Kill me now...

hadenoughOctober 14, 2008

Something needs to done about the quality of insulation and soundproofing in some of these apartment complexes. My apartment isn't cheap, but the walls and floors might as well be made of balsa wood and paper towels. I can hear every single thing that seems to occur in the adjacent apartments and I'm certain they can hear me as well.

The lady that moved in downstairs recently is completely insane. I get yelled at through the floor at least once every evening for attempting to walk around my own place (in bare feet no less). There is no privacy. I get paranoid even using the bathroom for fear of making some type of offensive noise and setting someone off.

I'd love to move, but like many I simply can't afford to do so. I've started drinking in the evenings just so I can dull my senses and relax. I fear that apartment life will eventually kill me in one form or it from getting shot by insane neighbors or my impending approach into alcoholism.

If these buildings are "up to code", then the code needs serious revision. Human beings should not be expected to live like this, and the people responsible for chooising building materials for these places need to be sued, jailed or hanged.

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Are the floors wood? If so, maybe you could put down some nice plush area rugs? That could muffle some noise and not annoy the psycho below you(as much). I have no ideas for walls however. Just maybe as soon as your lease is up, get out!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 10:33PM
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If the neighbour continues to harrass you, tell the manager (and emphasize the bare feet) to talk to her about being reasonable. You should certainly not be creeping around your place like that!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 7:06AM
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Do you walk heavy? Probably or the neighbor wouldn't hear you walking bare foot.

Listen to yourself as you walk across the floor bare foot. Is there a noise at each foot fall? If you are one of those walkers who slam your heels down while walking, the downstairs neighbors would hear it.

Growing up I was taught to "walk quiet". As a result people who come into my home and walk heavy drive me crazy.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 6:14PM
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You have my sympathies. Fortunately for me, last year I moved into a building that was built in the 1920's. I don't hear voices or stereos or TVs. However, I do hear the tiny, petite woman downstairs walking about. She definitely walks "heavy." And the petite lady upstairs slams the front door so that the whole building shakes. Just bear in mind that even people in houses suffer from their neighbors' noise. Unless you move way, way, way out in the country, there will be noise from other people.

One way to do a big of soundproofing is to put bookcases full of books on the common walls. They will help stop noise entering or leaving from your apartment. A quilt or other fabric wall hanging will help a bit, as well.

If the building has wood floors, putting down some area rugs, as mentioned by a PP, will help cut down on the noise your neighbor hears. Do the floorboards creak when you walk? This was a problem in my last apartment--I couldn't hear my feet hitting the floor, but it was an old building and even my cats could make the floorboards creak. There are solutions to that, but your landlord would have to do them.

Even if you have wall to wall carpeting, putting down some area rugs will pad the floors more and help to stop the noise.

Your downstairs neighbor may complain to the landlord at some point. What I would do is contact the landlord first. Let him/her know that your new downstairs neighbor has been complaining. Let the landlord know what you are doing to help--walking barefoot, putting down rugs if you are going to --and then ask what else the landlord can suggest. This way, you appear as a polite, pro-active tenant, instead of having to react and prove yourself if the other person complains first.

I agree that many apartment buildings are not well built. I've been in apartments in other countries where you could not hear a sound from room to room in the apartment, let alone noise from the street or other apartments. If I were you, I'd take the money you are spending on alcohol and start saving it, so that you can move to a new apartment when your lease is up.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:44AM
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Yes, drinking is not the solution and hopefully your were kidding about that...there are also sound muffling mats you can buy that are quite thick - maybe your landlord would even spring for some in your high traffic areas -
sadly you are correct that many places are not built with the idea of controlling noise -
hopefully no one will be offended by this - I have a six plex that I manage that sounds just like your place, I commented once to my boss that if a person in one of the units has sex, the whole building wants a
It's pretty bad, you can almost carry on conversations with the other tenants without leaving your home.
Take heart, and take Camlan's advise and start saving your money to get the heck out of there.
Suzan J

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 11:17AM
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Unfortunately, you can pad the floor all you want, but if the walls are hollow and thin, you're still going to hear noise.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 1:00PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone. In answer to your questions, yes there is wall to wall carpeting. And no, I'm not the type of person that slams my foot down as hard as I can when I walk. I'm 5'9" and I weigh 150 pounds. I tiptoe around my place like a complete goon in bare feet, yet still boards creak and make noise under the carpeting.

If I'd known the noise levels before I moved in, I certainly would not have done so. Around here you don't actually get to see the apartment you move into. You're taken to a "show" apartment that basically has the same floorplan, so you can see what you're getting. Of course these show apartments are completely quiet because all the others around it are empty as well.

I know there's not much that can be done outside of moving. I guess I just wanted to comment that the materials used for many of these places are completely inadequate.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 5:12PM
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Noise polution is a huge problem everywhere. I live in a quiet building, ecvept for the common entryway which has steel stairs and hollow doors. The children upstairs are lovely, but they go up and down the stairs with their roller blades on. The entrance is like a huge echo chamber.

Sound travels in a strange way. The man over me plays his music at a moderate level, but in one spot in my living room the bass notes thundered! I couldn't even hear my radio if I sat in the chair in that spot. Since I rearranged my furniture it's been no problem.

Four time a day a train roars by, about 1000 feet from my door, but we are in a little valley and the sound bounces back and forth. Loud!

Still, I was lucky to visit this apartment several times to gauge the noise level in this complex before I moved in.
Morning and evening are the loudest times.

I think people who must or choose to live the apartment style, must develop a tolerance of normal living noises and firmly challenge abusive noise levels.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 9:28AM
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