As the long and cold winter months descends upon the Midwest, the fleeting memories of hot and sunny summer days flood our thoughts. For many, having a shady outdoor patio to relax beneath is crucial for survival of those sweaty summer months. One may wish to install an awning, screened in porch, or a shade canopy to achieve the perfect shaded patio for your living space. But Members beware! Before taking steps for such an installation, Members must consult their governing documents. These may restrict various alterations that involve making changes to the dwelling structure, either externally or internally i.e. the same shaded patio you are looking to install. Members must adhere to their governing documents before modifying any general or common element of the Cooperative as most Cooperatives restrict the use of these types of sun-shade mechanisms in the above mentioned governing documents.
Many may wonder why something as ordinary as a covered patio is against Cooperative guidelines. Well, as simple as a covered patio may seem the exterior alteration not only changes the appearance of the dwelling unit, but could compromise the structural integrity to not only the dwelling unit but entire building, as well. Allowing Members to install awnings, screened in porches, shade canopies, etc., can alleviate sun exposure issues, but could result in more pressing matters. Among these issues are: roof malfunctions, foundation issues, basement wall cracks, internal and external wall cracks, plumbing problems, electrical concerns, gutters, etc. These are just a few examples of what could happen to the dwelling’s structure once a heavy fixture is attached. Other issues that may arise pertain to complying with city codes, pulling proper permits, acquiring proper insurance for such alteration, and whether the hired contractors are fully insured and licensed within the specific state.