With renewal of paint finishes on older homes at the Point becoming an issue, the HPRS committee is grappling with how to devise sensible rules to cover painting.

You are welcome to repaint your house the same as it was when constructed.

But we’re debating not only colour issues but the choice of whether stains or paints can be used, particularly on cedar.

Stains tend not to last longer than a few years on cedar planking and some householders would rather renew stained areas with longer-lasting paint finishes. Understandably, given the cost of scaffolding, they would rather not have to do the job too often. But a stain and a paint – even if carrying the same colour name – can look different on side-by-side walls.

Colours generally form part of the resource consent for a new home and, at Hobsonville Point, it is the careful choice of aligned colour schemes across whole areas that contributes to design harmony. So if you want to change your external colour scheme, then you need to get approval.

We are aware the current published rules are vague and so there’s some confusion out there. As we debate this matter, we are thinking about how to approach the look of rows of townhouses as opposed to stand-alone homes. We’re pondering how many of these questions should actually be decided by committees, and how many would best be worked through by neighbouring homeowners working together. And how, overall, to best protect the design cohesion of the whole area while not imposing undue restrictions.

We’re calling in paint and maintenance experts to help us devise a good plan. Meanwhile, these points may help:

1. If you plan to repaint your house in its original colours and finishes, then go right ahead.

2. If you want to paint your house a significantly different colour – say turquoise blue – in a street of otherwise brown homes, then you would need resource consent. In our view this would likely be declined by Council, and your idea would not meet with HPRS approval either.

3. If a paint finish you desire is only slightly different from adjoining homes, then you need to approach HPRS with details of your proposal – the committee will consider applications on a case-by-case basis. Remember, even a subtle change of shade on one wall can stand out markedly alongside neighbouring walls, and so we need to give each application careful consideration. You would need to send details of your proposed paint scheme to [email protected] and may be asked to supply colour samples.

Your committee knows that it recently signalled that better guidelines would soon be devised, but the more we look at the issue, the more points arise.

This is an interim message to give you some guidance while the committee works with HLC and other relevant design experts to come up with rules that are clear and fair for the long term. Be assured we’re working on it!