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.”