New To The Neighborhood And Already Causing Trouble: How To Get New Neighbors OK With Your Home Build

How To Get New Neighbors OK With Your Home Build

Building a house is a pretty major undertaking. In fact, it’s likely this will be largest project you’ve ever embarked on. This is, of course, the best way to get the home you want. But, that doesn’t negate the fact you have to find land, negotiate with builders, and likely fork out more money than you’re expecting. All of which most home-builders would argue is worthwhile. But, that’s not even the end of your worries.

You also need to find a way to keep your neighbors onside for the duration of the building process. After all, that dream house won’t do you much good if everyone else on the street despises you because of it. Yet, we’ve all heard horror stories of people who’ve built houses only to be run out of town. Be honest; it’s likely you’ve taken up arms in the past against someone building a home near you. None of us like getting that building permission letter through the door. More houses mean less greenery, blocked views, and many more bad things.

But, if you go about this in the right way, you can at least work at some damage limitation. Who knows; by the time your house is ready, you might well be able to win your neighbors around. But, you only stand a chance at that if you follow these pointers.

Arrange a town meeting

architectural plansBefore you start any build, you’ll need to apply for planning permission from your town council. It’s also likely that your proposal will run through your neighbors before a decision is made. But, don’t think an approval means everyone’s on board. If a councilor likes the idea, they can veto petitions put out by the people. As such, you should take further efforts to get the community onside straight away. Your best chance here is to arrange an appearance at the town meeting. Though nerve-wracking, this is a sure way to get your say and make the right impression. Take the chance to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. Make sure, too, to take along your building blueprints to show. Much of the opposition to new building projects comes from a fear of the unknown. At this stage, you could be planning a monstrosity for all your neighbors know. With a bit of luck, seeing your blueprints can put their mind at ease that you aren’t going to destroy the street.

Give prior warning for loud work

To some extent, a building site is always going to create noise. Whether it’s the clinking of hammers or the chatter of builders, there will be some level of disruption throughout the building process. But, you can work on damage limitation by warning neighbors of loud work. Let them know of upcoming drilling or heavy machinery. Simply print off a flyer explaining the work and the dates, and hand one to each of the neighbors. You could lighten the news with a little pair of earplugs for everyone. Anything to crack that sound-based ice! More than anything, a warning like this is common courtesy. But, it also lessens the chances of everyone cursing you when the noisy stuff starts.

Try, too, to limit loud work like this to respectable hours. Starting at nine and finishing at five will ensure the majority of residents are out at work. Starting earlier is sure to get people out of the wrong side of their beds. Carrying on later will ruin their evenings. So, make sure your builders know of the hours which you’re comfortable with. They can still get on and work past then, but make sure they leave off the drilling. It might even be worth dropping this tidbit into conversations with neighbors to show that you’re trying to make their lives easier.

Stay in keeping with the street

It’s also worth considering the integration of your building itself. After all, you’ll likely move on at some stage, but the house will remain. As such, it too needs to do its best to fit in. Most often, building projects come up against opposition due to fears about design. We’ve all seen contemporary buildings in traditional villages. When a house stands out so much, it’s no wonder residents oppose. To avoid that, do your best to stay in keeping with other houses on the street. If you’re building in a traditional area, attempt to recreate the stone facade of other houses around. If you’re building near woodland, using something like cedar shake siding so you can start blending in with your surroundings. Efforts like these are sure to put a lot of people’s minds at risk and ensure your house isn’t the eyesore everyone fears it will be.

Make fast efforts to fit in

Don’t think your efforts come to an end when your house is finished. Even once you’ve moved in, you need to act fast to fit in. After all, most people are reasonably unassuming when they move into a new area. Shy and assuming is always a good bet when meeting new neighbors, after all. You, however, have landed on the street like a bull in a china shop. And, that’ll work against you if you don’t concentrate on the task of being a great neighbor from the off. Though you’ve met everyone, it’s worth going around and reintroducing yourself to let them know you’ve moved in. It might even be worth inviting everyone around to yours for drinks. Whether they’re for your building or not, they’ll all likely be dying to take a look inside. This can be a way to convert more people to your way of thinking, and also to cement your place in their midst. Aside from that, it’s worth getting involved in something such as the town council. This is perhaps the best way to show people that you’re on their side. Your first few meetings may feel a little awkward. But, once you get past those, you’ll find that people include you in their gossip without hesitation.

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