Advice Appreciated with Sound Transfer Issue in Persimmon House


Postby Blair2015 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:00 pm

Hi folks,

As the title says i am after advice from anyone who has been through similar to us or if they are in the know about such problems.I will try to outline what's happened and keep it as short as possible.

We bought a new home from Persimmon,it is a 3 bed semi detached that we hope was going to be our home for a long,long time.
Apart from some outrageous snagging issues it became apparent almost immediately that we could hear our neighbours a lot.Mostly it was dull sounds like doors and windows being closed.Then our neighbours got a sound system for their tv and we could hear that.
We made them aware of this and the noise stopped and things were great but then our neighbours moved out and we got a single mum with 2 kids under 8 years old.
We could now hear all of the old noises again plus some new ones like the kids running up and down the stairs as well as them running around in their bedrooms.At times it sounded like they were in our house and on one night we actually shouted up the stairs for our daughter to get back in her bed when in fact she was fast asleep and it was the neighbours kids.
We had multiple run-ins with this neighbour until she then moved out this year.
We have had a couple of months of the house being empty but this weekend a new family has moved in and the noises are back with a vengeance.
I have already spoken to them and they have been really nice about it all and have mentioned that they have came from a detached and may take time to adjust but i simply cannot go on like this.
At this point a lot of people would ask,did you mention it to the builder.
The answer is that i have now been chasing Persimmon up for over a year and finally a few weeks ago i gave up on them and contacted NHBC.
To cut a long story short Persimmon are completely not interested in helping us to understand why we have this problem and now NHBC have issued us with noise diary's to fill in which is great as we are now getting somewhere but i want to understand firstly why we have this problem in the first place and secondly what can i do about this.
I have a strong suspicion that there has to be something missing or not done to satisfaction with our adjoining wall.It should not be the case that i can track my neighbours movements from my own living room.
We have a 5 year old ourselves and we feel we are constantly having to get on at her for not being quiet enough which is no way to live.
I just do not understand how my neighbours simply walking around their first floor could sound like they are in my property?
Does anyone out there have any advice for me or have you been through similar?
We are going to have to be in our home for the forseeable future and i wonder if i should be looking into soundproofing our living room at least.I could do this myself as i do not have a problem with diy but do not want to go through the hassle and effort if it wont solve the problem.

If anyone has any advice i would very much like to hear from you
Blair2015
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Postby welsh brickie » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:36 pm

in the cavity between the 2 properties, acoustic mineral wool should be installed to prevent noise travel, and fire.
To check if its been installed a hole can be drilled into the cavity and an inspection camera used to check if its there, or areas are missing.
If it is missing you can have it pumped in.
I suggest having a survey done by a local builder
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Postby Blair2015 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:14 pm

Thanks for your reply,

I am fairly familiar with the construction of cavity walls although i am not a joiner to trade.I would doubt very much if i have any wool in my cavity but even if i did i do not think it would stop me from hearing the noises that i do.It would maybe help to reduce the noise of hoover,t.v etc but it is the dull thumping and thudding that is really getting us down.
We can literally track our neighbours around their property and at times it sounds like they are upstairs in our house.
In general the noise that transfers down from our upstairs is also quite bad.The ceilings downstairs make bad cracking noises when someone is walking upstairs and we have had a lot of bits of roof popping off.
We have managed to get the landlord's permission for the neighbours to fill in the noise diary we have been given from NHBC so we have 2 weeks to fill it in and then send it back.I just hope that after all this we at least get a fair and thorough inspection of the party wall.
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Postby Blair2015 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:44 pm

Ok an update,

a couple of weeks before christmas we got new neighbours so we now had a chance for the noise diary's we were sent to be filled out.
We bumped into our new neighbours in the driveway and introduced ourselves and managed to inform them of our ongoing issue and apologised in advance for any noise they would hear from us.They were really understanding and helpful and said that they would help us in any way they could.
I finally felt like we were going to get somewhere.
Over the festive period we filled in our diary and had no problem filling it in every day with the same old noises.Doors closing,footsteps up and down the stairs,people moving around the first floor etc etc.
It had been nearly four weeks since i handed my neighbours the diary so i decided to pop round and ask if they had a chance to fill it in yet.
To my surprise they went on to say that they had been trying to fill it in but were struggling to find anything to write and basically couldn't hear us at all!
This has led me to believe that although we occasionally hear their stairs and doors being closed the majority of the noises we hear must come from the adjoining bedroom and the fact our 2nd bedroom is unoccupied and only used for drying washing and some of my daughters toys mean we do not generate much noise that trnsfers to their house.
The only other factor i can see that could somehow make any difference is that our neighbours house is a few feet higher than our as our street is on a slope.
I am a bit at a loss as to what to do next.I do not see the point in sending the noise diary's back with only 1 part filled in.I know for a fact that it is not just us being fussy as almost every visitor we have in comments on the thuds and bangs.
I have tried to look into options for us outside of NHBC like building a secondary partition but the information is mostly confusing with conflicting reports of success.
I am going to try and obtain some information from our house builder to see what the adjoining wall is constructed with.
I would love to hear from anyone at all who has any experience with a situation like this or has any ideas on what we should do next.
Blair2015
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Postby tcgoconnor2016 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:24 pm

Hi
Would love to know if you ever resolved this issue?

We have similar (although not quite as bad) issue in our town house. We don't hear any TV/talking etc. but when the children (or adults) make any impact sound (running, jumping etc.) on their floor, we hear it in our house. We upgraded the party wall significantly but still have some noise which we think is coming through the floor. We have the drawings from the builder and it's timber frame with a 50mm airspace between each frame. We think the issue is that the floor joists sit under the wall on each side and don't have soundproofing measures in the floors so thinking of accessing the joist space and adding some insulation etc.

Cheers
Tom
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