Home improvements make your home a better, more pleasant place to live as well as adding to its value. Then, surely, home improvements must be a good thing, right? Generally speaking, yes. There are, however, some home improvements that could turn your neighbors into your enemies in Chicago.
1. Fixing Drainage Problems
There’s a big low spot in your backyard where during wet periods water stands, making your yard virtually unusable for long stretches and causing a health hazard when the mosquitoes move in. And you’ve finally decided to do something about it. The problem is, though, that the water has to go somewhere.
Be mindful of the neighboring properties and create a plan that will fix your drainage issue without causing an issue to other properties nearby. In many circumstances your local building department will have very specific rules as to how the grading and drainage of your property is handled so be sure to educate yourself on the local rules and make sure your project abides by them.
2. Planting Ornamental Trees
We all want to make our mark on our property, imposing just a little of our own personality on it. And that basic human desire often expresses itself in the form of landscaping, sometimes in the specific form of ornamental trees. But certain trees turn out to be one of the home improvements that could turn your neighbors into your enemies in Chicago.
Take Bradford pears, for instance. Sure, they are absolutely gorgeous when in bloom. But despite the beautiful blooms, these trees exude an offensively overpowering, pungent, “masculine” smell during bloom time.
Planting other trees such as an apple tree can create some undesirable consequences as well. Having unwanted wildlife consistently coming around your property looking for food can be a nuisance to everyone near-by. Before you decide to plant a tree, you should really research the species and understand what its negative consequences are. You may also want to research how large you can expect the tree to grow overtime so that you plant it in a location that will not be obstruct any adjacent property down the road.
3. Adding a Room
You’ve been living relatively frugally for a few years, and you’ve squirreled away enough money to add on a guest room. Now you’ve had the plans drawn up, and you’ve engaged a contractor. Just be aware that you may have problems with your neighbors.
They will be annoyed that they are now living next door to a job site with all the inevitable mess and noise. There will be trucks from the lumber yard making deliveries, the whine and growl of power tools, workers shouting, and the staccato noise of hammers and nail guns. It’s all necessary, but likely seen as a nerve-wracking annoyance by your neighbors.
They may also be upset when the job is completed, that their favorite view is now obstructed by your new room. This may not always be the case, but . . . just sayin’.
4. Installing a Pool
Or maybe you’ve been able to put back enough money to finally get that in-ground swimming pool you’ve always dreamed of. You know, the big one with the diving board, changing house, and wet bar. Then get ready for the envy and complaints.
It all starts with just a slight case of envy, which soon turns into resentment because your neighbors don’t have their own pool and because they can’t use your pool anytime and every time they want to. The resentment then turns into antagonistic anger whenever your neighbors have to listen to the sounds (sometimes pretty loud) of laughter and music and tinkling glasses when you have your night-time pool parties.
It can’t be helped, though. It’s just human nature.
While it is true there are home improvements that could turn your neighbors into your enemies in Chicago, you shouldn’t let that put you off your dreams and plans for your home. Using the right approach, you can move forward with your home-improvement plans without creating any “neighbor issues.”