The remodeling section provides links on home improvement and general guidelines for help in maintaining your Mission Viejo Home. All improvements must comply with the existing Mission Viejo Covenants. Please review the covenant restrictions for your filing by clicking here.

In general it is suggested that unique design elements such as exterior wood beams, false balconies, shutters, split rail fences and any original rock or brick materials should be maintained for all residences. These distinctive features and finishes help to characterize the properties and should be preserved.

New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction should not destroy the original materials that characterize the property. New work should be differentiated from the old and should be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.

The Mission Viejo HOA has also published a series of Maintenance/Rennovation/Remodeling Briefs on specific topics which are reprints of articles appearing in our Mission Viejo Reporter Newsletter:

Concrete and Sympathy of Design (from MISSION VIEJO REPORTER VOL. 3 NO. 1)


Many residents in Mission are getting new roofs and investing in home improvement projects. This is a great strategy to take during these hard economic times. Labor and materials are fairly competitive and hopefully when the economy fully recovers all that investment will be rewarded. Here are some tips and advice:


Driveways, sidewalks, walkways, brick, patios and structural foundations erode after time. Once a crack is visible, it is critical to fix the concrete problem before it progress into a larger issue. Untreated concrete cracks could result in costly concrete replacements. When small cracks appear and water enters, it creates pockets that expand and heave cracks. As winter approaches, the water in the cracks will freeze and also push concrete apart allowing more water and eventually more damage. These cracks can compromise the stability of your home, reduce the value of your home and pose potential trip hazards. Treating early cracks is an inexpensive way to extend the life of your driveways, patios and foundations.

In general, it is suggested that unique design elements such as exterior wood beams, false balconies, shutters, split rail fences
and any original rock or brick materials should be maintained for all residences. These distinctive features and finishes help to characterize the properties and should be preserved. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction should not destroy
the original materials that characterize the property. New work should be differentiated from the old and should be compatible
with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.

The Right Contractor (from MISSION VIEJO REPORTER VOL. 3 NO. 8)

Home Maintenance Tips – Choosing the Right Contractor for Major Renovations.

Thinking of remodeling your Mission Viejo home? If you are there are many things you may wish to consider. Take time to screen your architect/designer (if applicable to your project) and contractor, planning your project from start to finish, and taking simple precautionary steps, it is possible that the entire process can be painless and satisfying (and even fun!) for everyone involved.

The first step is to determine if any assistance is needed with design. Ask yourself why the decision is being made to do the work and what need is driving the decision. Generally, when adding square footage, the services of an architect or a good designer are a must. Most building departments require drawings that show the footprint of the existing structure, and details indicating how the addition relates to the existing building. Even though some general contractors offer this service, if you’re adding a significant amount of space, it is a good idea to hire an architect experienced with modern and contemporary design in order to preserve the lines of your home. Sometimes an engineer may be required to calculate loads for large projects.

Always check portfolios and references. Bear in mind that usually someone other than the design expert built the final product that is represented in the portfolio. Therefore it is a good idea to contact the contractor and homeowner involved if you have further questions.

When budgeting for a project, it is important to have two budgets in mind: the target budget (the optimistic number) and a contingency budget. If significant changes in design occur during construction, the impact can significantly delay the project as well as increase job costs well beyond the target budget (and possibly the contingency budget). With that in mind, try to make the big decisions before signing an agreement. If construction under contract begins, and changes occur, get those changes documented as an addendum to the original agreement.

The process of selecting a contractor is best done by personal referral and inquiring with the State License Board (for complaints and license status:, City of Aurora Business License Lookup at:

, and the Better Business Bureau ( ) (for reported complaints and how they were resolved); job pricing; and by judging your level of comfort with the contractor. Having a contractor referred by friends, neighbors, and relatives is a very good method of screening.

As far as pricing goes, as a general rule, the lowest price is not often the best deal, and the highest price is not necessarily equivalent to the best quality of workmanship. Of course, there are always exceptions to generalizations. When checking references, ask about quality of work, fairness of pricing, if there were any unexpected delays (and why), and how conscientious the contractor and his or her employees were as far as making the project as comfortable as was practical.

