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Unbearable drilling from neighbour's renovation

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BedokAmerican
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Postby BedokAmerican » Tue, 22 Oct 2013 4:58 pm

AnabelG,

Join the club. The exact same thing went on for almost 2 months where I lived. Loud, shrill drilling, usually started right when by son went down for a nap and continued most of the day. If he got more than 30 min of sleep, it was a miracle (he generally naps 2-3 hrs).

Toddler with no nap during the day = too cranky to sleep at night.

You could check and see if a construction permit is on display and what the end date is. However, it could always be extended, as was the case I experienced. My husband recorded the noise when he was home one of those days and went to the building management office to complain and the noise was quieter for that day and the next few days, but probably because they didn't turn their drills on full blast. Other tenants also complained, too. But the noise resumed again until the work was done.

When I checked the permits, I learned the noise was coming from 2 floors below us. It sounded like it was directly above, or right in my ear. When I got on the lift once and construction workers were in there and pressed the floor where the renovation was taking place, I asked them if they were going to be drilling today and they both said no. What happened? Drilling. Surprise!

Sorry you're having to deal with this. I'm sure I wasn't much help. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone and that I've shared your frustration.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Oct 2013 5:11 pm

"they" probably weren't drilling. The other workers were. :-/

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Postby chandelier » Tue, 22 Oct 2013 6:44 pm

Go there and hit them on the head with a hammer. People who renovate without concern for their neighbors should be punished. Severely!
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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Tue, 22 Oct 2013 7:11 pm

No, do it via official channels.

Let the authorities prosecute your war for you.

You're going to have to face your neighbours every day in future; 'Oh no [innocent look] I didn't do anything, but the council, oh, they're facists!! I don't know anything about that, anyway lovely to meet you, welcome to the neighbourhood...'

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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 22 Oct 2013 9:01 pm

I feel for you. We've had it for 6 weeks and you can feel it, never mind hear it. I just go out a lot.

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Postby AnnabelG » Tue, 22 Oct 2013 11:53 pm

Thanks everyone. Glad to know that people out there empathise what I have been doing through!

I didnt know how hard it was trying to get through to the builders. Called them and no one seemed to be able to direct me to the "person in charge", and no response to my email as well.

I managed to get hold (physically .... :-| ) of the foreman(?) of the workers and he told me that they will be done by this week (phew!). According to him, it could have been worse; they wanted to do a lot else to the house, which were not approved by BCA (Hmmm, I wonder why?) So in the end, the message I got is that I should count my blessings that it was only a month of constant drilling and no banging/pounding/blowing the house to bits!

Anyway, at last it seems to be over soon (fingers crossed!)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Oct 2013 6:49 am

AnnabelG wrote:So in the end, the message I got is that I should count my blessings that it was only a month of constant drilling and no banging/pounding/blowing the house to bits!


Sounds like you are a whole lot luckier than most of us who have been caught at the beginning of a renovation and literally have it for months/years. I am at the tail end of 24 months of lift upgrading! Finally! While it's not been hard for me, it's been a living hell for my MiL and anybody else who might be home during the day/evening. Just count your lucky stars.

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Postby PrimroseHill » Wed, 23 Oct 2013 9:17 am

Lived in an older development when we first arrived. Letter boxe had nothing but information from management office on each apartment and house that would be drilling, hacking etc. It was a non-stop affair. No one would actually adhere to the conditions laid down even though it clearly stated 9-5 Mon-Fri and 9-1 Sat. Whenever we complain to the management office the noise would stop or become more intermittent for that day and the next few days but it would start again after that.

When we moved to our house, we knock through the airwell/stairwell and close it up, the works was so delayed because we adhere to the conditions and not only that, we pandered to some of our neighbours that have babies, so work was only done 10-3 Mon-Fri

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Postby AnnabelG » Wed, 23 Oct 2013 9:31 am

Yup, I think I am quite lucky too, as long as the drilling does not continue.

The renovation will only end next year in June, but I can put up with other noise except for constant drilling. This place (without renovations) is already quite noisy with busy traffic, many many many dogs barking at the same time, stray cats screaming in the middle of the night .....

To be honest, once the lease is up, dont think I will stay in a house again.

