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The Architectural Review Board (ARB) accepts proposals for architectural modification from homeowners year-round. Homeowners should contact the ARB when planning any improvements in their unit.

Modifications requiring approval

The architectural modifications requiring ARB approval fall into three broad categories:

  • Interior alteration to the unit or building systems (electrical, plumbing, floor plan, etc.);
  • Exterior modification or addition (windows, doors, decks/patios, satellite dishes); and
  • Interior remodeling for resale credit only.

NOTE: Interior paint does not require ARB approval and does not qualify for resale credit.

Members

ARB members include both homeowners and representatives from the University.

  • Alix Schwartz (Chair and UT)
  • Michael Riemer (UT)
  • John Fiske (University representative, Capital Projects)
  • Helen Levay (University representative, Real Estate Services Office)

Before you start your project

You are required to submit an ARB form ahead of time for any improvements that would normally require ARB pre-approval. For large-scale remoels we require you to attach not only estimates (required for all projects) but also scale drawings of the existing and proposed floor plans. Now that ARB forms, floor plans and estimates are submitted online, requests for review of proposals are due seven days before work begins. To request a review, fill out the ARB form, Word, and attach it and the requested documentation in an email to Alix Schwartz.

When reviewing a proposal, the ARB takes into account anything that could harm the structural integrity of the building, whether the work proposed would be considered an “improvement” by most people, whether the change is permitted by the CC&Rs (for example, no hardwood floors directly over another unit’s living space), and how difficult it would be to remove. Article 16 of the CC&Rs gives more detailed information on the guidelines of the ARB.

See specifically the Flooring, interior and exterior Threshold, and Patio guidelines before planning any alterations to floors or patios. Also note: the ARB decided in 2012 to award resale credit for water heaters, and in 2018 to award resale credit for furnace replacements. Additionally, there are guidelines for installing satellite dishes and sheds or other "accessory structures." Finally, the ARB has also outlined some guidelines for modifications to the grounds, e.g., in patio areas or in other exclusive-use areas. These amendments and clarifications of the CC&Rs can also be found on the UT Documents page.

Note that there is a $1,000 threshold for resale credit. Improvements can be bundled to reach this threshold. In order to qualify for bundling, improvements must be made within a year of each other, and submitted promptly.

After your project is completed

Organize and scan your receipts.

  • For receipts that are already 8.5"x11", just number the receipt and scan it as a PDF.
  • For any receipts that are not already on an 8.5"x11" sheet, tape them to a sheet, number each receipt on the sheet, and scan the sheet as a PDF. 
  • It's OK to tape more than one receipt onto the same sheet, but if you do that, each must have its own receipt number. 

Note. It would be helpful if you named the PDF using this convention: [yourname][Year]receipt[#].pdf. For example: Brown2016Receipt4.pdf. Also, if you can combine all of your receipts/sheets in a single file, that would be preferable.

Create a spreadsheet with one row per receipt.

  • The first column has the receipt number.
  • The second column describes what the receipt is for.
  • The third column shows the same dollar amount as the receipt shows.
  • Total all the receipts in the final row, at the bottom of the third column.

Submit the ARB form (either the PDF or Word version), the PDF file(s) with the receipts and the accompanying spreadsheet(s) to Alix Schwartz by email.

After the ARB has had a chance to review your submission and ask any questions the members may have, at least one member of ARB must inspect the work before signing off on it.

After your project has received final approval

You will receive a copy of the signed ARB form, stating the amount of resale credit awarded, if any, and the depreciation schedule, if appropriate. It is up to you to keep this document and present it when you sell your unit. Helen Levay also keeps copies, but to be on the safe side in case anything happens to her office, for example, you will want to have your own set.


Depreciation

Many items that are approved for resale credit depreciate over time. When you sell your unit, these items will be examined for wear and tear, and the resale value decreased according to established schedules such as these:

  • Blinds (wood or honeycomb) -- 15 years
  • Carpet -- 5 to 25 years depending on quality and care
  • Furnace -- 18 years
  • Laminate wood floors -- 15 to 25 years
  • Water heater (tank style) -- 12 years
  • Water heater (tankless) -- 20 years

These are meant as general guidelines; the condition of the items and the length of the warranty will also be taken into account when determining the ultimate resale credit amount.

Questions?

Please contact Alix Schwartz by email if you have questions and/or are ready to start the process of applying for approval.

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