Home construction and renovation projects are usually noisy and can cause inconvenience to your neighbors. If you’re not careful, this may even result in having conflicts with them later on. Being considerate of your neighbors is important when doing a rehab. This article shares expert tips on how to keep neighbors happy during construction.
Here are 25 ways to maintain a good relationship with your neighbors during renovation:
1. Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors
Jennifer Beeston, Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Jenniferbeeston.com
If you have bought a property in a new neighborhood, it’s common courtesy to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. They will appreciate knowing who’s the new owner of the property. Also, it will be easier for you to communicate with them if they already know you.
2. Leave Your Contact Information with Your Neighbors
Nick Collins, Founder, HouseBuyersBaltimore.com
Give your contact information to your neighbors so they will have a way to get in touch with you in case they have any concerns about the renovation. Make sure to give them your email address, landline, and mobile number so they’ll have different options to reach you.
3. Point Out Improvements that May Raise the Value of Your Neighbors’ Properties
Sharon McRill, President, BettyBrigade.com
Aside from informing the neighbor of your renovation plans in advance before the actual work gets started, it will also be helpful to discuss with them the improvements that you’re planning to—and which may also help increase the value of their properties. This will help them understand that even though there will be some inconveniences during the renovation period, the end result will be beneficial to all.
4. Introduce Your Contractor to Your Neighbors
Philip Mandel, Real Estate Broker, Ascend Realty & Property Management
Another way to ensure that your neighbors will feel at ease with your planned renovation project is to introduce your contractor to them. When they know who is in charge of the work to be done, they will at least feel comfortable and at peace. This is also a good way to build rapport, as they may need the contractor’s services later on for their own home.
5. Bring a Small Gift or Peace Offering to Your Neighbors
Kimberly Watson, Contributor, Apartment Therapy
When you send a notice to your neighbors informing them that you’ll be doing a renovation on your property, include a small gift (such as a coffee shop gift card) or a peace offering (like a box of brownies). This will go a long way in winning their understanding and consideration for the inconvenience your project will cause.
6. Get the Necessary Permits
Lydia Solis, VP of Marketing, Bay Cities Construction
Ease your neighbors’ concerns by making sure that your contractor has the necessary permits for the construction and that the renovation (and your planned design) is legal. Do not allow any work to start without the required permits. By alleviating your neighbors’ concerns, you will build a better rapport with them, which could make your life easier.
7. Inform Your Neighbors About the Renovation in Person
Jennifer Lovett, Chief Operating Officer, Metroplex Homebuyers
One way to maintain a good relationship with your neighbors is to keep them informed of your renovation or construction plans. It’s best to meet with them in person and tell them that you are planning to have a renovation on your property. A simple communication such as this is the key to prevent certain conflicts later on.
8. Don’t Schedule Noisy Work in the Early Morning Hours
Scott Sidler, President, The Craftsman Blog
Avoid scheduling noisy work in the early hours of the morning. This makes sure the neighbors have some peace and quiet, and that you aren’t waking their kids before they’re ready to wake up. Maintain a working schedule that is reasonable for both you and your neighbors.
9. Follow the HOA Rules & Regulations on Construction
Elizabeth Dodson, Co-Founder, HomeZada
Before starting any construction or renovation project, make sure to review your homeowners association (HOA) documents and abide by the rules and regulations on construction. Discuss these rules with your contractors and make certain that they follow them strictly. This is a great way to maintain a good relationship with your neighbors during a rehab.
10. Choose Your Contractor Carefully
John Glick, Owner and Head Contractor, Glick Brothers Roofing
One way to keep your neighbors happy during a renovation is to choose a good contractor. Make sure to do your research and check the contractor’s customer reviews. Contractors who have good customer service means they are also courteous to neighbors.
Read these warning signs to see if you hired a bad contractor.
11. Have a Solid Time Frame for the Project
Andrew Read, Real Estate Agent, Custom Select Realty
Talk to your contractor to discuss the time frame of the project, and make sure that your contractor will stay true to this time frame. Communicate with your neighbors—inform them of the planned duration of the project so they are aware of when they should expect certain inconveniences due to your renovation. Make sure your contractor sticks to the schedule to avoid delays and additional inconvenience to your neighbors.
12. Ensure Your Contractor Controls Their Workers’ Behavior
Jody Costello, Founder, ContractorsFromHell.com
The behavior of your contractors and their workers is an important factor in keeping your neighbors happy during a renovation. Yelling obscenities is never a good thing, nor are urinating on bushes and playing loud music. Make these things clear to your contractors before you let them start the work—ensure that they can control their staff’s behavior and remain courteous to your neighbors all throughout the project.
