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Building types for avoiding noisy neighbours

CubicCubic Posts: 594
edited August 2013 in The cake stop
Hi,

I'm going to be moving in the near future to a two-bed flat or house somewhere in London. I currently live in a 90s built apartment block and have had some problems with my upstairs neighbour playing music, which comes through the ceiling really easily - easily enough to make out song lyrics clearly etc.

I'm researching places to live at the moment, and I was wondering if there are particular types of building, eras of construction and so forth that lend themselves to better sound-proofing? The noise from my neighbours is really affecting my enjoyment of my current flat, so I'd like to avoid this problem in the future if possible.

Living in London, I doubt I could afford a detached property. Ideally I would live in a cave on a remote island far away from other people, but then I would have commuting issues.

Thanks for the advice!

Posts

  • Alain QuayAlain Quay Posts: 635
    Be the ones living upstairs?

    In Edinburgh, people having sanded floors can be a big problem. Knowing the people upstairs have carpet & floor insulation helps. Better still if they are middle aged, quiet, have no kids and are away a lot. Failing that, there needs to be space of 1-3 feet between the floor of the upper flat and the ceiling of the lower one, as is sometimes the case in older buildings.

    The worst neighbours are NEETS (not in employment, edn. or training) or hippy Mums with young children who drop wooden toys onto wooden floors from 6 am every day!
  • shmoshmo Posts: 321
    Worst flat I've lived in for noise was ground floor in a 2-storey block purpose built in the 1980s. Could hear everything going on upstairs - what was on TV, who was playing (if football), when the occupant was having a wee, etc.

    Best was ground floor again but in a new block built in 2011. Could hear the odd bump or muffled noise but never felt the need for earplugs.

    If you can find one, detached coach houses have the potential to be pretty quiet and aren't usually much more expensive than a comparatively sized flat. They usually take the form of a first floor flat over a number of garages owned by nearby houses. Even better if the garages don't have power so there's minimal risk of a rock band/noise machinery.
  • jawoogajawooga Posts: 530
    I live in a detached converted bungalow in south devon surrounded by old people, and there is a dog that's doing my f'ing head in with its yappy barking. So it's not always easy to tell! Good luck with your house hunting though.
  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    shmo wrote:
    Worst flat I've lived in for noise was ground floor in a 2-storey block purpose built in the 1980s. Could hear everything going on upstairs - what was on TV, who was playing (if football), when the occupant was having a wee, etc.

    Best was ground floor again but in a new block built in 2011. Could hear the odd bump or muffled noise but never felt the need for earplugs.

    If you can find one, detached coach houses have the potential to be pretty quiet and aren't usually much more expensive than a comparatively sized flat. They usually take the form of a first floor flat over a number of garages owned by nearby houses. Even better if the garages don't have power so there's minimal risk of a rock band/noise machinery.

    Somebody slamming a garage open 2 feet from your window and into your bedroom floor makes a great alarm clock.
  • simonheadsimonhead Posts: 1,399
    Its really down to luck i am afraid, had a house in a small village, semi detatched, old couples either side and whilst it was a great place the attached neighbours were hard of hearing so you would hear the archers played very loudly and them having a shouted conversation as they hadnt put their hearing aids on first thing in the morning. Lived in a ground floor flat next to a train line with loads of other people in their 20's around but it was dead quiet.
    Life isnt like a box of chocolates, its like a bag of pic n mix.
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,243
    My folks live (and where i grew up) in a fully detached farmhouse. Nearest neighbor is over a mile as the crow flies.

    Lovely and peaceful you'd think, but the dawn chorus is deafening!

    In terms of flats, there's not alot of options. I would have said that newer ones would be worse due to the cheaper way they build them now, but the anecdotal evidence in here suggests otherwise. Certainly, i live in a flat built in the mid 80's and you can hear a mouse fart 2 doors down. Luckily, my immediate neighbours are quite considerate, but who on earth thought that roller-doors for all the built-in storage was a good idea? I'm sure they glided smoothy when first installed, but now it sounds like a lorry is driving through my place everytime upstairs goes to grab some clothes!
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,124
    Something like a converted warehouse or industrial building with solid concrete floors should be better.
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    I would imagine an older building would be better, thicker walls, more solid construction etc.

    I know people who live in new build houses and the walls seem paper thin to me, you hear everything!!
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Pross wrote:
    Something like a converted warehouse or industrial building with solid concrete floors should be better.
    I live in a converted concrete building and get a lot of noise from the censored downstairs.

