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Advice Needed - New Build Sound Regulation Rules


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The regulations don't mean a thing if the builders do a bad job. An inspector might say leave a cavity XXmm thick between walls, use XXXmm rockwool between the joists above the ceiling, use double glazed glass units with XXmm air gap. What he won't be able to see is the rubble and building materials accidentally dropped in the cavity during building creating a sound (and moisture) bridge, parts of the insulation ripped out to do the electrics, poorly sealed windows and doors, etc.

Sound insulation is a bugger in that you have to pretty much get EVERY little detail right, for it to work the way it should. Most of the best solutions will eat into your room space, so try to find somewhere where the rooms are a nice size is my advice. Then if it's really bugging you there, you can pay some specialists to do it without having to live in the equivalent of a shoe box.

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The regulations don't mean a thing if the builders do a bad job. An inspector might say leave a cavity XXmm thick between walls, use XXXmm rockwool between the joists above the ceiling, use double glazed glass units with XXmm air gap. What he won't be able to see is the rubble and building materials accidentally dropped in the cavity during building creating a sound (and moisture) bridge, parts of the insulation ripped out to do the electrics, poorly sealed windows and doors, etc.

Sound insulation is a bugger in that you have to pretty much get EVERY little detail right, for it to work the way it should. Most of the best solutions will eat into your room space, so try to find somewhere where the rooms are a nice size is my advice. Then if it's really bugging you there, you can pay some specialists to do it without having to live in the equivalent of a shoe box.

Yes the detailing is everything. But people shouldn't confuse internal work with external work. Each flat is a separate entity and should be tested as such.Longtermrenter knows his stuff.

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Lived in some newbuild flats for a couple of years a few years ago. I could hear footsteps and the TV from above. It wasn't massively loud but was annoying enough when trying to sleep, but fortunately it didn't happen often enough to be a problem. I was once woken up by very loud "music" from several flats away. I assumed that any sound-related regulations must be pretty minor, compared with things like having to have stupidly high electric sockets and stupidly low light switches for disabled people who couldn't get up the stairs anyway.

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Its always pot luck and makes me wonder why anyone buys a flat! I think if I bought a flat I'd wanted to carry out a proper noise test, or stop overnight or something. and even check out the neighbours. At least with renting you can walk away.

Well - I'm happy to do a HPC rate for noise tests - they can be pretty expensive. The equipment is very expensive but its the accreditation (for a relatively simple job) that costs the most.

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Lived in some newbuild flats for a couple of years a few years ago. I could hear footsteps and the TV from above. It wasn't massively loud but was annoying enough when trying to sleep, but fortunately it didn't happen often enough to be a problem. I was once woken up by very loud "music" from several flats away. I assumed that any sound-related regulations must be pretty minor, compared with things like having to have stupidly high electric sockets and stupidly low light switches for disabled people who couldn't get up the stairs anyway.

The best 'bad installation' I saw, in an article in an acoustics journal, was a bathroom floor where the 'craftsperson' had bashed big holes in the floor to find a tool they had left under it. Most of these floors are a composite of layers and it was this important layer which was found to be the reason for the failing of the test. Even failing to use proper sealants can make a big difference.

Edited by Longtermrenter
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These old houses converted into flats never have sound insulation, when do you ever see sound insulation costs even mentioned on these property porn programmes? Never, all they ever talk about is a quick turnaround/ low budget/ pwofit.

Newly converted ones do. If you don't pass a sound proofing test, BC will not give you a certificate for your conversion (which wont stop you renting it, but will stop you selling it).

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Hi guys I'm the OP and i thank you so much for taking my post seriously and your wonderful responses. I actually woke up this morning to much upstairs neighbours morning work out. My blood was boiling. I rang my landlord to say enough is enough and something needs to be done. He came around and we had a meeting in the neighbouring flat that is 50 percent bigger and100 percent pricier that just happens to be vacannt. He told me he had had a word with sheila upstairs and its deffinitely not her. Not only that, she of people does not need to excercise and she she has been living upstairs for 26 years without a complaint. He showed me around this new flat and told me how lovely it t was and I could move there if I wanted as a posssible solution. I politely declined. When pressed about what he intends to do about the noise his response was to question whether there was any noise and then that it might be poltergeist. I am not joking. Ok so I'm now at the local whether spoons reading these responses and having a few sanity pints. Ill be handing in my 30 days notice tommorowm by the way I'm living in a 1930s semi that has been carves into 11 flats and the neighbour he done the same.

