Tips for Controlling Noise in Apartments

Curtains, throws, upholstery and rugs are effective dampeners of sound. Image – Zoffany Fabrics

Diamond Valley House Rules are pretty clear about noise nuisance http://diamondvalley.ie/AboutHouseRules.html :

1. Do not make noise at any time that causes annoyance to the owners or occupiers of neighbouring properties.
2. Do not cause noise that can be heard outside your own apartment between 12 midnight and 9a.m.

Unlike houses, apartments share ceilings, floors and walls with neighbouring residences, making it all the more important to respect the right of your neighbour to a peaceful existence. Noise control is a fact of life for apartment dwellers world wide. It’s often the simplest adjustments in our daily lives that are the most effective in dampening or eliminating unwanted sound.

Don’t bang doors, and if you have heavy chairs think about gluing felt pieces to the underside of chair legs to prevent them from scraping across the floor. Swap your high heeled or hard soled shoes for slippers or socks when you come inside.

Low level sound from your own apartment like TVs, washing machines and voices can be greatly reduced simply by adding more textiles to your home. Rugs, curtains, tablecloths and upholstery are all good at absorbing sound.  Curtains can be made up with heavy felt interliner and special soundproof lining. Think about hanging a heavy curtain on the inside of your hall door – remember it will protect your privacy too.

Place your audio equipment away from walls that are shared with other apartments. Keep TV and music volumes at reasonable levels and remember that no sound at all must be heard outside your apartment after 12 midnight until 9am.

If you have a particular problem with noise from a neighbouring apartment first try explaining the issue to your neighbour. If that doesn’t work, the next port of call should be the Management Agent, in our case O’ Farrell Property Management http://www.diamondvalley.ie/Contact.html, who will liaise with the neighbour on behalf of you or your landlord. House Rules are a legally enforcable part of the title deeds of each apartment so they cannot be dismissed or taken lightly.

In some cases the solution may be structural. Companies such as Tallaght based Cunas cunas@eircom.net offer a specialist noise insulation service for apartments. You may wish to take independent engineering advice if considering such an investment. Remember that any structural alteration to your dwelling requires prior notification to the Management Agent http://www.diamondvalley.ie/Contact.html.

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The editor of this diary lives in Diamond Valley, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Diamond Valley is a modern apartment community in the old setting of the Valley of Diamonds, alongside the river Dargle. Contact editor@diamondvalley.ie
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