Author Topic: help with wording a letter to our neighbours  (Read 4675 times)

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Deetee

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2014, 10:01:50 PM »
I like saving the gift cards until you are done with a quick note saying all the work is complete.

cross_patch

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2014, 03:05:33 AM »
I am really confused as to why you are doing anything?

Your home, your money.

Because it's a nice thing to do? And it can be annoying to live next door to construction. The OP doesn't have to, but it's not wrong.

shortstuff

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2014, 08:06:27 AM »
OP, I think your desire to get to know your neighbors is a fine one, but it should be treated separately from the renovation.  You said in your first post that in 2.5 years you've bumped into each other a couple of times.  I just think a gift card is so far beyond the current relationship level you have it might make them slightly uncomfortable. 

Also, my personal opinion is I hate low denomination restaurant gift cards.  They don't cover the full amount of a meal, especially not for a family or even a couple, so in order to use it they'd have to pay out of pocket which they might not want to do.  But more generally You don't know these people and if the cards would fit their needs. 

camlan

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2014, 10:33:40 AM »
The note with the warning is a good idea. The gift cards? Not so much.

If I were to get a note about upcoming noisy renovations, I'd be grateful for the warning.

If I were to get a gift card along with the note, I'd be puzzled and concerned. The gift card would seem so out of the norm, that I'd be wondering just what these renovations were going to involve. Would that be that much noisier or intrusive that my neighbors think I need to be bought off to allow them? Do my neighbors think I'm such a horrible person that they need to buy me off to make perfectly legal and normal changes to their house? Does the gift card mean I'm not supposed to complain if the workers park in my spot or break my window, because I've already been compensated?

Really, the gift card is overkill. And it could cause more problems than it might solve.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


BarensMom

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2014, 10:50:29 AM »
Another vote for giving the cards after the work is completed.  Send a "heads-up" note now, then once the work is completed, send a "thanks for putting up with it" note with the GC's.  To me, anyway, sending it before is a bribe, sending it after is compensatory.

TootsNYC

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2014, 10:57:16 AM »
So, back to the issue of the wording, which is what you posted for:

Focus on the things that might truly affect them.
Hours, parking, damage to the lawn (which isn't their lawn but they'll see it), security.

Here's a stab at it:

Dear neighbor:
   For the next two weeks (Feb.29-Feb37) we'll be having renovations done to our basement during the day (between 8am and 4pm). They'll be putting up drywall, so there will be some banging, and doing new electrical circuits (some slithering).
   We've briefed them on where they can park (they'll have our spaces available to them, and I've given them our parking passes) and other matters. They've assured us their supplies will be stacked inside so as not to damage the lawn.
   When we checked their references, we asked about how considerate they were, and they got good marks for this, so we are hopeful this won't impact you much.
   We will not be home during this time--you can reach us at 000-000-0000. Our contractor's name is Bill Slothifricasse & Daughters, and their business number is 000-000-0000
    Please let us know if you experience any problems during this construction.




stargazer

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2014, 11:23:47 AM »
So, back to the issue of the wording, which is what you posted for:

Focus on the things that might truly affect them.
Hours, parking, damage to the lawn (which isn't their lawn but they'll see it), security.

Here's a stab at it:

Dear neighbor:
   For the next two weeks (Feb.29-Feb37) we'll be having renovations done to our basement during the day (between 8am and 4pm). They'll be putting up drywall, so there will be some banging, and doing new electrical circuits (some slithering).
   We've briefed them on where they can park (they'll have our spaces available to them, and I've given them our parking passes) and other matters. They've assured us their supplies will be stacked inside so as not to damage the lawn.
   When we checked their references, we asked about how considerate they were, and they got good marks for this, so we are hopeful this won't impact you much.
   We will not be home during this time--you can reach us at 000-000-0000. Our contractor's name is Bill Slothifricasse & Daughters, and their business number is 000-000-0000
    Please let us know if you experience any problems during this construction.

WAY too long.  They certainly don't need to know about their references and such.  I would stick with JenJay's note and maybe just include your phone number if they run into any issues (noise after a certain time of day or something).  I think the gift card idea is super sweet.

Winterlight

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2014, 12:41:11 PM »
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."

