When you’re dreaming about and planning your home renovation, it’s easy to focus on the final product—a beautifully finished home with the perfect bathroom, kitchen, or basement.
But from the moment you hire your contractor to the final coat of paint on the walls, your home will become a construction zone. You’ll find yourself yearning for the simple pleasures of a dust-free home, a fully functioning bathroom, or your kitchen cupboards.
As frustrating as the process can be for you, it can be even more difficult for your neighbours—after all they won’t have the amazing new kitchen to enjoy once it’s all over.
What steps can you take to ensure your neighbours stay sane—and on your side—during your home renovation?
First things first, inform your neighbours well in advance that you are planning to renovate. You’re going to be living with these people for many years to come. It’s important to start off on the right foot. Let them know a bit about your project, the time frame you have planned, and provide them with contact information in case they need to reach your contractor.
If you’re planning to add an addition to your home, it may be helpful to provide your neighbours with a detailed plan that shows the property lines so they can understand where their homes are in relation to the addition.
Try to take your neighbour’s schedule into consideration when you set the work schedule with the contractor. Do they work from home, have small children or work shift work? It’s important to be considerate, so be up front. Tell your neighbours about the schedule you’ve set with your contractor.
When it comes to your contractor, inform them of any restrictions, but remember that the buck stops with you. If there is damage done to your neighbours’ property or if a mess is left that effects them, take the needed steps to rectify the situation.
If your contractors will be using street parking, make sure you aren’t using a neighbour’s space. Go above and beyond by taking their view into consideration and asking your contractors to avoid parking dumpsters in the way.
If your contractors need access to your neighbour’s property—whether it is their driveway, yard or side entrance—be sure to speak to your neighbour’s and get their permission. There’s no faster way to upset a neighbour than by allowing your contractors onto their property without informing them.
Throughout the renovation, check in with your neighbours. This will give them the opportunity to let you know if any issues have come up for them and it will give you the chance to update them on the progress of the renovation. If your timeline has changed, these regular check-ins will be the perfect time to let your neighbours know about any adjustments.
After the renovation is finished—or before it even begins—why not bring over a small gift to smooth over the news. A homemade baked good, a bottle of wine or a gift card to a local restaurant goes a long way.
Once your home is complete, take the time to thank your neighbours for their patience throughout the process and show off your new renovation at the same time. Throw a small neighbourhood party or host a thank you dinner.
Despite your best efforts, you may come up against a difficult neighbour. As long as you have put forth an effort to be friendly and neighbourly throughout your renovation, you may have to accept that you can’t please everyone.