Trying to Cope with a Neighbors Renovation

Ron Hershco Renovation

We’ve all be there in the past. One day you’re pulling into your driveway or walking into your building, all things are clear and then the next there’s scaffolding set up and contractors moving about. Unless you’ve put in for some new renovations it can only mean one thing, your neighbors are making a few changes to their place and you have got to grin and bear it until the changes are done.

However, there are a number of things that you can do to help you cope with the noise, debris and other ‘annoyances’ during the real estate makeover. Ron Hershco actually just read a great article in The New York Times about what others can do to help deal with the pains of a neighbors renovation. The highlights are below:

  • Adjacent homeowners ask to be added to the renovating neighbor’s insurance policy, and also have their own architect or engineer review the construction plans. That is especially important if your neighbor plans to dig a lower level deeper than yours, as it may require shoring up your foundation.
  • Take as many pictures as possible just in case any damage happens to your property.
  • People concerned about a renovation project first try to communicate with the neighbor who is doing the work, and then become involved in the permit-approval process.

The New York City Department of Buildings ( also offers resources for neighbors concerned about construction. On its Web site, you can enter an address and get information about jobs that have been filed for it, a record of any complaints or violations, and whether they have been resolved.

These are only a few tips from Ron Hershco. But there are lots of other things you can do. And remember, if renovations are happening at your neighbors have patience. They are you neighbors and unless you’re renting, you’re going to have to live there for a long time. There are a lot of things worse than a few weeks of renovations, right?

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