Welcome to the Aquia Harbour Property Owner's Association website. After you register, you may want to spend a bit of time reviewing the "tutorials" forum.
Suggested Best Practices
AHPOA Architectural Control Committee
Suggested Best Practices - Miscellaneous
All new Home Construction, any exterior improvement or modification, and any improvement whatsoever on any lot must receive an AHPOA Construction permit from ACC.
Headwalls are required for culvert pipes where driveways cross common property to connect with roadways in Aquia Harbour. Maintenance and repair of headwalls are the responsibility of the lot owner.
Wooden deteriorate more rapidly than concrete, brick, or manufactured stone blacks.
Wooden headwalls last longer if they have a protective coating, or are kept painted.
Proper reinforcement is essential, particularly for wooden headwalls, to prevent failure. Manufactured stone block headwalls are reinforced with a mesh material during Construction.
To date, we are aware of no failures of head walls built of manufactured stone blocks.
Please see Construction/Maintenance Procedures for headwall requirements.
It is felt that for street appeal, uniform materials may be desirable for driveway surfaces. Gravel driveways often require maintenance to keep in place and to keep clear of weeds.
Suggested paving materials for driveway serviceability and appearance include asphalt, concrete, stamped concrete, and manufactured stone pavers.
Mailboxes lead a hard life in Aquia Harbour due to wear and tear, weathering, and terrain.
Periodic maintenance is recommended to keep mailboxes presentable.
Mailbox posts set in concrete are more likely to remain upright and in their position.
Fences must be constructed with the finished side facing out.
Fence posts set inconcrete are more likely to remain vertical and in their assigned position.
Back yard fencing guidelines are liberal. However, back yard fencing may not exceed 6’in height, and industrial or agricultural fencing that could cause injury to people or animals, such as barbed wire, razor wire, or high voltage electric fencing, will not be approved.
See Construction/Maintenance Requirements for fencing requirements.
Staining of Roofs and Siding
1. When siding becomes stained with algae or mildew, pressure washing is recommended. There are numerous contractors locally who provide this service.
2. Roof staining can be controlled with zinc strips which are available for that purpose. Local contractors also provide as a service the removal of these stains with chemical treatment.
3. Various new roofing shingles are chemically treated to prevent such stains.
Many local contractors display their contact information at the AHPOA business office. An inquiry may be worthwhile. Also, numerous local contractors regularly advertise in the Harbour View publication that is delivered monthly to every Aquia Harbour residence.
Note that office staff does not make recommendations regarding contractor selection. It is suggested that references be obtained, and that information from neighbors who are familiar with specific contractors and their capabilities might be helpful.
· Before hiring a contractor to do work on your property, ensure that they are familiar with AHPOA Maintenance/Construction procedures, the need for approval, and permit requirements of both Aquia Harbour and Stafford County.
Don’t rely on the contractor’s advice alone, when discussing AHPOA procedures. Become familiar with them yourself, or come to an ACC meeting and ask. ACC meets every Wednesday at 4 p.m., at the business office.
· Avoid paying in advance for work to be performed.
1. If you do not have a copy of the survey plat for your lot, obtain one. You will need it for most permit applications.
2. Only one detached storage building is allowed per lot. [Restrictions and Covenants 3. (b)]
3. Detached carports will generally not be approved. [Construction/Maintenance Procedures 1-9]
4. All building exteriors must be completed within 6 months of Construction start.
County Building Permits
In addition to AHPOA permits, county building permits may be required for a project.
The following link provides guidance in when county permits are necessary:
Summary guidance of when a county building permit is, or is not required:
(From the Stafford County web page referenced above, 3-1-2017)
The following are examples of work that require a building permit (see USBC 108.1):
· Alteration of any required means of egress
· Building a new house
· Building an addition onto an existing house or attached garage
· Converting an existing deck or screened porch into a sunroom
· Building an attached or detached garage or carport
· Converting a garage to a habitable space or enclosing a carport
· Building a porch, screened porch, deck, associated steps, ramp, pergola, portico, or gazebo
· Building or installing a tool shed over 256 square feet in area. Please note that a zoning permit is required for all sheds.
· Finishing off an unfinished attic, basement, or room over the garage
· Installing a flag pole over 30’ in height
· Moving or removing a load bearing wall or partition
· Retaining wall which support 3 or more feet of unbalanced fill
· Bulkheads, piers, and docks
· Repairing, altering; enlarging or modifying any structural element of the house, including any damaged structural element, such as load bearing stud walls, columns, piers, footings, foundations, floor joists, rafters, beams or girders
· Replacing/adding fuel fired equipment
· Enlarging or adding a door opening or window opening
· Changing the use of the structure (example: change from residential use to business use)
· Installing a pool, hot tub or spa greater than 150 square feet, 5000 gallons, OR 24" deep
· Re-roofing commercial buildings
· New electrical wiring or circuits
· Movement of lot line that increases hazard or safety of existing structure
· Removal or disturbance of any material containing asbestos for demolition or alteration of a building
· Demolition of an existing structure
The building code allows some work to be done without obtaining a permit. While a permit is not required, the work must be in compliance with the code. Some examples of work that does not require a permit include (see USBC 108.2):
· Making ordinary repairs and improvements, including, but not limited to:
o Painting the inside or outside of the house or detached structures
o Repairing drywall, plaster, exterior siding, etc.
o Installing new floor coverings, such as vinyl, carpet, or hardwood
o Installing or refurbishing cabinetry
o Repairing or replacing porch or deck flooring boards. Please note a permit is required to repair or replace the joists or girders
o Repairing or replacing handrails on a porch
o Installing or replacing doors and windows, including storm windows, where no structural changes are performed
o Installing or replacing exterior siding
o Residential re-roofing: Old shingle roof can be left in place provided that there are not more than two previous layers of shingles and that the existing shingles are not water saturated.
o Installing or replacing gutters and downspouts
o Repairing or replacing siding
· Installing driveways or sidewalks
· Constructing or installing a storage shed, playhouse, etc, 256 square feet or less in area Zoning permit required.
· Adding a fence (which is not part of a swimming pool enclosure) and which is 6' or less in height. Refer to subdivision Covenants (if applicable)
· Building recreational equipment, such as swings, skateboard ramps, jungle gyms, etc.
· Adding roof insulation
· Installing any wiring or equipment which operates at less than 50 volts
· Installing a security alarm system
· Replacing existing electrical water heater with a new electric water heater
· Replacing electrical fixtures, such as switches and receptacles
· Installing or replacing a ceiling fan to a pre-wired switch
· Replacing plumbing fixtures, such as sinks
· Replacing or repairing existing mechanical appliances (of equal size and type). This exception is not applicable to gas and oil fired appliances
· Temporary ADA ramps with less than 30" rise for residential properties