Don’t overlook construction noise when renting your next apartment

by Joe Zekas on 4/17/13

Yesterday I stepped out onto the balcony of an 18th floor northwest corner unit at Astoria Tower, 40 E 9th St in the South Loop, to capture the above view.

At the left center of the view you can see two cranes pounding caissons into the ground for two new mid-rise apartment buildings.

From the balcony you hear a loud, sharp hammering sound every other second, and that’s likely to continue for weeks as the piles you see stacked at the far end of the site in the above photo are driven into the ground.

Step inside the unit, close the sliding glass door to the balcony, and you no longer hear the pounding. It’s a good object lesson in how effective well-executed soundproofing can be in the context of an unusually loud construction technique.

Many people have a heightened sensitivity to intrusive noise in their environment. The number of new construction projects planned and underway in downtown Chicago near existing apartment communities will ensure noise levels beyond the ordinary for the next several years. Even apart from construction, the general level of ambient noise in parts of downtown Chicago can be disturbing to people who are unusually sensitive to it.

The take-away: if noise is an issue for you, check out apartments on weekdays when the noise levels are likely to be higher than on relatively quiet weekends.

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