Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Can't Hear Yourself Think, Again?

Highway facing, Avenue facing, Precinct facing, Alley facing, Do you hear what I hear? Beeping, bopping, honking, screaming, sirens wailing, contractors riveting, hipsters partying, dumpsters dumping – at time's your apartment isn't as tranquil as you'd like for it to be – get real you live in NYC! Although many times the noises that penetrate your double pane windows come with the territory of living in a densely populated and rather noisy city – we’re convinced there’s a cure.

The easy fix is the “go-to” city windows or thicker glass and/or a thicker space between the panes where air acts as the best noise insulator, but sometime the noise comes from inside the building. It can be the annoying and inspiring fashionista who trots around in her pumps above your head at all hours or the all night wailing of a new born child for months right next door – then what do you do?

Did you know “noise” is airborne? Specific materials and construction methods can hush noise in your home. The more extravagant fixes to silence annoying noises include, adding rails, springs, pads and special wallboard that can run into tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that you can even open up your walls and insulate the floor/ceiling diaphragm between the spaces with either recycled denim or rock wool, which was quoted to be more effective than fiberglass batting. [1]

Through the simple installation of specialty soundproof drywall, with solutions like the Echo Absorber or brands featured below, are other alternatives your contractor can use.

- QuietRock 
- QuietWood 
- QuietCoat 
- Soundbreak XP

You can read more about these brands here.

Another option is Soundseal, a manufacturer of noise control materials and a conductor of symptomatic noise from high heels on hardwoods to the quick slamming of kitchen cabinets was quoted in the New York Times to have had a 15% increase in sales. With opinionated inhabitants of New York, your upstairs fashionista neighbor, and the speed racing cabbies of the city streets, we understand the demand for their services.

“Unfortunately, apartment noise is not relegated to the one percent. Sirens, rooftop fans, construction and upstairs neighbors who clomp about like a team of clog-dancing Clydesdales are common conditions of NYC living. [2]” If you don’t have a general contractor, might we leverage our network and connect you with ours, Jamal Elnatour from Dynamic Construction. Jamal recently worked with on of our clients, embarking on a $15,000 soundproofing home investment for her apartment in the East Village. Below is his insight of the simple steps taken during the 2 week process of soundproofing:

1- Remove existing walls to studs
2- Install sound proof fiberglass between studs
3- Install ridged sound proof sheets on studs
4- Install 5/8" sheet rock
5- Tap, close all walls and sand off
6- Paint your newly sealed walls
Feel free ask us for his contact information or go to his website to learn more and get a better understanding of what the cost associated with soundproofing. 

You will always have sound transmittance from solid material connections - sheathing-joist-sheathing - so expectations should be tempered. One of our very own clients, a purchaser of uniquely acoustic apartment in Lower Manhattan, decided to soundproof her home prior to moving in. There was little to no insulation between the existing walls and the previous neighbors were going at it hearing every little sound. Amble chose to hire Jamal to remove the existing structure and replace with both soundproofing and new drywall for the utmost in noise reduction. Here’s to wishing her a good night’s sleep in her new abode.