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Old 09-02-2015, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
Fairly true. I learned in the past that if one is sensitive to noise, make sure to live on the top floor, if in a complex or a multi-family home. This can be an absolute deal-breaker.
You're right that top level units may provide a quieter environment. However, our units are such that no one lives above us or below us; yet one tenant who lived in a downstairs unit installed a surround sound system and we could hear the base clear upstairs and at least 40 feet from his location. Base will travel through anything.

Fortunately he is a nice guy and when we explained, very tactfully, that the sound was traveling to the upper level apartments he apologized and immediately reduced the base level so that we would no longer hear it. Thankfully!
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:00 PM
Location: Central NY
4,662 posts, read 3,241,188 times
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Originally Posted by deweyforprez View Post
For a little over a year, I lived in an old Victorian house that was converted into an upper and lower unit. I had the lower. The girl in the upper had a treadmill. When she used it- which wasn't often- I could not only hear the whining sound of the motor and the "thump thump thump" of her running, I could actually see my ceiling moving up and down. I don't know what she did for a living but she was running in and out of her apartment all night long and would pound her feet on the stairs and slam doors constantly. The place had hardwood floors and she didn't have any area rugs so I could constantly hear the clicking of her heals on the floor. She also smoked quite heavily and the cigarette odor would come through the heating vents plus there was a constant pile of cigarette butts on the ground at the bottom of the stairs going up to her unit. That year did it for me- I vowed never to rent a lower unit in an apartment building again.

First of all...... I got such a kick out of your name.......deweyforprez. You've got a great sense of humor.

I have always lived on the top floor. Bottom floor never interested me..... but I've had other reasons for that besides yours..... if we ever got flooded, I wouldn't worry so much..... and break-ins usually happen on the first floor. Guess I feel safer on upper floor.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:59 PM
Location: A State of Mind
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Originally Posted by katie45 View Post
It's a crap-shoot because you may end up with what you believe to be a wonderful unit with wonderful considerate neighbors. . . then in a heartbeat the nice folks move out and the neighbor-from-hell moves in.

When looking at various complexes, it's important to scope out the vehicles because if all you see is a parking lot full of junkers, that gives you a good indication of the type of tenants who live there.

Usually the more you pay, the better chance for decent soundproofing and insulation, and those who pay higher rent are not your typical scums who are ready to ransack your apartment as soon as you leave.
Honestly, I don't believe it necessarily has to do with one's car or how much rent or income is involved, though possibly in the case of a vicinity having certain characteristics overall and type of management. I maintain that it comes down to the inconsiderate personality, which others are unaware of until they move in. The worst neighbor I have experienced appeared to be an educated, mild-mannered, 30-something Chinese guy who traveled for business, but when home, was so entirely obnoxious, creating ridiculous noise and doing crazy stuff endlessly, each time. You would have never known to look at him.

I have mentioned, after reading reviews for a more newly-built building nearby (about 7 years), I was shocked to read of all the negativity there. (A high-rise with a community areas and pool, covered parking, security, nice units with a washer / dryer in each). The reviews were horrendous with many wanting out, saying there was always dog feces everywhere, disrespectful teens creating problems, crime occurring within the parking garage, poor managers (duh). Now this is an "upscale looking" place, however, obviously has management problems and tenants who just don't give a damn. Ugh. I would not choose a high-rise with amenities anyway, but was curious, having seen photos of the elegant units, but it really comes down to owners, how things are managed and a type of tenant who feels they are entitled.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:34 PM
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You've hit the nail on the head here. Not surprised at all by this. Sometimes the worst neighbors are the ones who have the most $, because those are the ones that feel entitled.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Older buildings with masonry walls/floors can be fairly quiet in terms of neighbor noise with the only issue sometimes being slamming door noise from interior corridors. Newer apartments from my experience are dry wall disasters, hearing everything from loud conversations to TV noise and flushing toilets/showers.
It's ironic that when the world had no real amplified sounds, the buildings were built to take them and now that we do, the buildings are made out of rice paper, that your basic Best Buy-bought subwoofer can cut through like a hot knife through butter.

If only Type I or II were still the norm:

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Old 08-03-2018, 06:46 PM
118 posts, read 110,930 times
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Originally Posted by Purplecow View Post
This is the one thing that actually made me want to die.

