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Alex Graham asked:

May 14, 2014
How can I stay on good terms with our neighbors during a big construction project?
We're building a new house in an old neighborhood in relatively tight quarters. We're starting out on friendly terms with our neighbors-to-be, but I can tell they are nervous, and I can understand why. Our construction is definitely going to be disruptive. What are some tips for us (and our contractor) to stay on good terms with them?
Jul 20, 2014

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.

Michelle Slowe of NEWPRO PRO answered:

May 14, 2014

First off, congratulations on the new home! Here are some tips that I hope are helpful:

  • Be excited, communicative, and available throughout the process
  • Remind those working on your home to be as tidy and quiet as possible
  • Do not accept disruptive behavior 

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,

~Michelle Slowe

NEWPRO

May 16, 2014

Hey Alex, 

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

May 19, 2014

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. 

Good luck!

Dec 7, 2016

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!! 

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