13. Clean Up the Surroundings After Every Work Day
Aaron Bowman, Real Estate Agent, Bowman Realty CT
One reason why neighbors get annoyed during a construction or rehab is because of the mess it causes. To prevent this, make sure your workers clean up the outside every day once they’re done. Tell them not to leave tools and supplies all over the place. Have the tools and supplies stacked neatly on the side of the house and covered with a tarp at the end of the day.
Some neighbors are annoyed when people smoke near their place. To prevent this kind of issue with your neighbors, it’s best to impose a no-smoking policy on your contractor and the workers. This policy should apply both within the work site and anywhere within the neighborhood.
It’s important to make sure that the renovation or construction work on your property affects your neighbors as little as possible. Make sure you separate the work site from other adjacent properties by using impermeable barriers like polyethylene sheeting. Keeping the construction site well-covered will help lessen the inconvenience felt by your neighbors.
16. Keep the Construction Site Inaccessible to Others
Pablo Solomon, Award Winning Designer, PabloSolomon.com
Make sure your contractors will keep the site secured, guarded, and inaccessible to third parties. This is to ensure that your neighbors’ pets and children do not have a way to get into your work site and possibly get hurt.
17. Don’t Let the Contractors Extend Their Work in the Evenings
Mark Steele, Real Estate Broker & Investor, SteeleCC.com
A common issue about having a construction or renovation project within the neighborhood is the amount of noise that it can cause. It’s important to be considerate of your neighbors and ensure that you don’t allow your contractors to extend their work in the evenings. Make sure that their work ends promptly each day to prevent disturbing the neighbors during the night.
18. Don’t Block Roads and Parking
Ryan Wright, CEO & Founder, DoHardMoney.com
Blocking roads and parking is one common issue that may cause a conflict with the neighbors. You should orient your contractors on where they can park their delivery trucks. Make sure they don’t put their tools in places that may block the road or your neighbor’s parking slots.
19. Take Measures to Keep the Dirt Inside the Work Site
Francis Toumbakaris, Owner, Francis Interiors
When doing an interior renovation, make sure that your contractor takes extra measures to keep the dust and dirt inside the job site. This requires taping and un-taping the front doors of the residence on a daily basis, installing protection between the job site and the elevators in an apartment unit, and having a wet rug for all workers so they don’t scatter footprints around the building or its service areas.
20. Inform Them of Any Unusually Inconvenient Activity
Eugene Gamble, Senior Partner, Property Whisperers
If you know of unusually inconvenient activities coming up, it’s best to give your neighbors a heads-up before the work is scheduled. Also, tell them how long such activities will last and during what days and time your contractors will do the work. This is a good way to show consideration to your neighbors. When they know what is expected to happen, they will less likely become irate.
21. Do Your Neighbors a Favor Whenever There’s an Opportunity
David Reiss, Professor of Law & Author, Refinblog.com
Doing your neighbors a little favor every now and then during the construction process will help you build a better relationship with them. For instance, if your contractor is doing a dump run, let your neighbors know that they can throw a few things into the load. If you can fix something that affects both of you, like a broken fence between your properties, your neighbor will surely appreciate that.
It’s important to stay flexible with your plans and project schedule, as some neighbors may have special requests from time to time. This may include quiet hours of the day, especially if you have a neighbor who is caring for a newborn baby or an elderly parent.
It’s important to check in with your neighbors from time to time and get their input throughout your project. Talk with them to know if the workers are being respectful to them and if they have other concerns about the project. Go the extra mile to communicate with them regularly, especially if your project will last several months.
Things may not always go as planned, and you may still get some complaints from the neighbors despite taking precautionary measures. Be prepared to respond to any reasonable complaints as soon as possible. Letting your neighbors know that you’re willing to hear their concerns and address them as promptly as you can will go a long way.
Once your renovations are complete and your property is show-ready, you can invite your neighbors over to have a first peek and show them that it was all worth it. They will appreciate receiving an invitation from you so they can see the renovations for themselves.
Bottom Line – Keep Neighbors Happy During Construction
Maintaining a harmonious relationship with your neighbors is important. However, if you need to do some renovation work on your property, it’s possible that you can cause inconvenience to them. To prevent issues and conflicts with your neighbors, make sure to use the above expert tips as a guide to keep them happy during a renovation.