If you’re having major work done to your home – or if you’re living on a street where someone else is having major work done to their home – building noise can have a big impact on your life. The sounds of drills, hammers, and other tools can all be loud and disruptive, which is why there are laws around building noise and when it can take place.
The specifics of when building noise (which is defined as noise that can be heard at the boundary of a building site, for example, by the people living next door to a building site) can can occur are set by local authorities, in line with the Control of Pollution Act 1974. However, the standard times are usually:
For some local authorities, these times can be slightly different, such as 9am to 2pm on Saturdays, so it is worth checking with your own council to see exactly what the regulations in your area are.
There are cases where these rules can be changed in light of particular circumstances. In some instances, when planning permission is needed for a project, the permissions may include specific guidelines on when work can take place, for example, if it will disrupt local businesses.
Builders who are found breaching rules can face fines of up to £20,000.
It benefits all parties to try and head off noise issues before they arise. The simplest way is to make clear to neighbours the times that work will be happening, and if possible to outline the planned schedule of the project so neighbours can be aware of when the most noise and disruption will take place.
If you are concerned that building noise is taking place at anti-social hours, you can alert your local authority which should have a dedicated team to investigate complaints.