The Ultimate Sensory Disorder Housing Checklist
How many shared walls are there?
Is it on the top floor?
Are you near a main road or a busy road?
How loud is the road noise?
Is there a bus stop nearby? Buses are loud when they brake!
Listen for obvious interior noise, is there an old or loud HVAC system?
Are the pipes particularly creaky?
Are the windows double-paned for sound proofing? *Most external noise can be significantly muffled by soundproofing your windows.
If you will have roommates, how thin are the walls? How echo-y is the space? *Checkout the link at the bottom for tips on soundproofing your space - even if it's a rental.
Is there a corner unit available? *Look for apartments that are rear-facing and/or are on the top floor corner.
Who are the neighbors? Are they college students who will be throwing parties every weekend? Is it a family with kids who will be up early playing outside?
Common outside noisy locations to pay attention for:
-hospitals, police and fire stations (think sirens)
-religious institutions (crowds, traffic and church bells/calls to prayer, etc.)
-busy avenues (car horns, and trucks bouncing over manhole covers and potholes)
-busy intersections (gridlock!)
-elementary schools (playground noise).
-trash receptacles that will be emptied while you are trying to sleep
-construction project or large empty lot that may become a construction site
Living next to the lobby, above the boiler room, beneath a roof deck or near a mechanical room, trash chute, elevator or elevator shaft will be noisy. Avoid these locations inside an apartment building.
Visit the apartment or the neighborhood at different times of the day and at night so that you are able to get an idea of the noise level.
Consider a prewar building, construction materials were thicker and are naturally more soundproof.
When you are looking for an apartment, start by calling various locations and asking if they have a top floor unit available. Being on the top floor can reduce an immense amount of noises. And remember, advocate for yourself!