We’ve all heard the stories, watched the current affairs programs, and now seen the movie and it’s sequel, but being a bad neighbour doesn’t need to be as dramatic as those shows. Bad neighbours come in all different shapes, sizes and though one thing always in common, a complete lack of respect for those around them, or so it would seem. Sometimes being labeled a bad neighbour, can come from something as innocent as getting carried away with your renovation and forgetting to notify the neighbour that tradespeople are about to begin work on your home from 7am in the morning. Now while 7am might be ok for me, for other people, this is way to early.
So how do you avoid being labeled a bad neighbour when renovating or having any work done to your home? Let’s explore.
How Not To Become A Bad Neighbour
We all live differently right? And in today’s society, we don’t necessarily know our neighbours all that well. Some of us are fortunate to be on a first name basis, perhaps your ok with a friendly wave over the fence, for some of us, we’ve never even crossed paths, so how do we remain in the ‘good books’ with our neighbours, if we choose to have work done on our home.
Firstly it is your responsibility to take a moment to get in contact with your neighbours and let them know what is coming. By this I mean, if you are on speaking terms, drop in on your neighbour and have a chat about what you are planning with your home. Let them know when you expect it to start, and finish as well as when you anticipate the daily work to start, for example, from 7am to 3pm each day.
In Queensland we are able to work by law Monday to Saturday from 6.30am till 6.30pm during Summer, and 7am to 5pm in Winter. Sunday and public holidays we are prohibited from working.
If you are not on speaking terms, then pop a letter outlining the above. Approximate start date and finish, the work times each day, and the proposed works to be undertaken.
Most importantly don’t leave it to the last minute to notify your neighbours, especially don’t leave it to the day the tradespeople are due to start work. Your neighbours have a right to prepare themselves for the added noise and traffic as well.
Some other points to keep in mind are on street parking. With the influx of tradies, will come a decrease of parking spaces, again impacting your neighbours. It never hurts to let your neighbours know your builders phone number in case they are faced with a situation in which they have been parked in. It’s much better for you if the builder is dealing with the upset neighbours, after all, it isn’t something you are personally responsible for.
Rubbish is another common complaint. It is not uncommon for a builder to have a skip bin placed on the footpath in order to keep the site clean, clutter free, and to prevent the hazard of the large bin being on site. Room is paramount on a building site. Skip bins on the footpath can be unsightly, however a good builder with discussion, will fence the area to keep it as tidy as possible.
Loud noise on site is always cause for complaint. Most neighbours are happy to accept the noise of power tools as an expectation, however the noise of machinery is can be very tiresome. Give neighbours an extra heads up if machinery such as bob cats are to be on site. Swearing, and loud radios are another common and very valid complaint. Address these with your builder immediately, this should never be tolerated.
As with all other facets around building, good clear communication is usually enough to nip problems in the bud before they get out of hand. Of course there will always be exceptions, but if you have communicated all you need too, even these should be reduced.
Got any bad neighbour stories to share? Loud parties next door? What’s your favourite song?