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Semi-detached... noise issues?


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Jun 11, 2009
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As I am looking to buy a house in toronto just about 95% of the ones that suit my requirements end up being semi-detached houses. I prefer detached but I don't think I'm particularly off-put by a semi.

My concern, however - is what I might not know.

I currently live in a ~3 year old condo and do occasionally hair noise from neighbors. You only have one in a semi, but is it more noticeable? I would think the wall is much older and less noise-suppressing than modern condos...

So how much of an issue is the common wall in a semi-detached in terms of noise - or in terms of other issues I might not be aware of?
It can be an issue. Two of my friends recently bought 100+ year old semis and you can hear the neighbours quite easily whenever they party, yell, have sex, etc. And the smokers next door--it goes right through the walls. :(

Also, carefully check the foundation and basement supports--if a neighbouring house dugout the basement or made it deeper for more room, chances are great there's serious structural issues being hidden by new flooring (look for new flooring on ground floor to disguise slopes etc.) Take an office chair with you--odd as it sounds--and see if it rolls on its own. If it moves far, stay away!
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several factors to consider:

  • is the common wall single layer of brick or double?
  • does the common wall end on the 2nd floor or extend up the attic to the roof?
  • did the neighbour insulate (sound proof) the common wall?
  • are you planning to insulate (sound proof) the common wall?

sorry i can't think of other things ...