A very important point during a general refurbishment of a house or an office is keeping a good relationship with the neighbors. If you live in a block of flats, then, of course, the ongoing work in your house will create annoyance for those living across the wall, ceiling or floor. Noise, smells, turned off water will most probably be very annoying. Well, if the neighbors are nice people then they would most probably understand what refurbishment is and that they will have to do them themselves at some point. In case you are looking for more information about different styles, decors and general help, visit a interesting blog dedicated to shabby chic.
But what about those cases when you live across the wall from someone who refuses to cooperate with you? Of course, if all noisy work is done during certain statutory periods against the rules than of course you could get in big trouble. Therefore, before you start any type of works, it is important to contact your local council that will provide you all the necessary information regarding rules and regulations in cases like yours.
For example, even in Europe there is no universal law on noise or silence that is applicable everywhere, but is different from country to country. There are even places where such rules do not exist at all (although these places are quite rare). In Moscow, for example, renovation works of apartments are allowed even on Sundays and public holidays, but only if the start after 9:00 and should finish no later than 19:00 o’clock. Of course, no one will notice if you do some quiet work like trimming or sticking wallpapers. Do not forget that in most cases these rules are applicable even for offices.
Let’s get back to the neighbors. People are different and they all have their own situations, their illness and problems. Someone could have a little child, someone could have the habit of an afternoon nap, etc. Unfortunately, if you do not try to find a consensus with them, these people could try and make your life a living hell, and rest assured that there are many ways to do this. For example, they could call a council officer and say that you are performing some illegal works. In this case, there is a high probability that someone would come to check whether you are performing some illegal alternations. May be there will be no issues in the end, but most probably you will have to loose a lot of time and checks and discussions.
Therefore, along with a clear implementation of all provisions of the law, you should try to make contact with all inhabitants of apartments around you. This will be useful, as you would have to train your diplomatic talents. Before beginning the works give a visit to your neighbors and warn them about the upcoming changes and the possible disturbance to them. You will see that most of them would be very nice to you, and only some would have special requests, like for example having a quite hour in the afternoon (so that their children could get a rest). Try to take this into consideration when planning the entire process or when hiring the contractors for the works.
For those controversial and difficult neighbors try and find a different approach. Why not try and surprise the grumpy old lady with a nice cake or a small gift that would definitely sweeten her attitude. Depending on your moral values, you could bribe the old man with a nice bottle of wine or a good quality beer. As you can see there are approached for anyone and that would work in most cases. These little gifts come at a small cost to you, but significantly reduce your risk of having unnecessary headaches.
It could sound funny to some, but it is important to take note of the current state of the building and if possible of the apartments nearby. You could have problems at the end, when some could claim that their house was damaged due to the heavy works performed by you (like cracked walls because of heavy machines or trucks, etc.). It is always wiser to stay on the safe side and protect yourself from unnecessary troubles.