Dealing with construction noise

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mlagrange
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Dealing with construction noise

Post by mlagrange » Mon May 20, 2019 8:43 am

Hello - I live on a street that flooded out in Hurricane Harvey. Most of my neighbors moved out, about half repaired and came back, the other half sold to developers, and their houses are gradually being demolished and rebuilt.

I stayed, and used the flood insurance money to do minimal remediation (took out 18" of sheetrock & insulation, multiple anti-microbial foggings), and used the rest (with some savings) to pay off my mortgage. I'm single, and work out of my house as a database applications developer.

I've been relatively lucky so far; the repairs & construction have been at least a few doors down, to where the noise was irritating, but not maddening.

But now, it's about to get real. The house on one side of me sold several weeks ago, and there have been comings & goings of utility people getting it ready for demo. And then the house on the other side of me sold last week, so it looks like I'm going to be sandwiched between the demo & construction from both sides, for several months.

I've been trying to figure out how I can deal with the noise, short of moving away, myself.

I've thought about sound-proofing my house, but I don't think that any amount of that will block the noise to an acceptable level.

I've thought about getting a temporary office, a motel room by the day, or even a cheap apartment for the duration, but that would get expensive. Plus, I've noticed that days, or even weeks can go by when there is no activity between the various stages (demo, foundation, framing, etc.)

I need either some directions to really effective sound-proofing methods, or a quiet place to camp out and work, from 7:00a to 7:00p; it just has to have basic amenities, internet access, and be dog-friendly (I've got a very well-trained ex-military working dog).

Thanks very much for any ideas.

RadAudit
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by RadAudit » Mon May 20, 2019 8:53 am

This too shall pass. Until then, sound cancelling headphones?
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shorty313
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by shorty313 » Mon May 20, 2019 8:54 am

Up until the dog part I would have suggested your local library. Could you leave the dog at home but take 2-3 short breaks to the house to visit the dog and let him out/walk him?

Besides that, noise canceling headphones.

JoeRetire
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by JoeRetire » Mon May 20, 2019 8:55 am

mlagrange wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 8:43 am
I'm single, and work out of my house as a database applications developer.

The house on one side of me sold several weeks ago, and there have been comings & goings of utility people getting it ready for demo. And then the house on the other side of me sold last week, so it looks like I'm going to be sandwiched between the demo & construction from both sides, for several months.

I've been trying to figure out how I can deal with the noise, short of moving away, myself.
Invest in a good set of headphones.

WillRetire
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by WillRetire » Mon May 20, 2019 8:59 am

What about sound-proofing just the room that is your home office? Construction generally starts after 7:00AM and ends before 5:00PM.

quantAndHold
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by quantAndHold » Mon May 20, 2019 9:03 am

This too shall pass. Maybe join a coworking space? Some of them allow well trained dogs.

In the meantime, learn what the local laws are regarding construction noise, dirt, etc. You may end up having some conversations with the construction manager, or your local authorities, about violations of those laws, and it will be useful to know what the law is, and how to get it enforced.

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Mon May 20, 2019 9:08 am

I'd look for an office during the day. Many offices won't bat an eye if you bring a well trained dog. Small inexpensive offices are tricky to find, but they're out there. Coworking spaces are another option. They tend to be pricey, but you might come out ahead if you use it intermittently. DW used a coworking space that allowed dogs.

For the dog, you can also look into doggie day care facilities find a local person to watch your dog through rover.com.

cherijoh
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by cherijoh » Mon May 20, 2019 9:11 am

I recently bought a set of noise cancelling headphones (Sony WH-1000X M3) and am amazed at how much better they have gotten in last 10 - 12 years or so. (I previously had a set of wired Bose noise-canceling head phones). These worked great on the plane as well in my hotel rooms when I needed to open the windows to cool my hotel room down (Europeans don't turn on the AC system in early May irrespective of the temperature outside). Lots of road noise just disappeared. Add in some tunes and you'll never notice the contruction noise. And it will be a lot cheaper than renting an office.

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lthenderson
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by lthenderson » Mon May 20, 2019 9:35 am

Have you thought about building a temporary soundproof office within a room of your house? You can do a lot with not much money using sheetrock, insulation and various sound attenuating materials.

Or you can just buy one and set it up:

https://www.whisperroom.com/

onourway
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by onourway » Mon May 20, 2019 9:42 am

Headphones will do most of what you need. I would pair those with some days spent at your library, a local cafe, or a co-working space (where the headphones will also come in handy). Come home at lunch to let the dog out.

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by Rob5TCP » Mon May 20, 2019 9:49 am

I went through this in my apartment when they did heavy renovation (and some demolition work) on the apt below me.
I bought the Bose and the difference was substantial. During the demolition work; I had to leave because the vibrations were horrible (including some photos falling off the wall).

Most of the construction noise was bearable. On days when they were heavy, signs were posted and I vacated the day. I do software work, so I need to be at my computer (home) for at least a few hours every day.

Headphones work great with constant low frequency noise (such as construction). Sawing was not as good at covering nor was hammering. But overall, it did cover much of the noise. You want around the ear, now on the ear.

