Author Topic: Help! I'm in a loft and have no privacy!  (Read 5953 times)

geekydan

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Help! I'm in a loft and have no privacy!
« on: December 26, 2006, 06:30:49 AM »
Hello,

I've recently moved into a makeshift bedroom in an artists' loft in downtown Los Angeles - great rent, amazing space, cool roommates, but lacking on the privacy front.

...Before I go on - you should have a look at: http://picasaweb.google.com/danlesh/Factory_place/photo?pli=1#5007080777499485458
My room is behind the red & natural colored bamboo blinds on the upper right of the photo...

Anyway, the previous occupant of the room had simply put up 8'x4'  foam-core sheets to cover the open space, but I found that ugly and impractical, since much of the room's charm is its view of the rest of the place and it provides the only natural light to boot. 

So, I am looking for a solution.  I don't expect the space to be "sound proof" but I would like to not clearly hear every motion of a roommate arriving at 3 am, scratching his butt, and doing dishes.  At 3 am.  Did I mention that its an artists loft?  No one has a predictable schedule here!.  I'd also like to have my music on at a reasonable volume and not feel like I'm competing with another roommate's thoroughly reasonable volume.  I think I want something more than "muffled."

I'm thinking about getting something I can either hang down or fold across that space that will provide acoustic and visual privacy when I need it, and will be "relatively" easily retracted to provide light and sound "space" when I need that.  I'd consider anything, but I should note that cost will most likely drive the final decision (I'm hoping this will be a $300 project tops).  I've thought about specialized drapery or blinds to hang, or  vinyl-coated panels to fold from side to side, but  I would appreciate any expert advice. 

The space is approximately 10' wide and 6 feet high; although I'd measure precisely before buying anything.  Concrete ceiling; wood (2x4) stud in center; sheet-rock wall at the side.

The added "bonus challenge" is that I'd like to get something that goes all the way to the ceiling, which is a pain because of the two 3-inch plumbing pipes hanging down about 6 inches.  I think this means any solution will either need to be a) cut and re-sewn to precisely make room for the pipes; or b) come in panels that will allow for an aesthetically pleasing / symmetrical way for the pipes to line up with seams or natural breaks in the fabric.

Anyway, please write back and let me know if you have ideas - I feel like I should consult experts before dropping too much money on this.

johnbergstromslc

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Re: Help! I'm in a loft and have no privacy!
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2006, 09:10:49 PM »
Well, first of all, I'd argue that 'cool' roommates wouldn't come home at 3 am and make a racket like that.  'Cool' roommates would be considerate and not self-absorbed.  Maybe the first thing you do is talk to them and tell them it's a problem.  If they're unwilling to change their behavior, make sure to make a lot of noise and wake them the f*ck up when you get out of bed.  'Taste of their own medicine', karma, etc....

You can try mass loaded vinyl, or MLV + foam, but for 300 dollars, why not just build a wall?  If you want light and a view of the loft, put in some windows - they don't have to be fancy, just go the the local home center and have them cut you a piece of glass.

You said you want more than 'muffled', but that is all MLV is going to get you (~STC 20), especially since you can't seal it up good.  If you build a wall, with double layers of drywall and insulation, you can easily get STC 40 - much, much quieter. 

geekydan

  • Guest
Re: Help! I'm in a loft and have no privacy!
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2006, 05:34:50 PM »
Thanks, John - in defense of roommates, one is also a DJ, so getting home late isn't much of an option.  And its not like I don't make my own racket - daily coffee grinding at 7 am, etc.

Hmmm... a wall you say?  Is that really possible with my budget?  That also sounds like quite a project and permanent change to a rental space the owner may not be cool with.  So, with that in mind - MLV+foam curtain sounds like a better option: any suggestions on brands / types / resources?

thanks again!
Dan

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: Help! I'm in a loft and have no privacy!
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2006, 09:05:57 PM »
More of an expert at soundproofing construction, not so up to date on all the products.

Call Supersoundproofing and tell them what you need.  Or, you can order it online.  They're located not too far from L.A., so shipping shouldn't be much.

Good luck.

P.S.:  I just noticed they're closed until January 2nd.  I guess that's not too long of a wait...

 

anything