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Old 04-29-2021, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
15,377 posts, read 10,853,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
That's interesting! I'd definitely be concerned about noise from the salon and potential trash/shady characters hanging around the building, but I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the pool or elevator.

There was a building that I was looking at in Hawaii before I bought that did not have a trash chute. It was a high rise, with more than 20 stories. I remembered the smell in the elevators as people had to lug their trash downstairs and said no way in hell was I buying in that building. Now, that was an older building, but apparently some newer, luxury buildings in Honolulu are foregoing trash chutes as well, ostensibly to follow the trend of other luxury builds in Canada and the UK that don't have them

Here is the article: https://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/...sh-chutes.html



Sounds more like developers trying to cut costs I would hate to live next to one of these "trash rooms," where smells will build up in between staff emptying the bins (open the door to the trash room and get a whiff of the mess . . . and lord forbid if we are in hurricane season and the room can't be emptied for a few days at least, which doesn't make for a very luxurious experience).
I lived in a rental building years ago that had a trash chute. I lived on one of upper floors. At the time it was convenient for me, but not for management. A dirty and yes greasy trash chute can be a fire hazard if not properly looked after. I wonder if building insurance takes this into account?

I now own, in a building with no trash chute, and I'm glad that as an owner I don't have another maintenance expense added to my monthly fees. However today is not yesterday. I heard that in my old building they have closed the chute because " garbage " has become more complicated.

Here in Vancouver gone are the days of just throwing everything out. Like a lot of places you have to separate your recycling, PLUS here we have to separate our organics. So since we are going to visit the garbage room, anyway, the chute would be pointless.

In all the buildings I've lived in, the garbage room is not near any suites. The only places that seem to have suites above the garbage are 3 floor walkups. The apartments on the back could have their window about the big trash bins. Not pleasant I'm sure in summer.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Future alpha of the US
5 posts, read 4,719 times
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I have lived in two buildings with trash chutes. Their are likely some drawbacks but all in all, I don't mind living close to 1. Easier to dump my trash.
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Old 04-29-2021, 06:58 PM
 
Location: DMV Area/NYC/Honolulu
22,448 posts, read 10,631,247 times
Reputation: 22381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
I lived in a rental building years ago that had a trash chute. I lived on one of upper floors. At the time it was convenient for me, but not for management. A dirty and yes greasy trash chute can be a fire hazard if not properly looked after. I wonder if building insurance takes this into account?

I now own, in a building with no trash chute, and I'm glad that as an owner I don't have another maintenance expense added to my monthly fees. However today is not yesterday. I heard that in my old building they have closed the chute because " garbage " has become more complicated.

Here in Vancouver gone are the days of just throwing everything out. Like a lot of places you have to separate your recycling, PLUS here we have to separate our organics. So since we are going to visit the garbage room, anyway, the chute would be pointless.

In all the buildings I've lived in, the garbage room is not near any suites. The only places that seem to have suites above the garbage are 3 floor walkups. The apartments on the back could have their window about the big trash bins. Not pleasant I'm sure in summer.
Good point and question. It's extremely important for regular maintenance and checks of the chutes to take place. I'd imagine that building insurance would cover any mishap/fire/etc., but am not 100% sure.

I'm glad that living without a trash chute has been cheaper for you. I'd imagine that things would cost more money in my situation if we had to pay people to regularly empty out the trash rooms. Note, my building does have someone emptying out the recycling from the trash chute room, but this is not a huge ordeal; honestly, most probably throw away their recyclables
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Old 05-05-2021, 05:29 PM
Status: "Grateful" (set 2 days ago)
 
1,879 posts, read 6,728,573 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciceropolo View Post
Not necessarily if it is insulated and sealed properly.



However, a few caveats:
One, all it needs is one inconsiderate fellow occupant/tenant (or spiteful one) who doesn't follow rules on trash chute. Trash chutes are prone to clogging due to inconsiderate non rule abiding tenants. Irregular items clog it up (hangers, brooms, pizza boxes, cardboard etc....) This alone would deter me from it. At one apartment location we'd also get the occupants who were to lazy to take their full bags to the garbage dumpster and then leave them by / or inside the trash chute closet (about size of small walk in closet). I've even heard of buildings sealing off trash chutes due to repeated issues with idiots not following rules for what can be placed in them, because it can be very expensive to free them up when jammed.

Two, if its a 6th floor building and you are on 3rd floor usually the service core is consolidated for more efficient design, which means elevators will likely be close by as well as laundry rooms and storage (if you do not have in suite laundry type units).

Three, I would check the condo for rules on renting. This will also impact your quality of life. If you have many units being rented and not owner occupied you tend to get more inconsiderate occupants, since they have no $kin in the game and will likely only be there a short time.


