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Bothering my neighbor

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I live in a newly constructed condo, it's more of a townhouse/row housing design. My building has 3 condo units and I'm on the end. I have one shared wall with the neighbor who is in the middle of the building. There are three floors including the basement which is cement foundation with cement block wall that goes all the way from the basement up to the very top of the roof. Both sides have framing/insulation and gyproc on the shared wall.

I started to piece my system together, right now I just have two Klipsch RF62 tower speakers driven by a Denon 1713. My neighbor came over last night and asked me if I could turn the music down because it's shaking her walls. I obliged, but feel kind of bummed, two days with a new system that isn't even complete yet and I get a complaint... and I haven't even added in a sub yet, the bass from the RF62's isn't crazy but a sub will certainly make things worse I'm sure.

My system is in my basement which has cement foundation all around, two layers of r12 insulation and gyproc, cement floor with tile on top. My speakers are on the opposite side of the shared wall. Probably about 24 feet away from the shared wall.

I should also mention that she doesn't even use her basement, so the problem isn't even on the same level. I'm shaking her walls one or two levels up through cement block, insulation and gyproc

I'm sort of at a loss regarding what to do, I mean I really thought the way the structure was built would be virtually sound proof but those damn low frequencies seem to pass through anything.

Any suggestions?
Edited by jfall - 6/23/12 at 5:52am
post #2 of 17
Unfortunately, the only real solution is to move, preferably to a detached house that's quite a ways from the houses around it. Even then, if you like your music loud, you may get complaints, so you need to discuss it with potential neighbors before making a final decision.

Also, you might check your purchase contract. Often they include provisions for hours when you must keep noise to a minimum. People who are trying to go to sleep are much more sensitive to outside noise than when they are up and doing things.

There are some things you can try which will reduce the coupling between your speakers and the building, but they won't be perfect, and since your neighbor is already sensitized, they're unlikely to help that situation.
post #3 of 17
Lots of good reading at www.soundproofingcompany.com. Ted White can help walk you through what needs to be done.
post #4 of 17
The problem is, buildings built by todays standards are built on the cheap, and have no sound deadening in mind. If you want quiet and not disturbance from neighbors, live out in the country. Live in a condo, you have to either get along with each other and set some ground rules, or learn to deal with it.

If you are the one making the noise, and want to at least deaden some of the noise intrusion, that means that you are going to have to re-engineer what the builders did not do.
post #5 of 17
I lieu of any sound proofing issues, try and keep an open channel of communications with your neighbor. Ask if you can come in to see how loud your system is on her side. This will give you an idea of how loud you can set your system without bugging her. Give her a friendly heads up if you are having a movie night. I know I'm a lot more tolerant when my neighbors let us know they are having a party but the sound will be down by midnight.

This is coming from someone who used to work nights, and now has a very low tolerance for other peoples noise.
post #6 of 17
I was just going to suggest what MuaySteve said - talk to your neighbour and see if you can listen to your system from her side. That may at least give you a starting point where you can take note of how/where the sound is getting through.

Unfortunately this is just part of condo living - putting up wtih other people's crap but so help you god if you make one bad move of your own.
post #7 of 17
Some neighbors also throw things out of proportion when making complaints. I've found that often to be the case. So you may not have been actually shaking her walls. She may have just heard them, and over exageratted a little.

If this is a permanent residence I would look into a professional soundproofing job. If it's temporary I would probably check your tenant agreement, and either adjust some of the bass out, and/or keep them very low at late hours of the night. Sucks but gotta do what you gotta do.

Detached house I think is the only way to have a system you can play as loud as you want, and even then you have to make sure it's out in the country. As detached homes in a neighborhood and you'll have neighbors complaining of the same thing. You'll be suprised what neighbors will complain over.
post #8 of 17
Headphones. Problem solved. wink.gif
post #9 of 17
post #10 of 17
You could turn on the Dynamic Range? You'd be able hear more at a lower volume. Other than that, sound proofing sounds like the only thing you could do.
Edited by Suneal Peddada - 6/29/12 at 12:28pm
post #11 of 17
I agree with the ones telling you to go to your neighbor's and see how loud it really is. It could be that the sound is coming through that wall much louder than you think it is. Once you can come to a compromise on volume levels and times of day, the next step is some professional sound-proofing.
post #12 of 17
"Any suggestions?"

Sure. Straight up, the building you described, like a steel rail, is designed to propagate sound waves. The best way to start is to raise your speakers onto a rubber pad for isolation from the structure but sound waves, in a sealed room will build in a magnification affect; moving air due to the act of continually adding more energy to the air.

The sound waves need to be absorbed with padding, you'll have to build an isolation room, or, sadly, turn the volume control down. My solution, in the case of when we lived in a duplex, I would notify our common wall neighbor that we were going be blasting the movie machine and offer to lend them the rented DVD as a sort of peace offering. It helps to have a neighbor with similar movie tastes. smile.gif

Hope the above helps.
Edited by BeeMan458 - 7/8/12 at 12:13pm
post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

...but so help you god if you make one bad move of your own.


Now that's too funny.


Edited by BeeMan458 - 7/8/12 at 12:31pm
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Now that's funny.

And sadly very true.
post #15 of 17
We lived in a city condo (San Jose, Ca); hence why I found it so funny because yes, as you post, it is true. Now we're living the dream, in a Sierra mountain home in Northern California where everybody has to be nice to each other or they can get on down the hill. biggrin.gif
post #16 of 17
I too live in a condo, and something of an older one at that. Unfortunately real estate is kind of expensive where I live, especially if you are like me and live on your own and just have the single income. I see condo living as a stepping stone, but the good news in my case is that my mortgage, condo fee (which includes gas, water and power), and property taxes come out to the same amount of money as I would pay in rent every month for the same type of place. So at least I am building equity which will help me going forward. Plus I have voluntarily increased my mortgage payment somewhat and make the odd lump sum payment.

Anyway, I also have issues with noise, it travels very easily between suites. I am fortunate enough that my hours of work are outside of the "mainstream" so I tend to do my movie watching during business hours when other people are at work, or I simply wear headphones.

The trouble with human nature based on my experience with condo living is that people expect you to put up with their noise but freak out if they hear any sort of noise coming from your suite, and they can get upset if you ever complain about them.

Hopefully some of the suggestions given above will help, best of luck. I look forward to the day when I have detached living. Condo living is low maintenance but can grate on you in other ways. I guess it depends on what you value.
post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

Unfortunately this is just part of condo living - putting up wtih other people's crap but so help you god if you make one bad move of your own.

This is so dang true!!!!!
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