Love thy neighbor, that’s what they say right? It couldn’t be more true, neighbors that get along can be rare and getting along can be a whole project on its own sometimes. But I am here to tell you it is worth the effort to have a good relationship with them. Especially when starting a construction project that is loud, intrusive, risky, questionable, ugly, smelly, dusty, toxic, you get the idea. If your project is all of these things you might want to consider not doing it at all, but hey who am I to judge.
If you haven’t already, introduce yourself to your neighbor before beginning a construction project. Whether your project will last a couple days or weeks, at some point it will inconvenience them in some way and when that time comes you don’t want them to be caught off guard. For this reason, try to be somewhat transparent about it. Don’t go into too much detail, but explain general information such as construction timeframe, trash clean up procedure and any important safety considerations. On top of that, provide them your preferred contact information in case they have any questions or concerns during the construction. This will ensure that you are the first point of contact and your contractors wont have to waste time explaining themselves to the neighborhood.
The Other Side of the Fence
Sometimes it is just the opposite, and your neighbor is making life difficult for you. This usually means they are a bit careless at managing their property or construction project. For these occasions, you will need to harness the incredible power of diplomacy (cue superman theme song).
In the most recent case, one of our neighbors had a large bee colony that had grown on his balcony. Upon noticing the colony, we notified the resident of the property, as well as provided 2-3 follow ups, respectfully asking them if they had gotten rid of the bees. After about nine months without removal, the colony had grown to the point that a professional bee keeper is now required to get rid of it. And sure enough, one of our gardeners was stung twice while working on our property. As a last resort, we filed an anonymous complaint to the city, making them aware of the problem. You never want to be confrontational when these problems occur, just respectfully ask your neighbor to resolve the issue and if it continues it is time to file a complaint with the city.