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Neighbours who work from home

(284 Posts)
Confusednewmum1 Wed 19-Feb-20 02:29:32

So we have moved to a house that requires total renovation, it has not been touched for over 50 years. We have spoken to the NDN about plans ie rip house apart and start again/extension ect. However every time we do work they complain about the noise as they work from home.

I get that this can be frustrating but at the moment we can’t give a schedule of work just due to the nature of old house. Example last week new front door on Friday to be fitted told 1 hour job no real noise ect. It then turned into needing a lintel, brickwork repair....... but this all spiralled in the moment.

My neighbours seem to think my builders should work around their calls ect. But I have really just advised there will be building work most days Mon-Friday 8:30-5 until at least the end of the year, it’s the only honest timeline. Council are happy as they have said noise not excessive ie generators or nematic drilling. But my neighbours have said this is not acceptable and there 2 1/2 year old naps during the day???

I also have a young child who happened to still be asleep this morning when they complained at 10am as door frame was going in and they where on a call.

AIBU to think that if they work from home then noise is their issue to mitigate not mine?

Bowerbird5 Wed 19-Feb-20 02:40:55

Buy them some ear plugs. We put up with it for four years then when they stopped the ones on the other side started and spent about three years and their dogs bark continually.

I did go around and object when the first neighbour started again last year and started at 7 am on a Sunday. I went around in my dressing gown because he woke me up.

I think if you keep to those hours it is reasonable. Buy them a bottle of wine or something. Our neighbours bought us zilch. I do think they could have offered something. When we were doing ours up I made cakes and scones for our neighbour at the time. We were finished the whole house in six months.

ColaFreezePop Wed 19-Feb-20 02:57:26

Or nicer than ear plugs get them some noise cancelling headphones. They can then make calls with their headphones plugged into their phones or laptop.

Confusednewmum1 Wed 19-Feb-20 03:04:29


That is a great idea! I’m going to look at mason now!

Confusednewmum1 Wed 19-Feb-20 03:04:46


mrbob Wed 19-Feb-20 03:05:12

I can see both sides. While you are technically right try and imagine how shit that must be for them.
Is there some compromise? Can there be only 4 days a week work? Or is there a way for the builders to have breaks at nap time? Or to give them a vague idea of what work is going on when (with the knowledge that sometimes things don’t go to plan) I know this is not really your problem but to maintain relations it may be worth showing willing and trying.

mrbob Wed 19-Feb-20 03:06:42

Also I am very aware that however hard you try building works will always have noise and need to be done at some point!

Takemetovegas Wed 19-Feb-20 03:21:11


This is a problem that they would also potentially face if working from a standard office.

I work shift work at the moment and the house that is being constructed next to my house only ever appears to have builders there when I've worked a night shift. I've had to come up with my own solutions to cope with the noise and don't blame my neighbours one bit because I understand that life goes on for others despite my lifestyle

It's their responsibility to make accommodations for themselves as needed and your builders don't need to kowtow to their demands. Don't forget your builders are working too, just from your home.

You've done well to kindly listen to their complaints but it's probably time to nod and say things like "yes, that sounds very difficult...." without trying to find solutions for them.

Monty27 Wed 19-Feb-20 03:28:16

FFS tell them to get a commercial property to work in.
Sounds like your building work is within the parameters of the law. Carry on OP smile

ColaFreezePop Wed 19-Feb-20 03:34:05

OP the best thing you can try and do is get the work done as quickly as possible in the hours your council permit so it doesn't drag on to take over the whole Summer. It is better for you to move out, get the renovation/extension done in one go and move back in as it would be quicker.

Your neighbours can complain to the council about they won't do anything as long as the builders stick to the permitted hours.

One of the risks of having a work from home job is that neighbours do building work or a utility company drills into the road. I have have had to deal with both and I think Thames Water replacing a water main and sewer down my road one Summer was worse. They randomly started at 7am instead of 7.30am until everyone complained. All builders started at 8am at the earliest. Thames Water also left deep holes in the road not doing any work for a month because the machinery to continue the work was elsewhere, there as any CF from builders was an annoyance rather than a hazard.

wombat1a Wed 19-Feb-20 03:34:31

Sorry but they have decided to work from home, if they can't work from home because of your (reasonable) renovations times then they need to figure out somewhere else to work from.

