Being woken up by loud construction noise at 8 AM on Saturday or Sunday can be very unpleasant if you’re trying to have a lie-in.
However, there may be nothing you can do about it if your local council allows noisy building work at these times.
There aren’t set laws for when builders can carry out noisy construction work that apply across the UK. Instead, the Control of Pollution Act 1974 gave Local Authorities the power to set their own laws.
Most councils allow noisy construction work according to the timetable outlined below (though it can vary slightly):
- Weekdays: 8 AM to 6 PM.
- Saturday: 8 AM to 1 PM.
- Sundays and Bank Holidays: No noisy work permitted.
What Counts as ‘Noisy Work’?
Construction always involves some noise. Builders are allowed to work around the time periods allowed for ‘noisy work’ as long as the volume isn’t deemed too high. This includes Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Here are a few activities that would count as ‘noisy work’:
- Using hammers, saws and other hand tools
- Using handheld power tools such as electric drills and saws
- Using cement mixers, planers, pneumatic hammers and other plant equipment
- Putting up and taking down scaffolding
Can You Complain About Building Noise?
Yes, all local councils should allow you to make a complaint about building noise.
Each council’s procedure is a bit different, and you will need to contact them directly, so the first step is to google something like “[your local council name] + noise complaints” to find out how to complain about noise in your area.
Some councils will send you a log sheet to record when the noise occurs and what kind of noise it is. They will also inform the builders that you have made a complaint. If nothing improves after they have received the letter and the council deem you to be in the right, they will serve a notice for the noise to stop.
How to Cope with Construction Noise
If you’re finding construction noise near your home stressful, there are a few things you can do to make life more bearable:
- Wear hearing protection: Wearing ear plugs and/or ear defenders around the house can reduce the noise of loud machinery to a distant hum that will be less stressful to listen to.
- Listen to music: Listening to music through headphones can distract you from the construction noise in the background. You could also listen to white noise through headphones.
- Change your schedule: This might seem drastic, but getting up earlier and leaving the house before construction work starts might make your life more enjoyable rather than having the noise of a pneumatic drill serve as your alarm clock.
- Soundproof your home: Installing some basic soundproofing, especially over noise entry points such as windows could reduce the noise considerably.