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Question DetailsAsked on 6/2/2018

Our neighbors noisy children on trampoline in front yard. I'm had a stroke and noise bothers me.

They have a large yard and junk, swing set, trampoline, bikes, basketball hoop, rocks, toys, a fence falling down, flower pots that have never had flowers or did but died because they weren't watered. It is an eyesore! And laughing, yelling and screaming children with others bought over to play in the front yard next to our home. We already have a privacy fence we put up but that doesn't help.

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Obviously, first try talking to the neighbor, mention your stroke and that the noise disturbs your rest, and try to negotiate "quiet hours" - like after a certain time at night till a reasonable morning hour when the kids willnot make noise outdoors. Commonly 8 or 10PM-8AM are the hours specified in towns which have a noise ordinance - sometimes more like 10AM on weekends though in some areas the Friday and Saturday night "quiet" hour time is pushed back to 10 PM or midnight too.


You could also ask them possibly to move the trampoline and basketball hoop (if the portable type) to a side of the yard away from your house.


Another alternative is to reduce your expose to the noise - put up sound-deadening curtains or drapes (regular insulated ones work fairly well for this, especially if doubled with blinds or a second layer of curtain) and keep windows on that side of the house closed, and perhaps move your bedroom or daytime activities to rooms on the side away from their house.


In the short run it is unlikely there is a lot you can do to directly block their noise, short of having a screen of dense trees like dawn redwood or such planted using mature noise screening trees so it is immediately high enough to be useful (hence commonly $500-1500 per plant cost so real costly to make a noise screen 20-40 feet wide so it is effective). Planting immature plants can eventually create a noise barrier, but commonly (unless you uyse an invasive like bamboo) usually takes 10-30 years to get tall and dense enough to really be effective. Fencing is pretty much out, because most codes prohibit fences higher than 6 feet and wouldnormally have to be solid and over 10 feet to really block much of the noise even from your ground floor windows/walls.


Another possibility, if the noise issue is predominately at one window, is having a noise screen (like a tight trelliscovered with clematis or a creeper vine or such) placed directly in front of that window (leaving emergency egress space outside it).


But expecting a household of kids to be quiet, especially during the summer break - not happening, and not something which you could expect to enforce on them or force them to do - that sort ofnoise (except during nighttime hours) is considered "normal" use of their property and not something you can use the law to inhibit.


From your comments on the fence fallen down and no growth in the pots and eyesores and such, sounds like you have a bit of a grudge going against them in general. My advice (since this does not sound like a total "trailer trash" situation) is to chill about that, and minimize your exposure to the noise. Perhaps spend more time in parts of the house away from that side or in the basement (which is probably the quietest place in the house, if you have a basement).


And maybe spend more time out of the house at a senior activity center or public library or parks/beach or doing some hobby or volunteer work or club, or exercise like walking or biking (which would probably be better for your health too) during the hours the kids are likely to be playing in the yard and making noise.


Of course, ear plugs or a "white noise" generator might make sleeping easier too. Some people (especially in hotter areas) just leave a floor fan running in their bedroom to generate background noise even if they have air conditioning - your mind pretty quickly tunes that noise out, but it can help mask outdoor sounds too. Cuts down on air conditioning cost too because running a fan like that typically allows you to raise the temperature which the A/C keeps the house at during the night by about 5-10 degrees for the same comfort level.


Last resort (assuming you are elderly) - taking into consideration yoru health and activity level and future likely needs for care and such, consider if it is time to move to a new place - possibly a downsizing to smaller place or apartment or to a retirement community or facility with appropriate facilities or your current and expected future care needs.

Answered 5 months ago by LCD




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