FartingInTheFence Wed 19-Feb-20 04:18:41

Id tell them to go anf fuck off.

You are having work done during daylight hours. Nothing illegal in that.

And I certainly wouldnt be buying them any headphones or the like off of Amazon. They are the ones with the problem. Dont make it yours.

Puddlesplasher Wed 19-Feb-20 04:19:19

YANBU. We bought a new build a year ago and are living in the middle of a building site. We have tractor excavators, diggers and huge juggernauts going past all day long and the house shakes. DH manages to work from home and make many business calls.

BillHadersNewWife Wed 19-Feb-20 04:23:02

I work from home...they're being unreasonable to complain constantly.

It's just bad luck. In their shoes I'd be looking for somewhere to go to during the day that was quiet.

boredboredboredboredbored Wed 19-Feb-20 04:35:30

I did a huge renovation 2 years ago and both husband and wife next door run their business from home. I went round at the beginning and apologised in advance. They were fine and never once complained. We were done within 4 months but it was noisy no doubt about it. I took them gifts round at Christmas to thank them for their tolerance.

They are just about to start a huge extension which is going to be a right pain in the ass but it's swings and roundabouts isn't it?

WhereShallWeMoveTo Wed 19-Feb-20 04:36:09

Noise cancelling headphones are a brilliant idea. They are also a very special luxury gift that will hopefully soften them a bit and make up for the inconvenience. If they continue to be arsey then TABVU and should just decamp to a coffee shop or something. Life has to go on around us within reason, so as long as you aren’t drilling and banging outside of normal working hours you need to be able to do what you need to do. It’s not as if it’s malicious.

Jokie Wed 19-Feb-20 05:20:58

They are the ones being unreasonable. I've been in their shoes (whenever I work from home, my neighbour takes it as a sign to start a DIY project) and it doesn't bother me one bit. As long as you're doing it within the hours permitted (and 8.30-5 are generous hours), they shouldn't complain

Jokie Wed 19-Feb-20 05:21:41

Also noise cancelling is a good idea but it won't resolve the issue for them if they're calling as the person on the other side will still be hearing the noise.

Nancydrawn Wed 19-Feb-20 05:22:23

This is what WeWork is for.

marashino Wed 19-Feb-20 05:33:06

I'd be furious if a neighbour bought me headphones, why should I wear uncomfortable headphones because of their noise ? I'd choose to if I wanted to and would see it as a PA put up and shut up message

Monty27 Wed 19-Feb-20 05:34:09

Also OP it's.a.residential.area angry
Residents are permitted to renovate their homes. within law of course.
Like I said above maybe they should bugger off and work from a commercial property angry

takeyourrubbishhome Wed 19-Feb-20 05:43:51

It’s just life, and it’s not your problem! If the house hasn’t been touched for so long then someone would need to do the work even if it wasn’t you. We are mid renovation and I do feel for my elderly neighbours, but some jobs are louder than others, especially drilling/demolition. We live in a street of houses that have been in the same family for 40-50 years so each house will need major renovations in turn when they are sold so we will have plenty of disruption over the next few years. If your house is terraced that’s unfortunate for them, as it is going to be more noisy but not much you can do. And anyway, my work building has been undergoing renovation for the last 6 months, so I have to work with drilling and other construction noise. It’s annoying, but it’s life unfortunately

WhereShallWeMoveTo Wed 19-Feb-20 05:50:31

maraschino I sort of agree but why should the OP not be able to renovate because the neighbour wants to avoid paying for commercial office space?

Even if it want WFH that was the issue and it was someone on night shift wanting to sleep, it’s very unfortunate and everything but you can’t just demand that improvements don’t go ahead because you don’t like being disturbed. It’s completely selfish and unreasonable to expect that.

Having building and maintenance done is not the same as thoughtless behaviours like loud music.

WhereShallWeMoveTo Wed 19-Feb-20 05:50:51

Even if it wasn’t WFH

PhilCornwall1 Wed 19-Feb-20 05:54:19

They are totally unreasonable. I work from home and there have been people around here having work done, road being dug up outside my house, that's life and part of WFH. I do a tonne of client conference calls per week and just apologise for any noise.

The builders are doing their job, during their working day and should not fit in around them, I'm afraid not even around a child's "nap time" (and I'm a parent), taking a break for however long because a neighbours child is having a couple of hours sleep? No, that's dead time in their working day.

This is life and others have to work.

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