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How To Be A Good Neighbor During A Remodel

General Expertise
By on Jul 29, 2018
How To Be A Good Neighbor During A Remodel

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Any major renovation to a home will impact your life, whether you anticipate it or not. What you might not realize is that it will also impact your neighbors as well. For better or worse, these will be the people you see every day for quite some time. It’s best to try to maintain a positive relationship with them, especially during a remodeling project.

Remodeling a home can create loud noises throughout the day, mess and debris as well as less space on the street for parking. You may not have considered it, but all this can impact your neighbors lifestyle as well. To maintain a good relationship, here are a few tips on how you can be a good neighbor during a remodel.

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Good Neighbor Tips

From roofing projects to bathroom remodels, any extensive work can change up your lifestyle as well as your neighbors. While you may not immediately realize the impact it has on them, it’s a good idea to evaluate each large project for how it might affect your neighbors. Loud noises on a new roof can make things difficult for a neighbor with a newborn. An addition can stop the flow of traffic on your block or impact curb appeal.

Whether you like them or not, it’s a good idea to try and be as kind as possible to your neighbors during your home remodeling project. Here are some ways you can make it an easy time for all:

  • Get Construction Permits
  • Tell Your Neighbors
  • Communicate Work Hours
  • Don’t Allow Mess to Travel
  • Handle Neighbor Complaints
  • Thank Your Neighbors

Get Construction Permits

Not only is it a courtesy, but it’s important that if you’re doing any remodeling work, you get the proper permits and abide by local codes. If you plan on selling your home someday, this will be a necessity. In addition, it will give your neighbors peace-of-mind to see that you’ve taken the proper steps to make sure all is legal with your remodel. Be sure to display your permit in a window where neighbors can see it if they have questions.

Tell Your Neighbors

One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make is not communicating with their neighbors. Writing a brief letter to your neighbors is very helpful in mitigating any complaints. Here’s what you should include in your letter:

  • What you’ll be remodeling
  • Why you’re letting them know. For example, “it may be noisy,” or “this may impact parking.”
  • Dates of construction and when they can expect the most inconvenience.
  • Assurance that you have a permit.
  • Contact information for any concerns.

Additionally, you’ll want to thank your neighbors for their understanding before the work. You may want to attach the note to a small token of appreciation, such as baked goods. Or, if you anticipate morning work, maybe a gift card for some coffee to ensure their day gets off to a positive start.

Some community areas have regulations on who must be notified about remodeling. Notifying your neighbors directly next door is a must. If you’re doing major renovation, I suggest notifying two to three houses down, depending on how close together homes are.

Communicate Work Hours

As I mentioned above, it’s important to communicate work hours to your neighbors. If work is being done early morning, late at night or on the weekends, you’ll want them to know about any inconveniences. Most cities and towns have regulations on when work can begin, usually, it’s a 12-hour span between 8 AM to 8 PM or 7 AM or 7 PM. Make sure your contractor is aware of these hours, as starting before or ending after can not only annoy your neighbors but also mean big fines.

Don’t Allow Mess To Travel

Roofing, deck installations and additions generally come with a lot of mess between demolishing old materials or scraps laying around the yard. While it will certainly be annoying for you, it’s expected with any remodel. However, for your neighbor, this can be upsetting. Be sure the contractors are respectful not only of your property but your neighbors as well. While you’re deciding who to hire, you may want to ask about their clean up process and how the work might impact your neighbors.

Handle Neighbor Complaints

Even with the best preparation, there are still neighbors who may not be satisfied. Be sure to handle any neighbor complaints kindly. Try not to react but instead offer up solutions that may help solve any inconveniences. If your neighbor is unwilling to cooperate, do your best to respectfully refer them to speak to an alderman or representative. If you’ve done everything possible to be courteous to your neighbors, having someone else step in on your behalf can be beneficial to getting the work done without any further headaches.

Thank Your Neighbors

When the work is done, be sure to thank your neighbors as well. You may want to get creative here. If you’ve just installed a new deck, have them come over for a BBQ so they can see the finished product. Or, write a simple thank you note recognizing their cooperation through the inconveniences. It will go a long way in maintaining a positive relationship with your neighbors for years to come.


You may not realize it yet, but being courteous of your neighbors during a remodel is an essential step you must take. Thankfully, with the tips above, you can make this a smooth time for all.

Looking for more remodeling tips? Read Preparing For A Big Construction Or Remodeling Project.

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