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I HATE Noisy Apartments

HelpAndProsper

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So in keeping with Unscripted and learning how to solve problems while recognizing opportunities, I have to mention this and see what others think....

I cannot tell you how much I hate hearing neighbors noise through walls of apartment building made with crappy Chinese, cheap dry wall.

It seems so obvious to me that a smart builder/entrepreneur would start building properties with thick concrete or brick and advertise "Tired of crappy, thin-walled apartments and loud neighbors? Live Here in a Peaceful Quiet Building".

Emphasize the building is made of thick concrete or some other sound muting material....Make "quiet" the big selling point.

It's amazing to me that 99% of buillders/contractors just look to squeeze every freakin' penny out of a building project by using CHEAP CRAPPY MATERIALS so they can milk every dime possible on the overall deal.

Am I wrong to believe there are lots of other people like me who would gladly invest in a condo or sign a long lease if I knew the property was super quiet inside and the property management has strict rules about elminating noise after certain hours?

Where am I wrong? Why aren't more builders doing this? It reminds me of the chapter in Unscripted about "Capitalism" and how so many business owners focus on making every cent possible instead of providing long-term value and building good will with customers.
 

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GregDott

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Perhaps an ad hoc solution for already noisy apartments: compact and aesthetically pleasing sound proofing for your own apartment to keep the noise of others out.
 
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HelpAndProsper

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Perhaps an ad hoc solution for already noisy apartments: compact and aesthetically pleasing sound proofing for your own apartment to keep the noise of others out.
I've read about some sound proofing, but none of it seems to work as well as the old buildings that have thick walls to start with....

And noisy apartments seem to be a common complaint from many customers. Yet, watch the next apartment building being built by you.....There is a 99% chance it's made of cheap, thin drywall.....Just like the other crappy buildings....
 

GregDott

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I've read about some sound proofing, but none of it seems to work as well as the old buildings that have thick walls to start with....

And noisy apartments seem to be a common complaint from many customers. Yet, watch the next apartment building being built by you.....There is a 99% chance it's made of cheap, thin drywall.....Just like the other crappy buildings....
Sure makes sense. Perhaps you can offer hearing reduction surgery, or frontal lobotomies. Go to the source of the problem: the human perceptual apparatus.
 

minivanman

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What incentive does the person who is paying to have the apartment building built have? Sure, they could do it from the kindness of their bank account but who is going to do that? If 1 apartment costs $75,000 and let's say it costs a mere $5000 more to make the walls better. If I have 100 apartments x $5000 = $500,000. Why would I spend a half million dollars more on something when I don't have to? Now if it cost $10 more per apartment, hell, I can see doing that. Spend $1000 more to make them better but not $500,000 and more if you build more than 100 apartments in your complex.

Quite honestly, it depends who is doing what on the other side of the wall. I might make money from my loud neighbors...... Step right up and listen to the wall.... ssshhh quiet please.... :)
 
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HelpAndProsper

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What incentive does the person who is paying to have the apartment building built have? Sure, they could do it from the kindness of their bank account but who is going to do that? If 1 apartment costs $75,000 and let's say it costs a mere $5000 more to make the walls better. If I have 100 apartments x $5000 = $500,000. Why would I spend a half million dollars more on something when I don't have to? Now if it cost $10 more per apartment, hell, I can see doing that. Spend $1000 more to make them better but not $500,000 and more if you build more than 100 apartments in your complex.

Quite honestly, it depends who is doing what on the other side of the wall. I might make money from my loud neighbors...... Step right up and listen to the wall.... ssshhh quiet please.... :)
You could charge more for the higher quality, low noise building....You wouldn't have to deal with high turnover rate. Great customer reviews....Build more....
 

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Have you ever been in a super upscale apartment/condo that has upstairs/downstairs neighbors?? I haven't myself but I'm wondering if it's the same...?