If this is not adequate and the construction will go on for longer periods; then look at noise proofing an area.

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8foot7
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by 8foot7 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:21 am

I'd just deal with it. It'll suck. Way it goes.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 20, 2019 11:04 am

1. Noise cancellation headphones (the best ones work, cheap ones are worse than good earplugs)

2. Leave the house during the worse hours and "work" somewhere else, or at least do occasionally to "get away" so you don't get "fixated" on the noise.

3. Visit the jobsite and get to know the folks. Bring donuts. Tell them you're glad the neighborhood's getting restored. :D
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Sandtrap
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 20, 2019 11:06 am

Rob5TCP wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:49 am
I went through this in my apartment when they did heavy renovation (and some demolition work) on the apt below me.
I bought the Bose and the difference was substantial. During the demolition work; I had to leave because the vibrations were horrible (including some photos falling off the wall).

Most of the construction noise was bearable. On days when they were heavy, signs were posted and I vacated the day. I do software work, so I need to be at my computer (home) for at least a few hours every day.

Headphones work great with constant low frequency noise (such as construction). Sawing was not as good at covering nor was hammering. But overall, it did cover much of the noise. You want around the ear, now on the ear.

If this is not adequate and the construction will go on for longer periods; then look at noise proofing an area.
+1
The Bose over ear noise cancellation headphones are amongst the best though pricey.
But. . . it is cheaper and easier to noise proof your ear than a room or house. :shock:
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

Dottie57
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by Dottie57 » Mon May 20, 2019 11:26 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:06 am
Rob5TCP wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:49 am
I went through this in my apartment when they did heavy renovation (and some demolition work) on the apt below me.
I bought the Bose and the difference was substantial. During the demolition work; I had to leave because the vibrations were horrible (including some photos falling off the wall).

Most of the construction noise was bearable. On days when they were heavy, signs were posted and I vacated the day. I do software work, so I need to be at my computer (home) for at least a few hours every day.

Headphones work great with constant low frequency noise (such as construction). Sawing was not as good at covering nor was hammering. But overall, it did cover much of the noise. You want around the ear, now on the ear.

If this is not adequate and the construction will go on for longer periods; then look at noise proofing an area.
+1
The Bose over ear noise cancellation headphones are amongst the best though pricey.
But. . . it is cheaper and easier to noise proof your ear than a room or house. :shock:
Agree with this.

tmcc
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by tmcc » Mon May 20, 2019 12:08 pm

others have the sound concerns nailed down. you could also consider going to the library if those ideas dont work out.

on a completely separate note, hopefully you have reviewed the plans that the developers put in... two things on that.

(1) the new construction in flooded areas may be built/graded up several feet. if you're sandwiched between two new construction homes that are built up, that will be highly undesirable from a resale perspective.

(2) new construction neighborhood fit -- if there are no restrictions on what they can build, they may be building zero lot mcmansion monstrosities
next to what might be something with a reasonable front/back yard. again, highly undesirable to be living in the shadow (literally) of a 3 story contemporary block of concrete if you're in a 1 story ranch much less sandwiched between them.

Quickfoot
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by Quickfoot » Mon May 20, 2019 12:15 pm

No different than moving into a subdivision that isn't built all the way (which we did in December). Subdivisions have noise restrictions so they are only allowed to work during certain hours. Keep your windows closed and use headphones as necessary, I use my Sonos sound system a lot too. I'm a data professional / cloud specialist and also work from home full time. Construction noise really isn't that big of a deal, working at a coffee shop is more noise.

If you really need to get out libraries,hot desk / coworking companies and coffee shops are always good ideas though many of them will be more loud than just staying at home.

Topic Author
mlagrange
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by mlagrange » Mon May 20, 2019 10:07 pm

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:08 am
I'd look for an office during the day. Many offices won't bat an eye if you bring a well trained dog. Small inexpensive offices are tricky to find, but they're out there. Coworking spaces are another option. They tend to be pricey, but you might come out ahead if you use it intermittently. DW used a coworking space that allowed dogs.

For the dog, you can also look into doggie day care facilities find a local person to watch your dog through rover.com.
Thank you! I did not realize it was called "co-working". I had searched for "temporary office space", and that was all out of my reach. I found 1 co-working spot close to my house; $59/month (!) for desk and wifi, but they don't allow dogs. I'm going to go check it out, anyway, with the dog; maybe they will reconsider when they meet him. And have to give him belly rubs. :-D (what is "DW"?)

Topic Author
mlagrange
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by mlagrange » Mon May 20, 2019 10:17 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:35 am
Have you thought about building a temporary soundproof office within a room of your house? You can do a lot with not much money using sheetrock, insulation and various sound attenuating materials.

Or you can just buy one and set it up:

https://www.whisperroom.com/
Thanks for the idea and the link!

Topic Author
mlagrange
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by mlagrange » Mon May 20, 2019 10:34 pm

tmcc wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:08 pm
others have the sound concerns nailed down. you could also consider going to the library if those ideas dont work out.

on a completely separate note, hopefully you have reviewed the plans that the developers put in... two things on that.

