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Noise complaints on one half of duplex

Yes, you’d have separate access doors to the separate attics.

FYI, a partitioned attic with separate access doors might even be building code for separate rental spaces.

Gotcha, thanks. I wonder how much that would effect the attics airflow. Right now it’s pretty poor, we are in AZ, and there’s no attic fans. That will be the next project is adding 2 solar attic fans. I would guess if we sealed the attic we’d have to make sure a fan was in that space.
Ps I edited my last reply a bunch. Appreciate the help.

BTW, how to use the quote feature? I seemed to have done it earlier but maybe there on desktop only?

Nope, it works on my iPad just fine. Put your finger (or cursor) at the beginning of what you want to quote, then move your finger (or the cursor) to highlight that text. Once it’s highlighted, click the reply button.

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I’m in AZ, too (Chandler). Yes, you might have ventilation issues, since the garage section would likely only have one vent if it has any at all, since it’s not a major consideration for the garage space.

If you highlight any text, you’ll see a little popup that says Quote, tap it and it will put the quoted message into a either a new reply or an existing reply if you’ve already started one.

A slab door is certainly better than hollow core. But interior doors are generally not pre-hung with a gap in mind between the frame and the inner edge of the door, to accommodate good thick weather stripping. Sound will readily use any air gap or crack.
I expect that you will need “more” than just this for the sound reduction, especially at certain frequencies that will carry between the stays.
In our case, our master bedroom is literally right next to our newly renovated stay. So we werew forced to research, plan and construct very serious soundproofing. We added a 2nd door (exterior model). Then, we tweaked the inner door to get it to line up very tight with the entire doorframe with foam weatherstripping. Together, they made a big difference.
Since our bedroom is literally “right there”, we are going to take it a step further, even still and make an “acoustic panel” using mineral wool, since we already have left overs and that stuff is the best! It is easy to cut and fit.
We had considered using 2" thick soft acoustic foam (available in 12x12 with adhesive backing. and applying this to the “inner side” - between both doors. But … we already own the mineral wool and that is obviously superior to soft poly foam.
After your weatherstripping goes in, you’ll see an improvement but Im sure that you’ll need “something more”. Sometimes just hanging a layered approach like heavy blankets and blackout curtains can perhaps make up the difference.
The easier thing was for us to soundproof the two big windows - the wall is 2 foot thick masonry. So a single layer of mineral wool held by mdf with all edges using foam weatherstripping really did the trick there. Then, we turned both sides into very cool built-in shelving, one side with sliding barn doors.

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As someone who built radio control rooms for 2 radio stations, I think that there are 2 things that would help:

  1. Isolate the speakers that are causing the noise problem from the walls and/or floor, and if you can set a max volume for the noisemaker, do so.
  2. Build a second isolated wall inside the suite, about 6 inches away, stuffed with that sound dampening rock wool. Add a second solid door if you’re going to keep the opening.

If you’re really serious and want to really damp sound on the bass end, you can do what an acquaintance did when he installed a Wurlitzer theater organ in the living room of his suburban home: He poured double concrete walls and filled the interior with damp sand and put a huge earth berm around his house. The organ’s previous owner had solved the problem by building a house around it on a ten acre wooded parcel.

crap. Now I think I screwed up by getting 2 interior slab doors. IT sounds like my builder will kerf some wood doorstop and tuck the weatherstrip into the kerf. he says it will seal the door uniformly when closed.

It seems too late in the game now to chage course. I can’t find any prehung external doors available in the next few days. In the meantime, we are basically fully booked for both units over the next few months.

The good news is that this really only happened one time and it was because we had loud guests who were being loud late at night. I’m hoping that the external insulated garage walls serve as a good barrier and that these solid wood slab doors + weatherstripping + absorption panels + MLV curtain will be enough. I think a prehung fiberglass external door for both doors could be another upgrade for the future.

I’ve also updated the listing - changed from “sleeps 8” to “sleeps 6”, and added notes about a strict quiet hours which are enforced via NoiseAware in the HouseRUle, pre-instabook message, and the “extra info” on the listing. Will also add a note to the welcome message and printed notes inside the house as well I think.
I also did some more reading and seems like it’s pretty easy to cut holes in the walls between studs and blow in insulation. I can do that to some of the interior walls that seperate the two units just to add even more sound barrier.

