Next door neighbor complaining about DIY noise

Discussion in 'Just Talk' started by charlie83, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. charlie83

    charlie83 New Member

    Hi all

    Bought a house in a May and spent 2 months doing some bits to it before we moved in, we were expecting a baby when we bought it, so I spent days, evenings & weekends doing it up.

    I've opened up the fireplace & fitted a stove, this work was done during the day and on a weekend and I spoke to our neighbor and told her what I was doing and it might be a bit noisy, she was fine, said she's spent 18 months doing her house up so she understood. The rest of the work, flooring, plastering and some other joinery bits have been done when I had time, sometimes until 8pm at night and weekends, but never started any work before 10am.

    Anyway, on Saturday I was putting up some brackets onto the partition wall, literally 6 holes at about 5pm (the only work I've done in months) when I get a knock at the door from the lady next door and she basically had a meltdown about my work on the house, having previously being friendly with me and never saying a word about any noise, i was quite surprised. She said I had no respect for anyone for working on the house outside of the hours of 8am-3pm, mon-fri and she is having to go out all the time to get away from the noise.

    I apologised to her, accepted I was being a bit thoughtless drilling without telling her, but her rant continued for some time. I was really quite taken back and didn't know what to say. She isn't happy with my power tools outside either and I often use a chainsaw to cut logs (during the day) and do quite a lot of cutting outside for joinery work, again never during unsociable hours.

    I have loads more work to do next year, at the other side of the house and also an extension to build. My question is, is it really unacceptable to do DIY outside of the 'normal' working hours and weekends?

    I need to do this work and don't want to have further problems and being a builder myself, I will be doing nearly all the work myself and working my normal job during the day.
  2. furious_customer

    furious_customer Screwfix Select

    My guess is that something else in her life has upset her and your drilling has been the icing on the cake.

    If it was me I think I would take a short break from the work and chat to her again in a week and expain that there is work needing done and it won't be done at anti-social hours, but will be definetely be up till about 8pm. Give her some advance notice of anything particularly noisy incase she has visitors over etc.

    With regard to the outdoors, I do have sympathy for anyone that lives next door to a builder - because cement mixers etc always seem to find a permanent home in the garden.
    I would go out of my way to keep the garden as neat and tidy as possible and maybe even offer to cut her hedge etc. every now and again.

    Make having a builder next door a plus rather than a negative.

    (That is - depending how much you like her and how reasonable she is otherise, not considering this last experience).
    Tangoman, Wayners and teabreak like this.
  3. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    Buy her some flowers, remember your going to have to live next door to her for the foreseeable future, but explain that this work needs doing and you will do your best to keep the noise down
    Tangoman and teabreak like this.
  4. charlie83

    charlie83 New Member

    I'm not sure what my garden has to do with anything as I own the house, but I don't leave any tools out anyway including the mixer.
    furious_customer likes this.
  5. charlie83

    charlie83 New Member

    Tbh I've taken a load of rubbish away for her on more than one occasion and fixed fence panels etc. I've explained to her from day one the work I'm planning.
    Sparkielev likes this.
  6. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    Quite often the basis of the complaints start from nothing more than jealousy. The number of times that I started renovating properties and the neighbours are glad that the property is getting tided up. Then when renovations start making theirs look tired, they start finding means to complain.

    At the moment you have done nothing wrong and would continue working they way you have been
    Magjul and masterdiy like this.
  7. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

  8. Peter208

    Peter208 Active Member

    I feel, any work that will make a noise after 6pm is not acceptable unless it's an emergency. I bet if you were living next door you would find it unacceptable also.
    It's no fun with DIY noise and you need to give it some thought. I like you needed to work on our home, from top to bottom. Also I needed to do it when I was not at my day job. It's not easy and takes a lot of thinking about and planning, taking a days leave if necessary. Good neighbors can be worth their weight in gold but it also works the other way.
  9. davemp

    davemp New Member

    Have a chat with her and ask her what hours she thinks would be acceptable and go from there. I’m fortunate as my neighbour is the same as me and always doing something. The only comments made is usually about the
    Poor taste of music being played
  10. charlie83

    charlie83 New Member


    I've lived next door to people doing work before and it never bothered me, nor would it ever bother me. If there was no noise after 6pm, then that basically puts an end to DIY.
  11. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    For me the difference is between asking and telling. If someone comes round and asks me if for example, I could stop work at a certain time because they go to bed early, telephone their friends, watch their favourite TV program etc. Then I would see how I could work around it. Alternatively, someone coming around swearing and shouting and throwing all sorts of accusations won't get a sympathetic response.
  12. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    The difference being is it continual and how long has it been going on for. Somebody putting up a shelf or TV bracket is going to make some noise for less than a hour. If somebody is hacking off plaster night after night then yes that will be an issue but even then be done in a week.
  13. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Does the lady in question have young kids perhaps ?

    Only a long shot but I’ve been in that situation before with previous neighbours who had couple young toddlers so early bed times for them

    For that reason, I did make an effort to keep noise down after a ‘reasonable’ time as like most of us, we’ve been in same situation with trying to get the kids to bed so we can then regain our evening

    Same as me, I’ve fitted in diy around full time work so that’s afternoon start to evenings, weekends and odd days off

    Difficult as in the summer months, I’ve happily worked in garden with power tools to 9.30pm as once you get stuck into a job, you just don’t wanna stop. Always try and have a chat with neighbours first and keep them informed

    Seems as suggested (and not being sexist) she’s just over reacted on this occasion, possibly other stresses going on

    But from her point of view, you’ve suddenly started at 5pm, she’s possibly assumed your now gonna put in a few hours graft and disturb her Saturday evening, she wouldn’t know ur only drilling a few holes

    Swallow this one, keep the peace, it really is the best way with neighbours and I agree, eat some ‘humble pie’, buy the lady a bunch of flowers or bottle vino and talk to her

    You’re a more than reasonable guy and clearly want a friendly neighbour whilst not feeling guilty about cracking on with work in hand

    I’ve been through it, really, haven’t spoken to one side for 5 years now as they’ve caused us huge amount of grief and they’re a lost cause

    Not the situation I ever wanted to be in but they’re sub-human :confused:
    Tangoman likes this.
  14. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    Got to say, as a tradesperson myself, it can be awful to listen to hammering and other building work noise from a neighbouring home if it goes on for long periods.
    Best you keep the noise to shorter hours and with some days with no noisy work, if any being done.
    The neighbour should have approached you earlier and in a more friendly manner if she was having difficulty with the noise.
    But she probably let it build up on her nerves before she snapped.
    She possibly thinks you are some sort of nutcase and is thinking you will disturb everyone forever
    Astramax likes this.
  15. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Lucky you don't live next door to a chef, diy ing all day then off to work until the early hours, total nightmare :(, if you lived next door to me, well I am very understanding and would offer you a Glasgow sandwich possibly every weekend.:D
    WillyEckerslike and Heat like this.
  16. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    It could be worse - someone walking around on bare wooden floors wearing platform shoes (or stilts) day and night with 70's glam rock in the background. A UK disco Stu
  17. furious_customer

    furious_customer Screwfix Select

    Glasgow sandwich?
  18. Think Astramax means a Glasgow kiss.
    Astramax likes this.
  19. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    Glasgow kiss (sandwich) only physically more unpleasant than having to eat a Scotch pie or Lorne Sausage - no wonder they invented whiskey !
  20. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    You think Lorne Sausage is bad,try Haggis!:(

    Sheep's heart, liver and lungs,& stomach.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019

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