Legally, How Early in the Morning Can You Start Your Lawn Mower in New England?
Last weekend, I was up and ready to start my Sunday at 6:30 am., which doesn't happen often.
I looked at my wife and said, "it's too early to mow the lawn, right?"
The obvious answer was yes – it was far too early.
But that got me thinking. As a new homeowner, when is the earliest I can cut the lawn? Similarly, when is the latest I or my neighbors should be out cutting the lawn into the night?
We are in the tick of cookouts, birthday parties, celebrations, and above all, mowing season.
As a morning radio host, I'm a morning person. So for me, I would be more forgiving of someone who fires up their engine at 7am as opposed to an 8pm starter.
Taking this question to the people of New Hampshire was....interesting. I will try and dissect the overwhelming and varying responses to find out the right answer.
First and foremost, most towns have a noise ordinance. For example, in Portsmouth, "the operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of ll:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible at City of Portsmouth, NH Ordinances Page 14 Chapter 3 a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section," according to Chapter IV, Section 3.403, B.
That said, if you fire your mower up at 10:30 pm, your neighbors will certainly be unhappy. So, what is the neighborly start and end time? The consensus I have gathered from nearly 100 people weighing in on the Seacoast is this:
The most respectful time: between 9am and 7pm.
The doable but not overly happy time: between 8am and 8pm.
The NO-GO time: before 8am and after 8pm.
Of course, there were a variety of answers. Some said 7am start. Some were okay with mowers going until 10pm. I also got the other end of the spectrum, from 10am – 4pm (short window).
When in doubt, stick between the most respectful times. That said, talk to your neighbor. Maybe they work an overnight shift or are a morning radio show host.
Talk to them and make sure they are not secretly resenting you from across the street!