In the 00's, I lived--no, make that existed--in a high-rise, next apartment to the end unit. The end unit was occupied by an elderly woman at least twenty-five years my senior. She had a "boyfriend," and our bedrooms shared a wall. Oh dear god, what I had to listen to. The fact that these creatures were unmarried and going at it: I'd just look at the ceiling and ask God to take me. If I sound as if I'm being age-ist, I am--in a good way. I'm no spring chicken now and was none then, but the foulness of unmarried older people having sex outside marriage--when pregnancy is no longer a fear, and marriage is clearly, um, indicated--makes seniors look like rancid animals.

I spent eight months in that hellhole, and the property manager, who shared my beliefs, released me from the lease. (I later learned my apartment's vacancy rate was literally every year.)
I lived about 2.5 years in an apartment like that, well, the first year was ok, because my next door neighbor was courteous and respectful of others. I also learned that ever since they took the apartment off of rent stabilization, it was occupied almost year after year by a new person for about 7 years, and then left unoccupied for almost 6 months... this is one of the issues in NYC, shortage of 'affordable' apartments, makes it a landlords market and make no mistake: landlords rule NYC.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ohhwanderlust View Post
I don't think many people are purposely stomping around and slamming doors regularly. It's just that apartments are usually so poorly insulated, that not only can you hear everything, it seems almost as if sounds get amplified.

That's why I try to avoid having downstairs neighbors. I unfortunately cannot levitate or otherwise defy gravity, so hearing footsteps and creaky floors is inevitable, as is their complaining. I shouldn't have to tiptoe in my own place.

Not to say that some people really don't live like wild animals. I've lived in places where couples screamed at each other every night. Places where people kept chickens (and slaughtered them) inside. I think I lived next to a whorehouse once. Another place, people beating their children. Etc etc plenty of stuff more unacceptable/ridiculous than occasional footsteps.
I have to agree. There is a carpet rule (I'm on the 1st floor, with one unit above mine), which isn't being followed by the unit above mine, however, it's not that annoying. Yes, you hear them walking sometimes, but it's far worse if it was electronically produced sound.

Oh, and it doesn't seem as if sound is amplified, IT IS amplified. A wall with zero insulation and just an air gap works like a drum simultaneously amplifying, yet muffling everything that passes through it.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mikelizard860 View Post
It's soooo easy to make a place soundproof if they built it correctly in the first place. Simply adding a layer of drywall(drywall is cheap) with a dampening compound to shared walls(floors ceilings are different) would take away the vast majority of noise complaints.

This site tells you everything you need to know about soundproofing your own apartment. This really only makes sense if you own the apartment though. People shouldn't have to do this. You should NEVER be able to hear footsteps/coughing/indoor voices/tv at a reasonable level.

Unfortunately, that'll only get you half way there. You MIGHT get lucky and simply adding two layers of drywall with Green Glue in-between and tons of acoustical caulk MIGHT work, but in reality the minimum you should do is leave the current wall where it is, add all new 2x4s onto the existing wall, add Sound n' Safe or another noise insulation in every cavity, add isolation (whisper) clips at even intervals, then snap in Furring Channels, which make the wall 'float', then add drywall onto the Furring Channels, then add sufficient amounts of Green Glue, then add another layer of drywall (sealing each layer with acoustical caulk, EVERYWHERE). If you have to move an electrical box forward, use an acoustical pad around the box and tons of caulking where it meets the drywall.

Oh, and the new insulation should be doubled so it reaches the drywall, so you don't get the 'Triple Leaf Effect' which will make it less, not more soundproof.

And then HOPE that there aren't any flanking sounds from the ceiling, floors, or side walls.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:24 PM
118 posts, read 110,930 times
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Stairs? Do you live in Russia or east Berlin? In the US, they have this cool thing called an elevator.
Not in NYC. There are apartments going for over $4,000 a month that have no elevators.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:29 PM
118 posts, read 110,930 times
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Originally Posted by ca_north View Post
I think apartments are a claustrophobic, unnatural way to live unless you find cement walls/floors and get lucky with people who get the concept of shared silence. I take the "extreme" view that headphones should be mandatory for music and TV if much of anything is getting through the walls. It's the only way to be fair all around.

Regardless of how strict the noise rules might seem, don't expect them to be fully enforced. You stand a good chance of having a manager who has to be "fair" to obnoxious tenants or personally witness a disturbance before taking action. You risk being called a complainer if you keep getting annoyed and the manager gets tired of hearing about it.
That's because they do nothing about it, if they actually stopped renewing people's leases and / or evicting them, then the good tenants would stay.
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