Home Decor

The reno files: Five ways to keep your neighbours happy during a reno

Top 5 ways to keep your neighbours happy during your renovation

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It’s a dreary grey day, but in spite of this, I’m so excited! First off, the back wall of glass is going in our home today – not sure I’ll have time to swing by, but if I can, I’ll throw some photos up tomorrow.

Secondly, I’m so proud to present the first advice column by Jennifer Cumming of Severnwoods.com. Her advice couldn’t be more bang on!

Love thy neighbour: Top five ways to keep your neighbours happy during your renovation

1. Engage them

Early in the planning phase, consider walking around to your closest neighbours and share your renovation plans. You aren’t asking for their permission, but to them it might feel like you are engaging them. This is particularly important if you require Committee of Adjustment rulings. Showing up to a committee hearing with signed letters from your immediate neighbours in support of your renovation will go a very long way.

2. Warn them

Would you appreciate being woken up at 8 a.m. to a wrecking ball next door with no notice? Talk to your neighbours and warn them of your start dates, estimated construction timelines and what type of construction they will be living beside (wrecking ball, jackhammers, excavator or just interior noises).

3. Be nice to them

Warm cookies right out of the oven will smooth over any construction stress. You might also consider a bottle (or more) of wine. The cost of a case of wine is small compared to your total renovation costs, but it might be the best few hundred dollars you spend.

4. Fix or replace anything that gets wrecked

Who cares if it was the carpenter or the drywaller – if your neighbour’s car is covered with dust, buy a book of car-wash vouchers and take it off the contractor’s tab. Any reputable contractor will take care of this for you. But if you have to deal with it, just fix it and move on.

5. Invite them over

When all is said and done, consider an open-house or small cocktail party. You’ll be proud to show off your new home and they will be glad to see it with drinks in hand.

Jennifer Cumming is part-owner of residential reno company SevernWoods with her husband Tom. Visit SevernWoods.com.

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