Easing off on noise in a sorority house
Q:As a resident director in a 42-girl sorority house, I have three rooms in the middle of the building. To make it worse, two telephone booths are backed up against the walls of my living room and bedroom and I can hear the chatter. Is there some way to insulate the walls against all the noise outside my rooms? If I could earn my keep by living with the animals in the woods, I'd be on my way. A reader Goleta, Calif.
A:Having lived in a college dorm, I can sympathize with you for all those coeds and their clatter. There are, of course, some sound-control answers to the problem, but they all involve cost.
First of all, install air checks on all the doors. These mechanical devices force the doors to close, but very slowly. The air checks are not cheap, especially the ones that work best. Any good carpenter can install them, door by door.
Now about some sound isolation for your three-room living quarters. Install nonmetallic weatherstripping around all the exterior doors. A wooden doorsill or threshold may be needed as part of the installation to reduce, but not eliminate , sound penetration around the doors.
Next, apply sound-deadening material to the four walls, ceiling, and floor of your rooms. This, as you might expect, is not an easy or inexpensive project.
It could be surface-applied as a new wall finish or blown into, or between, the ceiling and floor joists as well as between the wall studs. This will take a professional workman who knows what he is doing.
The floors, both above and below, may receive a sound-deadening board under carpeting.
Carpeting is sometimes effectively used as a sound deadener on walls as well as floors. The floor carpet continues right up the walls to the ceiling. Handsome, too!
Now about those noisy telephone booths that back up to your rooms. Have them relocated elsewhere than essentially ''inside'' your apartment. There's no sense in taking the brunt of all that palaver.
I presume you have a curfew when the coeds are to bed down and be quiet. If not, the girls might be asked to stand the curfew if it is not already a rule. After all, it's either be quiet or Mother will move in with the bears, rabbits, and coyotes in the Goleta hills.