This is a great idea. We are currently dealing with downstairs neighbors that bitch about EVERY move we make. We currently stay up till about 2 or 3AM talking and working. NOT loud at all, but our living room/workspace is directly above the downstairs neighbors' bedroom. They told us it sounds like we are IN their bedroom with them haha.
 

ryanbleau

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Lots of factors play into this. From a general contractors point of view let me break it down for you.
Building code in most states dictates 5/8 drywall between units as a firewall. The more units in a building you could end up meeting code for double layer 5/8 drywall. All gypsum board is pretty much equal except for the lightweight kind
Ever lift a sheet of drywall? You increase the risk of injury exponentially as you increase the weight of drywall. And drywall for commercial applications can come in 20 ft sheets. Less weight equals less chance of injury which means lower cost of workmans comp.
Code also dictates an insulation barrier between units. 2 sheets of 5/8 drywall plus 3.5 inches of dense fiberglass is a lot of sound deadening.
Concrete or brick construction would turn a unit that costs 25k into a unit that would cost 75k.
Honestly your looking at it all wrong. the idea is that you make money, not provide a very expensive, low roi property that most renters are going to destroy. also with the higher cost of construction you carry a higher rate of insurance, and quite often, no one is going to pay triple for a unit than the one down the road.
 
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Kak

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Where am I wrong? Why aren't more builders doing this? It reminds me of the chapter in Unscripted about "Capitalism" and how so many business owners focus on making every cent possible instead of providing long-term value and building good will with customers.
So you happen to live in an apartment that is noisy... Independent of all other variables like loud neighbors, loud neighborhood, age of the building/complex, price you pay... Nope it's capitalism's fault.

If there was a significant market advantage to make brand new apartments quieter, which there is, and they do; capitalism is the reason the money would flow to those newer complexes, not the reason your shitty building is loud.
 

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There are concrete and brick apartments all over the place. Try looking in a more expensive building. New concrete buildings absolutely advertise that they are made out of concrete as that is a gigantic selling feature. Key work is selling, as they sell for 2-3x what shitty wood structure building units go for.

If you have an issue with noisy and cheap construction, up your expectations out of life. You are not going to get a premium build at the low-end of the price spectrum, simple as that. If you want someone better go out and get it. It is out there, it exists.

No, it is not going to be handed to you for free.
 

Late Bloomer

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I agree with you that a lot of apartments and some new houses these days are built as cheaply as possible.

There's a Tom Clancy spy novel in which a hotel's architect required high quality soundproofing between the rooms. But the contractor built it cheaply and left out the soundproofing. As a result, the spy was able to easily listen in on the spy secrets being discussed by the enemy in the next room.

There's a Charles Dickens novel with a character who plays the cello, and sometimes entertains himself that way in his office. The person in the adjacent office, in the cheaply built building, complains. Later on, it turns out the next door person had some awful scheme, but it was overheard and thwarted by the cellist because the building's so lousy.

There are multi-family dwellings designed and built so you don't have to hear the neighbors all the time. I lived for a while in an apartment in a well-built concrete tower. No noise at all from neighbors on either side, above or below.

There are townhouses and duplexes well designed so the shared walls are only at the garage, or laundry room, or storage closet. So if your neighbor is loud, there are a couple of rooms between you and them, and your windows face out in different directions.

There are multi-family complexes with a separate little building for each unit. If it's brick and has storm windows or whatever, you might not be able to hear your neighbor's favorite TV shows when the windows are closed. And you probably won't hear their moderate conversations even with the windows open.

There are apartments where a few of the units are on the outside corner, at the end of the hall, behind the emergency exit stairs nobody ever uses or the utility room.

You can find a quiet place if you look for it, and if you can afford to pay for it.
 

ryanbleau

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I take that back. Seeing as you live in boston the newest apartment complex was probably built around the mid 80's. Fun facts about boston building codes- they are more finely tuned than the state building code for Massachusetts. How do I know? I worked for the state managing state properties under DCAMM. Boston is so corrupt that a certain mayors brother bought a shipment of lumber and couldn't sell it to make his money back. They instituted a new building code that 2x4 studs had to be 12 inches on center instead of 16 inches. Due to the sheer volume of construction going on, the lumber yards had to buy his shipment or the union carpenters would have gone on strike. One contractor was paying of the inspectors so well nothing ever got inspected. There was a fire in the high rise he built and when the fireman opened the standpipe they found that the buildings main electrical trunks were inside it and it never had a single plumbing inspection.
 

