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Building work and neighbours - feel v guilty

(12 Posts)
lamandler Fri 22-Feb-13 13:55:48

This is first big building job we have taken on, in a small Victorian terrace in London, so basically on top of neighbours. We are not living there while it is being gutted and extended, but live nearby so know the neighbours. I feel dreadful at how disruptive it is, especially as one neighbour has a newborn. There are drills and banging and, well, building all day and it is driving them insane.

There is nothing I can do, building is noisy, thankfully our builders are being considerate and polite and trying to limit the noise.

I just feel so bad for them - any advice on what if anything I should be doing? Or do I have to be more business like and stop worrying?!

MousyMouse Fri 22-Feb-13 14:03:22

what you can do is
- keep the neighbours informed (what is happening when)
- instruct the builder to make the noisiest work not too early/late
- 'thank you' cards and box of chocolates for when it's finished

hope it's finished soon and fabulous.

Gigondas Fri 22-Feb-13 14:08:27

What mousy said plus ask you builders to be considerate about parking. I know parking isn't a right etc but your patience does run thin when you have a newborn and can't get anywhere near your house cos of various builders cars , vans or when they block spaces to await delivery.

LegodOut Fri 22-Feb-13 14:34:45

Also speak to your neighbour and ask if there are certain parts of the day (i.e. nap time) when they would appreciate the builders doing quieter work. Our neighbours who had a total refurb done when I had a toddler did this, and as a result the builders generally did quiet work between 2 and 3 when my son had a nap, which really helped.

noddyholder Fri 22-Feb-13 14:40:26

I understand this I have been renovating houses for years and an am expert at smoothing things over and offering wine! If the house is in the state that it requires that level of work then anyone buying it would need to do it so the neighbours will know this even if they don't like it. After it is finished just apologise relentlessly and buy something lovely for the baby

lamandler Fri 22-Feb-13 14:44:44

Builders have been great, problem is though, if they find something that needs to be dealt with - e.g. today a pipe blockage from neighbour's plumbing under our land - they just get on with it. Then she freaks out and I am at work and can do bugger all.

You are all going to say now that it is part and parcel of building, aren't you? smile

lalalonglegs Fri 22-Feb-13 14:50:01

You're in an impossible situation - you need to make the house nicer, they have already done theirs (or bought it done) so don't care. That combined with hormones, sleeplessness and potential PFBness means you are just going to have to suck up a lot of anger and resentment. Like the others have said, frequent apologies and gifts might help ease things a little. If you can get your builders to be a bit more conciliatory that will help (but getting builders to do anything is pretty hard ime...).

lamandler Fri 22-Feb-13 14:51:27

The previous elderly owners appear to have doused everything in a thick layer of concrete so the jackhammers were an unexpected surprise for everyone - us included.

noddyholder, interesting that you survived this process to do it again and again. You must have nerves of steel.

lamandler Fri 22-Feb-13 14:52:56

They are renting lala, I am wondering if we would be liable for any sort of compensation they might demand from their landlord?

lalalonglegs Fri 22-Feb-13 15:14:29

What sort of compensation can they demand? You're not doing anything unlawful or unreasonable, and it's only going to be for a finite amount of time. The LL hasn't broken the terms of the lease. It's a pita but that's life if you live in a terraced house in London.

ogredownstairs Fri 22-Feb-13 15:48:50

We are going through this with our neighbours at the moment in a London terrace. We did it to them 6 years ago so can't really complain. It's surprising how far a bit of politeness and consideration from the builders goes. For example they knocked on our door yesterday to apologise about some black plastic sheeting which had blown into our garden, and I was charmed, having previously been quite cheesed off about that day's hammering, perpetually churning cement mixer, loud swearing, Europop and 6 am skip lorry. So keep up the charm offensive...

lamandler Fri 22-Feb-13 16:17:51

Chocolates and wine in bag ready for a sympathy call later smile

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