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DIY noise - advice to householders

Noise from neighbours carrying out DIY can annoy, cause stress and generally affect people’s quality of life.

It is best to avoid causing a problem in the first place. This leaflet aims to help you avoid causing too much of a nuisance to your neighbours when you are doing DIY.

You will have jobs that need doing around the home, especially if you have just moved in or are redecorating. If you work during the day you will need to do this DIY in the evenings and at weekends.

However, this does not give you permission to annoy your neighbours at all hours of the day and night. We all have to be reasonable.

You can keep the disturbance from DIY as low as possible by keeping noisy tasks to reasonable hours, and by thinking about what type of activity you are doing. ‘Noisy tasks’ include:

  • hammering
  • drilling
  • using power tools.

This is not a complete list, and any DIY could cause a nuisance.


Choose the right tools for the job, sometimes using more powerful equipment will actually help
solve or reduce the problem of noise.

Hand tools

Only use hammers, saws and so on during the hours shown over the page.

Power tools

Normal hand-held power tools (drills, saws, sanders) can cause a lot of noise. Only use these during the hours shown over the page.

Hired equipment

People can now hire more ‘professional’ tools and equipment such as pneumatic hammers, cement mixers, large power saws and planers, compressors, generators and so on. You need to show more consideration when you use this powerful equipment, as it can be very noisy.

Working practices

Walls and floors shared with other properties

Work on the wall or floor between properties can give surprising levels of noise.

Work such as stripping wallpaper or preparing walls can sound very loud next door. Work on the floor, such as plumbing, rewiring and (especially) sanding, can be very loud downstairs.

Maintaining equipment

There is nothing worse than someone using an old piece of machinery that cannot cope with the job. It will make far more noise, and the job will often take much longer than if you had properly maintained equipment.

The radio

Most people want the radio on when they are doing DIY, but please keep the volume down, especially in the evenings.

Reasonable times for work

People want peace and quiet at the weekend and in the evening, especially if they have young children.

We recommend that you carry out noisy tasks only in the following hours.

  • Weekdays: 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday: 8am to 2pm
  • Sundays: No noisy work
  • Bank Holiday: No noisy work

You must bear in mind that noise from DIY could be classed as a statutory noise nuisance.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, we can take action against anyone who causes a statutory noise nuisance to their neighbours. A statutory noise nuisance is much more than just being able to hear a noise, it has to have an unreasonable effect on a person’s use of their home or garden.

If your DIY causes a statutory noise nuisance, we will issue you an ‘abatement notice’ telling you to stop causing the nuisance or to prevent it from happening again. If you do not keep to the conditions in that notice, the matter could go to court and you could receive a fine.

For more advice about carrying out work on the walls shared by other properties please visit:

search for 'Party Walls'