(1) the new construction in flooded areas may be built/graded up several feet. if you're sandwiched between two new construction homes that are built up, that will be highly undesirable from a resale perspective.

(2) new construction neighborhood fit -- if there are no restrictions on what they can build, they may be building zero lot mcmansion monstrosities
next to what might be something with a reasonable front/back yard. again, highly undesirable to be living in the shadow (literally) of a 3 story contemporary block of concrete if you're in a 1 story ranch much less sandwiched between them.
You definitely raise the more serious issues. For (1), with the exception of one new house (not near me), all the recent construction has been raised using modern pier & beam, and not graded up. For (2), yes that will be bad. Luckily, there is a 5' building line set-back in our deed restrictions.These new houses will blot out the sun, but there will be *some* room in between. I was going to repair my house and rent it, but I have recently started thinking about working with a contractor to do the demo & rebuild myself, and then sell. At least that would make me more money than just selling for the lot value.

Thanks

Topic Author
mlagrange
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by mlagrange » Mon May 20, 2019 10:43 pm

Thanks to the responders that suggested noise-cancelling headphones. I've got a pair of those that work pretty well; hopefully, that should work through most of this. And I just ordered a pair of Mutt Muffs for my dog:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C ... UTF8&psc=1

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Tue May 21, 2019 7:49 am

mlagrange wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:07 pm
FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:08 am
I'd look for an office during the day. Many offices won't bat an eye if you bring a well trained dog. Small inexpensive offices are tricky to find, but they're out there. Coworking spaces are another option. They tend to be pricey, but you might come out ahead if you use it intermittently. DW used a coworking space that allowed dogs.

For the dog, you can also look into doggie day care facilities find a local person to watch your dog through rover.com.
Thank you! I did not realize it was called "co-working". I had searched for "temporary office space", and that was all out of my reach. I found 1 co-working spot close to my house; $59/month (!) for desk and wifi, but they don't allow dogs. I'm going to go check it out, anyway, with the dog; maybe they will reconsider when they meet him. And have to give him belly rubs. :-D (what is "DW"?)
Wow, $59/month is amazing. In my community, it's $259/month for a reserved desk. DW dear wife in Bogleheads parlance.

renue74
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by renue74 » Tue May 21, 2019 7:55 am

Be a digital nomad for a few months. Take a flight to Chaing Mai Thailand where you can live comfortably for $1000/month.

There are plenty of work spaces with high speed internet because the city has a large digital nomad community and you can have an awesome "semi-vacation" away from the noise.

I would get the contact numbers of all the homes near yours and then periodically call or text them to ask about the work progress. As you know building construction is notorious to drag on.

HomeStretch
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by HomeStretch » Tue May 21, 2019 8:03 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:04 am
3. Visit the jobsite and get to know the folks. Bring donuts. Tell them you're glad the neighborhood's getting restored. :D
+1. They will be glad to be on good terms with a neighbor who is at home a lot as it lessens the chance of job site burglaries of tools and materials.

Sorry for the disruption. The silver lining is that your property value will go up as more houses are restored.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue May 21, 2019 8:21 am

This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum. -- mod oldcomputerguy
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

Elena
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by Elena » Tue May 21, 2019 9:29 am

mlagrange wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:43 pm
Thanks to the responders that suggested noise-cancelling headphones. I've got a pair of those that work pretty well; hopefully, that should work through most of this. And I just ordered a pair of Mutt Muffs for my dog:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C ... UTF8&psc=1
Thank you for the dog tip. I too am facing heavy construction some 30 ft. from my place for the next year and a half. I had figured out my own ears, but was worried about my small dog's. I do not want to subject her to construction noise, less prompt hard-hearing issues in her middle age dog years.
Will she take the Mutt Muffs, though? That is the question!

squirm
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by squirm » Tue May 21, 2019 10:15 am

I've seen people put insulation batting over their windows next to road construction. Probably the biggest bang for next to nothing in cost.

Topic Author
mlagrange
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Re: Dealing with construction noise

Post by mlagrange » Tue May 21, 2019 8:51 pm

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:49 am
mlagrange wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:07 pm
FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:08 am
I'd look for an office during the day. Many offices won't bat an eye if you bring a well trained dog. Small inexpensive offices are tricky to find, but they're out there. Coworking spaces are another option. They tend to be pricey, but you might come out ahead if you use it intermittently. DW used a coworking space that allowed dogs.

For the dog, you can also look into doggie day care facilities find a local person to watch your dog through rover.com.
Thank you! I did not realize it was called "co-working". I had searched for "temporary office space", and that was all out of my reach. I found 1 co-working spot close to my house; $59/month (!) for desk and wifi, but they don't allow dogs. I'm going to go check it out, anyway, with the dog; maybe they will reconsider when they meet him. And have to give him belly rubs. :-D (what is "DW"?)
Wow, $59/month is amazing. In my community, it's $259/month for a reserved desk. DW dear wife in Bogleheads parlance.
Here is the page; I was so happy to see this, and then they dashed my hopes with the "No dogs". I will keep trying.,..
https://www.thecoworklab.com/pricing-signup/

DW = "Dear Wife" - that's a hoot! :-D

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