These things taken together add up to higher chance for quality of living nuisances in a multi family building, and if you are near the service core you will likely get "more" nuisance instances to various degrees based upon the type of residents in your building. Check out laundry set up and elevator location to determine what sort of other things may be of a potential nuisance to you. Some elevators make significant noise - though as newer building it should be OK, however the fellow residents may be noisy coming and going from elevator.

Note: no place is perfect, but if you are doing due diligence you need to check out these types of things, especially for everyday type issues of importance to you.


Other considerations outside of your question:
What is the party wall construction method used?

[Note: Cinder block with drywall attached to furring strips is one of the worst for acoustics]

Is it professionally managed?
Does it have requisite parking?
Does each unit have individual exhaust fans?
Are units sharing cold air common returns / chases? [Note: Usually they do]

What are rules on pets?
etc....


60 unit condo building is medium size. Overall, if you are in nicer area you should be OK for a newer building. You may also want to check building code construction rules to see what was required if you are a detailed type of person. This type of information should be on file with your county real property division.

Do you homework and you should be OK in avoiding the things most of issue to you.
Good luck!
Thanks for posting the other helpful info!

What is the "party wall construction method"?

And will you elaborate regarding: ["Are units sharing cold air common returns / chases? [Note: Usually they do]"] I can't picture what this looks like at all .

Considering a condo purchase and appreciate this thread to hear others experiences and what to be on the look out for.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:00 PM
 
3,572 posts, read 3,342,088 times
Reputation: 8070
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
Thanks for posting the other helpful info!

What is the "party wall construction method"?

And will you elaborate regarding: ["Are units sharing cold air common returns / chases? [Note: Usually they do]"] I can't picture what this looks like at all .

Considering a condo purchase and appreciate this thread to hear others experiences and what to be on the look out for.



Party walls are walls between two separately owned units. In most cases they will be determined by fire / building code at the time they were constructed. In most multi family housing, it means you have a cinder block wall or other type of fireproof demising wall between the individual resident units.

There are ways to make walls in multi family housing more noise nuisance free by building decoupled walls or by decoupling the interior wall from the demising wall. One way is via construction methods which incorporate dead space between materials (as best as possible) such as hat channels. These are rail strips which are first adhered to the demising wall and then which the dry wall is attached with various types of insulation between them as well as double layers of 5/8 inch" drywall.




Sharing a common chase occurs in multi floor construction. A common chase is a vertical architectural design perforation through the floors to minimize/optimize construction costs. Basically, it is why most bathrooms, kitchens etc... will all be stacked throughout a building as it allows each respective floors plumbing electrical etc. to use the same vertical core (main electric power lines, drain pipes/ exhaust or vent ducts etc..) for optimal maintenance and service purposes.

Cold air returns are another example of this to equalize the pressure in a large building sharing multiple units. So your cold air return duct vents will be stacked above/ below and connected to the same main duct work which vents to a rooftop. There is not much an individual owner can do if you have noisy above or below neighbors to keep sound from transferring through these spots other than covering the vents. It is best illustrated if you've been in a multi story house and you notice the voices coming through an adjacent room through an air register or vent (music / talking etc). Sound waves seek paths of least resistance.

Vents and ducts are difficult to prevent sounds without covering, but, perhaps the more annoying thing you will discover in a multi family residence is the smells that will come in via adjoining units that share a vent or chase.

One example would be having a neighbor who smokes and having their smoke wafting into or upward into your unit via the shared venting duct work. An easy test of the air exchange is to hold a tissue up to the vent to observe whether it is sucking air out from your unit or pushing air in - this will vary depending on conditions beyond your control so sometimes you may have to simply cover them.

After I moved in to my condo I discovered the resident two floors below me liked to cook at 10-11pm at night and the cooking smells come up into my bedroom (smelled like I was above the hood vent in a restaurant!). It took me a while to determine how it was getting into my bedroom but was able to eliminate it by scoring my interior drywall where a vertical perforation existed which ran the piping and electrical to the convectors (our building uses a boiler for hot water in cold weather and a chiller for A/C in warm weather). I sealed the area surrounding the pipe between the floors (concrete) with spray foam and then insulating the rest of the interior walls.

Some things you will not be able to find out until you live in a unit as some things are dependent on random variables such as who else lives in the building.


Good luck in your search!

Last edited by ciceropolo; 05-05-2021 at 07:03 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:02 PM
Status: "Grateful" (set 2 days ago)
 
1,879 posts, read 6,728,573 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciceropolo View Post
Party walls are walls between two separately owned units. In most cases they will be determined by fire / building code at the time they were constructed. In most multi family housing, it means you have a cinder block wall or other type of fireproof demising wall between the individual resident units.

