Do You Live in a Brand New/Fairly New Duplex?

Thinking about buying a duplex with shared wall. My main concern is the noise from the neighbour next door. Anyone lives in a fairly new/brand new duplex (less than 3 years old) that can share their experience?Thanks


  • Brand new townhouse with shared wall. I don't hear didly squat through the wall. More noise from different neighbours noticeable when windows open than the adjoining.

    Given how close new housing estates are these days, I can't see a shared wall being any different.

  • I live in a 15 year old townhouse with shared walls. Noise through the walls is almost non-existent, except when the neighbours slam the wardrobe open or something.

    But, recently a visitor said something about my place being double brick, and that new constructions are cheaping out and don't do that anymore? So a new one might have less separation
    Is that true? Is that why you are specifically after new build opinions?

  • The only problem you will have with sharing a wall with your neighbour is agreeing who gets to use it when. When I shared a wall the neighbour always wanted to use it on weekends which of course meant that I could not go out (house was not secured).

  • Wouldnt they all be different anyway - no matter if they have a common wall…

    So noise would be different for everyone

  • I used to live in a townhouse that has old fashioned stone walls. You couldn't hear anything through it. But also wifi and cell signals couldn't travel through it either. Also there was a really wanky restaurant next door and you'd constantly see federal politicians walk past, that was enough to make you want to lose your lunch.

  • Depends on the construction, materials & sound deadener used.

    If it's plaster walls you might hear their conversations…

    • this is the only answer. It varies so much it's not funny. Hardly anyone does shared walls in the best possible way. You see 4-5* hotels and can hear through rooms and doors.

  • No, Whitehouse is pretty old.

  • What state are you in?

    I know in box shared walls have to be double brick and heavily insulated by law.

  • Lived in a 2 story townhouse between 2 other townhouses so shared walls both sides.
    Didn't have any noise issues at all but also had really great neighbors.

    This was in WA where double brick is everywhere though so would be checking up on construction type before buying.

  • Depends on the place.

    My neighbor built a new semi-detached and went all out with the dividing wall and noise separation and can't hear a thing

    I have heard of others who can even hear their neighbours talking.
    I guess if it was a cheap builder just building to sell they would have done the bare minimum

  • I lived in a townhouse for six years which was about eight years old when I bought it. Shared wall on one side, so a duplex in a larger complex. Don't think there was much sound dampening at all as I could hear almost everything the neighbour did, eg. walking up and down the stairs, watching TV, their kettle or microwave dinging, the old man tenant snoring, the new lady owner coughing.

    I downsized to an apartment now which must have much better sound insulation as I barely hear anything through the walls. The townhouse was just cheaply constructed, I imagine. Though it was in a nice area in an estate surrounded by golf courses, with a country club etc. Just minimal sound proofing.

  • Was contemplating a duplex 1.5 years ago and did numerous sound tests as it would invariable be a new build and I could arrange for my partner to make noise in one while I listened in the other. ALL of them allowed noise through the shared wall. It ranged from barely anything only just things like doors closing very loudly becoming a mild thump, hearing people walk up and down stairs, to actually hearing people talk.
    Those built for investment were generally worse for noise transference. Note I am highly sensitive to noise and usually these places were empty on at least one side so less furnishings to absorb noise, and I conducted these tests with as much as silence as possible, so noise could be heard clearly but under normal circumstances with TV or talking etc it wouldnt be so bad.

    Prior to to that I lived in a 10 year old terrace style housing so had a left and right shared wall. One side heard absolutely nothing for 4 years. Otherside was fine until a dhead moved in and liked to play LOUD music. DEFINITELY heard that but not walking/talking noise.

    Now in a standalone unit (only garage shares wall, owner built) and LOVING it. Can't stand apartment living/shared walls any more, did it for many many years and never again…

    How much noise can you tolerate and how much noise will you actually notice? Also what are your chances for getting a douchebag inconsiderate neighbour?

  • New or old doesn’t matter. What happens is build quality. Something built 10/20 years old well, will be better than something new and poorly built. As long as the builder has left a slight air gap and/or used sound proof insulation. It will help cut down a lot of your noise.

    The biggest factor, will also depend on your neighbour. I live in an apartment and unless I stick my ear to the wall or it’s dead quiet. I can barely hear my neighbour play piano or listening to something bass heavy.

  • Lived in a townhouse (7 years old) with a shared wall. We can hear our neighbours playing their piano and their young kids running up and down the stairs. Their stairs are built along part of the shared wall, which probably doesn't help. Can't hear any day to day conversations, but if the young kids are yelling or running around, then yeah, we can hear them.