Noise 1920s terrace house

I just bought a 1920s end of terrace house. The party wall is doors joining so I thought it would be very quite. The house is currently being gutted as im doing lots of renovating and doesnt really have much carpet or furniture in it.
I have found in the few days that i have been there that it is really noisy ( i can here the people in the other house pee, and also put there cup down on the kitchen worktop). This doesnt really bother me but my girlfriend will go mad.
Does anyone have any ideas if this is because there is nothing left in the house or should there be that much noise?
As i said i am currently renovating the house so can do work if it will get rid of the noise, but also dont want to loose too much space adding plasterboard ect.
I would be grateful for any ideas.
Cheers
James
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jimmyjim wrote:

Block all holes between the houses, often under floorboards, even very small ones. Coating the party wall with papercrete has a damping effect. Fitting battens and PB over the party wall and stuffing the cavity with fibreglass also helps. Damping ceilings can help too, with mineral wool or papercrete.
NT
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Party wall will be solid with no cavity. Some sounds can travel through the structure and kitchens are usually screwed to the wall, so cups on surfaces can transmit through the wall. You will also hear people going upstairs if the stairs are fixed to the party wall. But on the positive side, you can shut the doors to isolate that side of the house and there are no neighbours on the other side. Be glad you are an end ! Also, it will seem noisier when empty, and no furnishings so lots of echos.
BUT, if you are renovating and plaster is off the wall etc, chance is an air path that carries sound has been opened up. Check for gaps where joists enter the party wall. If this is the case, you may smell next doors cooking too. Pack around the joists with mortar and ensure the are sealed tight.

There's lots of advice on party wall sound proofing on this newsgroup. Search the archives using google groups. Only real way is to build a separate wall (masonry or stud wall and double plasterboard) isolated from the party wall, but that could mean moving stairs etc. Any other approach is a compromise and hard to rate for effectiveness until it is done.
I previously lived in a mid-terrace, now in an end. With parties both sides, THAT was bad !!!
Good luck, Simon.
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On Mon, 31 May 2010 14:34:23 -0700 (PDT) Jimmyjim wrote :

A look in the loft should show you what the party wall construction is. On a loft conversion I designed 25 years back they started work and found that the party wall was half-brick (4 1/2"). I had no way of knowing this because the party wall stopped at bedroom ceiling level, one common loft across the whole terrace! Wouldn't expect anything like this on a 1920s house though - badly filled gaps, as suggested by others already, is the most likely offender.
--
Tony Bryer, Greentram: 'Software to build on' Melbourne, Australia
www.superbeam.co.uk www.eurobeam.co.uk www.greentram.com
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In article < snipped-for-privacy@c7g2000vbc.googlegroups

I had a very similar thing (although it didn't bother me) in a doors- together mid-terrace. The sound was carrying through under the floorboards, as the void beneath was continuous between the houses. You're probably hearing it 'cos you have no carpets during renovations.
Stuffing the voids under the party wall with loft insulation made a big difference, as did putting down carpets with a thick underlay.
--
(\__/)
(='.'=) Bunny's thinking about giving Windows 7
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On Mon, 31 May 2010 14:34:23 -0700 (PDT), jimmyjim wrote:

Presumably the reverse applies, too. They can hear everything you do for the renovation work. Maybe pop round and ask if it's causing them too much disturbance?
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Thanks all,
I will try putting some insulation down under the floorboards and see how that goes, then maybe think about a stud wall but it seems like a lot of work and loosing space for some noise.
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My old chap used to say he could hear the neighbours change their minds ;)
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jimmyjim wrote:

TBH if you go for 'soft' furnishings - carpet not laminate floor, fabric not leather sofas, curtains not blinds etc I reckon it will damp down most of the noise. The reverse will of course exacerbate it.
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
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Noise travels directly through even the smallest air hole. As mentioned holes around joists & beneath floors are a prime candidate.
However the same can apply to brickwork. Brickwork may have open frogs/holes, that is to say they are not filled with mortar which significantly reduces their ability to block noise. Likewise perpendicular mortar joints may be little more than pointing, again reducing the effective mass at the mortar joints to noise transmission.
If the wall is bare you may want to examine the brickwork carefully. A double layer of 12.5mm plasterboard can help to at least blur normal conversation.
If the walls are bare, and solid brick, insulation now is a very good time :-) Choose internal furnishings to absorb noise makes a big difference, the neighbour may well have hard floor, no curtains, hard furnishings, so making the acoustic effects more prominent to your ears.
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Mineral wool for sound insulation is a lot denser than that for heat insulation, but heat insulation is so much cheaper as its subsidised, so i'm planning on using heat insualting mineral wool under the floorboards but stuffing it in very tightly.
i think this is a good idea, but im not an expert.
[g]
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george [dicegeorge] wrote:

First lime of attack is to block any air paths. Yes, there are often air paths - between shared rooves, or under shared floors.

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On 02/06/10 01:09, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Job for expanding foam? Quick, easy and should have some noise dampening effect as well as blocking the air paths.
--
Tim Watts

Hung parliament? Rather have a hanged parliament.
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Tim Watts wrote:

not always. Bad for ventilation if there needs to be air movement.
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wrote:

I'd first block all underfloor holes to next door with plaster or cement mortar, being sure to leave no gap.
Stuffing mineral wool in tight puts pressure on the ceiling, and over a fair area it adds up to quite a lot of force. I wouldnt. As long as there isnt a damp problem there I'd be more inclined to go with papercrete, its denser, has a finer porous structure, and stiffens and damps anything its in conctact with.
NT
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In article

Mineral wool has f-all effect on sound transmission. Once you've got rid of direct air borne paths you need to add mass. Plasterboard etc is probably the easiest/cheapest way.
--
*Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Any of the following would help: rigidity, mass, damping.
- Sand adds damping and some mass - Plasterboard adds some mass - Papercrete bonds to all around it, stiffening and damping. Mass added is the end user's choice, it can be anything from very light to very heavy. - mineral wool damps thin PB, but doesnt add any mass or rigidity.
NT
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NT wrote:

But if we put papercrete under the floorboards, above the downstairs flat ceiling, isnt it very flammable? And wouldn't it absorb moisture from the damp kitchen steam below and from occasional leaks and stain the ceiling below?
[g]
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wrote:

not at all. The behaviour of papercrete in fire varies depending on the mix. The worst mixes wont support a flame, but can very slowly char over many hours if exposed to severe flame, the better mixes won't. Since even the worst mixes take severe flame to get charring its not a real world issue, unless its used for structural support.

theres plasterboard between steam and papercrete, so no

any material in there will absorb water if there are leaks. Not normally a problem though.

I suspect it wuold if the OP forgot to drain it off before placement. Even if it did, just paint over, not much of a challenge.
NT
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Yes agreed on that one, having lived in a terrace house for some years. The OP or his lady rather will have to accept that sound does travel if your connected to the gaff next door. A detached house solves this and its been bliss since I moved into one some 15 years ago now and with very pleasant neighbours who really couldn't be better:)...
--
Tony Sayer


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