If you’ve lived in an apartment before, you probably know how terrible an experience it can be to have a noisy apartment. Fortunately, there’s a few ways you can find out if your apartment will be noisy. Before signing the lease for an apartment rental, you’ll want to ask these three important questions.
Question 1: Are the Floors, Walls, and Ceilings Made of Concrete?
Ask if the building has concrete floors, walls, and ceilings. Concrete is great not just for structure, but for noise control. As an added bonus, it’s also great for fire safety. Many apartment buildings have wood-frame instead of concrete which can lead to a noisier apartment. Why is this important?
Let’s say the neighbor above you is walking on the floor. If you have a concrete ceiling, it’s highly unlikely you will hear them walking. However, if it’s a wood frame, it’s quite possible you will hear your neighbor.
Question 2: Are the Windows Single or Double Paned Glass?
Sound likes to enter all gaps in a wall. Windows are one of those gaps and thus are important for sound control. Windows with a single pane (one piece of glass) do not keep noise out as effectively as windows with double-paned glass (two pieces of glass).
Double pane glass is a better choice not just for energy efficiency but for sound control. Of course, windows can get much more technical than simply how many layers of glass they have, but this is a good question to ask.
Question 3: Are the Doors Solid Core Doors?
Some apartment complexes have hollow core doors while others have solid core doors. Hollow-core doors can disrupt sound waves reasonably well, but they are not as effective as thicker solid core doors. If you have hollow core doors inside your apartment and have a roommate or family in there, you’re more likely to hear them even when the doors are closed.
Bonus Question: Do you Have Rules for Quiet Hours?
Some apartment complexes may have rules regarding quiet hours and noise regulations in place to maintain a peaceful environment for residents. Though different apartment complexes have different rules, the general expectation is a quiet period anytime from 10 pm until 8 am daily. There may also be rules about excessive noise from televisions, stereos, and other devices, while common areas may be closed to keep sound levels as low as possible.
This will depend on the city, town, and building you live in, so be sure to check this with the listing agent or landlord before signing any lease agreements.
Put simply, if you’re looking to live in a quiet environment, don’t forget to ask these questions during your apartment tour and before you sign a lease.