Lastly, one should feel comfortable having the contractor and employees around their house. After all, the crew will be around there quite a bit – so its best to chose a contractor that your feel comfortable around. Both the contractor and homeowner ultimately share the same goal: to have the project go quickly and smoothly. Careful planning, diligent research, deliberate decisions, and keeping a good professional demeanor throughout the construction process will ensure the best likelihood of a successful and satisfying experience for everyone involved.

Beams and Rafters (from MISSION VIEJO REPORTER VOL. 3 NO. 7)

Home Maintenance Tips – Beams and Rafters.

Considering how many homes in Mission Viejo have exposed and interior structural beams, it is essential for homeowners to periodically give maintenance attention to these architectural features. These problems are not unique to our neighborhood as all contemporary style homes built from the 1970’s-1980’s and older, need special architectural care and attention. If neglected, a beam can eventually bring forth a repair bill costing thousands of dollars. When such cases are found, they usually suffer from conditions that were simply left ‘out of sight, out of mind’ on the top surface of beams exposed in the atrium and those extending beyond the eaves of the house.

For exterior wood beams, decades of weathering cause paint to wear away, leaving the exposed wood beam open to cracking and what is commonly called ‘dry rot.’ Even though dry rot is a rather inaccurate term for this condition — the problem doesn’t occur in totally dry wood — it causes various types of fungi to deteriorate the wood. These organisms cannot exist if the moisture content of the wood is below 20 percent. Therefore, the way to control wood rot is to prevent water from contacting the surface of the wood. It is essential to regularly inspect exposed beams and check to make sure that the paint protecting them has not lost its integrity.

If the damage is superficial, you can scrape out the damaged areas until healthy wood is exposed. After making sure the beam is thoroughly dry, you might want to patch it with Bondo, and even cap the beam with metal flashing. At the very least, it’s a good idea to keep exposed beams painted on a regular basis. It not recommended removing the beams as they add architectural styling to the façade, giving the homes in the first constructed filings a feeling of “Western Living with a Spanish Flair”, essentially a mix of Craftsman and California Ranch styles.

Interior beams in some models also should be checked periodically for structural integrity. Signs that your home might need repairs are a sagging roof; cracked walls extending from the rafter ceiling that do not disappear after repainting etc. These signs might mean your beams may have real integrity problems. If you suspect such a condition you might want to hire a qualified structural engineer to inspect your beams.

Taking care of your beams does take time and care but if done properly usually adds value to your home. These actions also result in greater safety and less costly repairs latter on.

Aluminum and Vinyl Siding (from MISSION VIEJO REPORTER VOL. 3 NO. 10)

Home Maintenance Tips – Considerations for Aluminum and Vinyl Siding

The maintenance and periodic painting of wood frame structures is a time-consuming effort and often a substantial expense for the homeowner. It is therefore understandable that a product which promises relief from periodic painting and gives the building a new exterior cladding would have considerable appeal. For these reasons, aluminum and vinyl siding have been used extensively in upgrading and rehabilitating the nation’s stock of wood frame residential buildings. There are, however, also certain disadvantages in the use of a substitute material such as aluminum or vinyl siding, and these factors should be carefully considered before a decision is made to use such a material rather than the preferred replacement with new wood siding duplicating the old. The installation of siding can also damage the existing wall fabric by the nailing necessary to apply siding. Nailing directly to the building fabric or by nailing to the furring strips of the old siding, will leave numerous holes in the existing wood siding, molding, trim, window and door frames which can potentially cause problems.

Since aluminum and vinyl sidings are typically marketed as home improvement items, they are frequently applied to buildings in need of maintenance and repair. This can result in concealing problems which are the early warning signs of deterioration. Minor uncorrected problems can progress to the point where expensive, major repairs to the structure become necessary.

