How to with Brian….Renovations and your neighbors


“How to with Brian” (He has no idea I am posting photos of him.)

We are about 10 days into the cape house renovation.  I don’t have any demo pictures yet but will post some soon.  They have started the demo phase, the foundation issues will be addressed soon, plumbers and electricians have stopped by…it has been a busy week.  Which leads me to the topic of this post.  This is a remote site renovation for us, meaning we are not there all the time.  And this can be a problem with neighbors….  In fact any renovation can be a problem with neighbors. Luckily this is mainly a summer community but there are a few year long neighbors so we need to be respectful during the renovation months.  When you own a piece of property, within the law, you have a right to renovate your home.  But you don’t have to be a jerk about it, remember you have to live next to these people and they have to live next to you so here are some tips from Brian to follow when renovating.


  1. Be honest and upfront about what you are planning to do.  You do not need to have a sit down and show them your plans and bank statements but have a conversation “over the fence” that there will be some work happening, subs will be coming and going.  If it ever gets too loud or they are on your property, parking in your spot please come to us.  If they do come to you with an issue, do the best you can to remedy it and let them know.

    Plans can help to show the neighbors but are not necessary.
  2. Get the building permit and post it in a window where it is visible.
  3. Tell your subs and anyone else working on the job where to park, what time to start, keep it clean especially around the road.

    Brian getting an early start (and sick of my photographing his every move…)
  4. Sometimes you just get a neighbor that is particularly bad.  Talk to your on site crew about it so they know.  If the neighbor tries to talk to one of the crew about an issue have them call you immediately.  It is best if you handle any issues.
  5. Be considerate around holidays and sundays.  These days are sacred to some people.  Neighbors may be planning a party on a holiday and that may not be the day to jackhammer out the front steps.

    How would you like to wake up to this 7:30 on a sunday? (From our first renovation)
  6. Look for ways to work together.  Let your neighbor know if you are cutting down some trees, maybe they have a few they need to cutback.  You could negotiate a group price.
  7. DO NOT draw it out.  No one likes to look at and hear a construction site.  So if you say it will be 6-9 months then get it done in that time frame.  If something comes up and you will go over a month, update your neighbors.

    Me hard at work and before I knew I was pregnant.