08 January 2011

Construction Site Etiquette

Back during demolition, I wrote about how a new house (especially under the unusual circumstances by which we came to be building ours) "belongs, in a sense, to the whole neighborhood." It was a nice feeling, knowing that the neighbors were cheering for us to write a new chapter after the previous house caught fire. And over the course of construction, neighbors continued to say hello, introduce themselves, and share in our enthusiasm about our new home.

But there were also times when we wished our house were less conspicuous, more anonymous. As construction got pretty far along, people still felt entitled to just walk on in -- including people who weren't neighbors at all but saw the house as they were driving by and were curious about it. (We had a security fence, but when we were there we usually left it unlocked, so uninvited visitors sometimes showed up as we were there tinkering or just looking around.) We were usually happy to show people around, but when they didn't seem the least bit timid about just walking right in, well, our graciousness was tested.

Now that we're moved in and the doors have locks, people don't walk right in anymore...but this morning, someone who had been a dropper-inner toward the end of construction stopped by, knocked on the door, and asked about our exterior paint color. Again, we love that someone loves the color we chose and were happy to share the information, but I guess I would have preferred if her question had been prefaced with "Do you mind telling me..." or "I'm sorry to bother you..." or anything to suggest that she recognized that her presence might have been an imposition. I actually got the impression that she was expecting to be invited in for a tour (for which neither I, in my weakened condition, nor the house, with its post-Christmas hangover, were prepared).

I love walking around construction sites as much as the next guy (assuming that guy loves construction), but any residential site is someone's future home, so caution and respect should be the order of the day. And after it has become someone's present home, well, all the more so. It only makes sense.

(For a 35-second video of part of the demolition process -- easily one of the most captivating experiences of my life -- click here.)

1 comment:

  1. Ewww... That creeps me out. I don't like dropper-inners...