How to manage a Difficult Neighbor

Dealing with a neighbor who isn’t cooperative or respectful can be challenging and should be managed carefully. Consider efforts listed below in order to help keep the peace. 

Look At Your Behaviors First

Before you decide that the neighbor next door and their annoying behaviors must be addressed, take a moment to evaluate the kind of neighbor you are first. Ask yourself a few questions and decide if your answers qualify you as a thoughtful, model neighbor before you decide to criticize your neighbor’s bothersome actions.

  • What’s your typical noise level? Do you mow the lawn too early or have kids screaming all day?
  • Are your pets contained in your yard and reasonably quiet and kind?
  • Do you respect the property line when caring for the lawn or adding structures?

Attempt Friendship And Assume Good Intentions

Make the effort to get to know your neighbor. Establishing a friendship can alleviate issues because both parties might be willing to respectfully discuss conflicts as they arise and work together to find solutions. Are you planning an outdoor gathering where the party’s music will extend into late night hours? Share your party plans with your neighbor in advance so he or she is aware and can plan accordingly. Assume that most people have good intentions and aren’t deliberately creating problems, until you learn differently.

Document Everything

While you may not ever need to involve a third-party during conflicts, it’s always a good idea to take good notes when disputes arise. Be sure to document date and time in your notes, list what witnesses may have been nearby or involved and take photos if any property damage has occurred. Keep relevant emails or texts in the event you have to involve your HOA, or Homeowner’s Association, or lawyers or police.

Call Proper Authorities For The Circumstance

If you’ve genuinely tried to address concerns with peaceful resolution in mind and this is not working out, take the steps necessary to get the proper authorities involved. Contacting the police should be a last resort. For instance, if your neighbor continues to throw trash in your yard after repeated requests to stop, you can probably resolve the issue with the city’s code enforcement department. A noisy or frequently loose dog might warrant a call to your HOA before the police or animal control.

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Taking Care of a Wood Burning Fireplace

Chilly nights have returned and you’re ready to make the most of the wood-burning fireplace in your home. Consider a few suggestions to ensure the safety of your fireplace. You’ll be well on your way to relaxing comfortably in front of the crackling, glowing blaze.

Call In A Professional

Call a licensed professional to have your chimney inspected. Homeowners should expect chimney inspectors to be certified by the Chimney Institute of America or the National Fireplace Institute. It’s common practice to insist on seeing the inspector’s credentials, proof of insurance and references before hiring. Choose a certified, experienced professional for peace of mind that your fireplace is safe to use.

The Inspection Is Recommended

A thorough chimney inspection identifies physical defects in the firebox or flue, any build-up of creosote, the blackened remnants formed from burned wood, or the presence of any other blockages. Chimney inspections can also reveal leaks and cracks in the structure than can affect the stability of the stack. There are three inspection levels, so be sure to ask for the one that fits your needs when making the appointment. A level one inspection includes a visual check of the fireplace and chimney without any special equipment or climbing on the roof. This initial visit will determine if you need a chimney sweep or if your fireplace is ready to use.

You’ll Need A Chimney Sweep

The role of the chimney sweep, also known as chimney technician, is to clear the ash and soot that collects inside the fireplace unit. They also perform masonry and relining work when needed. A chimney sweep does not play any role in the inspection of the chimney. Because soot and ash build up over time, it can hinder proper air flow and become a fire hazard. Cleaning out the chimney should be done once a year.

Gather The Wood And Light It Up

Use hardwood that has been split and dried for at least six months to a year. Seasoned hardwood logs should be dark and cracked at the ends, and they should make a hollow sound when knocked together. Gather kindling like expired newspapers or remnant mailings to lay beneath the logs. Light the kindling, fan the flame until the wood catches on fire and have a metal poker nearby to shift the wood around as needed.

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