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How to minimise the impact of noise

Simple remedies to minimise the impact of noise from pets, in your home/garden, appliances and entertainment.


One person’s pleasure can be torture for someone else! To avoid annoyance, please follow these simple rules:

  • Keep the volume down – especially at night/early morning.
  • Place speakers away from party walls, floors or ceilings. Standing them on an insulating material can reduce the transmission of sound to your neighbour’s home.
  • If you are having a party, consider inviting the neighbours. Keep windows and doors closed, and if someone complains, turn it down.
  • With personal entertainment for example computer games, be considerate and keep the volume down. Avoid using them in the same room where someone is watching TV or listening to the radio. Turning the volume up may disturb your neighbours.
  • If you play musical instruments, keep the volume down, windows shut. Try to agree times to practice with your neighbours, when you will cause them least disturbance.

Domestic appliances

We use more and more appliances to help us with the housework and they can be very noisy. Where you put them and when you use them can make all the difference.

  • Make sure washing machines, fridges and dishwashers are away from party walls and on a carpet or mat to reduce vibration, especially if you live in a flat.
  • Use noisy appliances at sensible times (during normal, waking hours). Vacuuming in the early hours is likely to disturb your neighbours.
  • Consider those at home – if using noisy appliances such as a vacuum cleaner or food processor, shutting doors will avoid the necessity for others in the house to turn the TV up.
  • When buying a new appliance, consider purchasing the low noise option. Some products (lawn mowers, washing machines etc.) have a noise rating.


If pets are well cared for and happy, they shouldn’t make too much noise.

  • Dogs bark if they are lonely, bored or unhappy. If you have to leave them, ask a neighbour to look after them or visit.
  • Domestic animals have the potential to cause a noise nuisance. Ensure they are kept healthy and happy. Put cages/kennels etc. where they are least likely to disturb your neighbours – and you!


We all need to carry out noisy work from time to time to maintain and improve our homes.

  • Do noisy jobs and operate noisy equipment when it will cause least disturbance to your neighbours. Avoid working when they are trying to sleep or enjoy a quiet night in.
  • If you are doing something really noisy, e.g. floor sanding, drilling in party walls, let them know beforehand and they are far less likely to complain.
  • Where possible carry out noisy outdoor jobs in the garage or shed.
  • If you carry out car or other repairs outside, do this in the place and time where it will cause least disturbance.
  • If you are employing builders, agree working times with them that will not annoy the neighbours, or you!

Your home

The construction and layout of your home can cause problems within your home and to your neighbours.

  • Avoid slamming doors, especially if you live in a flat or terraced house.
  • When considering options for flooring, be considerate. Many leases prohibit stripped floors/hard surfaces, for good reason!
  • If you have stripped floorboards or laminate flooring, take off heavy shoes or boots. Socks or slippers will reduce noise.
  • If installing laminated flooring, make sure you use a sound insulating underlay.
  • Sounds travel through walls, so be aware of what’s next door. If you can, avoid having noisy spaces (kitchen, living room) adjacent to quiet spaces (bedroom, study).

Your garden

  • Power tools in the garden should be used with discretion. Avoid strimming or shredding when your neighbours are trying to relax in the sunshine.
  • Think before installing features in your garden that make a noise. The splashing fountain or tinkling chimes might soothe you on a sunny afternoon, but it may drive your neighbours mad at night.
  • When entertaining in the garden remember that sound travels. Avoid amplified music outdoors.


  • If you have a house alarm, leave a key with a neighbour or friend who lives nearby in case it is accidentally set off.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are correctly sited, so they don’t go off every time you burn your food. In the kitchen it is better to fit a heat detector