So, you have got your renovation financing in place, you have selected your contractor and all the plans and designs have been laid out to your specification. You are eager to get this project underway and for those sledgehammers to start swinging but what about all the people around you? You know, your neighbours to the left, right, front and back of you. Even people down the street or apartment dwellers nearby. Sound can travel far, especially the constant, repetitive, loud and grating noises particular to all things construction and renovation related. It is those noises that can ruin the quality of life of your neighbours and prevent them from enjoying their own homes while you are getting yours made over.
This isn’t the ordinary duct cleaning, furnace repair of air conditioner installation we’re talking about here. This is about power tools, heavy machinery and major renovations and remodelling like putting in a new deck, tearing down walls and adding an addition onto your home. Those are the kinds of projects that make big noise so once you have your plans in place let your neighbours know all about them. Giving all those living around you a heads up before the demolition starts is a courteous thing to do and can give them enough of a head start to mentally prepare for the dust, noise and commotion to come. It’s worth taking the time to let your neighbours know how long the construction will last because not only is it disruptive from a volume standpoint, it usually means more vehicles will be in the neighbourhood and that can impede regular traffic flow and create parking problems. Also be sure to give those living nearby information on who they can contact if any major issues arise.
There’s also the matter of good taste. Curb appeal is an important factor in not just the value of a singular home but also all the homes in the entire neighbourhood so it makes sense your neighbours will want to know what kind of cosmetic changes you will be making to your property as it could also affect the value of theirs. Let them know what your plans are and show them the drawings so they can feel more at ease with the changes you are making not only to our home but the neighbourhood as a whole.
Have a Good Relationship with your Contractor
It should go without saying that you should always take the time and effort to carefully research your contractor and check all referrals and references for yourself to make sure they’re accurate and truthful. You want to trust your contractor and have good, clear communication with them. It’s also worth checking to see if your contractor has a code of conduct for all their employees. This will ensure they operate in an ethical business manner but also have a professional demeanour with you, your family and also your neighbours. They will have a better idea of how to diffuse a situation should one arise with a disgruntled neighbour and will operate in a more conscientious manner to lessen the potential for neighbourhood disruption.
There are the usual rules of placing all construction permits in clear view but there are some other issues that may not be top of mind. Know and respect whatever ordinances your municipality has in place. Whether you’re in Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, Oakville or Ajax there will be bylaws and they are not always the same in every municipality so make sure your contractor is also aware of them. This could mean anything from where to place portable toilets in proximity to a neighbour’s home and putting proper fencing around your property to ensuring all construction workers are wearing proper safety equipment at all times. If heavy equipment or construction bins or dumpsters are required to complete the job on your home, your contractor will need to have a Street Occupation Permit in some municipalities. There’s also the issue of keeping the renovation site clean. To maintain health and safety standards, certain waste removal practices are required to keep the worksite up to code. Of course, there are noise ordinances that are strictly enforced and lay out the specific times and days in which construction work and equipment is allowed on residential renovation projects. Failure to know and follow all local ordinances could result in a fine for you and your contractor.