I’ve attached a floor plan so you can better see what I mean.
The guest suite is that bottom left quadrant, you can see the door on the right side leading to a pantry, then another door leading to the main house kitchen. I am changing out those 2 doors. I believe all the walls are external walls since this was an addition to the original structure.
I plan on blowing insulation into those interior walls near the connection


Do you have a white noise machine for guests in the suite?

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After reading all of what you are doing and looking at the floor plan I wouldn’t do anything more. I think you unluckily had “those guests” who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’ve hosted a room attached to my home but separated by a closet wall on one side and a common wall with a room I use a lot during the day. I disclose what the set up is and state unequivocally that there will be noise. I’ve never had a comment or complaint about noise coming from my part of the house. I’d like to think that is because I underpromise and overdeliver.

I’ve noticed that one of the primary conduits of noise is the ventwork. Closing that off year round wouldn’t make economic sense at this time but I have thought about it. I do some partial blocking in the winter only.

I’ve stayed in multiple Airbnbs that are on the bottom floor or in a basement apartment and you can almost always hear noise from the floor above. Yet all of those places are well booked and highly rated.

Don’t overthink it.


To add if guests are making noise I would certainly contact them on the first occasion and call them as well as message them if you want them to take action straight away.

Yes! GREAT advice (no matter the topic) in the service industry.

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It is acoustic insulation, exactly soundproofing material.

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Yes you are 100% correct, my bad.

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One of our apts has the master bedroom right above the washer and dryer that’s in the basement. And we provide those wool dryer balls so it sounds like 100 jumping animals down there if you’re trying to sleep.

We have a sign and also have it in our house manual as well as in our leases with tenants that the laundry hours are 10 am - 9 pm. You could put it in your house rules too if needed. I really recommend putting a starting time (and take into account that people like to sleep in on vacation) so 10 is nice. If you don’t put in a start time some jerk will go start a load at 6 am. You have to spell it out. And I have our end time at 9 pm because we get some people traveling for work and they go to bed early. Never had a complaint about it.

I don’t know much about soundproofing an area that the foam can’t show (recording studios) but I can say that I have lived in lots of duplexes and not heard my neighbors but on a very rare occasion so there is hope!

Mine too. I didn’t see that @Jefferson had already mentioned it until I’d already posted. Didn’t mean to jump on you.

thanks everyone for all your help.

for adding insulation to existing walls, we will cut holes in the bottom/middle/upper portion between each stud and fill with blown-in insulation.

The cellulose insulation is marketed as being good for sound, but I’m wondering if there’s an alternative that is easy enough to source?

I have heard rock wool is best, but it doesn’t seem easy to find the granulite/blown in version? It also mentioned on their website it needs to be done by a registered installer, so that seems out for me.

Mineral Wool (Rock Wool) is incredibly effective. Lower sound frequencies are more challenging to absorb. Ideally, one wants a 1.0 or higher rating at all frequencies, plus sealing every crack with silicone or other caulk to achieve really good sound reduction.
Safe n Sound is 3" thick and usually is enough for most applications. This was the case for us and made a single pane glass window nearly soundproof.


Fiberglass is “decent stuff” but does degrade over time, whereas mineral wool does not and so is a better choice. Costs are similar so one might as well use the best stuff. If one needs REALLY good soundproofing, a double-thick layer of rockwool may be needed.

Thanks for the reply, but thar doesn’t sound like cellulose, or am I missing something?

I am looking for something I can blow in since unfortunately construction phase of the house is done and we have a full book of guests. I need something that I can get done quickly and effectively.

Cutting small holes and blowing in insulation seems Iike the best solution but not sure if there’s something I can get that’s better than cellulose.

I’m also gonna staple mass loaded vinyl over existing drywall in a few places and hang curtains in front so it doesn’t look too bad.

Have you seen those acoustic panels that look like art? There are companies that make acoustic panels, some even using the photo of your choice, to make acoustic panels that deaden the noise.

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