Author Topic: help with wording a letter to our neighbours  (Read 4673 times)

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MeowMixer

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help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« on: February 07, 2014, 09:06:40 AM »
Hello all! I just need a little advice on how to word a letter -

Situation - we're getting some work done in our townhome. These are well built homes that you rarely hear your neighbours, but since it's drywalling in the basement it's possible there will be some noise. Only during the day, and our contractor is excellent, I have no worries while we're gone for the week. BUT because it's the basement there's more possibility of noise coming through to the neighbouring units so my hubby went out and bought a couple of restaurant gift cards that we want to drop off in our neighbours mailboxes as kind of a sorry if there's any noise that disturbs you, please enjoy a dinner on us sort of thing. We don't our neighbours. In 2 and a half years we've bumped into them a few times, enough to say 'Hi' - insert comment about the weather. How should I word the note accompanying the GC's?

Thank you! :)

JenJay

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2014, 09:21:35 AM »
That's really generous of you! I'd probably say something like "We apologize in advance for any noise coming from our home between Date and Date. We're having some work done in the basement and hope the inconvenience is minimal."

MeowMixer

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2014, 09:33:20 AM »
Thank you JenJay! that is short and sweet! I couldn't figure out how to word it without going into a novella (I'm a classic rambler) I will use this! Thank you!!

JenJay

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2014, 09:34:49 AM »
Thank you JenJay! that is short and sweet! I couldn't figure out how to word it without going into a novella (I'm a classic rambler) I will use this! Thank you!!

Me too. I deleted a couple of sentences because I thought "Somebody is going to come along and say that's too long - and they'd be right!"  ;D

wolfie

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2014, 09:35:57 AM »
I am going to be honest and say you don't need to give out the cards. You can if you want to but having someone do renovations during normal hours is part of life and you shouldn't need to apologize for that. Personally I wouldn't do it.

Psychopoesie

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2014, 09:43:17 AM »
My neighbours did substantial renovations - it took months and was often very noisy for long periods of time.

I appreciated that they let me know what was going on, asked if it was bothering me and tried not to start too early in the morning, when they could avoid it. They also invited me round to see the progress of the renos. They were just nice.

Giving your neighbours a heads up about the work and noise is a great idea. Knowing it's only for a short time would be such a relief, too. Gift cards are very generous.

Margo

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2014, 09:44:31 AM »
I agree that you don't need to give the cards. I think it is polite to let the neighbours know that work is being done , and to give them an indication of timings.

so I'd say something like

"Dear Neighbour,

We wanted to let you know that we are having some work done on our home. The contractors will be starting on [date] and the work should be completed by [date]. The contractors will normally not be here before [time] or after [time]. We shall of course be doing all we  can to keep any noise or disruption to a minimum but wanted to let you know what was happening in case you hear any noise.
Kind Regards,
MoewMixer"

Personally I'd keep the gift cards on standby - you can give them as an apology if either neighbour has cause to complain at all during the works and (if you want) as a 'thank you for being so patient' at the end.

As you mentioned you are going away I would include in the note a phone number or e-mail where they can contact you if need be - you don't have to say that youll be away, but giving them a contact method, if there is a problem while you are away they can at least contact you rather than putting a note through your letter box and then getting upset because you appear to be ignoring it!

Thipu1

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2014, 10:03:21 AM »
I am going to be honest and say you don't need to give out the cards. You can if you want to but having someone do renovations during normal hours is part of life and you shouldn't need to apologize for that. Personally I wouldn't do it.

Some years ago, our neighbors were having some work done and sent around notes alerting neighbors that there would be noise.  Because we both worked during the day we didn't hear anything.

After the work was done, they gave all the neighbors who might have been inconvenienced a crate of clementines.  It certainly wasn't needed but it was a very thoughtful gesture.  The gift card idea can only help neighbor relations. 

lowspark

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2014, 10:14:10 AM »
I wouldn't give the cards either. I think it's a nice gesture but I would worry about it backfiring. Once you give the cards it implies that you owe them something for their supposed inconvenience. I dunno, it just feels like it puts you in a bad position.

Personally, I wouldn't even write the note. If you happen to run into someone in the public areas of the complex, then I might say something about the renovations but other than that, I probably wouldn't indicate that somehow renovating your townhouse makes you guilty of anything.

