5 Annoying Things Your Neighbours Do (and what to do about it)
- Nov 1, 2022
Issues with neighbours get magnified especially when we are living in apartments because of how close together the units usually are. The 5 things listed below are some of the really annoying things we encounter from our neighbours. It’s always a good first step to reach out to your neighbours in a calm and civilised manner and tell them the problem before escalating things to HDB and the Community Mediation Centre or your condo management. But if all else fails, here are some design solutions you may want to consider.
1. The noisy upstairs neighbours who frequently drag furniture across the floor/have kids constantly sprinting/have very heavy footsteps
The design solution? Pad out your ceiling, walls and flooring. As noise travels through solid surfaces, you can reduce the noise coming from your upstairs neighbours by installing a false ceiling, a platform and a layer of drywall in front of your walls and then adding an insulation material like rock wool or fibreglass between the gaps.
Covering all solid surfaces essentially creates a room within a room, similar to what you do if you want to set up a home theatre, helping to greatly reduce noise travel. Alternatively, consider covering surfaces with special acoustic panels, which you can get from places like Enocoustic. These solutions tend to cost quite a bit, so make sure you are staying for the long term to make the investment worth the while.
Design: Studio 20 Concepts
Design: Sujonohun Concepts
2. The neighbours with no sense of personal space who take up your corridor space with their shoes/plants/bicycles
Because of fire safety reasons, there are several rules and regulations surrounding what you can and cannot do and store along the common corridor and walkway space. SCDF provides specific guidelines on the usage of the common corridor, which you can read up on here and relay to your neighbours if they are flouting the rules.
For folks who are living in older flats (built before 1996), that recess area in front of your unit is actually for sale. As long as you meet the criteria, you can purchase that extra space and mark your territory with an enviable front entrance design.
Design: Ovon Design
Design: Knock Knock Studio
3. The upstairs neighbours who are always hanging their dripping laundry out to dry
When your freshly laundered clothes never seem to dry because of your upstairs neighbours’ dripping laundry, it’s time to dry your clothes indoors. BTO homeowners already do this, with HDB providing a manual drying rack. But if you are looking to save the extra hassle of manually pulling the rack up and down, automated laundry racks are a good option.
Most can be controlled via remote control, but there are smart ones that you can connect to the Wi-Fi and control with your phone. Some brands come with heaters and fans that can speed up the drying process, while others come with disinfecting properties to make your clothes extra clean. Read our guide on the best automated laundry racks to pick in Singapore.
Another solution is to invest in a dryer. These make it easier to dry larger articles of items like bedding and can even help with ironing since they smoothen out wrinkles. Note that they do cost a bit to run, so always get an energy-efficient one with more ticks. They also take up quite a bit of space, so it’s best to see if you have the room for it. Read our guide on how to buy a dryer in Singapore.
Design: Salt Studio
Design: Chengyi Interior Design
4. The neighbours whose secondhand smoke/cooking fumes are always wafting through your windows and balcony
If closing the windows isn’t solving the problem, check your windows and seal any gaps or replace the rubber gaskets to make sure there are no vulnerable areas where smells can enter. Replacing louvre or sliding windows with casement ones if possible as the latter is more airtight.
Have a strong fan blowing out odours or install an exhaust fan in another window to help to pull air out of the space if the smells linger. Get a decent air purifier and run it whenever your home starts to smell.
For those with balconies, fully enclose the balcony to prevent smells from entering. Consider investing in waterproof blinds with high wind resistance and high air-con retention, as that will likely mean you will be able to keep the smells out as well.
Design: The Local Inn.terior
Design: The Interior Lab
5. The kaypoh neighbours who are always stealing a glance (or blatantly ogling) inside your home whenever he walks by the common corridor
For blocking views from your main doors, you can do up privacy screens. It could be a proper, solid wall divider (that doubles as shoe storage!) or an off-the-rack partition that you can get for cheap. If ventilation is an issue, consider dividers with openings or install ones made using ventilation bricks or mesh which will give you privacy without blocking off airflow.
If you can change your door gate, find ones that have smaller gaps between the slats or those that come with a tightly woven mesh design. Louvred designs or laser cut styles are also great options for blocking your neighbour’s kaypoh gaze.
Design: United Team Lifestyle
Design: Key Concept
What other issues are you facing with your neighbours? Share your stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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