Home renovations may have a reputation for being stressful, but planning ahead can make a big difference. You have a valuable resource to help with this right under your nose – your neighbors. Ask around the neighborhood and you’ll find plenty of home renovation tips and tricks.
1. Include your neighbors as part of your project research
Curious about solar panels, upgrading your HVAC, or another project? See if anyone in your neighborhood has had the same project done and find out how they’re enjoying it. They might have some ideas or suggestions that you hadn’t thought of, or advice based on what they learned during the process. You can also ask about how much it impacted their energy bill and if they notice a difference in the comfort of their home.
2. Ask for contractor recommendations
Finding the right contractor is a critical step when you’re planning home renovations. You want to find someone you can trust who’ll get the job done above and beyond your expectations. Your neighbors may be able to recommend a contractor based on their own experience, or tell you who to avoid. They can also help with questions you should ask when interviewing contractors.
3. Learn from their mistakes
No matter what kind of project they had, a neighbor who has recently gone through a renovation can provide insight on the process. Ask them about how much the project lined up with their original plan – did they need to make last minute changes? How did their project budget pan out? Was it more or less stressful than they expected? Would they do anything differently?
4. Give your neighbors a heads up about your own project
When you’re getting ready to start your project, let your neighbors know so they can plan accordingly. Give them a sense of the timeline, allowing for some wiggle room. Ask about their schedules or any key dates so you can try to accommodate them when possible. Going out of your way to show you that you care will help them be more understanding if they are inconvenienced.
5. Keep your sanity – and your neighbors – during your project
During the project, be thoughtful about where equipment is placed and the timing of loud noise. Try to prevent construction materials from being placed on your neighbors’ property, and be sure to clean up as soon as you can if anything drifts over on accident. Remember to update your neighbors if there are any changes to the scope or timeline of your project. They’ll appreciate your consideration and be more likely to return the favor when they have their own renovations.
6. Invite the neighborhood to celebrate when your renovation is finished
When your project has wrapped-up, it’s time to celebrate! Invite your neighbors over so you can show off your finished results. Don’t forget to cheers to your new upgrades!
7. Now you’re the expert. Spread the knowledge!
Now that you’ve gone through the process yourself, share what you’ve learned when your neighbors start their own renovations. Tell them about anything unexpected that came up or helpful tricks you discovered. Don’t forget to include funny stories about mishaps or surprises that happened along the way.
Learn more about planning your next project with Renovate America on our home improvements page.