Backyard Tips to Being Neighborly
Username of writer: Jedikat
Owning or renting a home means that you get to have a backyard for the kids to play in, for you to garden, or just to sit back and relax in your own little piece of land. While it might feel that it is private to you, there are sure to be fences or walls that separate you from your neighbors, it’s not entirely private. Sound carries, so your neighbors can hear everything that is going in your yard if they happen to be outside too. Trees grow and during the fall when they are shedding, or if they happen to be fruit trees they will drop items into neighbor’s yards if they are close enough or their branches are big enough. You want to have a good living experience inside and outside of your home, so being neighborly is the only way to prevent having a neighbor you really don’t like. Here are some tips that you can use to create a great living experience for your neighborhood:
Trim it Down
While you are free to grow what you want in your own yard (within legal limits), what ends up in your neighbor’s yard is also your responsibility. If your tree branches are leaning over the wall or into your neighbor’s yard you need to trim them back. The same goes for vines or any plants that are growing through a fence and could cause a problem for your neighbor. Fruit trees can be a problem when they get large as there is only so much a person wants before they have to deal with the trash from someone else’s place. For those with kids be considerate if you are going to build a treehouse. If your neighbor has a garden that treehouse could block some of the much needed sunlight to get through.Fruit trees don’t always bother the neighbors though, as they might benefit from the fruit themselves. Before you trim go next door and talk to your neighbors to see if the tree happens to be a problem. The same is said before you start any construction in the backyard such as something that could make a lot of noise, or cause debris to fall in their yard. Simply make it cordial and notify your neighbor of your plans, and let them know how long it will take. If they have a baby or someone that sleeps during the day, the considerate thing to do would be to modify your plans a little.
Whose Wall Is It
The subject comes up from time to time over who owns the wall that separates the two homes. Usually it’s not a problem until there is damage to it. Than it is time to determine who needs to pay for or repair the damage. If it is your fault, own up to the mistake and take care of the problem before it gets out of hand. If it was a tree branch or an animal or even a plant that caused the problem, it should be taken care of by the owner of the plant or animal that cause the damage in the first place. Home owner’s insurance may or may not cover it, but it is certainly something that could be looked into. However, if it is something that you and your neighbor can not seem to settle it could end up in court. If that happens there could build animosity between the two of you for as long as you live there. The nice thing to do would be to just repair the damage yourself if you know how and keep things cordial between you two. It would cost less time and trouble than going to court, and shows that you can be the bigger person in these matters.
Keep Down The Noise
As mentioned previously sound carries, and the louder the sound is the more likely your neighbors are going to hear it. Parties, music, arguments, children screaming or crying all carries into your neighbor’s yards, and sometimes houses. If you are going to have a party, the polite thing to do would be to invite your neighbors. Even if they decide they don’t want to show up, at least they will be notified that you are having one and that there will some noise. So long as you are following noise ordinance laws in your city than you shouldn’t have a problem. (Typically this means you have until 10 pm in most cities but must be kept quite after that.) Take the party inside where the noise can be muffled by the walls, and turn down the music if necessary. Try not to make the parties a weekend thing on a regular basis as that might anger the neighbors, and the police might be knocking at your door.
For children playing in the yard or pool, their screams can actually wake the dead in some cases. They shouldn’t be outside playing late at night but if you have a day sleeper next door it could be a problem. Your kids need to play and there is no easy way out of a situation like that. It all comes down to the communication that you have with your neighbor. If you know each other well they will understand that you have children and that the children are outside playing. Unfortunately, as children get older they tend to get a little more destructive, usually on accident but sometimes because they just don’t understand their actions and want to have fun. Be sure and keep an eye on them, even if they are in your own yard.
Arguments should not happen outside where everyone can hear them if you can help it. If you feel the two of you are getting loud, take the conversation inside or the two of you need to walk away and think about it. Everyone solves their arguments in their own way, but when neighbors start hearing the insults flying and the noise getting loud they tend to jump to conclusions and could call the police.