Domestic nuisance - noise, smoke, DIY nuisance

DIY nuisance

Environmental concerns may arise from noise, vibration, dust, smoke, etc. and we have specific powers under the Control of Pollution Act 1972 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to address those concerns. The expectation under the legislation is that "best practice means" (BPM) will be used to prevent nuisances occurring.

All contractors are required to apply BPM to their work programme and techniques, irrespective of their size or the work undertaken. This equally applies to householders undertaking DIY.

As a general rule construction and demolition work should not take place outside of the following hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
  • Saturday, 8am to 1pm
  • no noisy work on Sunday or public holidays

There is scope for negotiation on these hours where there are particularly noise-sensitive properties involved, emergency or specialist work.

All vehicles and plants arriving at and leaving the site shall comply with the same restrictions on hours.

The main contractor shall be held responsible for informing all sub-contractors working on the site of the permitted hours of work.

It is useful to keep neighbours informed about what is happening and the contractor is expected to maintain regular contact throughout the course of works.

The above guidance does not refer to domestic DIY work. No time limits will be placed on domestic DIY work, but unreasonable noise may result in a statutory noise nuisance investigation.


  • if you're planning potentially noisy domestic DIY projects, make sure you tell in advance any neighbours who may be affected by the noise
  • talk to your neighbours to let them know that you will be carrying out work and for how long it is expected to take place; take into account their requirements such as needing to study, shift work, visitors, babies' and toddlers' sleep patterns