Keeping the Peace
Avoid extra remodeling drama
A kitchen remodel is complicated enough without adding additional drama. Cranky neighbors and spiteful construction workers can make your project go from disruptive to torturous in a hurry. You may want to brush up on your remodeling etiquette before passive-aggressive (or just aggressive) overtures from neighbors and workers consume your life.
When dealing with neighbors, the National Association of Home Builders' website suggests taking the following measures:
- “Let neighbors know well in advance about your home remodeling plans and keep them apprised of progress, detail by detail. Tell them when work will begin, the approximate completion date, what work will be done and whether workers might have to come onto their property. If delays arise, promptly contact your neighbors to inform them of the revised schedule.”
- “Make sure noisy power tools are only used during standard business hours. Reasonable hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.”
- “Inform your neighbors of any large trucks entering the neighborhood and ask subcontractors to park on one side of the street only.”
Since you are paying the construction crew that is working on your home, you might not feel like they are entitled to anything extra. How you treat them is clearly your prerogative, but small gestures can help keep morale from dropping.
Candice Gilhooly, who remodeled her kitchen in 2006, offers this helpful suggestion. “One of the things I have learned is giving the contractors free access to a refrigerator in the garage stocked with bottled water and pop is just a little inexpensive perk that has helped to keep the peace around here. Remember, they're using a portable toilet that's been sitting on our driveway for the last two months.”