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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy Noise Reducing Project

    I currently live in a 40 year old particially renovated apartment building converted into condo units. An extension was added to the end of the building. I share two common walls with my neighbors. I can hear their conversations, music, tv and shower. I have lost faith in hiring contractors. I also have one bedroom closet on an exterior wall that emits cold air in the winter. My clothes are cold. Can I insulate this closet wall? Can I open up the common walls and put up sound barrier dry wall and insulation to keep the noise level down? Is this a project I can do myself? My unit is approximately 1500 square feet.

    My neighbors are not overtly noisy. The barrier is so thin that I can hear them close their kitchen cabinets. This is very embarrassing when I have overnight or weekend guests.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Noise Reducing Project

    For peace of mind you gotta do something effective.

    For noise, install quietrock drywall and caulk.

    For the cold closet, add insulation. There are a few to choose from, like blown insulation, regular insulation, foam, etc.

    All installations are not for beginners.

    You've had it with contractors? then do it yourself, but if you goof, you'll lose money.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Noise Reducing Project

    If there is that much noise coming through and there is cold coming through the walls it's a good bet they are uninsulated. Simply insulating them will cut down on a lot of the transmitted noise. Doubling the sheetrock on your side will help too, just be sure to glue all the back, not just on the studs. The added mass will help deaden resonant noise transmission. That's usually enough for most people.

    Check for insulation, add it if necessary. Slightly compressed fiberglass will deaden resonant vibrations better between the two wall surfaces- use 6" insulation for a 4" wall etc. You don't want to really over-stuff it as that will allow more sound transfer. The second layer of sheetrock can be added later if the insulation isn't enough. If you can stand the look, have them tape the joints then give it a few days to see if the noise reduction is enough- if so then they can finish it. If not they will finish only the second layer saving you a few bucks in the process. Be sure to seal every hole in the wall cavities so no sound can pass into the wall cavity, and seal around every outlet and switch box in those walls with caulking. Sound is just moving air so the more air movement you suppress the quieter it will be.

    If this all proves to be too expensive, blown in insulation will be better than nothing and cheaper but as it settles the noise transfer will return somewhat.

    Perhaps the contractors you've talked to are leery to take this on because of your approach to them. If you want them to guarantee that the noise will end, you will get quoted a top-end job at a top end price and they don't want to quote that expensive price knowing you won't buy it. Or maybe they've never dealt with something like this. Perceived issues are the hardest ones to fix- what is acceptable to one person may not be adequate to the next. This is something that requires your finding someone who sees the issue just the same way that you do so they can fix it to your standards, not theirs. You need to be realistic in the results you expect for the price you're going to pay- a cheap job may not be enough and the best may be overkill.

    Phil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Noise Reducing Project

    You should keep in mind that traditional, regular insulation (fiberglass, cellulose, blown, foam) will give little or no noise relief. Only noise blocking type of insulation will give you the desired results, and the insulation must state that on the label.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Noise Reducing Project

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    You should keep in mind that traditional, regular insulation (fiberglass, cellulose, blown, foam) will give little or no noise relief. Only noise blocking type of insulation will give you the desired results, and the insulation must state that on the label.
    Not quite true there dj.
    All those you mentioned can be and are used in sound control --- albeit with diiferent levels of performance based on density and installation.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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