This. It's simple and to the point. And I think the GC are a kind thought, so including them is just fine.
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Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Joeschmo

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2014, 02:56:01 PM »
As others have pointed out you don't have to give the giftcards, they aren't necessary, and some people(the type you can never win with) might get upset because they don't go to that place or they can't pay for their whole family with the gift card.  You would be well covered by etiquette if you chose to do nothing because renovations are a part of life but you want to be nice and I think people who do nice things when they don't have to make this world a much better place.  I would stick with a short note such as:  We are having renovations done from 'date' to 'date' and hope they are not an inconvenience to you.

If you want to get to know your neighbors mention a future get together in your note.  I hope all your renovations go smoothly!

Hmmmmm

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2014, 03:12:39 PM »
As others have pointed out you don't have to give the giftcards, they aren't necessary, and some people(the type you can never win with) might get upset because they don't go to that place or they can't pay for their whole family with the gift card.  You would be well covered by etiquette if you chose to do nothing because renovations are a part of life but you want to be nice and I think people who do nice things when they don't have to make this world a much better place.  I would stick with a short note such as:  We are having renovations done from 'date' to 'date' and hope they are not an inconvenience to you.

If you want to get to know your neighbors mention a future get together in your note.  I hope all your renovations go smoothly!

Then they can give it away. But I would wait and give the cards after the work was completed. For some reason it would feel like a bribe to me if I were to receive it when work was commencing. Like maybe what you were doing wasn't approved by the board and it's hush money. Or a "I'm giving you this card so don't complain about the noise". But I've been dealing with work ethics compliance issues all week so it could just be a weird place I'm in today.

MrTango

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2014, 08:44:19 PM »
I am really confused as to why you are doing anything?

Your home, your money.

Because it's a nice thing to do? And it can be annoying to live next door to construction. The OP doesn't have to, but it's not wrong.

I totally agree.

I own a town-home, and I really appreciate being on friendly terms with my neighbors.  Sometimes, that means doing something small that seems above and beyond the necessary.

Psychopoesie

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2014, 09:14:00 PM »
I am really confused as to why you are doing anything?

Your home, your money.

Because it's a nice thing to do? And it can be annoying to live next door to construction. The OP doesn't have to, but it's not wrong.

I totally agree.

I own a town-home, and I really appreciate being on friendly terms with my neighbors.  Sometimes, that means doing something small that seems above and beyond the necessary.

Agree it's nice to be on good terms with the neighbours. 

A restaurant voucher would seem odd to me though. Probably because neighbourly gift stuff tends to be small and fairly informal - food is more common (cookies, cakes, or a bucket of fruit from a neighbour's tree). Maybe a cutting from a plant. A slab of beer maybe for actually helping with something substantial. YMMV.

Mostly it's not material gifts that build the relationship which neighbours but lots of small kindnesses and some consideration.

That said, up to OP. If writing the note, agree keep it short, include dates and a contact number. TootsNYC's had a great opening but I'd only use that if I knew them well enough to know they had a sense of humour.  :)

Mental Magpie

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2014, 09:23:33 PM »
OP, I may have missed it, but how much are the gift cards worth?  If they're something like $30, then I see where some posters are saying it feels like a bribe.  I wouldn't see it that way, but I understand.  If they are more like $10, I think they're fine to give at the time of the note; anything more than that and I would give them after the note.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

sammycat

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2014, 10:44:37 PM »
The note with the warning is a good idea. The gift cards? Not so much.

If I were to get a note about upcoming noisy renovations, I'd be grateful for the warning.

If I were to get a gift card along with the note, I'd be puzzled and concerned. The gift card would seem so out of the norm, that I'd be wondering just what these renovations were going to involve. Would that be that much noisier or intrusive that my neighbors think I need to be bought off to allow them? Do my neighbors think I'm such a horrible person that they need to buy me off to make perfectly legal and normal changes to their house? Does the gift card mean I'm not supposed to complain if the workers park in my spot or break my window, because I've already been compensated?

Really, the gift card is overkill. And it could cause more problems than it might solve.

This is what I was trying to say earlier, but you've said it so much better!

The part I italicised would be my biggest concern. Not that it'd stop me from complaining if they did actually damage my property, but I'd be wondering if the neighbour would think they'd already "paid" so to speak.  I'm not implying the OP would consider the GC as "payment", but some people doing it might.

Mikayla

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Re: help with wording a letter to our neighbours
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2014, 12:17:42 PM »
I like saving the gift cards until you are done with a quick note saying all the work is complete.

I agree with others that the gift card probably sends the wrong message, but OP said her husband isn't budging on it.  So I agree with this. 

However if he wants the gift card as part of the original note, then it needs to be mentioned somehow, I'd think.