Homeowners Challenge HOA Over Replacement Window Selection

February 23rd, 2012 by DWM Magazine

After purchasing a second home in California’s Moraga Country Club community, Daniel and Cathleen Martini found themselves battling with the local homeowners association—and won—when it came to their selection of replacement windows.

“We knew when buying this property that replacing the non-functioning and unsafe windows and sliding patio doors was a major priority,” says Daniel Martini. “Our intention was to enhance the overall property immediately so it would be an asset to the community. There’s simply no way we envisioned the stressful three-month delay in gaining approval of the Simonton Windows products we selected for this home improvement project.”

Martini had researched his options before applying for approval, and was stunned to receive not just one, but several subsequent denials for his request.

“The [HOA] committee denied our request because Simonton was not listed as an ‘approved’ window company for the community,” says Martini. “Unbelievably, there was only one vinyl window manufacturer on the approved list, and our research showed that specific company produces products far below standards to the Simonton products. This simply didn’t make sense to us.”

Martini pursued an appeal through several meetings, lengthy e-mails and phone conversations.

“I was so determined to invest my money in the best windows for our home that I was considering legal counsel if they turned me down one more time,” says Martini. “There was no reason for them to approve an inferior product when I was eager to purchase the industry’s best products for our home.”

Finally, at a September meeting, the Moraga Country Club, which has 521 private residences in its community, gave permission for Martini to install the five casement windows and two sliding doors manufactured by Simonton.

“This was a hard-fought victory that didn’t make sense,” says Martini. “Vinyl windows are the top-selling type of replacement windows in the country. In this particular case, we feel that the homeowners association is woefully behind-the-times and needs to update their product knowledge for the benefit of our entire community.”

With the work complete, the Martinis, who have become advocates in their community for top-quality vinyl windows and doors, can finally relax, and Martini says, “It was well worth the fight to have a product we are confident will provide us with years of comfortable living.”

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  1. Simonton was not listed as an ‘approved’ window company for the community,” says Martini. “Unbelievably, there was only one vinyl window manufacturer on the approved list, and our research showed that specific company produces products far below standards to the Simonton products.
    So share with us the approved vinyl window that the Country Club uses. !!!!

  2. Simonton windows are also AAMA certified. By placing an AAMA certification label on a product, the manufacturer certifies that the labeled product meets certain requirements for certification. This is another way for consumers to accurately compare products. Perhaps the HOA needs to peruse the AAMA Certified Products Directory (www.aamanet.org/CertifiedProducts) for homeowner options.

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