I was asked this very question earlier this week by a current NDI client. I’ve heard the concern before, so I thought it would be a good topic to cover here!
The short answer is no. As long as the design conforms to the zoning and building codes, your neighbors can’t influence the look of your home or your by right development plans (unless your neighborhood is governed by a homeowner’s association). 99.9% of the time, neighbor relations are totally fine. Most neighbors understand the tear down phenomenon, and even embrace it. But things can come up during the process that are usually very easy to address. If a neighbor expresses a concern, it is typically due to one of two things…
#1 TREES. It isn’t uncommon that trees need to be removed to make room for the new house. Some of the trees impacted may be “shared” with your neighbor, in which case, you will need to have their permission to remove it. The county will require a written authorization for the removal of any shared trees and most neighbors don’t have a problem with this and will sign the authorization.
MY TIP: If you need to approach neighbors about removing a shared tree, offer to give them a gift card to a local nursery so they can pick out a new tree to be planted in their yard. I did this with 3 of my neighbors when Paul and I built our home in 2008. While only one of the neighbors took me up on the offer, they all appreciated it!
#2 PROXIMITY: It isn’t easy living next door to a construction site. There is a ton of activity (noise, dust, traffic, etc.), especially at the start of construction. Couple that with the fact that the lots we build on are tight and so are the roads leading to them, and you have a lot of disruption to the normal peace. So what can be done?
MY TIP: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Let your neighbor know the lines of communication are open. If we are managing your site for you, we will try and get in front of your neighbors to let them know how to reach us if they have any concerns or questions. For additional tips, check out this blog post about how to be a good neighbor when you’re building a custom home.
Dream Big. Build Smart.