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Old 19.08.2019, 15:27
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House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

The house (contigue and approximately 30 years old) next to mine has been sold, and the new owner is renovating the house from top to bottom - literally! The noise created every day by people carrying out the renovations, has now reached a stage where I am asking myself what are the legal limits beyond which the workmen must reduce the noise level. The new owners are obviously not in situ, and a couple of workmen have told me that the renovation will take longer than anticipated, due to the fact that often a repair is much more complicated and time-consuming than originally thought. Apparently, the new kitchen will not be installed until end September! The house is situated in a co-ownership in a smallish village in the La Côte region.

Some of my neighbours are also not happy with the situation, but many are absent during the day due to professional commitments, thus are not subjected to the excess noise. Our new neighbour, unfortunately, is not very co-operative.

Thus, what options are open to me (and others). Should we (those who are willing) speak to the Bureau de Commune, seek legal advice, etc.

Any advice, suggestions, will be gratefully received!
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:32
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

If it is only going on weekdays during the day, then most probably it's allowed.
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:33
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

Do you own your property, or are you renting? I ask because if you are renting, your landlord has an obligation in this matter. If you own, you're on your own (perhaps with your neighbours).
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:34
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

Basically the limit is what is necessary. So if they need to drill in concrete and hamer out walls for days in a row that is just the amount of noise you have to swallow. If they however have a radio blasting the whole time that is something you could act against.
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:36
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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Do you own your property, or are you renting? I ask because if you are renting, your landlord has an obligation in this matter. If you own, you're on your own (perhaps with your neighbours).
All 10 houses are privately owned.
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:36
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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Basically the limit is what is necessary. So if they need to drill in concrete and hamer out walls for days in a row that is just the amount of noise you have to swallow. If they however have a radio blasting the whole time that is something you could act against.
A good point as the drilling and hammering is necessary whereas the radio isn't. However I doubt the radio 'blasting' is over the limit. It won't be belting out at rave or concert level surely?!
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:37
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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Thus, what options are open to me (and others). Should we (those who are willing) speak to the Bureau de Commune, seek legal advice, etc.
I can't imagine what you are expecting?

If they're not making noise outside the permitted hours, then there's probably not much you can do. At least here Sundays, and possibly Saturdays are quiet.
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:40
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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I can't imagine what you are expecting?

If they're not making noise outside the permitted hours, then there's probably not much you can do. At least here Sundays, and possibly Saturdays are quiet.
We had a building site opposite us for a time and there were a few people working on Saturdays, but the noise level was not comparable to that of weekdays. Presumably Saturdays are also considered working days though for building and renovation.
Most people who are at work during the week will do their DIY etc. on Saturdays.
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:53
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

And if they are farmers they will be out making noise 24/7. Last year we had combine harvesters out at 3AM on a Sunday with bright lights.

Case of us and them.
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:06
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

Rules for agricultural land may well be entirely different for other residential or mixed-uses zones.
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:06
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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I can't imagine what you are expecting?

If they're not making noise outside the permitted hours, then there's probably not much you can do. At least here Sundays, and possibly Saturdays are quiet.
Occasionally, noise continues outside permitted hours. I do not think the new owners are aware of schedules set by the Commune.
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:07
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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Occasionally, noise continues outside permitted hours.
This is what can be reported.
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:07
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

Seems to me the thing to do is to find out the rules of your specific area. They will probably specify, for Monday to Friday, and possibly separately for Saturday, the starting and ending times, and also very likely a lunch-time which must be quiet.

Once you have that, observe whether the builders are sticking to it. If they are not, you have reason to complain to the new owner and ask him/her to instruct the builders of the municipal rules.

EDIT: Sorry, our posts crossed... I see you already know these.

For the rest, bake a cake and take over a crate of cool Coke, or if it has turned cold a few thermos' of tea. Speak to the builders. Tell them you understand that they have to work, but that it's really bothering you. Once they decide you're an alright sort, ask them to tell you when the worst bits are going to be.

They may be able to say: extreme demolishments at least till next Tuesday. After that, banging and hammering for about two weeks. Then sanding and smoothing for about another week. And so on. They might know whether they've booked the biggest machines for three days, or every morning, or every afternoon, etc.

You have my sympathies! It might help you, though, to plan your time to be out a bit more (if that's possible for you), or working in your own cellar, when they are doing the noisiest parts. In general I have found that noise is all the more bearable when one knows a) what is being done i.e. what it is for and b) how long it is going to last.

Last edited by doropfiz; 19.08.2019 at 16:08. Reason: EDIT: I see you already know the rules.
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:16
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

Our gardeners got told off by our Syndic for making noise during the lunch hour. I expect your village has similar rules, you just need to ensure that they are aware of them. It appears these rules over rule the agricultural rules.
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:20
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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This is what can be reported.
instead of reporting immediately (which seems like a very Swiss thing to do tho) one could also consider to approach them friendly and explain to them that you'll understand that noise comes with the job, but that all should be within certain hours.
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:21
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

Thanks for your post Dropofiz. When the noise becomes unacceptable to me, I do speak to the workers. I am always extremely polite, smiling and understanding - my friends would not recognise me! In fact, I spoke to the two individuals who took over the afternoon shift, following a morning of drilling and banging by the morning team. They left 10 minutes ago (16.05), so I'm hoping my intervention may have influenced them to leave a little earlier than usual!
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:22
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

Standard periods for (work) noise are 7AM-12PM, 1PM-7PM, Mon-Sat.

Tom
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:24
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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Thanks for your post Dropofiz. When the noise becomes unacceptable to me, I do speak to the workers. I am always extremely polite, smiling and understanding - my friends would not recognise me! In fact, I spoke to the two individuals who took over the afternoon shift, following a morning of drilling and banging by the morning team. They left 10 minutes ago (16.05), so I'm hoping my intervention may have influenced them to leave a little earlier than usual!
That sounds like a little progress. Oh, my, I don't envy you having to put up with that! Maybe you can get them to inform you in advance, once they know when each really noisy next phase (or break therefrom) will start.
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Old 19.08.2019, 16:30
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

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Our gardeners got told off by our Syndic for making noise during the lunch hour. I expect your village has similar rules, you just need to ensure that they are aware of them. It appears these rules over rule the agricultural rules.
Yes Bowlie - the harvest has to be collected when it is ready. Rules covering agriculture are quite separate from other rulings. The field opposite my house is often harvested during the night.
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Old 19.08.2019, 17:09
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Re: House Renovation - Maximum legal noise level

Saturday is a legal work day. Indeed there may be a required lunchbreak.

The heaviest part of any renovation is the first part, in German called the Rückbau. This is dismantling, taking out walls, etc - the heavy stuff, and is the noisiest.

The building up again is normally quieter. Putting in a kitchen and things like that will not be anywhere near as noisy. Painting will not disturb you.

We did a renovation that took 12 weeks. I'd say the noisiest part lasted about half of
that. It is a pain the ass for neighbours, I felt really bad for mine although they were generally good about it. In our case we informed them by letter in advance by letter that we were renovating, apologised in advance for the noise. At the end, it was wine and chocolates all round, even for those across the street.

My advice - roll with it. It will come an end at some point.
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