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There was a fire in the high rise he built and when the fireman opened the standpipe they found that the buildings main electrical trunks were inside it and it never had a single plumbing inspection.
That's really scary.
 
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HelpAndProsper

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Everything in Massachusetts is corrupt. One of the main reasons I pulled up roots and moved
Great info....Yes, I'm looking RIGHT NOW to move soon to Portsmouth, NH area or Southern Maine. I really like it up there...I hate Mass. politics....
 

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Great info....Yes, I'm looking RIGHT NOW to move soon to Portsmouth, NH area or Southern Maine. I really like it up there...I hate Mass. politics....
leave new England. Life gets better below the Mason Dixon.
 

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Thoelt53

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I take that back. Seeing as you live in boston the newest apartment complex was probably built around the mid 80's.
That may have been true like 10 years ago. There have been many new complexes built in recent years. The building boom here is huge right now.

Fun facts about boston building codes- they are more finely tuned than the state building code for Massachusetts. How do I know? I worked for the state managing state properties under DCAMM. Boston is so corrupt that a certain mayors brother bought a shipment of lumber and couldn't sell it to make his money back. They instituted a new building code that 2x4 studs had to be 12 inches on center instead of 16 inches. Due to the sheer volume of construction going on, the lumber yards had to buy his shipment or the union carpenters would have gone on strike. One contractor was paying of the inspectors so well nothing ever got inspected. There was a fire in the high rise he built and when the fireman opened the standpipe they found that the buildings main electrical trunks were inside it and it never had a single plumbing inspection.
I am not surprised in the least. It's even like that in the suburbs, just on a smaller scale.

I can't imagine that it's not like that in every major city, although I'm sure Boston is one of the worst. Old cities have deep rooted corruption (Chicago, New York, Detroit, etc).
 

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Something like an active noise control system could be developed for people in old or shitty buildings with noisy neighbors.

It would be cheaper than renovating for the consumer, and cheaper long term than moving into a more luxurious apartment.
 
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biophase

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Great info....Yes, I'm looking RIGHT NOW to move soon to Portsmouth, NH area or Southern Maine. I really like it up there...I hate Mass. politics....
How much more would you pay for your current place if it was advertised as sound proof?
 

minivanman

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Here in the DFW area we need over 20,000 more construction workers. They are building houses and apartments as fast as they can so I doubt anything is built very well at all. That's why we bought an old house. My one buddy. Marvin, was granted a huge contract building houses. The company that had the contract before couldn't keep enough workers so they got tired of it and went out of business. I'm sure they will all be built with paper thin walls and floors.

I love apartments. I guess we lived in one of the better ones because it was fairly quiet except around 1:30am the lil woman would be asleep but almost every day I could hear the neighbor lady. Other than that, no noise at all. I miss that ol' apartment and it's great view.
 

theresgot2bemore

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So in keeping with Unscripted and learning how to solve problems while recognizing opportunities, I have to mention this and see what others think....

I cannot tell you how much I hate hearing neighbors noise through walls of apartment building made with crappy Chinese, cheap dry wall.

It seems so obvious to me that a smart builder/entrepreneur would start building properties with thick concrete or brick and advertise "Tired of crappy, thin-walled apartments and loud neighbors? Live Here in a Peaceful Quiet Building".

Emphasize the building is made of thick concrete or some other sound muting material....Make "quiet" the big selling point.

It's amazing to me that 99% of buillders/contractors just look to squeeze every freakin' penny out of a building project by using CHEAP CRAPPY MATERIALS so they can milk every dime possible on the overall deal.

