What time can construction workers start making noise? Advice for good, neighborly behavior

Weekday and weekend rules around start times for workmen explained

(Image credit: Alamy)

No one wants to be woken up by next door's drilling on a Saturday morning – or to be subjected to hours of loud building work while working remotely. Similarly, anyone currently renovating a house and concerned about disrupting the peace will benefit from knowing the local rules and restrictions.

There are many reasons that construction work tends to start early, from avoiding hot weather and dodging rush hour to working with enough natural light.

If you are wondering when workmen can commence in residential areas, we have all the details.

What time can construction workers start making noise?

It will depend on your location, with rules varying between states, but generally, the earliest workmen can start is 7am.

housing development in construction

(Image credit: Getty images / Monty Rakusen)


Will Copp is a contractor with over 20 years of experience and the owner of Knox Concrete Contractors, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is often asked about the regulations surrounding construction work during the week and on weekends.

'In residential areas, work can typically begin no earlier than 7 or 8am to avoid disturbing residents,' Will says. 'This can vary depending on the type of project and location, though. 

'While an early start time may be inconvenient for nearby residents or workers who prefer a later schedule, it is often necessary for contractors to take advantage of optimal working conditions before temperatures rise or other issues arise later in the day.'

will copp contractor
Will Copp

Will Copp is the owner of Knox Concrete Contractors, a homegrown construction company in the field of concrete contracting.


construction workers laying concrete

(Image credit: Getty images / Iryna Melnyk)

Regulations are more stringent on weekends to ensure residents have some time to rest and relax without being disturbed. Sundays often have much more limited work hours, if any, and in many areas work is not permitted at all on Sundays and holidays. There may be exceptions, such as emergency work or work with a special permit.

Typically, construction workers cannot start their job in residential areas before 9am on weekends, says handyman Shlomo Cherniak. Usually, the construction work needs to be wrapped up by 7pm, but it may be significantly earlier, depending on where you live, so check with your local authority to make sure you (and your neighbors) are following the appropriate rules when completing significant home renovations.

Shlomo Cherniak

Shlomo Cherniak is a handyman and founder of Cherinak Home Services in Baltimore. He has over seven years of experience in home improvement, with him and his team specializing in everything from installing kitchen cabinets to fixing leaky faucets to hanging pictures on the wall.

By location

From planning a kitchen addition to building a house from scratch, knowing the rules in your area is key.

'Construction work is allowed to begin as early as 6am in some locations like Maryland and New Jersey due to factors such as traffic congestion during peak hours that make it more efficient to start early when there are fewer cars on the road,' Will Copp says.

The professional contractor explains that in some cities such as Portland, Oregon and New York City, there are specific noise ordinances that outline maximum decibel levels for construction noise throughout the day and night. For example, in Portland,   the maximum noise level is 85 dBA at a distance of 50 feet.

In Denver, Colorado, the noise ordinance is from 7am to 10pm. Niki O'Brien, from local roofing, windows and siding company Custom Exteriors, says that when completing a roofing project, which may be the noisiest project there is, her teams do start at 7am. 

'Our crews like to get started as early as possible as the weather in Colorado in the afternoon, during the summer months, can be quite warm. We find that by making the customer aware of the timeline, we generally don’t have any issues. We attempt to keep music and extremely loud jobs for later in the day. We typically try not to start the compressor or nail gun until after 8 am,' she says.

In Minneapolis area, the noise ordinance requires that workmen only make construction sounds from 7am to 6pm Monday through Friday. Rick Berres of Honey-Doers says, 'If we have to make a racket on a Saturday, we check with the neighbors to make sure there won’t be any problems prior to starting.'


Why does construction start so early?

'Most contractors start at 7 or 8 but we would start earlier if the sun were up earlier,' says Rick Berres, remodeling and roofing professional. 'The reason being that when we are working in summer, we want to get the hardest work done in the cool morning. Would you want to carry lumber for two hours when it's 90+ degrees and sunny outside? This is why construction starts early. Except in winter when there is no light at 7am.'

'Construction workers know that the noise accompanying their job can be inconvenient for people around,' says Shlomo Cherniak, 'so rest assured that they are doing everything they can to keep it as quiet as possible!' In the meantime, some noise-cancelling ear plugs, at Amazon, will help.

Millie Hurst
Section Editor

Millie Hurst is a freelance lifestyle writer with over six years of experience in digital journalism. Having previously worked as Solved Section Editor at Homes & Gardens and Senior SEO Editor at News UK in London and New York, Millie has written for an array of homes brands including Livingetc and Real Homes and was formerly Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home. She has written and edited countless features on home organization, decluttering and interior design and always hopes to inspire readers with new ways to enjoy their homes. She lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and loves to weave nature-inspired decor and nods to time spent in Italy into her own home.