Making noisy is part of life and there’s no way or point to always be silent. That said, you don’t want to be classed as a noisy neighbour. If you’re like most, you’ll want to learn how to be a good neighbour.
Reducing the noise your household makes involves using some common sense and a little give and take. You will get it wrong from time to time and make mistakes. That’s to be expected.
As we’ve already covered how to deal with noisy neighbours, it’s worth discussing how to reduce the noise we make.
Having a house alarm is still a good form of home security. However, you don’t want your house alarm going off for no reason.
- Make sure your alarm is properly installed and serviced once a year
- Alarms should cut out after 20 minutes
- Your local council holds a keyholder register which gives them the contact details for someone who could help us if your alarm goes off when you are away on holiday.
Within a home, there are many places which create unavoidable noise. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to reduce the amount of noise created.
- Place washing machines on even, concrete floors. Don’t overload them and run them at a time when they will cause the least disturbance
- Don’t vacuum late at night or early in the morning
- As vibrations easily spread, try to place your fridge and freezer away from a party wall or above a neighbours’ bedroom, if you live in an apartment
- Ensure extractors fans are secured to the wall so they don’t rattle and are well maintained
- With a new boiler, locate it away from the windows and have a plumber check any pipes and cistern noises
Whether you love DIY or not, homeownership involves a fair amount of it. Unfortunately, DIY can be quite noisy.
- Warn your neighbours of any impending noisy DIY work
- Work on noisier tasks during normal working hours
- Ensure that your noisiest tasks are done in the middle of the day before everyone is home from school and work
- Try to always start with quieter tasks. Some people work from home and some people work nights
- See if there is a quieter tool available. Hand tools can sometimes do the job just as well
- Before buying power tools, check their noise ratings
- Maintain your tools and use lower/quieter settings wherever possible
It’s easy to forget that our garden isn’t soundproof and neighbours will hear any noise you create. Whether you’re entertaining, pruning some bushes or mowing the lawn, all create noise.
- Wait until the middle of the day for the noisiest activities
- Warn neighbours if you’re going to create a lot of noise. For example, trimming your hedges or power washing your patio
- Consider the noise rating of garden tools when purchasing them
- Maintain garden tools properly
- Locate noisy water features or wind chimes away from neighbouring properties.
- Invite your neighbours to your BBQ or party (or just warn them!)
- Use headphones to listen to music or the radio while in the garden
- Fireworks are exciting but should be used with care and you should warn your neighbours
- Also, it is illegal to let off fireworks after 11 pm (except for Bonfire Night (Nov 5th), Diwali, New Years Eve and Chinese New Year).
We all love music, however, if it’s too loud, it can annoy your neighbours
- Don’t place speakers on or close to party walls, ceilings or floors
- Turn down bass frequencies as they travel further than higher frequencies and are more noticeable
- Like it loud? use headphones! Just be aware that turning your music up can damage your hearing
- While you might enjoy watching TV in bed, keep the volume down or wear headphones at night, especially if someone is trying to sleep in the next room.
- Learning an instrument can be fun but do your practice when it will least annoy your neighbours. Where possible use headphones instead of amplifiers/mutes for wind instruments/ pads and brushes on drums
Inside the home
Doors are one of the worse culprits when it comes to noise within the home.
- Don’t slam doors, especially if you live in a flat with a shared entrance
- Be careful not to create much noisy when entering a shared block of apartments late at night or early in the morning
- Cupboard doors can also be noisy, especially if they’re fixed to party walls.
- Update your doors to soft close as this will keep noise to a minimum.
We’re a nation of pet lovers. That said pets aren’t always quiet and it may not be possible for you to be there to calm them down if they get distressed.
- There are many reasons why dogs barks. It’s a good idea to regularly exercise your pooch, feed it well and leave some toys for it play with.
- If you’re out for a long period each day, then you could leave the radio for the dog, buy a nanny cam or ask a neighbour to check on them.
- Cats while less noisy overall, can get into fights. So it might be a good idea to keep them inside at night.
- If you have a caged bird, ensure it’s kept away party walls or any place where it could disturb your neighbours, especially at night
Your car can easily upset neighbours, whether you park in the wrong spot, have a friend visiting who blocks their access or simply cleaning it.
- Don’t carry out car repairs early in the morning or late and night
- Warn your neighbours about really noisy repair and maintenance jobs
- Don’t create additional noise by slamming car doors, sounding the horns, or play loud music
- Clean and vacuum your car in the middle of the day to reduce the impact of any noise
That’s how to be a good neighbour!
It’s best to always consider the impact of any noise you might make before your branded a noisy neighbour. While you can’t avoid making most of it, you can take steps to reduce the impact it has.