Re: Sound Class Transmission Rating
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2015 07:20:21 -0700 (PDT)
> Stew Mayer <mayers [at]>

> if the
> sound is actually traveling under the walls thru the flooring between
> units, that is a more complicated fix.

I think this is the sound that was helped by people acquiring furniture. I 
noticed a significant reduction of noise and also of the sharpness of the 
sounds. They became more like distant, dull thumps than like sharp strikes to 
the top of my head.

I also took children outside to show them that my unit was on top of Debbi's 
unit so when they ran across the floor, they were running on Debbi's head. One 
child automatically jumped up and down instead of just standing. At age one it 
wasn't a huge problem, but at age two it was. When she saw the relationship of 
floors to ceilings, she understood when I reminded her she was jumping on 
Debbi's head.

Many people here had a fear of complaining about noises from other units and 
never did.  After all, it's cohousing.

I didn't tell my upstairs neighbor who went to work at 5:30 every morning that 
sliding the door to his closet open and closed was waking me up. A few years 
later when a neighbor complained about the person upstairs from her was running 
laps in their living room at 11:00 at night (yes, you read that right), my 
neighbor asked if I heard sounds. I told him about the closet and said, "But 
there is nothing you can do about that." He said, "Yes, there is. I can just 
leave the door open." Years of being waked up a 5:00 am solved in a one minute 

We ask people to tell neighbors when they will be doing construction in their 
units. I warn my downstairs neighbor when I'm going to be moving or assembling 
furniture. Noise is easier to tolerate when you know what is causing it and 
that it will stop.

Years ago after living in an apartment where the woman played music loud enough 
to damage her hearing, I finally found an explanation that worked with her and 
the landlord: "I pay rent for my apartment. Since you are using my apartment 
when you play loud music, you are responsible for the rent during that time." 
It worked like a charm. In this case she had been well aware of the problem and 
knew exactly how to fix it. It was the concept she needed to understand. 

I'm not suggesting this solution for bad construction sounds or for harmony 
with cohousing neighbors, but the concept of this is my space and you are using 
it, helps people talk about noises that can be avoided.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.