Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jordan Barab

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve been in DC for about 10 years now and have lived in several different rowhouse in various DC neighborhoods. Recently, I moved into a “federal” style rowhouse. It is an older house that hasn’t been renovated much, but is in pretty good shape.

The issue I’ve been having is a ton of everyday noise traveling through our shared walls. First, I want to say that I have lovely, respectful neighbors. The issue is that I can hear a lot of what goes on in their house (i.e cabinets shutting, people walking down the stairs, TV shows playing, voices at a normal indoor level etc). I’ve never been able to hear so intimately into another neighbor’s house in any of the previous rowhouses that I’ve lived in before. It makes me feel anxious to know that, likewise, they must hear me all the time too which I feel bad about!

So I’ll likely move at the end of our lease to a new place, but I’m wondering if anyone had guidance on what to look for in our next place so we don’t end up with the same noise issue. We’re renters only and would appreciate any insight for how to choose a house/apartment that is more soundproof. I’ve been trying to look for advice online, but am turning up short so am turning to the PoPville community. I’m not sure if it is the style of the house (federal vs.victorian) or something else that makes the noise transmit through easily? We lived in victorian-style rowhouses previous to our current federal-style place and never heard any of our neighbors, not even a group house of recent grads next door!

Thanks in advance for the advice!”


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