Instead, what I think I might do, is invite the neighbors over for an open house after the renovations are completed.

MeowMixer

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2014, 11:39:45 AM »
Thank you for all the responses.

I did speak with hubby and he really wants to go ahead with the gift cards as goodwill gesture.  Since he's stubborn this isn't something I'm going to battle him over.  I'm pretty certain one set of neighbours is retired/partially retired so they may hear the banging around down there. The other is a family with a bunch of kids so they really aren't home during the day. But then again they may not hear anything anyway since the units are quite solidly built. The only time I ever hear the neighbours is when I'm in the basement, so I don't know if the noise just travels from the upper levels down or if the basements aren't as well insulated from noise. *shrugs*

I don't think we have anything to feel guilty about. It's approved by the condo board and everything is by the book with the contractor and the city. Hubby just wants to go out of his way to be nice to the neighbours that share our walls, we may be living there longer than we originally thought so... make nicey-nice?   I don't know how to phrase it, but I know I'm rambling now. Which is what I was afraid of doing with the note, the more I ramble the guiltier I feel. lol

this is what I have -

Hello Neighbours!

We apologize in advance from Unit XX for any noise coming from our home from February 10th to the 20th (approx.). We're having some work done in the basement and hope the inconvenience/noise level is minimal.
Thank you,

The Meows

Short and sweet. :)

GlassHalfFull

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2014, 11:48:54 AM »
I think giving the note is being a considerate neighbor, and is something I'd appreciate.  I know you said your husband is insistent about giving the gift cards, which is sweet, however it may put unintentional stress on the neighbors, who may feel that they then need to reciprocate in kind should they ever have work done, even though from how you seem in your posts I would guess that you would have no such expectation.  I say just give what you would like to be given should roles be reversed, in this case, the consideration of a note.

Edit:  Should unforeseen inconveniences occur, an after the fact gift (fruit, as mentioned above?), as a "Whew, thank you for your patience!", seems fitting.  Something about a gift card, with a clear dollar amount, has me envisioning a group of well-meaning neighbors stressing over what the $ is for a driveway resurfacing ($5 coffee card?), vs. reflooring ($15 movie theater card?), vs. a whole house remodel (all expense paid weekend in Hawaii!)   :)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 11:58:43 AM by GlassHalfFull »

TootsNYC

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2014, 07:33:59 PM »
I am going to be honest and say you don't need to give out the cards. You can if you want to but having someone do renovations during normal hours is part of life and you shouldn't need to apologize for that. Personally I wouldn't do it.

Yeah, I feel like the gift cards is a bit of overkill. Reasonable people won't need it, and unreasonable people might see it as an indicator that they have a right to complain if you don't go overboard in the future.

But your mileage may vary. At the very least, I'd wait until it was over.

I would alert my neighors, though.

Ohjustlovely

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2014, 08:34:26 PM »
I think a short note stating you are renovating is good, with a contact number. And also state the contractor will be working between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday and between 8 am and 5 pm on Saturday (or in compliance with whatever your city's or HOA's rules/laws are) and will be using your allocated parking spaces. That way,  if there are any problems with the contractor/workers, you will be notified.  I agree, save the GC for after work is completed. 

sammycat

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2014, 08:54:43 PM »
I agree with sending a note beforehand alerting neighbours to upcoming noise etc. But I wouldn't send a gift card.

If the neighbours aren't inconvenienced or bothered by it, then you've given virtual strangers a a gift for no particular reason. I'd feel very uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of that. I'd think it was a nice gesture but totally unnecessary and could make things awkward. Am I then supposed to reciprocate when/if I do something that could impact on the neighbours? How will I determine whether this is something that will bother the neighbours?

Also, in the (hopefully) unlikely event that something goes really wrong and the neighbours are really inconvenienced, they may feel they have no right to complain because they've already received a gift, or they may complain regardless and then you may feel resentful that you've given a them a gift and they still complained anyway.

I think your heart is in the right place, but I can see too many pitfalls.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 10:16:25 PM by sammycat »

MOM21SON

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2014, 09:59:02 PM »
I am really confused as to why you are doing anything?

Your home, your money.