10 Ways Neighbors Drive Each Other Crazy

Mike LaFollette
Written by Mike LaFollette
Updated March 5, 2013
bad neighbors graphic
From daily lawn mowing to over-the-top concrete pouring projects, check out what these Angie's List members had to say about their neighbors. (Graphic by Christian Lindemann)

Do you have a neighbor who is driving you crazy with extravagant landscaping projects? We asked our members to submit their craziest stories and received some interesting responses.

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As the landscaping writer for angi.com, I’ve learned that people can have widely different opinions when it comes to outdoor beauty.

So I posted a question on Angie’s List Answers, our Q&A forum for home-and health-related questions, that asked: “Landscaping: What do your neighbors do that drives you crazy?”

It didn’t take long for the answers to start rolling in. Apparently, people do all sorts of wacky things to drive their neighbors crazy. Who would have thought, right?

Maybe you’re in a similar situation, or maybe you’re one of the offenders? Either way, check out these top 10 responses to my landscaping question.

1. The neighborhood mayor

My neighbor is in her early 70s and she obsesses over her lawn. It’s perfect and she only likes white flowers, so when I plant yellow mums on my property, she rips the petals up and sprinkles them on the mud.

Video: How Do Your Neighbors Annoy You?

2. The overachiever

My neighbor has a stay-at-home-type job, so he has all the time in the world to devote to his yard. During spring and summer, he cuts his yard no less often than every other day. He also keeps it perfectly watered and fertilized. It really is perfect grass and I commend him for his dedication, but it frustrates me because it makes my OK-looking yard look trashy by comparison, and I don't want to spend 45 minutes every other day mowing and caring for my lawn.

3. Backyard stadium

Our neighbors on the one side light their backyard up like it's a stadium at night with these crazy flood lights. They even light up part of our backyard and shine into our house, and I can see it from our bedroom at night.

4. The Great Wall of America

What continues to drive us crazy is the 6-foot concrete wall our neighbor erected years ago. We wanted a wood fence, and would have gone 50/50 to pay for it, but no. Since it had to be concrete or nothing, we didn't contribute a dime. The wall casts a shadow on part of our yard which has cut off sunlight and killed flower beds.

5. Front yard festival

My neighbor uses his front yard like normal people use their backyard. In the summer, he puts up a crappy above-ground pool. He also uses his front yard — the part across the sidewalk close to the street — to grow pumpkins and has it staked and wired off.  

6. Concrete crusader

My neighbor's yard is a never-ending cement-pouring project that is hard to describe in words. I'm told by other neighbors that he has been working on it for 12 years and no one really knows what the goal is other than to build more cement walls and dig ditches. 

7. The know-it-all

I have beautiful, non-invasive Hawaiian Gold bamboo in my backyard and my neighbor hates when it gets too tall because he's concerned it will hurt the power lines in some way. When I’m not home, he comes over and cuts my bamboo at a very unnatural height and leaves the trimmings all over my yard. I have never given him permission to do this, and even after I put a padlock on my fence, he's able to trim it using a ladder and reaching over my security fence.

8. The saboteur

The crazy lady next door decided she didn't like the shrubs that were between our lots so she cut the last five down from 7 feet to knee height. She blows as much debris as she can over into our yard and in front of our driveway. She has poured swimming pool chemicals on my hydrangeas, killing them.

9. Loud lawn equipment

My neighbors have beautiful lawns. One is obsessive about loud lawn equipment. Usually just before or right at dawn, the blower, mower, etc., will start, including weekends. I think there should be a ban on loud lawn equipment before 8 a.m.

10. The water park

One of my neighbors uses his sprinkler system every day for a couple of hours and has flooded my lawn and killed a good deal of the grass. When I asked him to stop this incessant watering, he reported that he didn't know how to change it without turning off the system altogether. He refused my help with the controller. Sigh.

Tips to be a good neighbor

Think about timing. Is it dark outside? Are you the only one awake in the neighborhood? Unless you want to make enemies, refrain from using loud lawn equipment early in the morning or after the sun has set.

Don't overstep your boundaries. Your distaste in your neighbor's flower choice doesn't give you permission to mess with his or her property. Would you like it if your neighbors took matters into their own hands?

Don’t create an eyesore. As a homeowner, you can do whatever you want to your yard as long as it doesn’t violate local codes, laws or neighborhood rules. But that doesn’t mean you should erect a statute of your favorite reality TV star, or build a dirt bike course in your front yard.

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