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Waterford Lakes eMail Bulletin - ARC Application Process Post Storm

I have damage to my property. My roof needs to be replaced. My pool screen blew away, my fence fell down. What do I do now?

All good questions and sometimes these things can be stressful. First and foremost, relax. Remember that everyone else is in the same boat one way or the other. First things first, do what you need to do to stop any further damage from happening to your property or to others. If you have roof damage, tarp the roof. Cover windows if they are broken and do what you can to keep yourself safe and mitigate any further damage to your home. Clean up and pile up your damaged items and secure them. You do not have to wait for an insurance company to inspect something before cleaning up.

Call your insurance company. Advise them of your situation. They will be doing the best they can to send someone out to inspect the damage or will advise of what their process is. Again, remember that there are areas that are worse off than we are and their resources are being pulled in many directions too. Again, relax, and know that they are doing the best they can with the resources available to them and where they are needed first.

Do I need approval from Waterford Lakes and the Neighborhood Association when I have damage and need to repair it? Do I still have to file paperwork? The short answer is YES. BUT let's make sure we know what needs to be done. If you have roof damage and any damage that needs to be taken care of quickly, please do that now. When it comes to roof damage and window breakage, please make those repairs. When you get to the point of replacing your roof and making those major modifications, then you can file the paperwork. Most contractors will not have the ability to quickly start work on your home without knowing that insurance is covering the tab. While that step is being worked out, please stop in the office, pick up the guidelines and file the paperwork. If you are fortunate to get a contractor right away, again, do what you need to do and let the paperwork catch up. You will be required to follow the architectural guidelines in all cases regardless if you have filed paperwork first. Let me repeat that...YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW ALL THE ARCHITECTURAL GUIDELINES IN ALL CASES REGARDLESS IF YOU HAVE FILED PAPERWORK FIRST. So if you think this would be a good time to put a metal roof on your home without filing an application, realize that is NOT allowed. Or let's say you want to change your roof color to something that matches the house color, careful with that too as you can only have blacks, greys and tans for roof colors. I think you get the idea. You must follow all architectural guidelines at ALL times. Remember, all exterior modifications must have approval!

The ARC Committee is made up of volunteers both at the Neighborhood level and at WLCA. While they are facing some of the same issues all of us are, they will be meeting as necessary to make sure they keep things moving along and approving or disapproving applications as fast as possible. Applications that have to do with roofs and pool screens will be reviewed first as those type of issues are a priority when it comes to mitigating damage and of course safety. Fences will follow up behind that as fences do not fall into the life/safety/health priority.

Should you have any questions at all, know that you can call us here at the office or stop by and we will help walk you through the process. We are here to help, not to stifle your ability to take care of your home and property. So please use us as a resource to assist you. The Architectural Guidelines can also be found on the WLCA web site under the tab called 'ARC Forms and Instructions'. Please use that as a resource should you not be available to stop in. We can also email guideline's to you if you do not have access to the Waterford Lakes website for some reason.

Last but not least, please do your homework on selecting contractors. Make sure permits are applied for and posted on site. Verify that you have completed a 'Notice of Commencement' and that it was actually filed with all the other paperwork. Most reputable contractors will not be knocking on your door soliciting for work. Be sure to check contractors for BBB listings and make sure they are licensed and most importantly INSURED. Ask for a certificate of insurance that lists liability coverage, vehicle coverage and workers comp coverage. Make sure you are listed on the Certificate as an additionally insured. Then, call the insurance company to make sure they are indeed covered by them. Do not take the companies word that they are covered. And lastly, do not turn over your rights to the company to collect directly from the insurance company or to make further claims. Make sure you are the person who is reviewing the work and that the work is acceptable. If a contractor finds additional damage, make sure you are advised and that you are the person letting the insurance company know what is happening, Do not give up your responsibilities to a company. Any company that tries to skirt one or all of these suggestions may not be the company you want to hire. We have all seen the kind of stuff that happens to folks during these types of natural disasters. Don't fall victim to scrupulous contractors.

Once all the work is completed, make sure it is done to your satisfaction. Verify payments are made and make sure you receive a release of lien on your property and proof that the permit was closed. All of these things will make your 'adventure' a little more pleasant as well as protect you should anything go wrong. Keep your home in the best possible shape so that you will continue to be proud of your investment and secure in for many more years to come.

Ken Zook