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Soundproofing to protect your neighbours

Spectacled Warbler 27 Jul 13 - 01:42 PM
Deckman 27 Jul 13 - 02:52 PM
treewind 27 Jul 13 - 04:38 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Jul 13 - 08:57 PM
Bobert 27 Jul 13 - 09:35 PM
pdq 27 Jul 13 - 10:12 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Jul 13 - 01:34 AM
GUEST,FloraG 28 Jul 13 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Grishka 28 Jul 13 - 05:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Jul 13 - 05:48 AM
Spectacled Warbler 28 Jul 13 - 06:51 AM
Gurney 28 Jul 13 - 06:57 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Jul 13 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 29 Jul 13 - 12:15 PM
GUEST 29 Jul 13 - 12:19 PM
treewind 29 Jul 13 - 12:56 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Jul 13 - 01:55 PM
pdq 29 Jul 13 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Ray 31 Jul 13 - 10:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Jul 13 - 10:44 AM
banjoman 01 Aug 13 - 06:09 AM
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Subject: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: Spectacled Warbler
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 01:42 PM

Does anybody have experience of soundproofing the walls of a semidetached / terraced house which adjoin the neighbours, to prevent them hearing accordion / concertina playing and loud singing?    What did they use and did it work?   How did they deal with fireplaces ?   

I've read about acoustic plaster board glued directly onto the party wall, or building a false wall which doesn't directly touch the party wall, covered with acoustic plasterboard and soundbreaker bars, but all the information I've seen is from companies trying to sell their products.   I just wondered if anybody here might have tried any of these or other solutions and have any advice?   


Thanks

Joy
in the UK


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 02:52 PM

Strip your exisiting wall material off down to the bare studs. Build another stud wall along side, with the studs staggered and NOT touching. Then weave fiberglass insulation batts, horizontaly between all the studs. Then sheetrock the final, new, inside wall. bob(deckman)nelson (in the USA)


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: treewind
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 04:38 PM

Strange double-take: I though I'd just answered that question but my reply isn't here. Then I realized you posted it on melnet too, and that's where I responded...

Deckman's solution is excellent, if you have the resources and the wall construction is appropriate.

Translation: sheetroock = plasterboard, and the heavier "acoustic" grade would be worth using.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 08:57 PM

Several decades ago, when my kid (about 8th grade?) wanted a place for his "rock band" to practice, I had a space in a basement corner where two concrete walls came together, backed by solid dirt.

I added two walls, staggered studs with wallboard on the two sides on separate studs, and with insulation fill between them, all walls covered inside by heavy carpet hung "off the wall" about 2" to allow an air gap. A "false ceiling" at the top so it wouldn't transmit to the floor above, and open-cell foam "bricks" on the false ceiling for added isolation.

The second time they "practiced" the cop that showed up identified the complaint as coming from 2-1/2 city blocks south (0.3 miles, 0.5 km?).

They had two guitars (electric, amped of course, but not big amps) but the main complaint seemed to be with the (unamplified) DRUMS (my kid's trap set).

Complete isolation can be difficult.

Should difficulties arise, recommended solutions are:

a. Live in a noisy neighborhood so nobody notices.

b. Play something everybody likes (difficult with an accordion?)

c. Find something even more annoying than you are, and keep reminding those who complain how obnoxious the other thing is.

John


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 09:35 PM

In a former life I was a drummer... I was living in a neighborhood with a lot of older people who just didn't want the noise so...

... I had a room in the walk out basement where I set up my drums... But before doing that I went to a local restaurant and they gave me a couple hundred of those 12 inch by 12 inch egg trays... I took contact cement and brushed it on 'um and glued them to the walls and ceiling...

Nothing got out of that room... Nothing...

B~


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: pdq
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 10:12 PM

"...the walls of a semidetached / terraced house which adjoin the neighbours..." ~ IP


Isn't "semi-detached" a bit like "almost pregnant?"

Best bet is to move to a "detached" house. Also, big lot and sympathetic neighbors.


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 01:34 AM

Nothing got out of that room... Nothing...

I've heard that drummers have a tendency to not hear much of anything after a while ...

John


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 04:39 AM

Before you spend any time or money check where the noise is worst first.

The noise in our semi detatched house tends to be vertical rather than horizontal. Soundproofing floor and ceiling would be best for us. Keep the window closed.

We have a hall ( lobby )next to which is an internal garage. Although we are a room away from the neighbours that acts as a magnifier for the noise. You might find an upstairs room causes the least nuicance during the day.

Check when the neighbours are mostly out. Play then?

Ask if your neighbour plays an instrument - form a band?

Muffle your instrument?

Play air accordian - it looks so funny at a gig you'l get lots of appreciation.

Play in the open air - local park/ bandstand/ wild area/city centre with a charity box at your feet.

Play for a dance group. You get to play the same tune lots of times.

Then think about spending the money.
FloraG.
.


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:34 AM

A sound booth is the most common solution, in a wide range of quality and price, but definitely cheaper than rebuilding your home. The smaller cabins double as saunas - simultaneously. (Don't forget to protect your body protuberances against the bellows.)

Another idea is using an electronic accordion for practising, with headphones. The cheaper ones do not give you realistic bellows action, so that from time to time you must use the instrument on which you want to perform.


