Would You Rather?

Would you rather have a loud talker upstairs or loud construction noise outside your window?

Construction noise drives many New Yorkers crazy.


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Noise in your apartment can be very annoying, in any form, but some kinds of noise are definitely worse than others.

If you had to choose, which would you prefer: a loud walker living above you or construction noise outside your window?

We asked five New Yorkers to weigh in.

Someday this work is going to end

“I’d take construction noise outside my window over a loud walker any day. If you have a loud/heavy walker upstairs, or any related type of disruption: running child, dog, someone who walks in heels 24/7, etc., it’s hard to enforce any type of soundproofing rule. Depending on the building, yes, you have to have 80 percent of your apartment covered in carpet, but many do not follow this rule. I’ve lived below loud walkers in a very old building with thin floors (no concrete in between) and it was a constant disruption, day and night.”—Jana Montero, Carroll Gardens (pictured)

High heels are a big deal

“I would prefer construction noise outside my apartment window than a noisy tenant living upstairs any day of the week. I live on the top floor of an old apartment building in Queens and I’m used to the sound of crews working on the pavement. I would go crazy if someone living above me was waltzing about in high-heeled shoes!”—Matthew Marin, Astoria

Walking you can block out. Construction, though...

“You can block out loud walking and get used to it but, with outdoor construction, you can close your windows, but that’s annoying during the warmer months. Also, we have a terrace and construction makes sitting outside unbearable.”—Julie Arcement, Riverdale

How many steps can somebody take?

“A loud upstairs walker may only be up and about a couple of hours in a day. Construction will wake you up when you don’t want to be woken up!”—Ben Arland, Sunnyside

Drown you out

“I’d choose the loud walker upstairs. You can drown out loud steps with music, but the same can’t be said for a jackhammer!”—Meghan Lewis, Astoria

THE VERDICT: It's a close call, but for a majority of these New Yorkers, an upstairs neighbor pacing the floors in heels is far less annoying than endless construction noise.



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