Friday, July 6, 2012

Preparing for an Addition: Prep Your Neighbours

Preparing for an Addition:  Prep Your Neighbours

There is no getting around it...A large remodeling project, like a room addition, is intrusive and likely for an extended period of time. And while neighbors won't experience that intrusion as intimately as the homeowner, they still will be impacted by the project.

As professional remodeling contractors, we do everything possible to minimize the intrusion we make on our clients' daily life during the job. But we're also aware of the impact our work can have on neighbors and often advise or coach our clients on how to be respectful of their potential inconvenience.

Communication is key. Whenever possible, we encourage clients to communicate plans for a new addition to neighbors on either side and directly across the street from the project. Some homeowners find it useful to show their neighbors the plans and explain where the addition will be built. They can review the construction schedule and discuss their concerns and explore ideas to alleviate them. If questions surface that a client can't answer, we make ourselves available to provide ideas and insights to help preserve a neighborly atmosphere. For clients that have a closer relationship with neighbors, a casual barbeque or cocktail party is a fun way to share project plans and details.

Most often, neighbors' concerns center on increased traffic and lack of available street parking. When on-street parking is critical, we can almost always arrange for our work crews to park only in designated areas.
We'll also coordinate with our crew members, subcontractors, and suppliers to drive slowly at all times, clean up any debris they may drop while parked on the street, and avoid using neighbors' driveways to turn around.

Likewise, if a neighbor has a legitimate and reasonable concern about our daily schedule, namely when we'll start in the morning, we can usually accommodate a slightly later workday and, where possible, reserve noisy work and materials deliveries to later in the morning.

For almost any remodeling project, and certainly a room addition, we'll need to place a dumpster as close to the building site as possible -- though probably on the street. Dumpsters are not attractive and are potential hazards to curious kids.

Similarly, it is our practice to leave a clean jobsite at the end of each day. By removing debris, materials, tools, and trash, we leave a job site that is safe to walk through after work ... and allow clients to show off the project's progress to interested friends and neighbors.

Finally, at the end of the job, we encourage clients to host an open house for their neighbors to see the finished project and celebrate its completion.

For clients who have the means and the inclination, it's a nice gesture to offer a window cleaning service to their immediate neighbors to remove any construction dust that likely accumulated during the project. Some window companies may offer a volume discount for multiple houses.

The bottom line is that your room addition will impact both homeowner and neighbors. In our experience, it's best to get ahead of their potential concerns and curiosity by extending an olive branch or two and keeping them informed from start to finish.
Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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