Firstly I hate strongly dislike one of my neighbours, secondly I hate that I feel guilty that she complained even though I haven't done anything wrong!
Detached brick house, my garage sits about 2 foot from her kitchen wall and her extractor fan outlet (wrongly) outputs straight onto my land. I think about 50 years ago the land that is my garage belonged to her.
I've been completely out of action for about 6 months (Partner has a ruptured disk in his back, we've spent the last six months in either Accident&Emergency, hospital, or at various surgeon and physiotherapy appointments). This week I had a tradesman in to do some maintenance on the 120 year old house (stuff I normally would have done myself)- she complained he made too much noise. This weekend I tried to screw two bits of wood together (I'd like to build a bike shelter to keep my pushbike dry)- again she is complaining I make too much noise (at the same time her husband was mowing her lawn with a noisy petrol lawnmower!). It was 1pm on a Saturday- I'm not doing anything wrong! I feel guilty and that I should somehow soundproof my garage to please her...
The garage contains an electric mitre saw and is used for chopping bits of wood up to make stuff (such a bike shelters and cat scratch posts), and a drill press. One day it may be used for car maintenance. I don't think it is unreasonable to occasionally use power tools between the hours of 10am and 5pm, every few months. This past tradesman visit has been the noisiest my household has been for more than six months- and he was only here for about 6 hours over 2 days.
She then preceded to tell me that my Partner shouldn’t be bending down.. because she knows better than his surgeon and physiotherapist, being a retired schoolteacher, obviously.
Grrrrrr. In six weeks a minidigger arrives to start digging out my greenhouse foundations... that will actually be noisy.
Home cannons seem to be the latest thing once you've collected all the other big guns. It's actually only a theory we have about them owning a cannon - we can't imagine what else it might be! Fortunately they've only shot it off about three times.
I've found that the easiest way to deal with constant errant complainers is to directly confront them out in the open, preferably in front of other neighbors. Public shame is what they are trying to achive so you need to beat them to the punch. As long as you aren't actually breaking any ordinances or laws, to hell with her and her complaints. Who is she complaining to anyway? If she's not involving the law, ignore her and keep doing what you are doing. It's completely reasonable to be doing noisy work anytime between 8am and 7pm. She'll have to learn to get use to it. Don't put your life on hold just because she's being a miserable speed bump. Don't let her spread her misery into your space.
If you've got plans already to have loud work done, it may or may not be a good idea to let her know. Either she can plan to be out while the work is being done or simply deal with it for a day. Either way she'll be aware that it's going to happen, that it's legal and being done at reasonable time of day. At that point there really shouldn't be any room for a complaint. If she complains anyway... well... that's on her I guess. Just ignore it.
The other idea I had was to send her husband a token gift basket of shaving supplies with a note that says " I hope it goes smoothly this time". Anonymous of course. Send it the day before the excavator shows up. Your complaint department (nosy neighbor) will be so busy with trying to figure out that nonsense, that your work won't be such a bother. She'll be so busy running up one side of her husband and down the other that your excavator won't be such a priority for her. MAYBE Or it could backfire and cause her to go totally nuts. Your call. Just don't let other people make you feel guilty about living a better life from day to day. they aren't worth it.