Consider Your Neighbors Before Making These Home Improvements

The sense of control and freedom that comes with being in control of your property is one of the greatest draws of home ownership, but sometimes people take that freedom a little too far. After all, in most cases you have neighbors around you that also want to be happy in their homes. When one person makes a change without considering the people around them, their home improvement project can become their neighbor's nightmare. With this in mind, here are some common home undertakings that can spark a major feud.

Poorly-Placed Additions

Adding space to your home with an addition is exciting, so it's easy to get caught up in only thinking about the interior; however, you should always remember to also think outside the box. A large addition might be great for you, but it can cause major strife if it blocks your neighbor's view. Think about it: wouldn't you be upset if that great view of the mountains (which was a major factor in buying your home) was suddenly a brick wall?

Additions can also cause problems with adding too much of a view, especially in more cramped neighborhoods. For example, say your floor-to-ceiling window in the new living room lines up perfectly with your neighbor's bedroom window. They might not be happy about your constant view into their private life.

Never-Ending Projects

This one is a no-brainer. Everyone has the right to improve their property, but be considerate when doing so (that's the point of this whole post, after all). Before starting any major construction, establish a plan and timeline for completion. Spending a year with a front lawn covered in mud and timber or blocking half the street with trucks will drive your neighbors to the breaking point.

Overzealous Lawn Care

You might take great pride in having a perfectly-manicured lawn, but don't make your neighbors suffer for it. Hiring professionals to come at the crack of dawn every Friday to mow, trim, and mulch can give your neighbors a major headache. Just because you wake up with the sun doesn't mean they do, and some might even work late shifts that force them to sleep well into the day. If the crew usually shows up at 6:30, kindly request that they push your yard back to a more reasonable time, such as 9. Those few extra hours will eliminate the vast majority of neighbor discomfort.

Unnecessary Irrigation

If you install an irrigation system to maintain your perfect lawn, be sure that it is properly tuned to your needs. Take care to have it only water the lawn as necessary, otherwise you could end up turning your yard (and your neighbor's) into a muddy mess. Not only will this look bad, but standing water from over-irrigation will also create a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.

Seeing the Light

Putting up those huge lights for nighttime basketball might be great for you, but they can seriously irritate your neighbor if they shine into their bedroom windows. Make sure that any lights that you use at night are reasonable and placed appropriately to limit their impact on others.

Learn about more anger-inducing improvement projects by reading "7 Home Improvements That Could Turn Your Neighbors Against You".