Respect quiet hours.
Not everyone keeps the same hours, but use your best judgement and be conscientious. Most local noise ordinances designate 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and to 8 a.m. on weekends as quiet hours. In between those times, avoid mowing your lawn, watching a loud movie, running a generator, playing music, working out, or having parties. Should you have people over late into the evening, give your neighbors a heads up beforehand, and, as it gets later, move your guests inside and let them know about your local quiet hours.
It can be uncomfortable if you’re on the receiving end of noise, but it doesn’t mean you’re stuck. Lisa Mirza Grotts, the Golden Rules Gal and an etiquette expert in San Francisco, says you can approach your neighbor about their noise without making them feel defensive. “Go about it in a nice way,” Mirza Grotts says. “Say, ‘Is everything OK with your dog? I hear it barking.’ Or say, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s one of my favorite songs, but it’s so late. Do you mind turning it down?’ You kind of have to make light of things.”
Real estate advisor Alexander Lurie recently had to ask an upstairs neighbor to move their morning workouts to a room other than the one above his bedroom. “When somebody wakes up in the middle of the night because of noise, it’s frustrating,” he says. “But in my experience, when myself or my clients approach those problems with curiosity or empathy instead of anger, it’s amazing how different the result can be.”
Drive slowly and carefully.
Neighbors will notice and talk if you speed to your house or blow through stop signs. Don’t give them a reason to. Abide by the speed limits and look out for kids playing, neighborhood pets crossing, and other neighbors walking. In other words, drive the way you would like every visitor to behave in front of your home.