The building boom affects us all. We see a proliferation of cranes across the Seattle skyline and key growth areas such as the University of Washington, Bellevue and beyond. In more residential neighborhoods, we continue to witness older homes being torn down and, new homes sprouting up in their place. Additions, remodels and updates are becoming more commonplace. According to a recent article in the Seattle Times, “Seattle’s share of million-dollar homes is rising faster than just about anywhere in the country. Three years ago, the Seattle metro area had 16 percent of the share and now, it has 38 percent.” Scarce vacant lots, severely limited real estate inventory, a booming job market, an influx of new wealth and increasing density in the Puget Sound are all contributing factors that have spurred the huge demand for residential construction and renovations in Seattle area neighborhoods.
So, with all of this change, the question arises, how to be a “good neighbor” throughout your construction project. The bottom line is construction is disruptive to a neighborhood and more specifically to the adjacent neighbors. In a Laurelhurst blog by Joan Vespar, Buildiquette—Creating good vibes in the neighborhood during construction, she noted, “now, we see first hand a different kind of development in NE Seattle (and throughout greater Seattle)—a tsunami of new residences and remodels. Her close-up experience with this construction leads one to ask: do the people involved care about their neighbors and the neighborhood?”. Ways to be a “good neighbor” exist regardless of tight timelines and expensive budget. It starts with communicating with your fellow neighbors, especially those who potentially are impacted the most.
At W.S. Feldt, our teams are also diligently working amidst the building boom. As a General Contractor, our focus is on building high quality custom homes and completing unique remodels and various smaller projects. Our project managers also take the lead in going the extra mile on behalf of our clients. We create a site specific letter from our clients to their neighbors including pertinent project details, general timelines and contact information. Then, the letter is hand delivered to those adjacent to the building site in an effort to be a “good” neighbor. Our approach is to be proactive and communicate the scope of project to the neighbors so they’ll know what to expect. This approach has served us well so far. Communicate. Communicate.