha.


Stay tuned for more..........


Are you in the midst of your own renovation and need expert help? Reach out anytime.





Wishing You Beauty & Inspiration!


Veronica








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