Home improvements make your home a better, more pleasant place to live as well as add to its value. This means home improvements must be a good thing, right? Generally speaking, yes. There are, however, some home improvements that could turn your neighbors into your enemies in Baltimore.
1. Fixing Drainage Problems
There’s a big low spot in your backyard where, during rainy periods, water stands making your yard virtually unusable for long stretches and causing a health hazard when the mosquitoes move in. You’ve finally decided to do something about it. The problem is, though, that the water has to go somewhere.
If that water then drains into your neighbor’s yard, making it soggy and messy, get ready for problems. If your neighbor addresses the problem and wants to take legal action, you do have recourse to the”reasonableness rule.” This rule holds that if a neighbor sues, he will have to provide proof that you did something”unreasonable” in altering your property to cause harm to his property.
2. Planting Ornamental Trees
We all want to make our mark on our property, imposing just a little of our own personality on it. However, certain trees turn out to be one of the home improvements that could turn your neighbors into your enemies in Baltimore.
Trees such as Bradford pears, for instance, are absolutely gorgeous when in bloom. However, despite the beautiful blooms, these trees exude an offensively overpowering, pungent, “masculine” smell during bloom time. In addition, these trees are notorious for shedding brittle branches all over the place, even into neighbors yards. Planting ornamental trees may seem like a good idea, but it can have some major neighbor-related drawbacks.
3. Adding a Room
You’ve been living relatively frugally for a few years and you’ve squirreled away enough money to add on a guest room. Now you’ve had the plans drawn up and you’ve engaged a contractor. Just be aware that you may have problems with your neighbors.
They will be annoyed that they are now living next door to a job site with all the inevitable mess and noise. There will be trucks from the lumber yard making deliveries, the whine and growl of power tools, workers shouting, and the staccato noise of hammers and nail guns. It’s all necessary, but likely seen as a nerve-wracking annoyance by your neighbors. They may also be upset when the job is completed, that their favorite view is now potentially obstructed by your new room.
4. Installing a Pool
You finally have enough money to get that in-ground swimming pool you’ve always dreamed of having.
It all starts with just a slight case of envy, which soon turns into resentment because your neighbors don’t have their own pool and because they can’t use your pool anytime and every time they want to. The resentment then turns into antagonistic anger whenever your neighbors have to listen to the sounds (sometimes pretty loud) of laughter and music and tinkling glasses when you have your night-time pool parties.
While it is true there are home improvements that could turn your neighbors into your enemies in Baltimore, you shouldn’t let that put you off your dreams and plans for your home. Using the right approach, you can move forward with your home-improvement plans without creating any “neighbor issues.”