The real reason anyone would be following this series, “living next to construction” is to find out how bad is it and how long will it last? This update for week 30 ought to make you reconsider staying around if you have the choice to leave.
The “fresh new hell” today delivered by my neighbor’s construction project is vibrating my floor and is so loud inside my apartment–even with windows and doors closed*–that I will have to leave soon. After less than five minutes I’m already getting a headache, and I never have headaches.
[*Did I mention that it is 80 degrees inside my apartment at 10 am, will soon be 90+ and that I do not have air conditioning?]
Why is it so loud? In earlier posts I related the “special deals” the contractor got. One was a variance in the set-back of his “duplex”–two houses, each larger than mine, with a tiny covered porch between them–from the property line. Instead of the nine foot set-back noted in the building code, he got a variance for a mere five foot set-back.
Throughout his construction, his machines were so close to my house that he inadvertently dug up the edging on my mint garden that runs the length of my house, a mere 15 inches from my exterior wall, dug up my herb garden that is less than eighteen inches from the fence that extends the line north of that same exterior wall, and smashed one of my stepping stones.
Giving a contractor a variance to build that close to the property line is not only an invasion on the neighbor’s “quiet enjoyment,” to use a little legal jargon associated with property, but could result in even more extensive damage than digging up my gardens. My staircase, the only entrance to my attic apartment, is on that same side and I used to joke, half-hardheartedly, with the workers, “please don’t knock down my stairs!” (when they butted their scaffolding up against them).
But what about this noise and vibration today? What are they doing? Beats the hell out of me. A compacter machine of sorts is going back and forth around the entry way to the front house in his two-houses-on-one-city-lot development. Yesterday it was a backhoe digging up the strip along the street, presumably for a sidewalk. This new machine definitely trumps that one and all previous ones, including the excavation done by giant backhoes in the early days, for vibration, noise, and ill side-effects to anyone in my house, including my pets.
How long has this construction been going on? Since December 2011. This is July 6, 2012. You do the math.
Till next time, I’ll be camping out somewhere else until the houses are finally finished and the developer has whisked his family off to sunny Spain where he imagines he will be beyond reach.
Previous articles in “Living next to construction” series:
- Practicing yoga with construction noise
- Dancing with my devil: winter construction
- Footers & foundation in winter construction
- Snowfall doesn’t stop the winter construction
- Effects of construction noise
- Gifts of Construction: Gift #1
- Gifts of Construction: Gift #2
- Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
- Living next to construction, weeks 1-19
- 19 reasons to leave when construction begins next door
- National holidays don’t apply to contractors