Noisy Neighbours!

[Picture of Evening Times headline noisy neighbours]NOISY NEIGHBOURS ARE HITTING THE HEADLINES.

Quite right too; there is far too little consideration for others these days. If it’s not the extreme noise from car stereos, it is parties and generally noise from neighbours.

There is a fashion these days for sanded original floorboards, and this may well be the principal cause of noise.  In the old days, there was always a runner, rug or carpet, and in later years, wall-to-wall carpeting dampened impact noise.  Even modern day laminate floors are better than bare floorboards because they are laid on sound-absorbing underfelt.

Painted plaster is another problem, wallpaper is better, blown vinyl or woodchip better still. Curtains instead of window blinds help reduce echo and reverb – it all makes sense. Dropped ceilings in rooms with tiles and shiny surfaces (such as kitchens and bathrooms) are a good idea too.

The worst case — as you can guess — would be a flat with bare floorboards, roller blinds, mirrors and shiny surfaces.  The best would be one with thick absorbent wallpaper, lots of soft furnishings, curtains, tablecloths, cushions, headboards, towels and the like.

These are common-sense changes to décor that make a huge difference to both air-borne noise and impact noise — and which would make a big difference to occasions such as parties.

However, partying in communal gardens (in the back court) in good weather is anti-social if it drags on too late. Parties that spill out onto common landings and stairs as equally annoying.

DIY and other noisy activities — such as playing music — should never be done too late or too early.  Find out about your neighbours — it makes a difference if they are all old and deaf, or if they are on night shift, have small children and so forth. Tailor your noisy activities to suit your neighbours.

[Pic of evening times newspaper headline cracking down on neighbours]It is never a good idea to be too involved with neighbours, people who live close to each other have important privacy lines that must not be crossed, but a civil neighbourliness is better than not caring at all and treating your home like a campus accommodation.

It is good that the council is finally doing something about this major problem. Perhaps they will also look at the poor car parking, the parking in lanes, the dumping of rubbish at the front (on the street and pavement), the inconsiderate hedge owners, the littering and more besides!

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