Monday, July 22, 2013

Home Renovation: How to Piss Off Your Neighbours

We're approaching the two year mark since the municipality sent us a letter about our next door neighbor's major renovation plans. No, the neighbor didn't tell us or the neighbor to the other side. He asked a few dozen other people on our street, asked them to sign a petition saying that they wouldn't have a problem with it -- essentially, everyone but the people who would be impacted most.

Construction was started about a year after the announcement and has been ongoing intermittently since. By "intermittently", I mean that the neighbor hired a contractor with multiple other jobs in the area. The result has been that his crew comes in for a few days every few weeks, works on Saturdays and Sundays before the allowable times as dictated by the local noise ordinances.

Having had to live with this for a so long, I thought I'd go through a list of ways to piss off your neighbors when undergoing a renovation project. In no particular order:

How To Annoy Your Neighbor During Your Renovation

1. Don't tell them you have plans. In fact, don't even tell them that you have plans until the municipal government requires you do so -- do make sure to tell everyone else though.

2. Ask for variances to local zoning to build a monster. After ignoring your direct neighbors, ask the city to build a bigger building than the zoning allows. Again, don't even ask your direct neighbors what they think. Force it on them and maybe make them blow a couple grand to fight your exorbitant plans. Antagonize them from the start.

3. Keep them out of the loop during construction. Don't say anything about when and what you're doing things.

4. Don't acknowledge your neighbors concerns or complaints before or during construction. If your contractors are trespassing, trashing your neighbor's property, stealing water, and being extremely noisy at 7am in the morning, don't bother responding to emails. You know what, tell them how you are in the right and the building permit allows you to break all the above laws when it doesn't.

5. Damage Your Neighbor's Property. Drive construction vehicles over your neighbor's property, damage their pavement, kill their lawn and bushes with construction debris and heavy vehicles, make everything really dirty, and undermine the foundation for the fence between you two so it borders on collapsing.

6. Utilize your neighbor's water and property without permission. Trespass. Absolutely trespass on your neighbor's property because you know that without encroaching, it'd be impossible to do any work -- but never, ever ask or acknowledge that fact. Go ahead and use their garden hose without asking too because the neighbor would like to do everything in his/her capacity to facilitate your overbearing project and ongoing disrespectful behavior.

7. Start construction bright and early on weekdays and weekends. If the noise by-law allows it, start construction right on time at 7:00am in the morning. Even if the noise by-law doesn't allow you to work on Sunday or before 9:00am on Saturdays, just start a 7:00am or 8:00am -- no one sleeps in on the weekend.

There you have it, I hope you have a great time annoying your neighbors!

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