If you have work to do in your house, garden or garage the last thing you want is an argument with neighbours.
It does not matter if it is you doing DIY work with hammers or drills or if it is builders you have employed
Noise, dust and scaffolding, can raise issues and extensive periods of construction can be invasive and stressful, especially if you do shift work, and sleep during the day, or you have to work from home.
There is no doubt that one house owner’s home improvements – be they DIY or undertaken by a contractor – can cause significant problems for those living nearby.
So where do you stand legally?
There are no UK laws that impose restrictions on the times or days when people can undertake DIY work, use particular equipment, or carry out specific DIY jobs.
The result is that people are free to carry out DIY work themselves, often at times to fit in with their work hours, which can mean that work is often carried out in the evenings or at weekends or on Bank Holidays.
However, this does not mean that a person doing DIY work has the right to do what they want, when they want and ignore the disruption their work has on neighbours.
You should seek guidance from the Environment Protection Dept. at your Local Council as they will often have guidance.
What are considered to be reasonable times for DIY work?
In terms of a householder who is doing the work themselves most councils would usually recommend that the noisier activities are restricted to the following working hours;
• Mon – Fri – 9.00am to 7.30pm.
• Saturdays – 9.00am to 5.00pm
• Sunday and Bank Holiday – 10.00am – 2.00pm
But you should note that this is a code, rather than the law, and so it is not always easy to enforce.
Although it is recommended that you should try to resolve any problems by talking with your neighbour, or by using mediation, your local council has a duty to investigate noise from a building project if it is deemed to be damaging to health or a nuisance. That is known as a statutory nuisance.
If the council decides someone is causing a statutory noise nuisance they must issue a ‘noise abatement’ order.
This tells the person what they must do to stop making a noise nuisance or else face further legal action.
If someone breaks a noise abatement order, they can be fined up to £5,000.
Otherwise, the remedy is private nuisance and you would need to apply for an injunction to stop the nuisance and prevent it from reoccurring.