Painting Your Home – Do You Really Need Permission?

Here at Homm CPS, you’d better believe that we get all manner of weird and wonderful requests for the kinds of paint jobs you probably cannot imagine.  Now more than ever, interior designers are advising the everyday homeowner to get every bit as creative and imaginative as they like, when it comes to their own spaces. Some will always prefer the understated minimalist look, but others are going completely off the deep end with their own ideas for interior and exterior painting alike.

The thing is though, when it comes to exterior painting, things aren’t always quite as simple as they are on the inside. It’s no secret that depending on where you live, making any kind of structural modification or extension to your home is something that may require planning permission. Even if it’s 100% your property and of no significance to anyone else, you might still find yourself needing official authorization.

The Advantages of Paint Sprayers for Exterior Surfaces

But assuming you’ve got some seriously ‘interesting’ and perhaps slightly radical ideas for painting your home’s exterior, do you ever need to seek permission, or is it entirely up to you?

It Depends On Your Property

The long and short of it is that statistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that you will need any specific permission to go ahead and paint the exterior of your home. The reason being that properties are divided into a variety of categories, though it only tends to be those that have been recognized as having specific historic or architectural interest that fall under more specific rules. In the majority of instances, you can basically do what you like and do not have to obtain permission. However, if you live in a listed building, even so much as painting the exterior of your front door a different color could land you in trouble.

Seriously – proceeding without the necessary authorization is a criminal offence, believe it or not!

Not Quite a Green Light?

But assume you fall into the same bracket as pretty much everyone else and your home is not listed. You do not need official authorization to go ahead and paint it, so does this mean you can go ahead and do what you like, without so much of a second thought?

In a word…no.

There have been many cases over recent years involving homeowners who have painted or decorated the exteriors of their homes in such a manner to have landed them in hot water. In some instances, local town planning acts provide the local authorities with the power to act on behalf of the neighborhood in general – even if it means going against the otherwise legal rights of one or more homes.

For example, if you live on a relatively traditional street and decide the time has come to paint your home from top to bottom in neon chevrons, there’s a good chance your neighbors will not take kindly to it. It may simply be that they do not like your chosen design, or that they have genuine concerns regarding overall property values on the street. In any case, should they bring their concerns to the local authorities, said authorities may act in their favor.  Particularly if it turns out that it is something of a unanimous vote against you.

Should this happen, you may be required to re-paint your home in a more acceptable color/scheme.

But It’s My Home…How Is This Fair?

Of course, the obvious argument is that it is your home, your decision and technically up to no one else to determine how you re-paint your property. And there are certainly various jurisdictions across the country where this is the case – you can do what you like and don’t have to worry about it. Nevertheless, if you have any intention of going ahead with anything that might be considered controversial or severe, it’s definitely in your best interests to think carefully beforehand.

You won’t be breaking any laws, you won’t face any penalties and you technically won’t get into any ‘trouble’ even if the neighborhood and local authorities alike take a disliking to your efforts. You can also appeal any decision taken against you at a higher level.

But for the sake of keeping your life as simple as it can possibly be, it makes sense to try to avoid these kinds of problems in the first place…if and when possible.