If there is a hidden source of water entry within the wall or leakage from the roof, the installation of any new siding will not solve problems of deterioration and rotting that are occurring within the wall. If deferred maintenance has allowed water to enter the wall through deteriorated gutters and downspouts, for example, the cosmetic surface application of siding will not arrest these problems. In fact, if the gutters and downspouts are not repaired, such problems may become exaggerated because water may be channeled behind the siding. In addition to drastically reducing the efficiency of most types of wall insulation, such excessive moisture levels within the wall can contribute to problems with interior finishes such as paints or wallpaper, causing peeling, blistering or staining of the finishes.

It cannot be overemphasized that a cosmetic treatment to hide difficulties such as peeling paint, stains or other indications of deterioration is not a sound preservation practice; it is no substitute for proper care and maintenance. Aluminum and vinyl siding are not directly at fault in these situations since property owners should determine the nature and source of their problems, then make appropriate repairs. The difficulty arises when owners perceive the siding as the total solution to their required maintenance and forgo other remedial action.

The questions of durability and relative costs of aluminum or vinyl siding compared to the maintenance cost of materials are complex. It is important to consider these questions carefully because both types of siding are marketed as long lasting, low maintenance materials. Assuming that the substitute sidings are not damaged, and that they will weather and age normally, there will be inevitable changes in color and gloss as time passes. A normal application of aluminum or vinyl siding is likely to cost from two to three times as much as a good paint job on wood siding. A sensitive application, retaining existing trim, will cost more. Therefore, to break even on expense, the new siding should last as long as two or three paintings before requiring maintenance. On wood two coats of good quality paint on a properly prepared surface can last from 8 to 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If a conservative life of seven years is assumed for paint on wood, then aluminum and vinyl siding should last 15 to 21 years before requiring additional maintenance, to break even with the maintenance cost for painting wood siding. Once painted, the aluminum and vinyl siding will require repainting with the same frequency as wood.

While aluminum siding can dent upon impact and the impact resistance of vinyl siding decreases in low temperatures and, therefore, is susceptible to cracking from sharp impact, these materials are generally not more vulnerable than wood siding and shingles. All siding materials are subject to damage from storm, fire, and vandalism; however, there is a major difference in the repairability of wood siding versus substitute materials such as aluminum and vinyl. Although they can all be repaired, it is much easier to repair wood siding and the repair, after painting, is generally imperceptible. In addition, a major problem in the repairability of aluminum and vinyl siding, as mentioned above, is matching color since the factory finishes change with time. Matching the paint for wood siding has a greater likelihood of success.

Adapted from the National Park Service: Preservation Brief 8 Aluminum and Vinyl Siding on Historic Buildings The Appropriateness of Substitute Materials for Resurfacing Historic Wood Frame Buildings by John H. Myers, revised by Gary L. Hume

Mission Viejo is Now Selling Replacement Wall Brick!

Discount for Mission Viejo Members!


The Mission Viejo HOA purchased over 800 bricks from Angelus Block Company in Indio California. These bricks are nearly the same color and size that make up nearly all the brick walls along the right-of-ways in our community. According to City ordinances, residents who back up to the major right-of-ways that have these walls or columns are responsible for their maintenance and care. The City requires replacement blocks to match the same color and size blocks that exist now. These blocks however are normally unavailable locally unless by special order. Mission Viejo HOA is offering these blocks at a discount to our residents* to help repair and replace missing or damaged blocks to ensure a consistent look and maintain the integrity to our walls.

Since our blocks are being stored with the cooperation and assistance of Seville Townhomes HOA, to place an order and pick up your blocks, you must first contact us by e-mail at to make arrangements to pick up blocks.

Non-member, non-discounted at-cost price: Member discount price (limited time):


6”X6”X16” Standard Blocks:

Market Pricing sbject to Availability

Market Pricing sbject to Availability


8”X6”X16” Extended Blocks

Market Pricing sbject to Availability

Market Pricing sbject to Availability


8”X4”X16” Cap Blocks

Market Pricing sbject to Availability

Market Pricing sbject to Availability


*Mission Viejo members are defined in our Bylaws in Classes A-D with standing as shown through payment of annual dues/donation, a recognized volunteer or a paid participant in our Trash/Recycling Program.