Author Topic: Bedroom Wall borders Elevator Shaft  (Read 8955 times)

barbarajor

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Bedroom Wall borders Elevator Shaft
« on: December 29, 2006, 11:46:52 PM »
A year ago we bought and began renovations on a condo in New York City - we chose the "quietest" room for our bedroom - in back of the building, a tiny room barely with enough room for a bed! But I thought it would be my refuge from the rest of the apartment, which is noisy due to it being on one of the busiest streets in Midtown Manhattan.
Our tiny bedroom shares the wall with our building's double-elevator - but I DID NOT HEAR any noise in that bedroom from the elevator when we bought the apartment, before doing renovations.
We did, however, replace all walls, reconfigure that room, etc...and NOW WE HEAR the ROARING of the elevator's starting up, stopping, moving vibration and noise coming through the walls. We even hear the elevators through the adjacent bathroom walls and the walk-in closet across the hall. 
This elevator noise was not at all evident before the renovation. We added cabling for electrical wires and television to that wall - there's a gap in the wall now (before we install a tv on that wall) -- but I think right now after reading all the posts here that we will have to tear down the wall and start all over with sound-deadening materials so we can get a good nights' sleep. Is it possible for the building to do any soundproofing at the source? I wouldn't think so. But will sound-muffling on our side of the wall make any difference?

Any ideas on how to begin?  Referral to New York City acoustic experts?  Our contractors for the apartment were a DISASTER, and the apartment still needs work, though they are done with us and are not available to come back to finish the work (typical?)
It's very depressing to realize that after all we spent on the renovation, we may have to tear apart the bedroom and start over there, or try to sell the apartment and move, which of course, I don't want to do.
Last thing we want to do is spend alot of money and go to the trouble (now that our furniture's in the room, I assume we'll have to move it to destroy and reconstruct the walls..) if the noise reduction will be minimal.
And the other problem worth mentioning, is that our bedroom is so small, that if we have to lose a few inches by building a wall within a wall, there really won't be much room to move in the room at all...
Thanks so much, I await anyone's advice!


barbarajor

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Re: Bedroom Wall borders Elevator Shaft
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2007, 03:02:40 PM »
 ???
Gee, I'm disappointed no one's got any suggestions!  Any thoughts, anything at all?

johnbergstromslc

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Re: Bedroom Wall borders Elevator Shaft
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2007, 09:21:40 PM »
No reply on this one because the problem is too tricky.  The elevator noise is probably 95% structure-borne and is very difficult to deal with.  Even if you built a double wall in front of the elevator wall, the vibration is easily gonna find it's way around it.  You won't even make a dent.

Sorry.

The easiest thing to do is address the noise problem from the elevator side, something the property owners most likely won't do.

barbarajor

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Re: Bedroom Wall borders Elevator Shaft
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2007, 07:22:26 PM »
Now I'm really depressed!
The strange thing is that we did NOT hear the noise to this extent before we opened the wall on that side due to the punching of holes and a "canal" for the conduits, electrical etc...in the wall.
Maybe the noise was there, but to a much lesser extent.
I know that in the adjacent bathroom, we stripped out a big section of the wall with soundproofing in it for a medicine cabinet (floor to ceiling) and thus removed some existing soundproofing there. Now the bathroom sounds terrible, it has the most noise.
So don't you think if we tear down the carefully, nicely plastered wall, and rebuild it with soundproofing (it has none now) we will improve the problem?
B


Skip

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Re: Bedroom Wall borders Elevator Shaft
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2007, 08:15:25 PM »
We have heard similar complaints during the past 3 years. Has anyone called the elevator company to come out and look at thier product. Has anything changed in the operation of the elevator system in the last year? It sound like you have opening and or gaps that were not there before you renovated the structure. Yes, you are looking at major reconstruction with sound absorbing material in the walls with sound barrier materials and new dry wall. A totally finished 100% covered wall area with no gaps or holes in it would be the first line of defense against the elevator noise problem you  have described.

johnbergstromslc

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Re: Bedroom Wall borders Elevator Shaft
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2007, 10:18:52 PM »
Okay, I guess I didn't read your post carefully enough.  So basically, you're saying that in the course of your renovation, you tore out large sections of plaster walls and didn't replace them? 

Well, then the problem is as obvious as noise through an open door.  The absolute number one rule of soundproofing is: MASS.  If you had mass on the wall (heavy plaster), then permanently removed it, then, duh, more sound is gonna get through the wall.  Putting a medicine cabinet in a soundwall is a terrible, terrible idea.

So I retract my previous post on the subject.  If the apartment was quiet before the renovation and noisy afterwards, then obviously you caused it to be so.  Undo your work if you have to, get some insulation in the wall cavities, get some mass back up on them (to replace what you removed you'll probably have to go with 2 layers of 5/8" drywall) and make sure the wall is sealed - top and bottom plates, drywall seams, edges, gaps & penetrations.  Even a small crack can transmit a lot of sound.

That's why you shouldn't use 'regular' contractors for detailed soundproofing work - they don't know what they're doing and they take shortcuts.  Bite the bullet and find a good acoustical consultant to direct the re-renovation.       

barbarajor

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Re: Bedroom Wall borders Elevator Shaft
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2007, 11:01:46 PM »
Hey there - thanks for your latest notes. I really have to get someone out to the room to take a look at the walls and what is and isn't behind them - because at this point, I don't really know what the heck's still open and where the gaps are.  it's obvious to me now that we'll have to undo some of the damage we did by creating pockets for the noise to escape through.

Our decorators (a team of three very smart people) didn't think of this problem in advance, nor did the contractors they hired to do our job. I feel like something that should have been considered was overlooked. But now the only thing for us to do is get some competent people in there to look at the situation and start breaking through the existing walls and reconstructing them with soundproofing materials.

Any ideas on how to find New York City people who are competent? There are so many incompetent scam artists here...and I seem to find them fairly easily! >:(

 

anything