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From the Forum – Seeking local acoustical engineer for noise control inside rowhouse

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

Seeking local acoustical engineer for noise control inside rowhouse

“My DC rowhouse was built in the 1890s. Since then, the adjacent house has been converted to apartments, such that the living room of one neighbor’s apartment abuts my bedroom, which is located in the back of the house. Unfortunately, this neighbor holds late night parties, making it impossible for me to sleep on weekends. Also, in the many, many years since I moved into the house, the neighborhood has developed into a nightlife destination, making it unworkable to move my bedroom to the front of the house.

I’ve pretty much exhausted the tools at my disposal to address the late-night noise situation (talking it over with neighbor, waiting for neighbor to move out, calling the police, etc.), which have not been effective. I’d prefer not to litigate. I now seek to engineer around the problem. I have researched various options, including different kinds of insulation and soundproof windows. Sound mitigation, however, is tricky and can be expensive. I therefore seek an expert’s opinion before I start spending money and ripping out plaster.

I’ve already reached out to companies listed on the National Council of Acoustical Consultants Web site, but they generally are large companies that don’t do residential work, or their consultants are based in other cities and request travel reimbursement. My usual go-to for home improvement and maintenance issues, Angie’s List, is not much help in this area.

If anyone can recommend a local acoustical engineer who advises homeowners, and, preferably, has experience with historic properties, I’d be very grateful.”

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