    I think it depends more on your neighbours than the building.
  • peat wrote:
    I would have said that newer ones would be worse due to the cheaper way they build them now, but the anecdotal evidence in here suggests otherwise.

    I think there are more regulations requiring sound proofing in newly built flats
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    Avoid terraced houses like the plague.
    Once your neighbours fit wooden flooring, you can say goodbye to peace and quiet, ever :cry:
  • houseboat?
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,192
    closest i've been to murder was with a noisy upstairs neighbour

    look for solid concrete between floors with raised wooden floor above and suspended ceiling below, best is to have all that AND the top floor

    modern concrete box buildings can be good, my mum has a flat in one, never hear a thing from other flats

    but if it's one where the floor/ceiling are the concrete slab, then you'll hear every heel and dropped thing clicking right the way through
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • As said, it largely depends on luck. Top floor, on a corner, and for reasons which are nothing to do with noisy neighbours keep away from a bus stop (had a flat next to a bus stop in Edinburgh and it was hellish) and away from a fire station (same flat in Edinburgh). When you go to view try to work the viewings in with the times that you will be in the property yourself - no point viewing at 3pm on a weekday if you're normally at work then.
  • freddiegrubbfreddiegrubb Posts: 448
    Retro. soundproofing is rarely totally successful, best done in the build stage, cheaper too.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 38,185
    Down in the jungle living in a tent, better than a prefab - no rent. (and no noisy neighbours).
    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda

    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year."
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Converted offshore lighthouse? Space-station?
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    Troglodyte cave dwelling ... There's some really nice ones in France around the loire valley and the dordogne

    I'm pretty peaceful here in launceston but missus insists on sleeping with the window opening ... There's a big tree across the road with a rookery in it and they start off at about 04.30 right now
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,727
    This should do the trick. Might set you back a few bob and you will need a boat. Only neighbours to disturb you will be seagulls, the odd P&O ferry and the occasional Royal Navy vessel, though the latter are depleting at a rate of knots so shouldn't be too bothersome

    world_16_1_temp-1338623827-4fc9c753-620x348.jpg
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • CubicCubic Posts: 594
    Mr Goo wrote:
    This should do the trick. Might set you back a few bob and you will need a boat. Only neighbours to disturb you will be seagulls, the odd P&O ferry and the occasional Royal Navy vessel, though the latter are depleting at a rate of knots so shouldn't be too bothersome

    world_16_1_temp-1338623827-4fc9c753-620x348.jpg

    This looks ideal! And, if I could build one just by Putney bridge, I'd get a really good view of the boat race!
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 5,607
    arran77 wrote:
    I would imagine an older building would be better, thicker walls, more solid construction etc.

    I know people who live in new build houses and the walls seem paper thin to me, you hear everything!!
    This ^^ Your best bet is older builds. New builds are built as cheaply as possible to maximise profits, with little regard for soundproofing.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 5,607
    But that said. The neighbour from hell could be anywhere.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • You can choose ya friends ...but ya can't choose ya neighbours
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    seanoconn wrote:
    But that said. The neighbour from hell could be anywhere.

    I live a tiny little rural hamlet BUT there is a retired football manager nr by who is stinking rich, gets all his planning apps approved and is constantly building some fxxking thing or other, whilst he lives in one of his other houses - as i type this he ie some gypoo is putting up mile or so of fencing, 1 guy with a fxxking hammer and nails... why cant he use a air nail gun like everyone else ????? or better still pxzz off back up north :)
  • metronomemetronome Posts: 669
    Also worth keeping an eye our for an end flat to reduce your neighbour count by at least 1! An upstairs end flat is an attractive option in a group of flats. Although lower level flats may have a small outdoor space which is great if you cycle - clean bikes etc. An even more attractive option is a flat above a quiet shop with a small amount of outdoor space. Just make sure it's not a bakery or kebab shop.

    Moving in to a flat with 4 neighbours is risky
    tick - tick - tick
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    You can choose ya friends ...but ya can't choose ya neighbours

    Sometimes you get clues though. One time we went to view a house and noticed a great big Yamaha sticker across the upstairs window next door. Motorbikes or keyboards?? Didn't take the risk; bought elsewhere.
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Alain Quay wrote:
    ...hippy Mums with young children who drop wooden toys onto wooden floors from 6 am every day!
    Bane of my life

    Pity I have a neighbour the other side as I was tempted to start practicing basketball whenever I wake up for a piss.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
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