Good Neighbor Etiquette for Building and Remodeling

Hopefully you’re looking forward to your home remodeling project – and you should – because it’ll add value to your home and make it a more pleasant place to live. But before you start remodeling and/or building, please bear in mind that your activities may disturb other individuals. Here are some of the most complaints neighbors make when people who live nearby begin building and remodeling:

Painting the exterior of the home can cause damage – if your neighbor’s home is close in range or their vehicle is parked nearby, spraying may cause a mess. To try and avoid this potential problem, try using a paint brush instead of a spray.

Installing a brand new roof can bring about all kinds of noise and traffic to the neighborhood. With workers bringing in large amounts of supplies, yelling at each other and using loud equipment to complete the work, it may end up sounding like hell on earth. A similar cause of friction is when neighbors begin building on a new extension to the home. With saws, hammers and workers the noise often seems unbearable.

So, although you may be remodeling your home to sell, or so you can have a more comfortable environment, do remember that the neighbors around you may not feel the same way. Noise, pollution and increased traffic can be a cause for alarm for any neighbor of a construction site, and the family that lives right next to your home will especially be bothered by this endeavor, so you’ll want the transformation to go as smoothly as possible.

There are various methods for completing construction or remodeling work that can be considered friendly neighborhood etiquette, and which will make the transformation easier for you and the neighborhood in general.

The first order of business would be to plan ahead. It is important to make notes of the scheduled work. How long the workers will be during the day, what materials if any will be brought into the neighborhood and how long this venture will last. Of course, the time is approximate, because you can never plan exactly how long a home remodeling project will take.

After all the information is gathered, contact your neighbors directly. Offer them all the facts about the project. Let them know how long it will take and if any major traffic will be clogging up the neighborhood. This will show good will and that you are being considerate towards their feelings.

Once the project has begun, there are several techniques you can employ to complete the process without alienating everyone around you. Noise is always a major complaint when neighbors start completing a home project. If anything is used that deals out a large amount of sound, at least try to keep it to certain times of the day. Generally, for good measure, the times are between 9am and 5pm – normal working hours. That way, you can hope your neighbors will be at work during the commotion. On Saturdays, it’s best to stick to after 10am starts, and on Sunday, minimal noise, or preferably none at all for the entire day. Of course, there are instances whereby you’ll have to complete a project on time, and Sunday work is inevitable. Nevertheless, Sunday is usually a day of rest for most neighborhoods. Extensive noise may be rather bothersome.

Garbage debris is an eyesore and the value of the homes around a trash-covered site is decreased. Make sure you clean up any rubble or remains after work each day. You may want to keep a large dumpster on site for the remainder of the time you’re engaging in your home remodeling project. Keeping the worksite clean not only protects workers and inhabitants from injury, but will assist your neighbors in coping with your project.

When large trucks are entering the neighborhood, be sure they are following the law to a tee. After all, children could be at play on those roads. Neighbors also need to be able to safely leave and enter their homes. Material should be placed on your property in such a way that the streets are not clogged. If different workers are driving to the site, ask them to park as close to your home as possible. They should be at least on the same side of the street and even in the driveway if at all possible.

After the project is complete, thank your neighbors for their patience. It might be a smart move to present them with a peace offering in the form of a gift, or by inviting them over for a gathering or meal. It’s all about having a fabulous new home AND keeping your friends happy – observe these common courtesies and you’ll find your task becomes easier for everyone to support.