Am I being unreasonable?

15 Feb 2007
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United Kingdom
Just need to get this off my chest before I hit the sack....

Long story short - went to replace a 3mm plywood panel on the side of my chimney breast in my lounge with some 15mm blockboard, only to find it didnt go to plan and I was chiselling bits of plaster off between 5 and 6pm in the evening. Not a lot of plaster - about 3 inches by 8 ft and a couple of taps and a handfull fell off. I was down to the last couple of whacks when at 6:05 my next door neighbour leaned on the doorbell (literally) then gave me an earful about how thoughtless I was as his car was obviously on the driveway so he was at home and common courtesy said I ought to check with him/his wife it was okay to make a noise at any time of the day.

Considering I take great pains not to make too much noise at any time of the day and this is the only the second time in four years of DIY that he's felt the need to complain (and he knows full well the house was in need of extensive renovation as he used to come in and pick up the absentee owners mail before I moved in) I'm a bit miffed. It's not like I purposely started a job that I knew would involve lots of hammering, it just happened.

Am I in the wrong?
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Neighbour work can be annoying, as sound travels, but for your neighbour to complain, I think not. But you could have warned them beforehand. But as DIY goes, you want to get the job done, so a job might extend to unsociable hours, sounds unreasonable to me.

But I played loud music one night, as he played loud music during the day, and came round the next day, and attempted to hack my door to death, to gain access, with a knife, he is currently doing 26 years! So be careful when complaining. (not convicted by me! A previous misdemenour)

The other neighbour, was hammering for weeks on end, and I don't get on with him, but eventually asked whats all the hammering, and the answer was 'hanging wallpaper'.........
As you don't get the full story, the 1st neighbour was using the house as a canabis factory, and the other neighbour is deaf as a post, so you make judgements, beyond your knowledge.

When anyone attacks you with a knife, and gets sent down for many years, there is an issue there.
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I don't think that the noise of hammering at about 6pm is unreasonable. (One exception - if you knew that your neighbour was a shift worker and had to sleep at that time.) Even a baby would not be put to bed until after that time. It is also too early for people to reasonably say that they wanted to settle down for a quiet evening
It may have annoyed them but it wasn't bad enough to come round and complain. If you had kept it up well into the evening that would have been different. Even then, I still think that you would have had the right to continue although it would have been unneighbourly to do so.

In my opinion you are also right that it is the frequency of such events that should be considered as well as the actual noise on that day.
I would say that was a bit silly. I am sure if you had explained what you were going to do then you wouldn't have upset your neighbour.
You should always think first about hammering a party wall, if it was. Because if you want to p...s your neighbour off that's what you do. There is more to good DIYing than hammering TF on his wall as well.

When you do this sort of thing you must remember that although you both live in your homes you do live in the same building.

Go round there a lovely bunch of flowers and apologise. :)
Any DIY that causes noise can annoy neighbours, but it has to be done. Between 5 and 6pm isn't late, nor a long period. If it had carried on into evening and night, then your neighbour might have been justified.

It also sounds like an isolated incident. If it was a regular occurrence, and/or without any warning, he may well be justified in giving you both barrels, and firing a few f***s into you. As an isolated incident, sounds like he was totally unjustified.

My brother's house has a block of 4 flats next door. Someone bought the nearest one to him, and have set about renovating it. Its only a small 2 bed 60s box of a flat, but they have drilled up all floors for u/f heating, created a wetroom and taken out walls, plus creating a patio (party area) in the garden which is under his bedroom windows. Think they're trying to create a loft/penthouse effect. Took 3 months of drilling, on and off, just to finish the bathroom!

They started in April, and have only just stopped drilling. Sometimes, it went on all day, Saturdays, Sundays, bank holidays, early till late. Took 3 months of drilling, on and off, just to finish the bathroom!

The woman in the flat above has cancer, and had to go and live with her sister just for some sanity. They shout, swear, play loud radios and have large smoky bbqs, that caused my brother to close all his windows in the hottest part of the year. When they were working on the patio area in the summer, he couldn't use his garden due to lack of privacy, and clouds of dust, even at weekends.

If you neighbour had neighbours like my brother's,then he may just have something to complain about.
I spoke to my neighbours very briefly this morning as they came back from shopping and I was lugging a new bit of board from the car.
"Going to be making a bit of noise I'm afraid." I said. He didnt say a word but his missus was almost apologetic in assuring me it was no big deal.

Call me petty, but when my dad mentioned to me this evening that there was a yank Ford pickup with a 5.4L V8 going cheap just around the corner from me, my first thought was "How much will my neighbour like me reversing a V8 onto my driveway at 11pm?" :evil:
"How much will my neighbour like me reversing a V8 onto my driveway at 11pm?" :evil:

Wouldn't worry me.

There is no finer sound on this planet than the 'burble' of a V8. The bigger, the better!

Few years ago, a mate had a Rover SD1 3.5, with a performance exhaust. The car was an old nail, but that Buick lump made music. :cool:
In answer to your original question , depends on your property.

If you live in a detached house, I don't think it's unreasonable. Though when we moved in I did mention to the neighbours I'd be doing lots of DIY and they were fine with it.

If you live in a terrace or semi and were drilling into the party wall, I think you should have probably let them know.

Maybe he was just having an off day? Or maybe he's Victor Meldrew's long last brother ;)
I've never been one to moan......... :D .........BUT.

Why was Moody's abusive post 'doctored' to show zero abuse, and my non abusive reply was deleted entirely. ???????

Don't get it.

How does that work then...????????????
Is it a case of friends in high places again...??????????? :LOL:

Can't be right surely.???
I wanted to explore Moody's statement (on topic) about his neighbours and the unfortunate circumstances he had to deal with.... :LOL:

No rules broken whatsoever. :rolleyes:
I had a noisy neighbour once, it was highly annoying. I think you were wrong not to inform them, if the noise could be heard in their home. Just being polite isn't it?
would be neibourly to tell them before hand off any loud noises for more than around 15 mins continuous or 30 sporadic
then they have the chance to negotiate a time convenient for you and them
He is being a pedantic ass. Work needs doing which can be noisy sometimes. Weekdays between 8 and 8 is perfectly ok
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