This page sets out advice to avoid upsetting neighbours when carrying out DIY. Particular noisy activities include:

  • hammering
  • drilling
  • using power tools

Your responsibilities

Noise from neighbours can annoy, cause stress and generally affect the quality of life in a residential area. The best way forward is to avoid causing a problem in the first place. 

Most people have tasks, which need doing around the home, especially if they have just moved in, or are redecorating. Many people have to work during the day and need to do this DIY in the evenings and at weekends. However, this does not give them permission to annoy neighbours at all hours of the day and night. We all have to be reasonable to live together.

Reasonable times for DIY work

We recommend that noisier activities are restricted to the following hours:

Weekdays: 8am to 9pm
Saturday: 8am to 7pm
Sunday: 10am to 5pm

This is for guidance only and each case must be considered on a case specific basis and on its individual merits.

Party walls and floors

Work on a party wall or floor between properties can create louder levels of noise than you might expect. For example, work such as wallpaper stripping or wall preparation can sound very loud next door, whilst work on the floor, such as plumbing, rewiring and sanding, can be very loud downstairs.

Radio

It seems most people want the radio on when they are doing DIY- it eases the burden. Please keep the volume down, especially in the evenings.

Maintenance of equipment

There is nothing worse than someone using an old piece of machinery that can't cope with the job. It makes far more noise and the job will often take much longer than if you had the correctly maintained equipment.

Sometimes the more powerful equipment will actually help solve the noise problem.

Plant equipment

People can now hire more 'professional' tools and plant equipment, such as pneumatic hammers, cement mixers, large power saws and planers, compressors and generators. Use of this powerful type of equipment needs greater consideration, as it is identical to that used by professional builders and can be very noisy.

Reasonable times of commercial building and construction works

Our normally suggested hours of work are:

Monday to Friday: 7am to 7pm
Saturdays: 9am to 1pm
Sundays and public holidays: no working

These guidelines only apply to commercial works that generate noise. Other works that do not cause offence may continue outside of these times.