Am I wrong to believe there are lots of other people like me who would gladly invest in a condo or sign a long lease if I knew the property was super quiet inside and the property management has strict rules about elminating noise after certain hours?

Where am I wrong? Why aren't more builders doing this? It reminds me of the chapter in Unscripted about "Capitalism" and how so many business owners focus on making every cent possible instead of providing long-term value and building good will with customers.
I, too, have the same concerns for apartment hunting in other places. I've been to a quality apartment area here in Miami before and let me tell you it is exactly what you're talking about. The area is called Brickell Key.

I'm not sure of what materials were used in the construction of the place or what regulations were had at the time but man did they have value in mind when they built that place. A buddy of mine was working at Jackson Memorial and lived there for a while renting out a 1/1 for 2K on the 12th floor of one particular building looking out at the port of Miami. He lent me his spare key so I could show up there any time. Place was pretty sweet so it was nice to chill there. The sea air wafting up onto the balcony, peace & quiet, and security were nice things to top it off.

I told him I wanted to test the walls of the place and see if we get any complaints. Well, we watched Breaking Bad loud as F*ck and screamed at the top of our lungs like lunatics one night while having some beers (with windows & doors closed of course). I expected that we would get some complaints in the next 2 weeks but we got nothing... absolutely nothing. Within that same week we checked to see if we could hear our neighbors talking or doing anything particular through the walls. We got nothing for that as well. We never repeated our experiment ever again and it confirmed that you, indeed, get what you pay for (at least for me). The experiment was profound for me because those areas do not tolerate stupidity like other places so we would have known if there was a problem because the front desk did not tolerate things like that.

You won't have to worry about noise complaints and things of the like that you'll deal with at other places because the people who are buying, or renting, these properties implicitly understand things like noise after hours and whatnot. The people that built Brickell Key had the wealthy foreigners that come to this city in mind and built many high quality apartments on that little island.

I will say that in order to have a nice apartment like this you have to pay the price. That place is in high demand so the prices, and selection process, reflect accordingly and the people you meet there are not just any type of person but a specific financial demographic. Still, even with marketing to the best the builders had noise consideration in mind and built amazing structures!

I don't know if you'll get into RE or whatnot, and I'm not qualified to comment on those things since its not my focus, but I can vouch for quality apartments paying off if you want to live in one. When you've been around stuff like that you'll never go back to the regular bs in other places.
 

Late Bloomer

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a quality apartment area here in Miami
In places with lots of tourists, convention visitors, vacation home buyers etc. like Miami or Vegas, the apartments are often only 1/3 occupied on any particular night, unless there's a huge event in town. There can often be literally no one home at the adjacent units in all directions.
 

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It's amazing to me that 99% of buillders/contractors just look to squeeze every freakin' penny out of a building project by using CHEAP CRAPPY MATERIALS so they can milk every dime possible on the overall deal.

Am I wrong to believe there are lots of other people like me who would gladly invest in a condo or sign a long lease if I knew the property was super quiet inside and the property management has strict rules about elminating noise after certain hours?

Where am I wrong? Why aren't more builders doing this? It reminds me of the chapter in Unscripted about "Capitalism" and how so many business owners focus on making every cent possible instead of providing long-term value and building good will with customers.
The place in Mexico I am in right now is double normal rent. Place is super quiet and built to an amazing standard. I am sleeping like a baby.

I stayed in this place last year in Kiev... Luxury in Mind One of Kind Gem In Center 3004 - Apartments for Rent in Vasyl'kivs'kyi district, Kyivs'ka oblast, Ukraine. It is way above normal rent but is super quiet during the day. Also it is nearly always booked. I miss it a lot for recording videos.

Point is - these places already exist you're just not paying for them. But of these countries have a lot of lower prices rentals that struggle to find tenants.

---

This isn't to brag. I work out of my apartment and really enjoy a goodnights sleep. Only making the point that to complain about capitalism when you are paying less and wanting more is missing the point.
 

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