Top 5 Tips On How To Be A Good Neighbour During A Renovation

Renovating and renewing your home can contribute to the health, vitality and value of your neighbourhood. However, if the renovation is poorly planned and managed it may result in harmful effects to and ill will with your neighbours.

Whether you are a property owner or a construction professional, you can ensure that your construction project has a lasting, positive effect for yourself and your neighbourhood.


As a property owner you are ultimately responsible for any construction project on your land.

As a construction professional, you can limit unwanted disturbances and build a positive profile for your business by being considerate to residents of the neighbourhood.

Working together, as good neighbours, you can run a successful and safe project.

Some examples of construction:

  • Build a deck, balcony or garage

  • Renovate an office, store or building

  • Make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows

  • Construct an addition to a house

  • Construct a new building

  • Demolish or remove all or part of a building

  1. Communication

It is important for you to keep neighbours informed of your building plans at all times. Before starting work on your building project, you should:

  • Tell your neighbours what is being planned by writing or visiting them personally.

  • Tell them how long construction will take.

  • Provide them with a way to contact you if they have concerns about the project or if there is an emergency.

  • Post your building permit in a prominent area on your property.

When neighbours are fully informed, they tend to be more understanding and supportive of your project.

2. Site Clean Up

You should collect and remove waste on a regular basis. Prompt clean up of garbage and construction waste keeps the site from becoming a health and safety hazard and an eyesore.

When using disposal bins, ensure that they are used for their intended purposes only. Food waste should not be thrown in as it will attract rodents.

Remove any mud tracked onto the city streets and sidewalks. If mud tracking is a serious problem, trucks should be hosed down before leaving the site. You should immediately flush and/or sweep down any road that has substantial mud build-up.

Failure to keep your site clean of construction debris may result in fines under City Bylaws.

3. Noise Control

Most Noise Bylaws permit operation of construction equipment ONLY during Monday to Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and no construction noise on Sundays and statutory holidays

Even during periods when construction is permitted, noise levels should be minimized as much as possible out of consideration for your neighbours. This is an important part of being a good neighbour.

4. Construction Protection & Safety Guidelines

Your construction site must be kept safe for both neighbours and workers and must also be properly fenced. Failure to provide a protected construction site may cause injury and may prove very costly to you in a number of ways.

City bylaws, such as the Property Standards and Property Maintenance bylaws regulate many aspects of your site. Noncompliance with these bylaws can result in fines and possibly closing down of your project.

Here is a basic construction site checklist to follow:

  • Do not harm existing neighbourhood services. Contact your local utilities to locate underground services before you start digging.

  • Protect your neighbours' property, trees and plants. Make sure construction operations and trucks are kept away from your neighbours' landscaping.

  • Put protective boarding or fences around trees and shrubs.

  • Enclose your construction site with protective fencing to restrict access

  • If your working near overhead power lines, you must call Local Hydro Authority for more information about having your lines de-energized, relocated/removed, or have the lines covered.

  • Place portable toilets well away from your neighbours' homes and out of sight.

  • Do not litter your neighbours' property with garbage bins and debris.

  • Respect your neighbours' parking needs. Do not park any construction vehicles on your front lawn or block neighbours' driveways.

  • Burning construction waste is not permitted.

  • Do not leave any potentially dangerous building materials, equipment or vehicles on the site unattended.

  • Insist that your workers wear and use proper safety equipment, such as approved hard hats and protective work boots.

5. Show Your Appreciation

At the end of the day, treat your neighbours as you would like to be treated if you were living next to a construction site. Use common sense and be courteous. Finally, consider presenting the neighbours with a “thank you” gift or invitation to dinner to celebrate the project’s completion.

How a Renovation Consultant Can Help

As with any major renovation project, sound planning is required. Several points should be considered before you start and you should take advantage of all the resources at your disposal.

Ready to get started? We will be happy to help you make the right choices for your home.

Our consultants have answered thousands of home reno and improvement questions. We are 100% impartial experts helping to guide homeowners through the often challenging home reno process.

Contact us today to see how we can help.