The worst and best home improvements to keep your neighbours on side

Imagine this: you have an idea that you genuinely believe is amazing, only for others to swiftly shoot it down. That can happen a lot, but sometimes we are able to implement our ideas before they are shot down. In some cases, this may lead to others being annoyed at what you’ve done as it impacts them too.

With the above in mind, we’ve compiled two lists of the worst and best changes you can make to your home based upon the impact the changes have on your neighbours. This is a highly subjective topic, but when you see some of the worst changes people have made, we think you’ll see why we created this article…

Without further ado, here are three of the worst changes you could make to your home that may upset your neighbours:

  1. Garish colours
    Adding a personal touch to the exterior of your home could make your return every day that little bit more enjoyable, but at what cost to your neighbours? Painting your house or fence bright pink or blue when every other house is very similar may not appeal to everyone. In fact, some people have been forced to revert their personal touch by local councils.

    Multi-coloured House in Garish Colours

    The above is a property in Sunderland that lies within a genteel conservation area. Neighbours returned one day to find the changes were made without any consultation. It upset quite a few people living on the street who subsequently logged complaints with the local council.

  2. An extension that blocks sunlight
    One homeowner believes roughly £100,000 was wiped off the value of her home in 2014 when her neighbour built an extension that blocked one of her windows. The wall was built just 24 inches from the window and was different to the plan submitted to the council.

    Extension blocking sunlight

    It goes without saying that this impacted the relationship between the two neighbours, and we suspect other surrounding properties were impacted by this conflict too.

  3. Poorly directed outdoor lighting
    Did you know that councils have the power to make you turn off or restrict a light on your property if it is a nuisance to your neighbours. This can range from a security light through to decorative lights at Christmas time (although you’d have to be Ebenezer Scrooge to complain).

    Imagine you have a security light on the outside of your house that activates whenever someone walks past on the pavement and the light shines into the house across the road. This may be considered a nuisance. Councils assess this based upon one or more of the following:

    • Whether it interferes with the use of a property
    • Whether it impacts health
    • How it will impact others
    • How often it happens
    • How long the light stays on for
    • At what time of day does it happen
    • Whether or not it’s in the countryside or a built-up area.

Without further ado, here are three of the worst changes you could make to your home that may upset your neighbours:

  1. Soundproofing insulation
    If you live in a terrace or semi-detached property and have a young family, it goes without saying that there will be noise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with noise, as it is how memories are created, but does this affect your neighbours? Simply asking them to tell you honestly is a great place to start. Installing soundproofing might be a blessing for them or for you, if it is the other way around.

  2. Improving the curb appeal of your home
    Improving the visual appearance of your property from the outside can not only increase the value of your property, it can help make the area a much nicer place to live. We’re not saying you should go over-the-top to make your property look the best in the street. Think more along the lines of matching the standards of others or going slightly above that.

  3. Garden entertainment
    This may seem a little unorthodox at first but improving your garden (back/rear) and hosting a get-to-together for your neighbours may help bring people together and create a community of happy homeowners. Ok, so some may see this as a tad bit of gloating, but you can word it as if you’re letting everyone enjoy the new features to your garden. For example, you could install a new patio area with a pizza oven or BBQ. If that’s not enough, you could even opt for a hot tub.

    We are not saying you should do this just for your neighbours enjoyment. It’s your garden so it’s about you. But there’s nothing wrong with making friends at the same time.

That’s it! You’ve reached the end of our list. Have you got any experience of the points we’ve listed or perhaps a neighbour of yours has made drastic changes to their home and annoyed you in the process? If so, contact us as we’d love to hear from you. If it’s good, we’ll update our list!