In the interest of neighborly relations, a feudless community, and the opportunity to use your neighbor’s washroom when you’re in the midst of a two-day plumbing job, here’s some advice on construction and renovation etiquette.
Let your neighbors know ahead of time what you’re planning on doing, before their lives are disrupted by your work. Say they’re planning on having Grandma over for a garden party on the weekend. Maybe you can put off knocking down the old garage till the following weekend.
Try and keep noisy work within reasonable hours. While the bylaws may give you some leeway, starting up the chain saw at 7 a.m. or getting out the lights and pushing your siding job till close till 11 p.m. won’t sit that well with the young couple and their newborn next door.
Let your neighbors know of any plans for outbuildings or fences, and hear their input. While the final decision is yours — in most cases — they may have concerns you hadn’t considered. You might be able to alleviate these in the planning stages without compromising your plans.
If you’re bringing in a dumpster and stripping shingles off the roof, warn them, and assure them that everything will be restored to normal when you’re done. (Keep your promise.)
Bright spotlights, security lights, or even a bunch of outdoor standards might irritate neighbors by shining into their yard or house. Check with the neighbors and try and keep lighting as discreet as possible, by masking the sides of spotlights and aiming them carefully.
Who knows, maybe they’ll be over to help you do the job.