If TV sitcoms like “Friends” have taught us anything about multi-person living over the years, it’s that
A) You can get a HUGE downtown unit in the heart of New York City on a barista’s wage or struggling actor’s income, no problem, and
B) Getting yelled at for making too much noise is an integral part of the condo/apartment living experience.
I mean, have you even truly experienced condo living until you’ve heard that thump on the wall, that stomp on the floor, or that bang of the broomstick against the ceiling of a neighbour telling you to KEEP IT DOWN, DAMMIT?
All jokes aside, though, things should never really deteriorate to the passive-aggressive (or just aggressive-aggressive) practice of beating up the walls to get your neighbour to keep quiet.
Communication is always the first and best line of defence in these instances – and we mean the productive, face-to-face kind, not the yelling-angrily-at-the-ceiling kind.
Read on for our best advice on how to tackle noise issues in your building and for condo noise reduction advice in case you happen to be the culprit. Most of the condo management company Calgary solves the issues with condominium agreement and laws
The (Lack of) Impact of Complaints
Our first and foremost piece of advice: do not start out by escalating the problem to your board or management company. We know, that might seem like the easiest, most anonymous way to address the problem, but all this move typically does is make the situation worse.
Depending on which side of the complaint you’re on – and this may either come as good or bad news to you – unless the noise is violating some sort of municipal code, the CPA, or a specific condo bylaw (which is often just a paraphrasing of that same municipal legislation),
Your board and management company alike won’t have much authority to do anything to curb the racket. While we imagine most board members or
Managers would have the tact to not knock on the offending noise-maker’s door and say “THE GUY FROM 2B SAYS YOU’RE BEING TOO LOUD,” it also probably doesn’t take a super-sleuth to figure out where the complaint came from, causing a tense and uncomfortable situation for everyone involved.
And so, we circle back to our first piece of advice: just try talking to your neighbour, first. They might not even know they’re bothering you! They might be practicing the guitar solo from Stairway to Heaven at 3 in the morning thinking, “Man, my condo’s great!
It’s so soundproofed I can practice this sweet guitar solo at 3 am! Surely if my neighbours could hear me, they’d politely let me know, and I’d have no problem changing things up to accommodate their needs – but no one’s ever said anything to me in all the time I’ve been here, so it must be all good!”
Have that conversation. Be polite. Try to work things out. Nobody wants to be on bad terms with their neighbours. After all, they live in the condo community, too, and don’t want to come home to a building that’s actively hostile toward them. Give your neighbours a chance, and we’ll bet they surprise you.
By the Way, What Sort of Building Are You In, Again?
If you’ve talked to your neighbour and they’ve agreed to quiet down, but you still can’t believe the unholy amount of noise that’s coming through the walls, take a step back to consider what kind of building you’re living in.
If you’re in a concrete building and you’re hearing noise from parties, TV shows, and the like, then that neighbour is truly generating a serious amount of volume.
However, if you’re building is timber-built, you’re often treated to many of the sounds of your neighbours simply going about their day-to-day business, including muffled conversations, footfalls, and even toilet flushes!
Depending on the type of build your condo unit employs, your neighbours could be quiet as mice and you’d still hear them skittering around – in which case, our only advice would be to learn to live with a bit of background noise, or consider finding a new, concrete-build condo to call home.
Are YOU the Noisy Resident? We’ve Got Some Tips
So far, we’ve circled around the best ways to address things if you happen to be the party offended by all that noise, noise, noise, noise.
What if you’re the culprit, though? What if you’re just trying to go about your normal life, and you keep having people telling you you’re just being too danged loud?
Well, there are a few things you can do to maybe help soundproof your condo – assuming you are, in fact, being a thoughtful neighbour and not cranking it up to 11 each and every night.
First, consider some noise reduction techniques. Put down a throw rug or two to soundproof your condo’s floors, especially in timber-built units.
Art on the walls does the same thing, soundproofing your condo’s walls and muffling noise just like egg cartons do in a recording room – only while looking much, much more attractive.
Finally, our last tip around sound insulation involves your HVAC setup – although this is more a tip for folks in townhomes than condos. If you’re dealing with the constant background drone of a loud unit, consider putting a bit of insulation around exposed, noisy elements such as pipes, drains, and other problem areas. It might not help much, but it will certainly help some.
We’ve Said Our Piece – We’ll Quiet Down Now
Hopefully, these tips and solutions will help to diffuse an otherwise thunderous conflict with your neighbours about noise. Still not quite sure how best to deal with a noisy neighbour?
Can’t stand the noise and looking to get the heck out of that timber-built unit? Give us a shout (quietly!) at Catalyst Condo Management today, and we’ll do what we can to help you out.