How to Cope With Noisy Neighbours
How to handle the noisy jerks next door
Unless you’re literally one of the luckiest people on earth, the chances are you will have or have had noisy neighbours. And I’m not talking about normal everyday noise with the occasional back garden barbecue.
I’m talking about the inconsiderate D-bags that scream and shout at all hours, mow the lawn at 7 AM on a Sunday, and let their kids run riot. You know, stuff like that.
And we’ve all had them. I’ve had three, so statistically, the next time I move I should have a semi-decent neighbour. Whenever I have read articles about how to cope with noisy neighbours, there’s always that one entry that says “just try talking to them.” Yeah right, grow up. If your neighbours are perfectly reasonable, rational human beings then sure, have a word. But the chances are, your neighbours are just regular ordinary people who don’t think they’re making that much noise. And if you tell them they are, one of two things will happen: One, they will keep it down and never bother you again. Or two, they will crank up the volume, and make life a living hell for you. Which one do you think is more likely? Let’s be realistic and take talking off the table.
But your neighbour is a psycho. What can you do about it? You still have to live in that house and have some sort of normal life, so you need to try to keep drama and rows to a minimum. Not easy I know, when you’ve got noisy neighbours all you want to do is yell and scream at them sometimes, but that’s the worst thing you could possibly do.
All this will do is escalate the situation, and make life much more stressful for everyone involved. And when you’re stressed at home, you feel like there is no escape. It’s really bad for your mental health.
So now we’ve covered what shouldn’t be done, let’s look at the things that we can do to cope with our noisy, psycho jerk neighbours.
It sucks because you have to admit defeat, and just deal with the situation; you also have to pay. Sound proofing isn’t cheap, but it is one of the best ways of dealing with the noise.
How you go about it will depend on what type of house you have, where the noise is coming from, and what kind of noise it is.
The four most common complaints from neighbours are:
- Noisy footsteps in an upstairs flat/apartment
- Loud children
- Loud music
- Loud TVs
All these things need to be dealt with in a different way, and again, it will depend on the layout of your home. But there are some basic things you need to know when it comes to soundproofing.
Don’t bother hanging rugs up on the wall, it does nothing. Unless it’s made of specifically designed soundproofing material, then it will just be a big ugly rug on your wall.
If you rent, you can’t make the structural changes you need to get the best results. Unless your landlord agrees, but it’s REALLY expensive so I wouldn’t count on it. If you own the home, consider building a soundproof wall.
Before you start worrying that your home will look like a recording studio, it won’t. There are loads of plain panels that wouldn’t look out of place in a home. There are even decorative ones if you want to make a feature of them. If you have noise coming through a shared wall, soundproofing panels will help reduce that noise significantly. Again, they’re not cheap, but if you want to make a real difference in the sound, you need to spend the money.
Sofas, chairs, real wooden bookcases etc. will all help to reduce the noise levels. If you have a bookcase, try to make it as full as possible. Big, heavy books really help absorb any sound coming into a room.
Drown Them Out
If you can drown them out, do it. Something like a sound machine or a YouTube video played to give background noise can help take the edge off. But if you’re watching TV, this isn’t always an option. Either turn the volume up as high as you need it, or use something like an extractor fan/cooker hood in another room. It won’t bug you too much, because it’s in a different room, but it will help you cope with their non-stop noise.
Don’t Let Them See That You’re Annoyed
I would say don’t let them get to you, but you’re a human being, they’re going to get to you. But don’t let them see that. If you have total jerk neighbours like I have had, they’ll be really pleased that they’re getting on your nerves and do it all the more. And this type of thing can quickly escalate out of control and spiral into real nastiness.
If they’re deliberately making noise (and you’ll know if they are) then they’re bullies. And the most annoying reaction for a bully is no reaction. You just have to deal with it from inside your home.
How Bad Is It?
If it’s getting unbearable and moving is an option, do it. Life is far too short to live in a house where your neighbours are stressing you out. And if it gets really bad, and they’re getting nasty or threatening, you need to call the police.
I can’t silence your noisy neighbours, believe me I would if I could. But what I can do is hopefully give you better ways to cope with them.