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But what if you are a neighbour and can't leave your house to stay somewhere else? Our neighbours (we live in a London terrace) have just carried out a five month refurb, building into their side return and extending the kitchen, plus internal refurbishment. It has been the unhappiest five months in our lives, since we came to live in our house 30 years ago. Our neighbours went to live somewhere else so they had no real idea of the disruption. Our side return and garden quickly became covered in dust and dirt which also found itself into out kitchen, hallway and living room (we have to leave our dog door open during part of the day),covering furniture and floors in a light dust and killing plants in the garden. The worst thing was the constant, relentless noise, thumping, banging, drilling, breaking concrete foundations and patios with a pneumatic drill, cutting and polishing stone. I thought I would have a breakdown - daily noise pollution for five months is a long time. We work from home a lot of the time and ended up often having to go into town to an office as it was impossible to make phone calls or have Skype/ conference calls because of the noise levels. During this lovely summer there were many times that we attempted to sit in our garden great on our patio and had to give up because of the noise; they were meant to work until 2.00pm on a Saturday. but often worked until 4.00pm, ruling out lunch in the garden. Twice we had guests come to stay and then leave because they didn't want to be woken up every morning by the drilling. When I emailed our neighbours to ask if we could have a bit of give and take and some pre-arranged ' noise breaks', their reply included the observation that I was 'venting' my frustrations.That is when I knew that they would never understand the awful time that we had lived through as they had not experienced it.

I am having considerable building work done next year on a flat that I will eventually move to and this experience will make me extremely aware of the impact on neighbours and what can be done to mitigate it, including no noisy work on Saturdays, giving my neighbours advance warning of unavoidable noisy work, doing all the breaking of concrete in one go and listening to my neighbours and their suggestions to improve the situation where possible.

Please think about the impact on your neighbours who have not chosen this situation!

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deborah eade

Totally agree, Lena17, and your neighbours sound most unreasonable as well as pretty rude. Either they should have been supervising, or have hired an architect or project manager to do so.

Lyn Pearce, I have no option but to live on site as my means don't extend both to the extensive works and to renting, assuming I could find anything in our small village! Yes, it's awful, especially since I work from home and need wifi and my library (writer and editor), but needs must. Worse things happen at sea, as the saying goes!

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Dee Cee

Lenja17 I agree it can be tough on a neighbour. We have elderly neighbours and one was poorly at the time. I took them flowers on several occasions and we treated them to a meal at our local pub after one particularly heavy week. Having said that, they never complained once and our builders were respectful - no radios, no swearing etc. They even helped them cut a tree down. Give and take.


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