Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 21st, 2012

Often buyers wince at the sight of a construction site abutting a building they are considering buying in…..they fear the noise it will produce. They are correct: there will be noise. But don’t for one moment think anyone living in Manhattan is immune to noise. It’s everywhere. Here are some instances of noise that you should consider:

1)   Neighboring construction sites are noisy for sure: But if they are privately run, chances are the developers will want to complete the project in a timely manner, so these projects can at least be timed. The majority of the exterior noise happens in the first half of the project usually.

2)   Neighboring apartment/house noise: many people renovate their apartments. These renovations often take up to a year, and in the instance of townhouses they can often take 2 years or more. The noise from a renovation above, below or besides your home can be the noisiest of all. The older the building, the better chance someone will be renovating soon.

3)  LOCAL LAW 11 NOISE:  This law commands all building to inspect their facades periodically….the inspections usually result in noisy facade work.

4)  Infrastructure noise:  whether its the building of a subway line, the re-paving of a street, replacing rotted pipes, or general improvements, infrastructure noise is a certainty everywhere throughout the city with aging systems and new technologies springing up daily.

5)   Traffic, emergency vehicles, trash collectors:  Why is it that a motorbike is allowed to make extreme noise? One person’s thrill is thousands of people’s torment, yet the law allows it? And then there are some that want to fight electric vehicles’ silent operation because they need some noise to warn of their approach…..really? Personally the thought of silent vehicles sounds dreamy to me….

These are but some of the examples of how noise is EVERYWHERE in Manhattan. No-one can escape it. So install good windows, wear ear-plugs, support laws that regulate noise and the times noise is allowable, and acknowledge that if you wanted absolute silence you would have chosen another town to live in. And don’t for one moment think that by buying an apartment NOT next to a construction site that your world will be silent bliss. The photo above was taken on the corner of Hudson and North Moore in Tribeca, an established prime location. …..not so quiet and peaceful after all: major infrastructure work, facade work to a building, and who knows how many fabulous apartments behind those windows are in the midst of a renovation…..