Speaking of soundproofing, is there anything in the building code or
common practice that would indicate what separates my townhouse from
the next one?
My house was built in 1979, and I see one layer of cinder blocks in
the basement and the attic.
Is there likely to be a second layer of cinder blocks which is part of
the neighbor's house?
PS. The guy who first bought the house was cold all the time and
wanted quiet so he put another layer of sheet rock in the back of his
bedroom closets which cover whole wall that borders the neighborh,
and on the two outside walls, and a layer if cork somewhere else. I
hear almost nothing from the other house, and I'm wondering if there
are two layers of cinder block or one.
Do you have a cinder block wall or do you have drywall? If the latter, I'll
wager the drywall is attached to framing that is NOT attached to the
cinderblocks. If the cinderblocks are filled with cement, that much mass
could be an effective sound barrier also.
That would be great. In thhe finished floors, the first and second, I
have drywall, including in the back of the closet. Half of the
basement was finished too, and water damaged the bottom 3 inches of
sheetrock near the rear wall of the house. I built booksheleves there
and don't think I ever bothered to fix it. I should look adn see what
I hadn't thought of that either, but wouldn't that slow down
construction a lot? I doubt they did that.
Perlite would be nice too, Oren, but how do I find out if it's there?
I know back in the '70s block wall cavities were filled with what I
called "perlite". Looked like the garden perlite material.
It was Florida condos and the block walls separated the living spaces.
It provided sound and insulation value.
That cinder block wall is not for soundproofing, it is for fire separation.
You will have only one layer. Most building codes used to required a masonry
fire separation between units. You are fortunate, because the building code
was weakened and allows for no masonry separators but allows drywall as a
fire break. In Canada, they require one layer of drywall on the inside of
each unit and one on the outside of the framing of one on the other unit, a
total of 3 drywall layers separated by framing or airspace. I am not sure
the US building code requires. I prefer solid masonry between the units or
house and garage plus the interior drywall.
In my Colorado Condo, the walls just have one layer of sheetrock, but
there are two sets of studs offset from each other by about an inch.
Thus there is no direct conduction connection between the two units.
The space is filled with fibreglass insulation which further isolates
the two units. Now if the people above me would just tear out their
pergo floor, it would be really quiet.
Gotta love those hard floors :(
I lived in mexico for a while, most all builfings have poured concrete
(tiled) between stories. I lived in the bottom part of a two story
building. The people in the upper had two twin teen age sons...when they
came home from school it sounded like they were dribbling a bowling ball for
about a half hour.
Before the townhouse I lived in an apartment in Brooklyn for 11 years.
Originally, Mrs. Tieke lived up stairs, a woman about 80 who weighed
about 100 pounds. Beautiful apartment, with a grandfather clock whose
bells she turned off every evening. I didnt' hear them in the daytime
Eventually she moved, and the last few years were a series of college
students. It was built as a very expensive building and I couldn't
hear them either. But for about a year they kept mvoing boxes around
in the room above my bedroom. I slept in the maid's room, off the
kitchen. I met the guy and he looked in good condition. I thought I
could embarrass him into making less noise, so I told him, "I'm
surprised a healthy guy like you can't move stuff more quietly."
He must have been giggling inside. Eventually I figured out that he
was lifting weights upstairs, and considering that, he was pretty
quiet when he laid them down.
Between my apartment and the next door neibhbor, the wall was cement
or concrete. Built in 1930.
I guess so. Nothing but sheetrock woudl be terrible. And my neighbors
could come in and visit when I wasn't home.
The first few houses here were built without cinderblock in the attic.
Allowing a fire to spread to all 8 houses that usually make up a
building. When the building inspector came out, he made them redo
the houses they'd built and they did it right from then on.
We've had two fires, and in one, the fire was in the end house and
spread next door, but across the roof, not the attic. I'm sure that
took longer and the second house's damage was less. They didn't have
to move out, but the first people did.
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