I have to admit I am particularly sensive to noise and for me its a deal breaker in any flat. I can laugh boutique this as its only a rental but if I was the owner the torture. Would drive me insane. Sound insulation is worth Premium to me.

So no I'm a little happier but tipsy and I'm posting this comment from my android phone so I'm sorry to any grammatical errors. Right now based upon what I have read I will be looking at new build with concrete floors and sound insulation. Any more stories and enecdotes about neighbours and your epwhere you lived will be greatly appreciate and

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...the stomping, banking, loud music and laughter is unbearable.

I hate it when my neighbours are banking too loudly.

Anywayz, as a musician I can guarantee that "amateur sound insulation" is actually far easier than it might seem. I've used egg boxes, offcuts of foam and even old mattresses and duvets previously. It can be slightly trickier / costly to make it look nice afterwards but if you are happy to lose a little space there are DIY options available to you.

The only other comment to make is the potential of moving out of central London to a quieter suburb? For me if lack of noise was my priority (to the extent i would consider a new-build box) I certainly wouldn't be living in the centre of the city.

My neighbours and I have an understanding that if their music makes my floors shake that is my invite round to join in the party and vice versa which works well for me but there have been occasions late at night when i wish they would turn it down - still, you have to take the rough with the smooth sometimes - you need the lows to see the highs :)

~S~

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Not much to add to this thread, except to confirm what others have already said: of all the flats that I have lived in, the quietest by far was the nearly-new one where they went crazy with the concrete. Never ever heard the neighbours.

The worst was an old brick building with a steel structure. Parties 2 floors up would keep me awake.

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Another Droid user - nice one Earthling

Hi guys I'm the OP and i thank you so much for taking my post seriously and your wonderful responses. I actually woke up this morning to much upstairs neighbours morning work out. My blood was boiling. I rang my landlord to say enough is enough and something needs to be done. He came around and we had a meeting in the neighbouring flat that is 50 percent bigger and100 percent pricier that just happens to be vacannt. He told me he had had a word with sheila upstairs and its deffinitely not her. Not only that, she of people does not need to excercise and she she has been living upstairs for 26 years without a complaint. He showed me around this new flat and told me how lovely it t was and I could move there if I wanted as a posssible solution. I politely declined. When pressed about what he intends to do about the noise his response was to question whether there was any noise and then that it might be poltergeist. I am not joking. Ok so I'm now at the local whether spoons reading these responses and having a few sanity pints. Ill be handing in my 30 days notice tommorowm by the way I'm living in a 1930s semi that has been carves into 11 flats and the neighbour he done the same.

I have to admit I am particularly sensive to noise and for me its a deal breaker in any flat. I can laugh boutique this as its only a rental but if I was the owner the torture. Would drive me insane. Sound insulation is worth Premium to me.

So no I'm a little happier but tipsy and I'm posting this comment from my android phone so I'm sorry to any grammatical errors. Right now based upon what I have read I will be looking at new build with concrete floors and sound insulation. Any more stories and enecdotes about neighbours and your epwhere you lived will be greatly appreciate and

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[quote name='sugarflux' timestamp='1294681102' post='2849870'

Anywayz, as a musician I can guarantee that "amateur sound insulation" is actually far easier than it might seem. I've used egg boxes, offcuts of foam and even old mattresses and duvets previously. It can be slightly trickier / costly to make it look nice afterwards but if you are happy to lose a little space there are DIY options available to you.

Sorry dude, don't mean to be patronizing but this is one of the biggest misconceptions around. There is a difference between room acoustics, that is acoustic treatment to deaden a room (to make recordings easier to manipulate), and sound isolation. Egg boxes offer almost zero sound isolation, very little room acoustic effects. foam and mattresses can be good sound absorbers for room acoustics, again, very limited use as isolators apart from the little bit of sound they absorb.

Good isolation only comes with either large mass or stiffness so you need multiple layers of plasterboard and lead substitute. Even with this you still might have problems with flanking noise. DIY sound insulation/isolation is not necessarily cheap but if done well will be a lot cheaper than getting professional advice. There are plenty of acoustic websites out there. Just don't go down the egg box route! I'm a musician too by the way - what do you play?

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