Last updated: August 4, 2022 at 13:24 pm
Let’s look at the dos and don’ts of doing DIY on Sunday. There’s no denying that our lives seem to have gotten busier. In contrast to previous decades, both members of the household tend to work. Between work, kids, chores and a little leisure time, there’s a real squeeze on our ability to do other tasks. That means if we need to do a larger DIY project, we simply must do some work on Sunday.
So, what are the rules? What are the dos and don’ts of doing DIY on a Sunday?
Best Practices for DIY on a Sunday
- Do check the laws in your council area. The laws regarding making noise on Sunday are broadly similar, but there are some differences. Some councils only allow work on Sundays in the case of emergency repairs. Make sure you know exactly when you can make noise, how much and when you need to stop.
- Do tell your neighbours. Even if you plan to adhere to all council rules, you still must live next to your neighbours. You can protect your relationship by letting them know there might be a bit of noise. Tell your neighbours when you plan to start and how loud the noise will likely be. It’s possible your neighbours might have plans one Sunday soon, and you can do your DIY then. If not, it at least means they know how long they’ll need to put up with the noise.
- Do plan your project to leave the noisiest tasks until a little later if possible. You might be allowed by law to make noise from 10 am, but if you can do prep work and leave the power tools till eleven, it makes you a better neighbour.
- Do try to carry out the noisiest tasks away from the rooms that join onto your neighbour’s property. If you can do them on the other side of the house or in the garage, you can reduce the amount of noise they will hear.
- Do ensure the noise you make stays at acceptable levels. Many of us see DIY as a necessary but not exactly fun task. So, you might play music to pass the time. This is understandable, but bear in mind that you might have to turn the music up higher than normal to hear it. Don’t make the noise from your DIY even worse by blasting music too. Consider noise-cancelling headphones if you want music while you work.
- Do consider if you can use a hand tool rather than a power tool. It might take a little longer, but it will minimise the disturbance for your neighbours. If a power tool is required, make sure it’s in good working order, so it isn’t excessively noisy. If the tool has multiple power levels, use the lowest one that allows you to complete your task.
- Buy your neighbours a thank you gift. This tip is far from essential, but if you’ve bothered your neighbours on a Sunday, a little box of biscuits or some flowers as a thank you for putting up with the noise is a great way of maintaining a friendly relationship with your neighbours.
- Don’t start before 10 am. It doesn’t matter what you plan to do or if you think it will be quiet. It’s better to wait till the allowed time than risk a noise complaint about you to your council.
- Don’t carry on past the allowed time. It might be tempting when you’re almost done, and just a bit of extra time means you don’t have to finish your DIY later. However, it’s a bad idea for two reasons. Firstly, it could get you into trouble with the environmental health department at the council, and secondly, it’s natural for your neighbours to want to enjoy a quiet Sunday. Four hours is long enough. Bite the bullet and accept that you’ll have to finish it another day.
- Don’t shout over the noise of tools or to family members in another room while you’re working. You’re already disrupting your neighbours’ peace with the DIY; don’t make it worse.
- Don’t do DIY two Sundays in a row. If it’s a lengthy project, it’s natural to want to crack on and get it finished. However, Sunday is a day of relaxation for many people. Do DIY on one Sunday if you need to but if you still have work to complete the following week, do it in the evening or on Saturday. The job may take longer, but it makes you a better neighbour.
- Don’t do DIY for revenge. If you’ve been tormented by inconsiderate neighbours blaring loud music, arguing, or stamping around their home, it’s natural to want a little payback. You may think that a little DIY gives you that and improves your home; it’s win-win. However, bear in mind that unless you’re at the end of a terrace, you have a neighbour on your other side too. Do you want to damage your relationship with them and make them innocent victims? You could even find yourself in hot water with the council for being a noise nuisance. It may be tempting but fight noisy neighbours through the council and don’t fight fire with fire.
- Don’t cause damage to your neighbour’s property. This isn’t just on Sundays, but it’s worth remembering. Be careful when working on a party wall, near their drive, or the fence between your homes. Accidental damage could leave you with a bill for repairs and a frosty relationship with your neighbours.
There are times when you’ll need to complete a repair or renovation and carrying out DIY on Sunday is unavoidable. However, you need to be thoughtful and consider your neighbours’ peace and quiet.
You should also be mindful of your council’s rules. Check out the situation with your council and have a chat about your plans with your neighbours. With a little consideration and planning, you can complete your project and maintain friendly relationships with your neighbours.