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:48 AM

In a semi you would generally have a room or two not connected to your neighbours property. Use those if you must. In an old terrace, and a lot of older semi's, the party walls will probably be of double brick or brick and breeze block construction so noise leeching through is rarely a problem. You may be worrying over nothing. Have you tried asking the neighbours if they can hear you, and if they can, whether you can pick times when it does not matter? Sounds a cheaper option to me.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: Spectacled Warbler
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 06:51 AM

Thank you everybody for your advice, Anahata thank you twice!

Joy


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 06:57 PM

PDQ, 'semi-detached' usually means that the houses are joined in twos, as opposed to 'terraced' houses which are joined in rows. One party wall instead of two.
Bobert's 'textured' wall has merit. Some years ago I had to noise-suppress an office passage in a noisy factory. I used 4"x2" timber on edge, and it was fairly effective. That is how some firearms silencers are arranged.
In this case the noise was travelling along the passage, as it does in a rifle, though.
Secondhand/used carpet is available in house-lots online quite cheaply and is ALMOST self-supporting when it is standing on end, but I'd say maybe too heavy to stick, or even staple, to a standard ceiling. And especially an old one.
Ventilation might be difficult, too. Hard, painted surfaces bounce sound around instead of absorbing it.

Nah. All too difficult. You would have to effectively build another room inside a room. Do what PDQ said and move.


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 07:51 PM

While there is quite a lot of literature on how to amplify sound and deliver it to an audience - and some of it is even right enough to be useful if you're lucky, most of the available knowledge base on sound suppression is fairly closely held as "proprietary information" by the people who make the materials and equipment for it.

They will advise you about how to use their stuff, but only if you can convince them you want enough of their stuff to be worth it; and that usually means making an auditorium sized installation.

For a DIY home installation, it usually ends up with the choices being based on what you can find that's cheap enough, and a liberal amount of "hopeful optimism."

Basic principles are abundant, and careful thinking before you start hanging stuff is usually a good idea; but in case the first try doesn't quite do what you want, you should keep a big bucket of "startover" handy.

Carpet "ends" are fairly cheap, but rather heavy to hang. (They should ideally be hung by one edge rather than "pasted" to a wall.) You might consider quilts from the bargain shops. They're usually much lighter, limp on the outside and fluffy in the middle (if not too old and used). Staggered studs between "hard walls" are almost a given, and suspended ceilings with ordinary acoustic tile can be fairly effective.

"Lumpy" is good (hence the popular egg crate separators?) but the size and shapes of the lumps can sometimes make a lot of difference. For a home-sized installation "fuzzy" might be better than lumps. (Glue/screw shoe brushes to the wall with the hair facing the sound source?)

Very thin false walls, separated from each other and full of lots of little random sized holes are an amazingly effective "damper" if properly configured, but most of us won't live long enough to drill/punch sufficient holes for useful wall sizes, and it's hard to find cheap pre-drilled stock of appropriate configurations.

Sometimes, the most effective approach is to reduce the sound level at the source. Or you can invite a bagpipe player to move in a couple of doors down.

John


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 12:15 PM

"accordion / concertina playing and loud singing?"

1. Can a accordion or concertina really be louder than the typical television?

2. Loud singing? Who's singing loud? Loud singing is ugly. Work on singing well instead. Also, don't serve any liquor. It's amazing the way beer consumption and loudness go up together.

3. Check to see if the electrical outlets in your place are right behind the electrical outlets in their place. That is a cheap construction technique which allows sound from one home to go straight into in the other. If so, find out how to soundproof that one place.


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 12:19 PM

Lots of egg boxes , but take the eggs out first


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: treewind
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 12:56 PM

Egg boxes are useless.

OK, they're useful for storing eggs.


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 01:55 PM

The egg cartons commonly seen now are pretty much useless.

When knowledgeable people talk about egg cartons with respect to sound control use, they should mean something more like the FILLER FLATS (at the top left on the page) used for bulk shipments/storage. Even these are rather mediocre compared to other materials that are usually easier to find and likely cheaper.

John


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 03:14 PM

Egg cartons are light in weight so the will not absorb a great deal of energy.

They will abosorb and diffuse a small amount of energy in the mid frequencies so they can be a useful part of a larger plan.


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 10:33 AM

Egg boxes are a cheap and cheerful way of stopping sound from reflecting directly back from a hard surface but will do now't to stop most of the sound from passing straight through.

What you need to aim for is density and, as such, two brick walls are better than one! The problem you'll have in a semi or terraced property is that most of the sound you generate won't pass through the wall itself but will find its way through the floor and ceiling. Unfortunately, in the interests of cheapness, floor/ceiling joists tend to sit in holes in the party wall and often butt up to one another allowing sound to pass through the gaps.

Another thing to bear in mind is that if you're intending to carry out work to a party wall other than say re-plastering it, putting up cupboards or knocking nails in to hang pictures, you have various legal obligations under the "Party Wall Act". So upset your neighbours at your peril as it can be a costly business not complying with its requirements.


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 10:44 AM

Get yourself one of these. But don't go shouting for help if you get locked in :-)

Still say it would be cheaper to agree times with your neighbours!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Soundproofing to protect your neighbours
From: banjoman
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 06:09 AM

My next door neighbour knocked at the door at 3.00am a few days ago and pleaded with me to play my banjo. I was really appreciative until he added that he was sick and tired of my attempts to play the bagpipes.


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