Hour restric­tions aim to min­imise con­struc­tion im­pact

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Property - Diane Gil­le­land Diane Gil­le­land is the Mas­ter Builders Mid­west/North­west re­gional man­ager.

Q My neigh­bours are do­ing ren­o­va­tions and are start­ing quite early. Are there lim­its on when they can work? A Yes, there will be lim­its, al­though they will de­pend on your lo­cal gov­ern­ment area.

While the win­ter months pro­vide a nat­u­ral ob­sta­cle to early starts on build­ing sites, as we come into sum­mer it will be­come more of an is­sue as builders want to utilise nat­u­ral light and cooler hours.

There are health ben­e­fits for sub­con­trac­tors if heavy, phys­i­cal out­door work is per­formed dur­ing the cooler part of the day, which is usu­ally early morn­ing.

I am not sur­prised brick­lay­ers and car­pen­ters pre­fer to start work early to avoid skin dam­age or other is­sues caused by ex­ces­sive ex­po­sure to the sun and heat.

How­ever, this needs to be bal­anced by ap­pro­pri­ate con­sid­er­a­tion of neigh­bours.

Un­der en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion reg­u­la­tions, there are gen­eral restric­tions on con­struc­tion hours.

They al­low for con­struc­tion noise to be cre­ated be­tween 7am and 7pm on any day which is not a Sun­day or pub­lic hol­i­day.

While builders may be on site out­side these times, noisy ac­tiv­ity may gen­er­ally only oc­cur be­tween the per­mit­ted hours.

The con­struc­tion work should be car­ried out in ac­cor­dance with the con­trol of noise prac­tices set out in the Aus­tralian Stan­dard 2436-1981 Guide to Noise Con­trol on Con­struc­tion, Main­te­nance and De­mo­li­tion Sites.

Also, the equip­ment used for the con­struc­tion work must be the qui­etest rea­son­ably avail­able.

While each lo­cal au­thor­ity dif­fers (you should check with them), early morn­ing starts and weekend work are very tightly po­liced, par­tic­u­larly in in­ner suburbs which are densely pop­u­lated.

There may be ex­cep­tions for work done out­side the nor­mal hours. Builders can ap­ply for an ex­emp­tion where they have a noise man­age­ment plan and can show the work was nec­es­sary.

It is a par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult is­sue if your home is one of the first on the street to be fin­ished in a new sub­di­vi­sion.

How­ever, it can also be an is­sue on a quiet and es­tab­lished street in sub­ur­bia where ev­ery­one is used to the peace, and not ap­pre­cia­tive of the ma­te­rial drop-offs, con­trac­tor ve­hi­cles, and other in­evitable in­ter­rup­tions that build­ing a home or un­der­tak­ing ren­o­va­tions can bring.

But re­mem­ber, all the homes on the street were once con­struc­tion sites, so there also needs to be a level of tol­er­ance so the pro­ject can be com­pleted.

Be­fore you ring the coun­cil to com­plain, ring the site su­per­vi­sor or the builder di­rectly and fol­low up with an email or let­ter.

Of­ten they are un­aware what time their con­trac­tors are on site as they are not gen­er­ally com­pany em­ploy­ees, but independent con­trac­tors.

Con­tact de­tails are usu­ally pro­vided on sig­nage erected on site. You may be able to reach a com­pro­mise, such as get­ting the sub­con­trac­tors to re­duce their noise level.

Most builders ap­pre­ci­ate the value of “word of mouth” rep­u­ta­tion and would be anx­ious to main­tain a good re­la­tion­ship with neigh­bours, who may be their fu­ture clients.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

There are gen­eral restric­tions on con­struc­tion hours.

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