Useful tips to keep the noise down

We must all live within the limits of our homes and be mindful of others. No house or apartment is totally soundproof. Here are some tips for reducing noise in the home and to help us all be good neighbours by keeping any disturbance to a minimum.

The most frequent reports are about loud music, dogs barking, banging doors and DIY activities. As gardens and outside areas are more open, noise can be heard more easily. We can all expect some noise from our neighbours as we go about our daily lives and would ask that you are tolerant of this.

Alarms

Alarms are designed to make a noise – however misfiring alarms can be disturbing and annoying.

  • Ensure you choose a reliable product and service it regularly
  • Car and intruder alarms should have a 20 minute cut out

DIY

DIY jobs, such as drilling and hammering, can be noisy.

  • Whenever possible, let your neighbours know that you are carrying out noisy work and try to work during normal waking hours
  • Carry out the noisiest tasks in the middle of the day – if you must start early, do quieter jobs first
  • Keep tools well maintained and use lower or quieter settings on power tools where you can. Where possible use hand tools

Garden noise

Our gardens are a place to rest, relax and play. Remember that any noise you make in your garden will be heard by your neighbours.

  • Try and carry out noisy activities in the middle of the day, for example mowing the lawn
  • Where possible, use quieter equipment and maintain it properly
  • If a child’s toy or game is extremely noisy, try and find quieter alternatives
  • If you have a barbeque or party, tell your neighbours, invite them if appropriate, avoid loud music out of doors and if anyone does complain, turn it down. Either end your party or bring your guests indoors at a reasonable time

People

  • Take care when closing doors – particularly if you live in an apartment with a shared entrance or are coming out or in late at night or early in the morning
  • Close cupboard doors gently especially if the units are fixed to party walls. Avoid slamming doors. Adhesive furniture pads are cheap and can be an effective way of reducing noise. Stick them to the inside of cupboard doors, around internal door frames and under furniture such as table lamps and chairs
  • If you live in an apartment, avoid putting down laminate flooring. Research has shown that when you remove a carpet and replace it with wood or laminate flooring the noise your neighbour in the property below hears will increase significantly

Loud music

Music tastes vary so don't assume just because you like a song your neighbour will want to hear it as well.

  • Keep the volume down, especially the bass which can be more annoying than higher frequencies. Don’t put speakers on or close to party walls, ceilings or floors
  • If you have a bedroom TV, keep it quiet at night – especially if your bedroom adjoins someone else’s
  • If playing an instrument, practice where and when it will have least impact on neighbours. Where possible, use headphones. Be mindful of open windows

Pets

  • Dogs bark – but only bark a lot if they are not content. If you have to leave your dog alone, make sure it’s well exercised and fed. Some dogs like a radio for company, or get a friend or neighbour to look in. If your dog continues to bark, consider dog training
  • Cats are independent and can wail and fight. If a neighbour complains about your cat at least try and keep it in at night
  • If you have a caged bird that likes to sing and squawk, make sure it’s kept where it will least disturb neighbours, particularly at night
  • Some caged pets tend to be more active at night - chewing and rattling their cages. Consider carefully where and how you house these pets

Household appliances

  • When buying new appliances, buy a quieter model – not all models have a noise rating, but look out for the 'quiet mark'. Where possible, position them to cause the least disturbance to your neighbour
  • For washing machines, if possible, place on an even floor. Don't overload and run the machine at a time when it will least disturb neighbours – remember the final spin is the noisiest bit
  • Do the vacuuming at a reasonable time – especially if you live in an apartment or terrace, avoid early morning or late night cleaning sprees
  • In the kitchen, avoid banging pans and cupboard doors and don’t use blenders or grinders on surfaces attached to party walls

Entering and leaving your home

  • Avoid slamming front doors or communal entrance doors, particularly late at night or early morning
  • If expecting a visitor or taxi, ask them to knock rather than sound the horn and try not to slam your door or car doors
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