Sunday Construction

I am in a Bastide town and an English family have purchased the house behind. It is a wreck and they are converting it. No problem many of us have gone along tht road.

However they are working all weekend so we do not get a day off from construction noises which is a bit annoying as I am fond of my barbecues,and literally we are a thin fence away from them so it is not pleasant to be outside.

I wonder what is the attitude people here have to Sunday working.I think the thing is he is doing a lot of the thimself so comes down for the weekend from the UK with his sons.

Technically nobody is allowed to create nuisance noise which disturbs neighbours on a Sunday except between 10am and noon. That covers mowing, DIY activities, loud music, you name it. It doesn't cover animals which may be noisy, only people. There are other times for the other days of the week. That is the basic law, particular mairies may have stricter versions. If your neighbour is making a racket before or after those times and you ask him to stop, then the law will back you up. He is allowed to do DIY, just not to make a noise so eg painting is OK but not angle-grinding. Talk to the neighbour first and if you get no joy, go to the mairie, the final recourse is the gendarmes.

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Thank you Veronique. Fortunately we are renting and do not own the property so we will move if things get worse as I suspect they will as they are a large family and we are literally a few feet away from them and can clearly hear even normal conversation. They were discussing where to put the small pool for the grandchildren so I think July and August will be hell on earth literally with the family having a wonderful time outside barbecuing and the children doing what all children do in a pool make a lot of happy noise!

Have you thought to ask (politely) if they could try no to make so much noise on the sunday to respect the feelings of the neighbours ?

Oops sorry I assumed that would already have been done! Obviously the first thing to do :-)

if it was me, I'd offer to help so that the work got done faster, and invite him to one of the barbeques for a break between the DIY chores. He'll never forget how friendly and helpful you were.
Or you can complain to him and the authorities and establish from the start what sort of neighbour you want to be.

Well said Pam, i'm all for having as little hassle as possible with neighbours so I would do the same. I would invite them round for a beer/apéro and try to get some positive vibes. Most people respond to kindness but if they turn out to be nasty then try a more unfriendly approach. Remember, making noise and disturbing the peace out of hours is an offence.

The guy is in fact very pleasant and I have chatted to him in the past. the last time he worked on a Sunday he was very apologetic and said it would not happen again,we parted friends. I actually went round to ask him what time he was intending to finnish so I could plan putting a light to the Brai.

Unfortunately his two very large sons were there and they told me to "go away"It did not go as planned Maybe what I wanted to say came out badly me being wound up about the noise Whatever but I will get him on his own and smooth things over. The sad thing is he is in fact not doing work in the week just coming down at the weekends but there is another conversion going on with angle grinders so its all a bit continuous.

I suppose the chap has little option, if he's only there at the weekends to do the work. In his case, I'd offer to help out, or ask him to join your BBQ later. Might become a friend for life!

We had similar in our village, just around the corner. The builders were there day and into the evening, including Sunday, doing work on a Maison de Maitre, plus they were French builders! Kind of reassuring, in a way. Where would Sundays in the UK be without the sounds of a lawnmower, a jet washer, a power tool or two!! (or just now on the Isle of Man, with the Manx Grand Prix and the Festival of Motorcycling!!!!!)

You never know we might become bosom buddies but leaving aside hulking sons 'wiv attitude' and grandma, who could do a voice over for the Dandy Nichols character in Til death do us part i think maybe we would find it difficult to socialize.

you don't need to socialise, or try to be friends. Try the friendly "D'you need any help mate, I've a spare couple of hours". If he leaves his sons to snarl and swear, then stop all negotiations and say calmly that if they can't be reasonable, then neither will you and make an official complaint. It seems odd that he wouldn't be in control of his sons.
I tend to always offer the hand of friendship first. If it's rebuffed then all bets are off and I'm a nasty piece of work and devious with it. But I will *always* try the friendly approach first. Sounds like you have and it sounds like they now consider you to be weak so they can do as they please. Are other neighbours affected? Perhaps speak to your landlord, get evidence first, record the noise.

Do they live there during the week?

Well, it might be worth pointing out that you're sure he doesn't want to get into trouble with the locals as the law states no noise after midday. I had it pointed out to me when I moved here, in a very friendly way. I had been drilling a hole for a hanging basket and my lovely neighbour dropped round and explained that I should not make a noise after midday, and that he would come round Monday morning and drill all the holes I needed. I have been careful to abide by this ever since. We also have quiet between 12-2pm.

"They were discussing where to put the small pool for the grandchildren so I think July and August will be hell on earth literally with the family having a wonderful time outside barbecuing and the children doing what all children do in a pool make a lot of happy noise!"

How dare they purchase a property next to your rented one and plan on enjoying it with their family and potentially disturb your own plans for a barbecue. Yes, that would be "hell on earth". I assume you don't have grandchildren or none that make any noise.

I think that at this stage before I get more paynes in the neck commenting I should point out that we are in a rented place and will be leaving it and France in three weeks. I have however learnt valuable lessons as one does. Living in very close confines with people who you have little or nothing in common with is very difficult and the thought of being here permanently with an atmosphere even less apealing.The one thing about the old village houses or council estates, or northern town back to backs was that everybody came from the same background, so had a shared background,there is a gulf created by our class and regional divides,so here where you are living within yards of people you would not normally associate with and again have nothing in common with is very much a personal choice and I for one would certainly not choose to buy a house here and in fact I am very thankful that I do not own one because It would be on the market tomorrow and hopefully sold before the people behind are finnished building and move in.Its not snobbery but I have no desire to live next door to a large eat end or Essex family and their screaming grandkids.

You are leaving in 3 weeks? So why worry about next July and August? There is an easy solution though, next time rent a house with no neighbours, goodness knows there are enough of them :-) I thought you lived here and it was going to be a long-term problem. I assume you aren't working so that gives you 5 days a week of peace and quiet... look on the bright side!

My mother was born in the East End followed by a big step up the social ladder to Essex. Screaming grandchildren weren't a problem. Noisy people are available from other parts of the UK too.

Hi veronique Sorry I have not explained myself very well. They come at the weekends but as we speak they are banging away this is monday but there is another house next door being done up so I have two houses on the go this week . What my original post was all about was that it was reasonable to hope for one day a week when there was no sound of banging angle grinders etc thats all.

Considering it is only a rental property for a short time maybe your best approach would have been via the owner of the property where you are staying ?

Not an option Peter,very odd wealthy brit owner she would not be interested. The odd is not my assesment she has pissed off everybody in Eymet

please don't move near me..................