When Construction Projects Go Awry Avoiding Projects and Residential Headaches

 Construction and renovation projects are necessary, but often troublesome—especially when they're occurring next door. For many residents and building  owners adjacent to an ongoing project, noise, debris and construction zones  diminish respective quality of life. The list of grievances fielded by property  managers can be long, varied and in some cases include damages, or worse.  

 “Some of the major problems that can occur when a neighboring structure is  undergoing major construction/renovations include noise, parking and traffic  issues, nuisances from dust, odor, debris, and actual physical damage from  vibrations and accidents,” says Jeffrey Sirot, Community Association Practice Group attorney with the law  firm of Greenbaum Rowe Smith and Davis. LLP in Roseland.  

 Russ Fernandes, principal and vice president with the Liberty Corner-based Becht  Engineering, explains that the most common complaints that occur with the  average “project next door” are those of noise, dust and debris.“Dust and debris can blow into windows and onto the sidewalk of the neighboring  buildings bringing other complaints. Fortunately, many complaints regarding  neighboring construction projects tend to be minor in nature,” he continues. “Such problems are often nuisance complaints from residents resulting from the  inconvenience caused by the project. Closed sidewalks and sidewalk bridges may  cause the need for residents to alter their normal travel routines, which can  result in complaints.”  

 Renovation projects are usually shorter in duration and thus produce smaller  issues such as the aforementioned dust, odor and debris. However, no matter the  size of the project, the presence of construction crews can disrupt neighboring  residents’ lifestyles.  

 “Most contractors start their work days early which can put them at odds with  their neighbors,” says Fernandes. “Construction sites tend to be noisy under the best of circumstances but if a  resident works a night shift or just wants to sleep in, this can result in  conflict. If work is occurring on Saturdays, the complaints can multiply.”  

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