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Congrats on the new home! I think you have started off on a really good foundation with open dialog with your new neighbors. A few suggestions.
Make sure you communicate with your neighbors about you project and how long it will last. Let them know that if there is any concern that they can talk to you about it. Give them an easy way to contact you.
Have your contractors be respectful. There will obviously be early mornings or late nights for work to be done, but be respectful of your neighbors. Maybe offer some earplugs for them to block out the unwanted noises or ask the guys to start later on a Saturday or Sunday so your neighbors can sleep in.
Clean up.... Make sure that anyone who is building and installing cleans up after themselves. Cigarette butts, trash, cursing, loud music and loose nails are only some of the concerns of an active work sight. And those concerns grow for neighbors with children.
My biggest suggestion, at the completion of the job have an open house. Invite your neighbors to come see your new house and the project that was goign on next door. It will offer you a time to get to know one another better. Use it as a way to say thanks for dealing with the last few months.Good luck!!
Good answer by Abe. We prefer to use fixed contracts with our clients. We have clauses in our contracts for unforeseen itesm such as concealed structural damage or inadequacies. I fully agree a professional remodeler, that knows what they are doing, should be offering a fixed contract.
With a lump sum contract, all the risk is placed on your contractor. If you want assurance, a lump sump contract with a professional remodeler will give you a guaranteed price... but be sure you have a clear understanding of change orders and hidden condition clauses in the contract, as well as finding out if any allowances are realistic. Cost plus, you take on all the risk. Everything is billable, and the contractor has no risk for this. In return, you might be charged a lower markup. So if you are willing to take on some risk or if you have a highly evolving project, a cost plus contract might help you. You must have a clear discussion of maximum price and be prepared for price escalation, though. Any other question on the subject?
Go visit the neighbors or take them to breakfast or dinner. Or, send them a letter. Bring a note pad and take any notes regarding their concerns. Explain that you take pride in your home and will be doing some remodelling. This only helps the neighborhood home values as well as theirs.
This is a great question!
I think the most important aspect of staying in your neighbor's good graces is good communication. NEDC likes to have one of our team go around the neighborhood personally at the start of every project and hand out contact information for our company. We give our business card, a letter letting the neighborhood know about the project and how long we expect it to take, and a flyer about our company.
It helps both us and our client, because we get publicity and marketing out of letting your neighbors know (all of which are potential referrals), and you get increased awareness and good feelings about the amount of communication. Additionally, if your neighbors get complaints, they usually end up calling us rather than you.
I'd suggest to the company completing your project that they at least mail out a flyer to your neighbors. Obviously not every company is going to be able to devote a person to come out and knock on doors like we do, but a flyer shouldn't be too hard to communicate.
If they are resistant to that idea, I'd suggest sending out a letter yourself, just informing them of your intent. That way, they feel acknowledged right off the bat, and there are clear lines of communication going forward.
One of the best ways to stay on good terms with your neighbors during a large construction project is to keep the job site as clean as possible at all times. No one likes construction debris creating an eye sore in the neighborhood, especially when the debris enters someone elses yard who is not having any construction work done.
Also, the crews need to be as polite and courteous as possible and aware of their surroundings. Cigarette smoking, loud music, cursing, are all things that really irritate home owners and shouldn't be acceptable on any professionally run job site.
It is also important to let your neighbors know the work schedule so they can expect the delivery trucks and crews to help coordinate parking that is convenient for everyone.
Communication and clear expectations are very important. Let your neighbors know what to expect, and when to expect it, so they are not caught off guard.
Hope this advice helps. Good luck with your home improvement project!
--Eric Consuegra, AROCON Roofing & Construction, LLC
First off, congratulations on the new home! Here are some tips that I hope are helpful:
PLUS Your excitement is contagious - many companies offer referral rewards - so if your neighbors catch your excitement and have the need for one of the services the company is providing - you can take advantage of those programs - earn points, dollars, rewards, etc.
Establishing a friendly relationship with your neighbors is pivotal, so you are already half way there! Invite them over to see the progress and then the finished project!
All the best,
If replacing the window is an option, then Pella Designer Series windows are available with triple-pane glass and removable miniblinds or shades inside a glass hinged panel. The blinds or shades don't get dirty and the extra glass panel makes the windows very energy-efficient. However, the frame size of the fixed window or large awning would have to be 59 inches or less to be ordered with a blind or shade. The maximun width on a casement would be 35 inches. Maximum height would be 73 inch frame size on either.
If your window treatment turns out to be expensive, compare the cost to replacing the windows themselves.
The most often recommended window covering for efficiency is a cellular shade.
Please note that as you keep more of the interior heat from reaching the interior window surface, the potential for condensation will go up with that reduction in heat exposure as a result of the window's lower surface temperature.
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