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Renovating neighbours disrupting routine: what would you do?

(7 Posts)
goshreally Thu 02-Jun-11 14:08:49

Has anyone been in a similar situation?

Neighbours renovating house. Only just told us it will last for months. We have spent last month putting up with very very loud hammering, knocking down walls, drilling, etc. with no fuss (apart from a request to stop for our then sick 11mo to have a badly needed nap, which was ignored). DH and I also work from home but now have to relocate to cafes (musak and background talking less distracting than hammering).

I know that legally there is nothing we can do, but how can I get the message across that they are seriously disrupting our lives. Worst of all, it took us ages to get DS to nap in his cot; now he only sleeps indoors but the hammering wakes him up after 10 mins. Result: a chronically overtired baby, a screwed-up routine and a stressed and moany mum! DS is at the childminder's three days a week so it's not the end of the world, but still.....makes me feel so cross and helpless!

Am I being unreasonable?

dribbleface Thu 02-Jun-11 16:13:01

To be honest if its during the day there is not alot you can do about it. In a similar situation with our neighbours at the moment but easier as DS is a bit older. They never once complained when DS used to scream the house down in the middle of the night (we did go to him but he still continued!) so i figure its swings and roundabouts. Not ideal i know but will he not sleep in the car/buggy if you go for a spin around the block?

lonesomeBiscuit Thu 02-Jun-11 18:15:37

You are not being unreasonable.

I don't agree that you should necessarily have to put up with the current situation. While you are right in accepting that you will have to put up with some noise, equally they have to carry out their works in a reasonable manner in order to minimise inconvenience. On some construction sites this can involve restricting noisy works to certain hours (typically 8-10, 12-2 and 4-6), either voluntarily or because they have been told to by the local council. It all depends on the degree of the noise (in terms of how loud it is and how many hours each day you are being subjected to the noise).

You could try speaking with your local council's Environment Health department. They have powers to deal with complaints about noise from construction sites (for example by imposing limits on the hours during which noisy works can be carried out) and can probably give you some guidance on your rights and how they can help if you want to make a formal complaint. You probably would want to approach your neighbour again before making a formal complaint to the council - but if you are aware of your rights then this may help you to get the neighbour to be more co-operative.

Put your complaint to the neighbour in writing and explain how the disruption has been affecting you. Also keep a diary of the times/duration of noise and its effect on you for the next few weeks. This will help if you need to go to the council.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to ask them not to create noise during a specified nap time. It can also help a lot simply knowing when noisy works are going to be carried out - so that you can plan your working day and nap schedule. You could therefore ask the neighbour to keep you updated on a weekly basis about probable periods of noisy works, by popping a note through your door about their intentions for the following week.

Hope that helps a bit.

mum765 Thu 02-Jun-11 18:21:50

It's very annoying. We have the same, only worse - they have scaffolding in our garden so we can't use the garden. There's loads of dust and filth, not to mention the fag ends they keep throwing on my flower bed. I guess you just have to wait it out. It's probably not worth complaining. Just causes bad relations for years.

trixie123 Thu 02-Jun-11 22:23:34

no experience of this but I agree that if this is going to go on for a long time it would not be unreasonable of you to request a 1-2 hr period each day when your DC is able to nap. (espexcially if its only on the days he is not at the CM). They ought to be able to schedule stuff to do that is quieter for that time, inc. their own lunch break perhaps. Keep the communication as cordial and constructive as you can but no real reason why your lives should be SO disrupted by them for a long period.

trixymalixy Thu 02-Jun-11 22:30:13

Difficult one. They need to get in with their renovations, but I can totally sympathise with you being annoyed about disruption to your DS's routine.

I don't see what else you can do but appeal to them for an hour or two of peace once a day. There must be some quieter thingsbthey can do.

On eth other hand my DS learnt to slept through drilling and all sorts, it may help him become a better sleeper in the long run!!

Octaviapink Fri 03-Jun-11 13:32:56

My DCs learned to sleep through literally any sort of noise when we were having the house done. For the sake of your sanity though I think you could reasonably ask them to do quieter things for a couple of hours each day - perhaps 12-2. Bear in mind though, that more delays will mean it drags out for longer and mum765 is quite right, you don't want to sour relations with them so I would be super-reasonable about it.

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