Sound Insulation


Old 11-06-02, 07:19 AM
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Sound Insulation

I am looking to invest in a home as a rental property in a college town, and I found a cheap place in good condition, but it is *right* next to some hole in the wall bar. I figured no big deal, I drove by on a saturday night and there was about 15 old men in there. However, I talked to the tenants in the building and they said the noise from the jukebox is a constant menace. So my question questions are... How effective are the sound insulation products out there? Can any of them be installed without ripping out the sheetrock? Do any of the sound proofing products out there specialize in preventing low frequency bass signals? Are there any other effective methods out there for reducing sound pollution (IE noise cancellation) If I can fix this problem cheaply then this house will be an absolute steal.

Thank you,
-Kevin Stevens
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Old 11-06-02, 09:05 AM
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I'll let someone else address the noise control issue, but personally I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole (or an 8 foot swede for that matter). It may be a fairly sleepy little senior citizen's bar NOW, but what happens 6 months after you buy it and the bar changes hands and is now a "biker bar", college kid hangout (you didn't say which college, if BYU you're probably safe, LOL), pharmaceutical exchange, or something WORSE. Oh, and don't forget the drunks pissing in the yard right after closing time.

And since it's cheap, that means you will be charging a fairly low rent, right? Consider the tennants who will be interested in renting right next to a bar.

My $.02 worth.
Old 11-06-02, 09:14 AM
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Well, I have taken such things into account... and to be honest... if it became a college bar, the place would become alot more attractive to college students. Its a big party school. And if the place ever goes up for sale I would buy it. That would drive up the value of the bar building and the house I am looking to buy. The bar is literally in the middle of a street of residential row houses. I am confident that the place wont be around long term. Think of a two bedroom apartment that took the kitchen and put a bar in. It must exist by some anomaly of the zoning laws. Either way I believe the long term potential of the place is enough to warrant purchasing it.
Old 11-07-02, 05:47 AM
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Noise control (particularly low frequency control) is all about one thing. Mass. The more mass that the sound has to move, the more effective the noise control is.

For mid and high frequency sound you can do a lot of control by isolating the structure -- but this kind of thing really has to be designed in, since it requires doing things like a double studded wall, changing ducting, etc.

About the only thing I can think of for you to do relatively easily is add a ton of insulation to the wall, and maybe a second layer of drywall. Put heavy drapes over any facing windows.

There aren't any large-scale noise cancellation products available yet, although numerous companies are working on the technology. If any of them succeed it's more likely the bar would buy it than you though.

Finally, I recommend asking on some Home Theater boards - those guys have more experience in noise prevention and insulation than I do (I'm just parroting the common suggestions from there ). Check out for one.

Good luck on the investment!
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