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Help! Just started loft conversion, and neighbours in major sulks...

(12 Posts)
Elibean Fri 08-Jul-11 17:25:57

...we went through the same thing last year, when we built a rear extension on the house (which was undeveloped, we bought it and extended before moving in).

History in brief: both elderly, one single woman (attached), one couple. Female half of couple sulks hugely, male is absolutely fine. Other woman is slightly strange and did everything she could both times to stop us via party wall process, even going to our MP to try and stop the extension (which was a simple one storey 3m job, under permitted development).

Since the scaffolding went up on Monday, the previously friendly woman on the unattached side has blanked me (even when with dd, who has had her grandchildren over to play twice), and now dh - refusing to answer his 'hello, how are you' or even look at him shocksad

dh shrugs and says 'she is a sulker, she'll get over it' but I find it hard not to feel awful. We've bent over backwards to be polite, let them know we understand its a bit noisy/inconvenient, let them know start dates in advance, asked them to let us know if there's anything we can do to make it easier for them, etc etc.

Ugh sad

PigletJohn Fri 08-Jul-11 18:39:48

I suppose if I had to put up with weeks of hammering and drilling, gritty dust, noisy workmen, unsightly scaffolding and an eyesore extension next to my home, none of it for my own benefit, I might sulk a bit.

Wouldn't you?i

notcitrus Fri 08-Jul-11 19:15:52

Take them round a bottle of wine and let them know when the worst should be over.

Our loft conversion was supposed to be done in 8 weeks but took 8 months of disruption to the neighbours, and a few bottles and acknowledgement that this was being a pain for them went a long way.

lalalonglegs Fri 08-Jul-11 19:21:24

She's a nutter - if it's a conventional shape roof and the scaffolding doesn't protrude onto their land then loft conversions aren't even that much of an upheaval for neighbours, especially if they aren't attached. Keep being friendly and it will wear her down eventually. At least her husband has the measure of her and seems happy for you to ignore her behaviour.

Good luck - and don't feel bad.

maggiethecat Fri 08-Jul-11 19:24:34

Good thing you don't have Piglet on one side with Eeyore on the other!

SirenSusan Fri 08-Jul-11 19:48:25

My neighbour is pissed off at me too because of our building works - have done all I can to minimize inconvenience. I have to bite my tongue or I'll scream at her that she did building work 3 years ago - just before she moved in and her builders were a bloody nightmare but she wasn't ever around to go and complain to and I just put up with it - now I wish I'd complained so she would feel so bloody self-righteous.

Everyone gets work done, it's not pleasant for anyone.

PigletJohn Fri 08-Jul-11 20:22:02

but you could always say "oh yes, I do sympathise, it was just like that for us when you were having your house done. Eight months that took, you know"

maybe that will shut her up?

SirenSusan Fri 08-Jul-11 20:45:44

There has been many an occasion when she has been annoyed that I could have said - your builders were just as bad but instead I smile sweetly and we try to make her life easier because when all's said and done - I want to live there and I want to live alongside my neighbour in a friendly manner and the battle of who had the worst builders is not going to achieve that...meanwhile I feel liek I'm on the moral highground because I haven't sunk to the the your builders were just as bad as mine - shame on her for not realising she inconvenienced me!

peggotty Fri 08-Jul-11 20:53:09

My neighbours on one side recently had a loft conversion. We live in a really small cul de sac and it was a pain in the arse, vans parked all over the place, skips on the shared drive etc. I ended up scratching another neighbours car with mine because of the stupid parking of workmen. But it never occurred to me to fall out with the neighbour. Now the neighbour on the other side of us is having exactly the same work done, less than 2 months after the first lots was finished and I must admit I am pissed off with the thought of it all starting over again. However it's just a fact of life that you have to put up with this sort of stuff. It will be annoying for her but she is being completely childish by refusing to talk to you!

maggiethecat Fri 08-Jul-11 22:21:29

can't ignore possibility that there may be a bit of jealousy involved with some people

Elibean Sun 10-Jul-11 17:30:00

Sorry, meant to come back a while ago - had dm staying grin

Thanks, all. Totally agree its a PITA for neighbours - I would feel grumpy, totally understand that. Even a bit of sulking. But to actually refuse to talk to us, just say 'good morning' or nod back, is baffling to me...I would never do that no matter how pissed off I felt!

I suggested the bottle of wine thing to dh, but he thinks we should wait - we've already apologized for any inconvenience (its a wide road, houses probaby 6' apart, so not all that much apart from a bit of noise occasionally) and she will either be embarrassed or furious if we come round just now.

Weirdly, given her reaction to last year's extension and this year's loft, the same neighbours gave a glowing thumbs up to proposals for an enormous extension on the house they are attached to - which got turned down by Planning as being too big! Totally confused me.

Am beginning to think she has some sort of prejudice or weird idea about us in her head sad

Appreciate the support, thank you smile

Elibean Sun 10-Jul-11 17:31:53

maggiethecat, our scaffolders actually said the same thing - she asked them to move poles that were jutting a couple of inches out over her side return (fair enough, I suppose) and was quite sniffy about it, I think. Burly head bloke said 'just jealousy, ignore it'.

They have the same house as us exactly, but untouched since 1930, by choice according to their children confused

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