General Question

janbb's avatar

What should I do about this neighbor noise dilemma?

Asked by janbb (62852points) 3 weeks ago
28 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

My summer time neighbors have a pool and have been quite noisy over the years. I’ve objected at times and we’re in a fairly decent place with each other. Recently they put up wind chimes on a tree near my bedroom window. It’s tolerable with the window closed but I fear it will be sleep destroying come summer.

I hate appearing like the cranky old lady next door but is it valid for me to ask them to move it?

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Jeruba's avatar

I think it’s absolutely fair. Let them put it next to their bedroom window.

In your place, I think I’d make a batch of cookies or something equally delectable and take it over, and then point out that the placement of the wind chimes is bothering you. If they want to be good neighbors, they’ll accommodate you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think it’s fair.

chyna's avatar

I agree with @Jeruba. Politely ask them to move them. The thing is, it’s not something they have to have. It’s not like you are complaining about a dog, a security light or something they really can’t do without. It’s a wind chime that they don’t need to live with. I really get it, because I have wind chimes
that I love to hear. But I don’t have close neighbors. If someone did ask me to take them down because they were bothered by them, I would be happy to do so. I love hearing them, but I don’t want to annoy anyone.

Caravanfan's avatar

Nothing you can do about the pool noise. But ask them to take down the wind chimes.

JLeslie's avatar

I would ask them to move the chimes.

If the pool noise is only during the day I would likely not say anything unless it was very extreme for many days in a row.

janbb's avatar

The pool noise is fine with me during the day; the issue was when it went on after 10:30 or 11 at night. Sometimes 1 or 2 in the morning!

JLeslie's avatar

Is it possible they are completely unaware you can hear them inside of your house? If it happens a couple of days in a row I would ask them to keep the noise down after 10:00pm. Hopefully, they apologize and say “no problem.”

I also think you should try earplugs or a white noise at night if they continue to make some noise even if they “try” to keep it down, but don’t take it seriously enough. Not because you should be the one to adjust, because you certainly should not have to do that, but because sleep is important.

filmfann's avatar

Bring over a dessert of something you make, and ask them nicely. If you explain, they will accommodate you.

If not, hire ninjas.

Forever_Free's avatar

State the truth about it. Nobody can dispute your truth. It’s then up to them to act.
While it may be a bit uncomforting in bringing it to them, it will be less uncomforting that hours of sleep and through when it chimes in an unwanted time.

gorillapaws's avatar

If asking nicely, they refuse. You could always go with the nuclear option: take up playing the bagpipes. Or rename your wireless network “My_neighbors_are_noisy_and_inconsiderate.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’d deal with it and not say anything.

Once I asked my neighbor if he enjoyed our beautiful outdoor lamp, expecting a ‘Yes, it’s gorgeous!’ And received a ‘No I hate it. I enjoy swimming at night in darkness.’
In the end we are legally able to do as we will on our property within legal parameters, being kind is optional.
Doesn’t hurt to ask but I’d hold off for important issues other than a wind chime.
My neighbors dog barks for 10 minutes every morning outside my bedroom window going on 3 years with no complaint from me. Its her yard so I feel like its MY issue to handle, not hers.

JLeslie's avatar

My neighbor’s son comes to visit them about 4 times a year for a week or so at a time, and his dog barks a lot and loud all times of the day. Rarely does he bark in the middle of the night, but early morning does happen. I say nothing, because it is temporary. If it was their dog I would probably say something. I think I only hear the dog in my house when the dog is outside in the back yard.

I think it is reasonable to not make noise after 10pm and it is probably the law or some sort of ordinance. My husband loves wind chimes, but he also needs total quiet at night, he is a very light sleeper. If a neighbor was annoyed by wind chimes that we had outside of our house, we would move them to another location outside or bring them inside. We would rather the neighbor let us know than be annoyed at us or that they feel we are being inconsiderate. We might have no idea the chimes are bothering them.

