Remodel, Construction & Being Good Neighbors

Being a good neighbor begins with developing a conscious awareness of how our actions
may affect others.” Emily Post

We have all experienced either our own or a neighbor’s major or minor home remodel, new roof or even a landscaping project. Let’s be honest no one really likes a remodel
with dust, 8-5 workers, increased traffic and noise leading the list of “complaints”. However in my cul de sac almost every neighbor has engaged in a remodel project, which from my perspective has gone great! Why? Communication is the key. Kudos to my neighbors (they rock!!) having done each of the bullet points below:

1. First off, if you are new to the neighborhood take time to introduce yourself, right after the purchase of your house. Some remodels happen immediately after the purchase of a house, some years after. Either way getting to know your neighbors is a must; after all we need to all look out for one another.

2. Make your neighbors aware of your renovation plans and timelines. Do this in person as well as sending/hand delivering a letter in their mailbox with all pertinent information
listed. This includes your phone number, and (as necessary) the contractors phone number. As you talk to your neighbors about your plans, have an open dialogue as to timeframe of remodel, and if your remodel could impact a neighbor’s future activity (e.g. birthday or graduation party); find out if there is any reasonable accommodation you can make for them.

3. Making sure your construction area is routinely cleaned up. Picking up workers trash, sweeping up stray nails or dirt and/or general tidiness keeps everyone happy. Porta potties should be placed away from view; or at a minimum having some sort of temporary lattice fencing put around it.

Lastly for those of us living near or next door to the remodel, be a watchful neighbor. A home under construction makes a tempting target to a thief as well as other neighborhood homes. Thieves are typically looking for two things: easy targets and things to steal that they can quickly unload for cash. We have had several instances in our cul de sac where thieves brazenly came (one used a U-Haul) and broke into homes during construction. Thanks to watchful eyes (channel your inner “Gladys Kravitz”) several attempts at theft have been stopped in my hood; however several have not. Having phone numbers of your neighbors handy and reporting suspicious activity to the police are the only way to stop crime.

One last point, please don’t use your neighbor’s construction site as your personal dumping zone. This includes using their trash bins and/or tossing trash (e.g. poopy bags) over their construction fence.

By Chantal Daniels


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