Research solidly supports claims that noise isn’t just a nuisance, but a health hazard, with ongoing exposure to noise having the potential to cause stress, anxiety and depression, as well as sleep disturbances. If you’re dealing with a noisy neighbor, filing a noise complaint might be the first thing on your agenda, but there are a number of ways to handle the issue in a conflict free manner without the need for heavy paperwork.
The value in a simple conversation
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to deal with a noisy neighbor is to simply strike up a friendly conversation with them. While it might seem daunting to confront them, doing so once in a polite manner might just solve the problem entirely: they may not even realize they’re being loud enough for you to hear next door. In bringing up the issue, you can open the line of direct communication, which will allow you to work out the problem and establish clear boundaries, especially if the noise is something that will continue to occur on a regular basis. For instance, if your neighbor has been working on his house at 5am recently, perhaps he’d be willing to start an hour or two later once he realizes he’s causing a disturbance.
Finding a solution for everyone involved
When talking to your neighbor about noise, it’s necessary to be open minded and flexible in order to find a solution, which can certainly help to reduce conflict and help you maintain a good relationship. There’s likely no way that you can get your neighbor to quit learning how to play the drums altogether, or give up his barking dog for adoption, for example. Instead, offering flexible solutions that can help both parties to compromise effectively — such as practicing on a quieter drum pad, or changing up the dog’s routine — may be much more practical. Through reasonable negotiation, you can leave the situation feeling like a helpful neighbor, and walk away with an agreement that works equally well for both parties.
Taking matters into your own hands
If your noisy neighbor continues to make a racket, it might be wise to take matters into your own hands and look for a solution that can make you more comfortable. For example, in the event you wish to make a more permanent fix, DIY soundproofing presents a good solution. While it may seem like a complicated job to do on your own, it’s easily achieved if you use the right method and understand how it works. One way to go about soundproofing is through damping, which works by reducing the vibrational energy of a sound through dense materials such as mats, rolls, paints, glues and sprays. Soundproofing can also be done through absorption methods, which work to absorb the sound through insulation. No matter how you decide to soundproof, you’ll be sure that your noisy neighbor issue will improve —whether they know it or not.
On the other hand, if the noise is only an issue when you sit down to work, read or study, you may wish for a simpler solution that doesn’t involve modifying your home. Using noise canceling headphones, or simply turning on some white noise may be enough to drown out the sound. While not a “fix-all” solution, this may work best should your neighbor only make noise every now and again (like an impromptu Friday night party), and can allow you to get things done in peace.
There’s no doubt that having a noisy neighbor can easily get on your nerves, but in many cases, there’s no need to file an official noise complaint. If you’re on good terms with your neighbor, solving the issue may be as simple as starting a conversation, being open minded, or even taking matters into your own hands for a simple and effective fix.
~ By Jennifer Henderson