X. Improvements, Alterations & Additions

Below is a list of definitions as used in these regulations:

  • ALTERATION - Any change made to a home's structure or systems requiring a permit.
  • ADDITION - Any structure that has a roof and is attached to the original home.
  • ADJACENT NEIGHBORS - Units in the line of sight of an improvement, alteration or addition to a particular unit.
  • ADJOINING NEIGHBORS - Units that share a common party wall, floor, or ceiling with a particular unit.
  • IMPROVEMENT - Any structure, alteration, or landscaping that could alter yard drainage.
  • SUBSTANTIAL COMPLETION - Refers to a stage of a construction or building project or a designated portion of the project that is sufficiently complete, so that the owner may use or occupy the building project or designated portion thereof for the intended purpose.

    All improvements must be in conformance with all applicable GHI regulations. The following are specifically prohibited:

    1. Treehouses.
    2. Anything that acts as a barrier across any walkway which is designed to serve a member's home or garage.
    3. Vent pipes run on the exterior of any building.
    4. Removal of paint from brick homes by sandblasting, blasting with any other abrasive media (e.g. grit, glass bead, oxide, corn cob, pumice, plastic, walnut shell, dry ice, etc.), or high-pressure waterblasting (greater than 400psi).
    5. The use of urea-formaldehyde foam for insulation.
    6. Any addition to single-bedroom frame apartments.
    7. Any addition to living space in the larger townhomes.
    8. Honeymoon cottages may not have additions on the service side.

    The following are considered minor improvements and do not require approval from Technical Services provided that the work is performed under the guidelines listed.

    If any substandard conditions are discovered in floors or walls when removing old coverings, the member must report the deficiency to GHI Maintenance  immediately. New covering shall be installed only after any floor or wall repairs have been completed by GHI.

    It is recommended that minor improvements made under the following guidelines be reported to Technical Services for your protection in the event of fire loss, e.g. insurance claims.

    1. Interior painting and decorating, including wallpapering.
      1. Floor Coverings
        Except for bathrooms, which require a GHI permit, blanket approval is granted for renewing or covering with new floor covering materials including carpeting; sheet linoleum; wood, and tiling, rubber, vinyl, or ceramic materials. Removal of original flooring requires prior advisory consultation with the Technical Services office. When installing carpeting over asphalt tiles, tack strips must NOT be nailed as this damages the tiles; tack strips must be glued in place.
      2. Wall Coverings - Bathroom and Kitchen
        Blanket approval is granted for tiling of wall areas in bathroom and kitchen.
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    4. The installation of stationary metal, wood, or plastic shutters is acceptable provided that design and paint colors are compatible with the housing unit and maintenance is provided by the owner.
    5. Children's playhouses, if they are not larger than fifty (50) square feet, no higher than six (6) feet, and the floor is level and on grade. They should be painted, stained, or sided to blend with their surroundings and screened with natural foilage if not placed adjacent to the house.
    6. Interior finishing of basements (original or changes to existing) excluding paint and wallpaper, is NOT considered minor improvement, and requires written approval via permit request.