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Wed, 23 Oct 2013 9:43 am

AnnabelG wrote:I managed to get hold (physically .... :-| ) of the foreman(?) of the workers and he told me that they will be done by this week (phew!). According to him, it could have been worse; they wanted to do a lot else to the house, which were not approved by BCA (Hmmm, I wonder why?) So in the end, the message I got is that I should count my blessings that it was only a month of constant drilling and no banging/pounding/blowing the house to bits!


Observations:
- If you are going to carry out works that are going to cause a nuisance, it makes sense to tell your neighbours within ear-shot beforehand. Simple... ‘We’re remodelling our unit, and this will involve moving a few walls. There will be construction noise M-F 9-5, and S 9.30-12.30. The work is scheduled to take place 1 Jan – 15 Feb. I will ensure any undue noise and disturbance is kept to a minimum during this time, and if you have any concerns please contact me at... [xyz] ‘. That means they’re informed, on board, and have a channel of communication. There’s nothing worse than feeling like a helpless victim, of a seemingly endless hell. But ultimately by making their lives easier, you’re doing the same for your own.

Why are works sometimes not approved?
- Usually because people (especially property developers) try and push the limits. They’ll apply for 5* what they know is probably acceptable, hoping to get 1.5*. This also applies if plans are submitted via architects who love to indulge clients ridiculous, impossible whims, and then revise them and re-submit, and again, and... ($).

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Postby AnnabelG » Sat, 26 Oct 2013 9:42 am

Dont want to sound like a grumbling old hag but .....

As soon as the unbearable drilling noise from my neighbour in front of me finally stopped by Friday. the condo development behind my house started drilling to do some extension as well. Understand from them that it will last for two weeks.

I have no strength to make any more noise so this shall be my last complaint. Never have I been through so much construction and renovation noise in my life, but I guess from the replies by other people, it seems to be a very common occurrence in Singapore and I am not the only one having to suffer through all this.

I just have to survive through this difficult period and be more discerning when I move elsewhere when the lease is up.

For those who are looking at renting a house in a posh neighbourhood, be aware that it does not mean that the surroundings are quiet! In fact, there's houses being rebuilt or torn down every few months, and lots of dogs barking, and fast cars racing in the middle of the night!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 26 Oct 2013 10:12 am

It does not matter where you live in Singapore. If you stay there long enough, eventually there will be major renovation/complete rebuild/new construction next door. Even shopping centres tend to renovate every 10 years. I believe there are more tower cranes per sq/km in Singapore than in any other country in the world. If you are going to live here, it's just one of those things you will have to learn to accept, or leave. What to do?

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Sat, 26 Oct 2013 10:40 am

I don't think you can avoid it here, and it's worse if you have come from a quiet place back home.

I'm pretty stunned having to re-adjust to the noise levels here:

- Frequency of use of car horns
- Pimped cars with fat/loud exhausts
- The loud 'yawing' of buses pulling away from stops or junctions
- Foreign buses with inadequate mufflers on their exhausts
- Schools that have outdoor assembly, addressed by a 'boiling angry' female teacher via a PA that would be audible perhaps a mile away. I nearly snapped one day when I heard her screaming 'YOU! YOU! YOU BE QUIET! DO YOU UNDERSTAND!?'
- Reverse alarms on so many vehicles
- Things like mobile hoists/small cranes/cherry-pickers, that have not just reverse alarms, but an alarm any time they move, audible half a mile away.
- An evangelical church maybe 1200M away. I can hear the music and singing right now as I type.
- Construction of a new condo. They're digging the foundations now. The pile-driving will be starting soon [sigh].

If I'm feeling particularly grumpy
- Neighbours sneezing for maximum effect, as if expelling a demon.
- Neighbours calling out/yelling out of windows, some form of dialogue between young men in two different units.

edit: for punctuation/clarity
Last edited by JR8 on Sat, 26 Oct 2013 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Sat, 26 Oct 2013 10:41 am

+1

And I would say there is a clear dependence (leaving aside the extremes) on this posh factor: more expaty the district, higher likelihood of having a construction around.

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Sat, 26 Oct 2013 10:48 am

Agreed. In mature HDB estates there is much less scope for construction, either in the neighbourhood, or within units.


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