Home Leisure & Lifestyle New Research Uncovers the Reality of Home Extension Disputes Among Neighbours

New Research Uncovers the Reality of Home Extension Disputes Among Neighbours

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Building extensions and renovations can enhance a home, but how many neighbourly disagreements are triggered by these home improvements?

To find out, experts at Express Bi-Folding Doors have conducted a survey of British homeowners to reveal how many people have had home extension related rows with their neighbours, the core reasons behind these heated discussions, the length and impact of the rifts, and whether or not satisfactory resolutions were met.

The survey revealed that almost two thirds (60%) of Brits have had a heated discussion with their neighbour over their home extension with an alarming 33% proceeding with their extension without informing their neighbours beforehand.

The most common objections causing conflicts between neighbours are:

  • Noise levels (31.7%)
  • Privacy concerns (23.7%)
  • Planning, design, and space issues (20.3%)
  • Parking and road access dilemmas (18.7%)

When looking at the length of these rows, almost two in five (38.3%) lasted for up to one month with a further 22.8% persisting for up to six months. Thankfully, majority of respondents have been willing to resolve these disagreements with over half (55%) providing explanations to their neighbours, and 32.8% offering to show their extension.

Sadly, however, over a third (33.9%) saw that the relationship with their neighbour become strained, with a further 13.9% having to move house due to the conflict leaving a very bad taste in their mouth.

Which cities have the most friendly and unfriendly neighbours?

Newcastle takes the lead for encountering the highest number of disputes across the nation, with a whopping 78.6% of homeowners having experienced heated discussions with their neighbours – making it the unfriendliest city in Britain.

Other cities have seen a smaller number of rows but at a higher impact. For example, 75% of Norwich homeowners are no longer on good terms with their neighbours. Two-thirds (66.7%) of Glasgow and half (50%) of Birmingham residents have seen the longest disputes, lasting up to six months. While, when it comes to serious business-like legal action, Nottingham tops the list with 47.1% of neighbours going to court, followed by London (41%) and Sheffield (40%).

Liverpool on the other hand can be crowned as the most-neighbour friendly city with only 31.3% of homeowners having experienced an argument over a home extension. Mancunians are up next as they are more likely to put their differences aside after arguments at 42.9%. While two in five (40%) homeowners in Birmingham diffuse the situation by inviting their neighbours to see their completed home extension.

How to prevent home extension conflicts with your neighbours?

Express Bi-Folding Doors have teamed up with Dave Sayce, Managing Director at Compare My Move for advice on preventing home extension conflicts with your neighbours.

Dave reveals that if your planned extension work falls under any of the categories below, then you’ll need to inform and get consent from all adjoining neighbours before work begins on your extension. These categories include:

  • Building a free-standing wall or the wall of a building up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property.
  • Working on an existing party wall or structure, or any building against a party wall or structure.
  • If the extension borders come within 6 metres of the neighbour’s property.
  • Excavating near a neighbouring building.

If the adjoining owner refuses or ignores your initial notice, then it is deemed to be a dispute, in which case, you should hire a surveyor to assess the situation and draw up a Party Wall Agreement.

If the issue still consists, it’s important that the first step of any negotiation should be between you and your neighbour, allowing you both to explain and understand each side of the argument and try to come to a compromise that would help ease any of their concerns while still going ahead with the extension.

Steve Bromberg, Managing Director at Express Bi-Folding Doors says: “The survey results uncovered a myriad of disagreements among neighbours. From boundaries to design differences, noise to privacy, our findings underscore the complexities that can arise when planning an extension.

“If you’re building an extension, it’s especially important to consider how the design will impact your neighbours. Where blocking out the light could be a potential concern flagged by your neighbours, consider incorporating bi-folding or sliding doors into your extension layout for their light-enhancing benefits.”

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