I grew up in an apartment when I was little, and when my sister and I were being rambunctious the man who lived below would knock on the ceiling and my mom would calm us down. She wasn’t angry at the guy, my sister and I were supposed to be more considerate.

seawulf575's avatar

Since you aren’t sure if it will be a problem or not, why not wait? If summer comes and it is too noise at night, then ask if they can move it to the other side of the yard. But it is interesting with noise: some noises may sound loud when you are near them but not once you get used to them or are farther away. I have wind chimes out front. I can hear them inside the house if the wind is blowing, but it isn’t nearly as loud and soon falls into the background noise. Ditto that with my grandfather clock when it chimes. It chimes every 15 minutes but I rarely hear it in my bedroom which is only about 20 feet away. Not even in the living room which is much closer. You just sort of block it out.

janbb's avatar

@seawulf575 Yes, you’re right. I am planning to wait until summer and the windows are open but since it is pretty loud already with the windows closed, I am anticipating the problem.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

@JLeslie I wish my neighbors were so considerate. I don’t knock on the ceiling but if I say anything to them, they get up in arms.

I would say something nicely to them about the wind chimes, and maybe with some nice baked goods as others suggested. Be aware though that nowadays people are more leery about home-baked stuff after covid so if they seem reluctant to take it, that might be the only reason.

One reason why I think you should say something to them is that in all relationships, it is good to communicate because if you don’t say something to them, which may or may not result in the acting to take down the wind chimes, then you will just go on resenting them without having even talked to them. And then anytime they do something you will no doubt subconsciously think that it’s another attempt to annoy you. If you have a conversation, even if it doesn’t go exactly the way you want it to, then that’s going to clear the air to some extent either way. And then you’re much less likely to carry a grudge.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@janbb I detest wind chimes, which turn a lovely summer breeze into a noisy nuisance.

You say that you’re on good terms with your neighbors, and I already know that you’re a polite person. If the wind chimes annoy you at night, you could certainly approach the neighbors and ask them to move the item away from your bedroom window.

Somebody once gave me a pretty set of wind chimes as a gift. I hung the device within my home, not outdoors, so that I can enjoy the artistry without the noise.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

Of course, keep in mind that wind chimes can be a great way of getting alerted to a severe storm or tornado approaching. (Thinking of the movie Twister here.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m in Kansas. Wind chimes are useless for predicting a tornado! My spidey sense tells me if there’s going to be a tornado. You can feel it when you go outside.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

@Dutchess_III sorry, of course they wouldn’t be able to detect if there’s rotation or anything like that. What I meant was that if you’re sleeping in the middle of the night and the wind chimes are just here and there are tinkling, and then all of a sudden they’re making a whole big racket, that would be a clue that something bad is probably about to come down the pike. You would have to put a weather radio on or, like you said, go outside, to be able to tell there was a tornado coming. I just meant it would be a first alert that something was going down.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Kansas is very windy in general so it wouldn’t mean anything. Hell, I don’t even hit the basement when actual tornado are going off. I go outside to see what to see.
We DO check the weather regularly tho, for entertainment!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think that’s a midwest thing, we do the same here! :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve lived I Kansas since 1967 and I had never seen a tornado until I met Rick. We ran it to ground.
I’m having trouble getting the picture to post. Google Mulvane White Tornado to see what I got to see. You won’t regret it.
It was breathtaking. I wanted to get closer but for once Rick showed restraint!

jca2's avatar

My first thought was to give some type of dessert and then make the request, for example, a tray of brownies and then “oh, by the way” type of thing. After thinking about it, and your comment about not wanting to be perceived as the cranky lady next door, and after reading a similar suggestion from others (above), I think it would be too obvious to do it that way.

I think a better tactic would be to be to act really nice and smiley and cool for a few weeks, whenever you see them. That way, you’re not asking for anything, you’re just so nice and so chill and this will endear you to them. Then, when warm weather comes and you’re going to be sleeping with the window open, in about another month or so, you can approach them and say “oh by the way, I have a small request” and then hit them with the request. Then, hopefully all goes well and some time in the summer, or maybe a few times in the summer, you can bring them a plate of your goodies and they’ll just think you’re the cat’s meow.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wonder if there is something you could spray on them…

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III Did you mean to post that on the thread about killing the trees?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sorry. @KNOWITALL and I got a smidge derailed. No, I wondered if you could spray something…clear spray paint on the chimes to mute the noise.

seawulf575's avatar

Put on your ninja suit, jump the fence in the dark of night, glue the chimes all together and leave. Or just take the chimes. Since you are the cranky old lady, no one would suspect you have an alter ego that is a ninja.

Dutchess_III's avatar


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