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Old 06-21-2013, 10:02 PM   #1
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Sound Dampening in an Apartment


I live in a pre-war apartment building that has walls made of plaster. On the other side of my bedroom wall is my neighbors kitchen. They LIVE in their kitchen and I can hear everything through this wall (not to mention smell their cooking).

I want to diminish the audible noise but can't do any major construction or do anything permanent. The solution also needs to be relatively inexpensive. From reading forums and the suggestions I've gotten from Home Depot the options seem to be Owens Corning Foamular, Roxul or Homasote. The Roxul looks like it would be a major project to install as I'll have to build a frame to fix the material the wall. That leaves Foamular or Homasote and Home Depot reps seems to be pushing the Homasote.

If I were to go with the Homasote I'm wondering if I can just get away with nailing J-channels to the wall and laying the Homasote in the track without nailing or gluing. I have little to no construction experience. Please help.

Then I wonder if I should paint the Homasote (prior to installing) or just installing it bare and getting some curtains or fabric to cover that wall. The wall is 15.8' W x 9' H. The Homasote comes in 4' x 8' sheets. Would I need to fill the 1' gap at the top or bottom of the install or would the 1' no leave much area for sound to get through? Again, I hear chatting, microwave humming/beeping and them putting pots away.

Please help. Been here six years and can't sleep in that bedroom. The super and landlord won't do anything about it and the people next door are just a-holes with a few kids who love to scream.

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Old 06-21-2013, 10:51 PM   #2
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Sound Dampening in an Apartment


Unless you own the building, there is nothing you can do. You can though if you wish, find a place that you can own, and do whatever you wish to soundproof it from outside noise, or any room to room noise.

As for the Neighbors, see the last part above.

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Old 06-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #3
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Sound Dampening in an Apartment


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Unless you own the building, there is nothing you can do. You can though if you wish, find a place that you can own, and do whatever you wish to soundproof it from outside noise, or any room to room noise.

As for the Neighbors, see the last part above.
Are you implying that anything I do would be illegal? Your reply in a bit ambiguous and not really helpful as far as the project is concerned.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:23 AM   #4
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Sound Dampening in an Apartment


Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulBrother View Post
Are you implying that anything I do would be illegal? Your reply in a bit ambiguous and not really helpful as far as the project is concerned.
It would not be illegal in the view that you may be looking at it. But without the written implied consent of the property owner, any changes you make to the structure, even if it is cosmetic, that is not in the agreed upon contract signed by both parties, when you took lease of your domain inside the structure, can put you in hot water.

Suggest working with the landlord about the noise. If they do not want to do anything about it, start up the food chain by making complaints to the local PD, even going as far as working with your local Tenant's Protection agency in your area, about the problem.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...mplied+Consent

This will give you some info on how to handle this problem http://www.tenants-rights.org/noise-and-neighbors/
http://realestate.findlaw.com/neighb...-nuisance.html
http://noiseoff.org/neighbors.php

Good example of a party winning regarding noisy neighbors http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/mar/...nst-neighbors/

More if you wish to go through http://us.yhs4.search.yahoo.com/yhs/...g--,1371964876
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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Sound Dampening in an Apartment


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
It would not be illegal in the view that you may be looking at it. But without the written implied consent of the property owner, any changes you make to the structure, even if it is cosmetic, that is not in the agreed upon contract signed by both parties, when you took lease of your domain inside the structure, can put you in hot water.

Suggest working with the landlord about the noise. If they do not want to do anything about it, start up the food chain by making complaints to the local PD, even going as far as working with your local Tenant's Protection agency in your area, about the problem.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...mplied+Consent

This will give you some info on how to handle this problem http://www.tenants-rights.org/noise-and-neighbors/
http://realestate.findlaw.com/neighb...-nuisance.html
http://noiseoff.org/neighbors.php

Good example of a party winning regarding noisy neighbors http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/mar/...nst-neighbors/

More if you wish to go through http://us.yhs4.search.yahoo.com/yhs/...g--,1371964876
Thank you. Far more constructive and helpful than the previous post.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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Sound Dampening in an Apartment


You might look into pre-made sound baffle panels. You could take them with you when you leave. Meanwhile you could attach them with minimally damaging fasteners and just patch the holes so you get your deposit back. You might be able to hang some as well. Same difference though. You will still have some holes to patch when time to go.

Meanwhile, I found this DIY approach that sounded promising and cheap.

http://www.aaronbrownsound.com/571/

Last edited by user1007; 06-22-2013 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
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Sound Dampening in an Apartment


I am 66 years old, and I can tell you that this country has gone way way way backwards when it comes to graciousness and common decency. Basically the number of people that do not give a crap about anyone but themselves has gone through the roof. It is really sad. My kids are in their mid 30's now, but when they were young, people used to come up to my wife and I when we took them out to dinner and comment to us on how well behaved our kids were. Today, forget it, so I really feel sorry for you.

Now what you can do, and I have done it, is to make up 2 x 4 frames with two 1/2 inch carriage bolts installed in the bottom to act as screw jacks. You simply loose lay a 2 x 6 down on the floor, put down a flat washer as a bearing surface, and jack up the wall panels against the ceiling. You can insulate the panels, and screw drywall on them, and install eyehooks on each end and run a rope accross and hang a nice braided rug on them to further deaden the sound. When you leave just un-jack them and take them with you. Needless to say you want to be under perpendicular joists or under a parallel one.
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Last edited by jagans; 06-22-2013 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:59 AM   #8
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Sound Dampening in an Apartment


Jagans, that seems like a simple and elegant solution and would probably work as well as anything with some sound insulating material. Seems like you might even be able to cut back to 2x2 or something to reduce some of the weight?Not much you can do about sounds just from physical vibration that resonates through the structure.

I know what you mean about common respect and basic good manners and behavior. Electronic cockroaches (if you see one you know their are thousands more lurking), like cell phones, have further given excuse to be rude. Remember the days when you could have lunch or dinner without somebody's phone going off and being forced to listen to half a conversation? I think NYC live theaters are fining and even ejecting audience members that will not turn their devices off. And, the phones with strobes are even worse.

I guess I am fortunate to live in a nicely restored old building in a great neighborhood of Chicago. Neighbors are respectful of each other and it is very quiet. I had one incident where the bass of neighboring speakers was rattling studs in my place but all it took was mention to the neighbor. No high drama confrontation. Just an honest apology---"Sorry I didn't know!" I built them some platforms to elevate the speakers off the floor and all are happy.

Do not get me started about those with Hummer size strollers that plug an entire sidewalk while Momsy chats at a dead stop about something on the cell phone. What a great example to teach next generations from infancy on! And two, since they do not fold (or noone will fold them) take up half a bus and the seating for elderly and handicapped people. Signal sent? I and my offspring matter. You do not. Have a smiley face day.

And I do remember the days when you could have lunch or dinner without somebody's phone going off and having to listen to half a conversation. I almost believe in jamming devices in nice restaurants (some in LA make people check phones now) and movie and live theaters. Out of respect for my dining partners, I turn mine off or to vibrate or single ping if waiting for a call that cannot wait. At at the dinner hour? All can wait an hour or two!


Last edited by user1007; 06-23-2013 at 04:02 AM.
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