The Nice Advice: What to do about noisy weekend neighbors?

Published 9:00 am Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Nice Advice by Leah Albert

Leah Albert is a fictitious character. She likes wine and writing. Don’t ask her to be a matchmaker. Do send your questions to Leah at


Dear Leah,

At what hour on weekend mornings is it reasonable to start running leaf blowers and lawn mowers? We have a neighbor who begins before 8 a.m. in an otherwise quiet neighborhood.

This sends my husband, who is especially sensitive to sound, out of the house seeking relief. Earplugs aren’t the answer, as both my husband and our neighbor are already wearing them.

We’re not early risers and assume others are also attempting to sleep in on the weekends.

We don’t want to start a war.

What should we do? 

Signed, Quiet Neighbors


Dear Neighbors,

I checked the noise ordinance rules in several random locations and learned that most rules dictate quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. during the week. This quiet time usually ends at 9 a.m. on weekends.

You should check your own local rules on noise. Just do an internet search for “noise ordinance” and the name of your town. Noise complaints are very common, because excessive noise is a significant (and sometimes serious) annoyance that affects the quality of life in your home.

Your assumption that you might “start a war” if you ask your neighbor to behave differently is overblown. Your first choice should be to communicate with him directly and respectfully. You simply ask him, personally, “Would you mind delaying the start of your mowing/blowing until after 9 a.m. on the weekends? We are eager to recover from a tough workweek by having some quiet on Saturday mornings. Our local noise ordinance says people should not start noisy work until after nine.”

If your neighbor does not comply, you can contact your local government to report this annoyance. Your neighbor will be notified and perhaps fined. Your last resort would be to call the police. Take care.