View Full Version : Neighbor run-ins during long, self directed rehab projects?
09-16-2009, 11:45 AM
Anyone ever have any issues with their neighbors during the course of rehab project they were doing themselves? Or conversely ever have a neighbor doing a project that just drove you nuts? Let's hear your stories.
During our long project, we pretty much could only work on it during the weekends, and I was always concerned that someone would finally get tired of the air compressor or the table saw running all day Saturday and Sunday (especially since you might be able to put up with it for a couple of weeks, but since we were doing all the work ourselves, it took considerably longer than if we had hired a contractor). On top of this, we live in the city, so we're pretty closely packed in. We tried to be as conscientious about noise as possible and we never had anyone complain, except for one neighbor that had a complete screaming meltdown about a refrigerator delivery truck blocking her garage for about 3 minutes.
09-19-2009, 08:54 PM
My garage/workshop took me way too long to build (No, I'm not telling how long, not even to strangers.) The entire structure was over twenty feet tall and was 10-15 feet from the fence. The homeowners who lived over the fence had an autistic son. The son was never bothered by the loud noises or by a man walking on top of a building (I didn't know the boy and was a little worried.) The parents didn't mind; they even said that they enjoyed watching the building go up.
At some point while I was building it, they put it up for sale, sold it, and a new family moved in. At no time did anyone complain, not the realtors (big surprise there), not the sellers and not the new neighbors.
09-21-2009, 09:03 AM
We're kind of on the flipside of that. Our neighbors two doors down from us gutted and pretty much re-built their house. The contractors were pretty considerate about keeping the work to working hours, but the noise was still loud enough that it went through my next-door neighbor's house and I think my other next-door neighbor heard it, too. It only bothered me to the extent that it was hard to work out of the house without being distracted by the noise. The work, BTW, took at least three months to complete, so it was a pretty big project.
I think that if the people doing the work are reasonably considerate about things, it's much easier on the neighbors. Some years ago, my family's next-door neighbors started a project. We had to put up with a dumpster right next to our front yard, other trash in our yard, and the contractor they'd hired allowed a lot of obnoxious behavior from his crew; they had no problems catcalling my mother, and she was pretty sure one of them ogled me. (I was, IIRC, 12 or 13.) Relations with the neighbors went downhill quickly and stayed bad until we moved a year or two later.
10-26-2009, 12:08 AM
This reminds me of our bathroom remodel. We live in a condo complex (hopefully not much longer now) and when we were remodeling the bathroom, the association required that we use their contractor.
This guy was pretty good about keeping noise down and he only worked weekdays, during normal hours.
But, he removed the toilet and left it on our front lawn for over a week.
We lived just down the street from the association office and it was during one of the many voting periods so we had a lot of people going past our house.
There were so many complaints about that toilet. But, the association couldn't do anything to us about it. THEIR contractor, who THEY forced us to use had put it there. Removal was part of his job. I don't know if they ever said anything to him about it. We had a couple of people mention it to us but they all seemed just as fed up with the association as we were so no one got shirty with us over it.
10-26-2009, 07:06 AM
My next door neighbor during a remodel had not one but two toilets in the front yard for about 3 months. Finally we took some funny pics of our family sitting on the thrones and shared them with him. He laughed then got his people to take them away. Now we are just waiting for one of his "people" to take care of his boat (dead starter and bottomed out in the sand) and dock before the ice comes in.
04-11-2010, 04:38 PM
The people that lived across the alleyway from my old apartment started a major remodel shortly after I moved in there. The did it as a blitz build with a HUGE crew (at lest 2 dozen people) working 12-14 hour days plus the home owners and the friends/family well into the night. It was annoying but at least it was over and done with fast. They also bent over backwards to keep me informed and to maintain access to my alley entered parking stall.
The biggest problem I had with the crew was when they attached a hose to my spigot so they could mix the mortar for their retaining wall. One quick, friendly word to the home owner (who was always on site) and the hose was removed.
04-11-2010, 05:57 PM
Our neighbor (at a former house) applied for a permit to build a structure on his property - I forget exactly what was planned. At the zoning meeting we objected.
You see, his house was an owner-built project that had been going on for six or seven years. The exterior finish was incomplete, with the Tyvek wrapping shredded, one wing was just a foundation, building materials new and old were scattered all over the place.
We suggested that he really should finish up his current project before beginning a new one. The town agreed.
As I recall, he did eventually finish it up, and sold it without ever doing the other project. I suppose if we hadn't objected, he'd never have finished it, so perhaps we did him a favor.
04-13-2010, 03:18 PM
Probably not exactly what you are looking for, but we've got an ongoing issue with the house directly behind us. Sometime around 5-6 years ago, a developer bought the existing house for a major rehab and flip. You know, the kind of "rehab" where they essentially leave up one interior wall, build a new house around the old one and then tear the old one down and haul it out the doors and windows?
This guy has a long history of sloppy jobsites, neverending projects, and unhappy neighbors and customers, but that doesn't stop our fine burg from continuing to give him new permits. Probably most infuriating is that my stupid town (Glen Ellyn, IL) has essentially no building code enforcement. There is no system of fines - their only response to violations is to stop work - not exactly what you want in a job that has already taken too long. And they essentially do no inspection, placing the burden on adversely affected neighbors to keep an eye out, complain, and keep bugging the village for enforcement.
First thing upon excavation, they piled the fill up right against my back fence. I called the village and said "Is that right?" They said, "Yup!" So I asked, "Well than why does the first sentence of the applicable code secton say a silt fence is required and no fill shall be piled closer than 6' to the property boundary." That kind of crap.
While excavating, they popped an unplatted drainage tile. When we pointed it out, they simply poured the foundation and backfilled. With the result that all that water drained into the newly poured basement and sat there for a couple of years. At least that improved the dranage in my yard! :p
Oh yeah, the house was wide open for years - including after the floors were laid but before they were finished. Various critters including a family of foxes moved in. I'm sure they'll be able to keep THAT smell masked! :rolleyes:
Long story short, the asshole went bankrupt, house was foreclosed upon, and 5+ years later the house isn't finished and the site isn't graded and planted. Really happy to pay 5 figures in property taxes to have that right behind me.
Oh yeah - just because this incarnation went belly up hasn't stopped the guy from forming new companies, and pulling new permits in town. There is another one 1/2 block from me which is probably 3 years in process, nowhere near finished. Exposed Tyvek, piles of construction debris, and lunar landscaping. They are asking something around $1.7 mill for that work in progress.
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