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Party wall sound proofing

Discussion in 'Plastering and Rendering' started by Dave_, 7 Jan 2019.

  1. Dave_

    Dave_

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    Hi,

    Hope anybody can provide any helpful suggestions.

    Myself and my partner bought a new build house from Barratt Homes in 2017. We are having difficulties trying to resolve our terrible noise issue through the party wall, Barratt Homes and NHBC are not willing to help any further since we’ve followed the right processes of complaining.

    The noises we are experiencing from the neighbour is hearing urinating, toilet being flushed, footsteps, running upstairs, closure of doors, word to word conversations coming through our living room, upstairs bedroom which is above our living room and the upstairs hallway which is against the party wall. Please see URL image of the both downstairs house layouts illustrating the party wall construction, https://imgur.com/PY4Pkii

    It feels like we are living next door to a 24/7 playground. People across the road in the same house types, do not have any noise issues which we are experiencing, surely this shows there is something wrong with the party wall?

    Barratt Homes came in and drilled a small hole behind the plug socket on the party wall and stuck a camera inside to show there is insulation. Apparently this confirms the party wall has been built to standards by looking in a 5cm area of the wall.

    NHBC conducted a sound test however they weren’t able to perform a sound test in the living room or anywhere else in the house apart from the kitchen because apparently you’ve meant to have ‘habitable’ rooms on either side. Our living room is adjoining onto their toilet and storage room which is classed as inhabitable. They conducted the sound test in our kitchen because they have their living room opposite. We were fuming over this because this has been going on for a year and have access to the house plans to see how they are laid out, instead rather waste our time agreeing this will be resolved. Of course the sound test passed because we cannot hear them in their living room, only place in the house that is acceptable with noise tolerance.

    Is there anyone out there who has any experiencing of these new build issues to advise us what we could do towards Barratt Homes or any ideas on sound proofing but can’t take up too much room because the rooms are already small. Barratt Homes and NHBC are not willing to help any further because the kitchen sound test has closed the case, when this has nothing to do with the areas we are being affected by.

    Cheers.
     
  2. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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  3. stevethespreader

    stevethespreader

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    You must be gutted I've lived in a house where the noise from next door done my head in I ended up moving , that aside I've worked on a few new builds and the work on most of them are shocking your asked to snag this , hide that ect ect I wouldn't touch a new build with a barge pole , I used to work for a partition company and one of my bosses moved into a new build and he took the Coving off the party walls and there was a 2 inch gap between the board and the ceiling effectively you could see through to next door he said and the noise transference was really bad he ended up moving as well
     
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  4. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    That's one plus of going for a carbon neutral house - they need to be pressure tested which often picks those sort of tricks straight off (no amount of caulk can hide that sort of gap). Personally I'm not happy working on a lot of new build housing - it's all "just get it done, regardless" (and fast) as opposed to "do it right, do it once". I blame the pricework system model which rewards speed but rarely penalises poor quality, and the attitude of management is such that they will often either turn a blind eye to slipshod practice, or blatantly encourage it so long as they don't get caught out by the main contractor.
     
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  5. stevethespreader

    stevethespreader

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    In this case the gap was covered by the coving would you think the pressure test would still have pick the fault up?
     
  6. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    I suppose it depends on how well it's sealed and how impervious the coving is. When I've seen the tests done they pressurise the building then watch how quickly the pressure drops and make some sort of calculation. The resultant chasing round to seal a building off can reveal stuff like this (unless the main contractor is prepared to just "paper over the cracks")
     
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  7. stevethespreader

    stevethespreader

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    I've seen them do the sound test but not the pressure test would interesting to watch
     
  8. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Not much to see, really. They put a plate across the entrance door which has a dirty big fan mounted in (rather like the sort they use in commercial spray booths). They seal around the door opening and pressurise the building (only a few extra psi) then go round taking readings with a manometer. Once they've built up the pressure the fan is turned off and the fan opening sealed whilst they watch how quickly the pressure inside the building drops. It sometimes takes a bit of work with smoke candles to see where air leaks are occurring.
     
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  9. VickyBH

    VickyBH

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    Looking at the floor plan, if the neighbour has positioned their sofa the same as the floor plan, they should also find it noisy to the sound of your cooking, kettle boiling, or microwave running?

    You can get a reasonable sound proofing if you are willing to lose about 5cm if wall. If you can loose more (I think 10cm-13cm) you probably won't hear a thing.
     
  10. Georgeous

    Georgeous

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    Hi,
    There will be 2 types of noise you're dealing with, one is transmission noise (thuds/footfalls etc) the other is acoustic noise (talking etc). To get rid of transmission noise you must isolate it by 'floating the wall/floor/whole structure' to get rid of airborn noise you need density. The noise you speak of commonly has to be dealt with by recording studios and musicians. Soundproofing properly is not rocket science but it absolutely must have attention to the smallest detail, not commonly required in first or second building fits.
    The insulation required for thermal insulation does very little for stopping sound. Try reading up on recording studio builds. For starters, try Studio Spares (UK) for insulating materials, some are a few millimetres thick (heavy!) and once sealed correctly would stop dialogue but not extreme loud bass frequencies. Dialogue is up around the 1KHz-4KHz frequency range. They are not the cheapest...
    If you don't have a lot of money, plasterboard used correctly can make a significant difference. You'd need 2 different thickness of board and use plasterboard adhesive to stick it to the wall. NO SCREWS. Get the first thickness up, then seal every joint. Do the same for the 2nd set. Offset any joints on the second layer. Remember, if air can get through noise will drive a train through it. Do not be shy with the plaster adhesive. Your difficulty in a domestic situation is not being able to access the whole wall (floor/ceiling joist get in the way) as does pipe work. be aware of sound travelling through these areas.
    By using different thickness' you are forcing the sound waves to use more of their energy to get through, effectively changing the sound wave into kinetic energy is my understanding.
    Do your research. Do it wide. The devil is in the detail.
    I hope some of this helps. I've been there with noisy neighbors (worst of all scenarios, they were above me, gravity is not the friend of density)and I've also built 4 recording studios. sound is a wonderful thing when we choose to listen to it, it's sound pollution when we don't want to hear it...
     
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  11. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

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    It's ridiculous that housing companies can get away with this. One thousand percent they should be rectifying it. I feel your pain tho. I can't suss out wether it's my neighbours are noisy or the wall is of poor construction but our house is 1940s. You'll find on a lot of these people say to move or buy detached but that's a very expensive option not many can afford! I think in this day and age and with how the housing market is that sound tests should be mandatory on house surveys. My best advice is to do as much research as possible and if it is really getting you down to look at soundproofing whatever areas you see as the most important. I'm going to start some soundproofing myself in the next few weeks so if you want any advice I'm willing to share my ideas
     
  12. Michaelsf90

    Michaelsf90

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    Have you attempted a soundproofing project yourself? So if I was to double board would I be better off using a 15mm thick soundbloc board first then a 12.5mm as the second layer?
     
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