There are ways to make walls in multi family housing more noise nuisance free by building decoupled walls or by decoupling the interior wall from the demising wall. One way is via construction methods which incorporate dead space between materials (as best as possible) such as hat channels. These are rail strips which are first adhered to the demising wall and then which the dry wall is attached with various types of insulation between them as well as double layers of 5/8 inch" drywall.




Sharing a common chase occurs in multi floor construction. A common chase is a vertical architectural design perforation through the floors to minimize/optimize construction costs. Basically, it is why most bathrooms, kitchens etc... will all be stacked throughout a building as it allows each respective floors plumbing electrical etc. to use the same vertical core (main electric power lines, drain pipes/ exhaust or vent ducts etc..) for optimal maintenance and service purposes.

Cold air returns are another example of this to equalize the pressure in a large building sharing multiple units. So your cold air return duct vents will be stacked above/ below and connected to the same main duct work which vents to a rooftop. There is not much an individual owner can do if you have noisy above or below neighbors to keep sound from transferring through these spots other than covering the vents. It is best illustrated if you've been in a multi story house and you notice the voices coming through an adjacent room through an air register or vent (music / talking etc). Sound waves seek paths of least resistance.

Vents and ducts are difficult to prevent sounds without covering, but, perhaps the more annoying thing you will discover in a multi family residence is the smells that will come in via adjoining units that share a vent or chase.

One example would be having a neighbor who smokes and having their smoke wafting into or upward into your unit via the shared venting duct work. An easy test of the air exchange is to hold a tissue up to the vent to observe whether it is sucking air out from your unit or pushing air in - this will vary depending on conditions beyond your control so sometimes you may have to simply cover them.

After I moved in to my condo I discovered the resident two floors below me liked to cook at 10-11pm at night and the cooking smells come up into my bedroom (smelled like I was above the hood vent in a restaurant!). It took me a while to determine how it was getting into my bedroom but was able to eliminate it by scoring my interior drywall where a vertical perforation existed which ran the piping and electrical to the convectors (our building uses a boiler for hot water in cold weather and a chiller for A/C in warm weather). I sealed the area surrounding the pipe between the floors (concrete) with spray foam and then insulating the rest of the interior walls.

Some things you will not be able to find out until you live in a unit as some things are dependent on random variables such as who else lives in the building.


Good luck in your search!
Thank you for the detailed explanation . Tried to rep you but "had to spread around".
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Old Yesterday, 10:19 PM
 
13,954 posts, read 22,615,882 times
Reputation: 25490
I owned a janitorial company that worked exclusively at condo complexes. I am well-versed in trash chutes. If the building is newer, we chances are very good that the trash chute is very wide. The door opens much like a refrigerator and it’s also large. In my experience those type rarely get blocked.

Older trash chutes are smaller, and sometimes the door opens like a slide. Doesn’t always, People put the goopy bag on the slide and shut the door so it goes down the trash chute. So the door gets filthy, and the smaller trash chute can clog easier. People always use too big of a bag in their house and try to shove it down too small trash chute.

At the buildings I worked, some of them put the trash chutes next to the elevators. Those two units were affected. The trash chute/elevator affected the size of the bathroom, and the walk-in closet. It made one unit much smaller. That unit was always cheaper. The other unit simply had the elevator, that actually gave them an oddball bathroom shape. They didn’t have a bath tub and shower, they had the bath tub shower combo. That didn’t seem to affect their price.

As for noise, yes there was noise. But it didn’t seem to B wildly bad. It was regular noise like you get in a place like that. If you were super sensitive to noise it would drive you insane. I had one of those. I have another one who was very sensitive to odors, and she was claiming that the the trash chute was sending odors into her unit. However she wouldn’t let me seal up the hole that may have been doing it so there’s that. Which I could’ve done very easily with a five dollar product. Some people really like to complain.

Places that were built in the late 90s seemed to be made better trash chute wise. The trash chutes were much bigger. They still clogged but generally speaking they clogged because the dumpster got full and it just started plopping up the chute. Also, most of the places that we cleaned that were made around that time were very conscious of the fact that nobody wanted to live near the trash chute. So they put the trash chutes and the elevators together, and it didn’t affect the size of the apartments at all because they put fire exit stairwells next to the trash chutes.

But noise remained a huge issue in almost all my buildings except one which was made out of an old brick warehouse. That was the most expensive building we did. And you couldn’t hear people talking in their units when you were outside vacuuming which I used to hear at all my other places. That was a very nice building. Out of the 20 some buildings that we cleaned it was the only one that was quiet.
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