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Difficulty getting air tightness/sound insulation tests...

  • 25-08-2021 11:11am
    Registered Users Posts: 6,143 ✭✭✭

    The last few days I've been trying to contact everyone I can in Dublin for an air tightness test and a sound insulation test.

    I'm not getting any replies. It's great that we have building regulations but that doesn't stop cowboy builders doing their thing. I can feel draughts through some windows of my A3 house and I can hear the neighbors talking in the house beside me. The neighbors weed stinks up our bedroom with windows/vents closed so there's definitely something wrong somewhere.

    The developer is ignoring us on the issue so I will need to arrange tests myself but it's proving difficult when I can't get replies from the small list of registered companies.

    Any advice is welcome...


  • Registered Users Posts: 527 ✭✭✭mike_2009

    I've heard this complaint before. The editor of a magazine was all for developer led builds to ensure quality but they are building the cheapest houses they are legally allowed. There are great builders but many are built with savings in mind to boost profit. Only testing a fraction of houses for air tightness and very poor inter house insulation for sound is some of the by product of poor regulation, paperwork over inspection and all the scare stories you will have read about.

    You could try checking the fire protection between you and the neighbour to see if this meets regs. My worry would be if the sound is coming through, did they install sufficient fire protection? That's a great way to force them to do something but a fire inspection may result in you having to leave the building if there is serious fault.

    I've had no traction getting a civil engineer in Dublin, Ended up having to shop further afield and start picking towns well outside Dublin and got one much farther away. Everyone is just too busy.

    Your experience is exactly why I'm trying to self build, to avoid all the mistakes and short cuts they can paper over before you even get to see the house and have a clue. With the amount of money involved it's just so wrong and reflects badly on the industry.

    Advice - look at firms outside Dublin, get a copy of the construction plans so you can see what is meant to be between you and the neighbour and get an inspection done but someone really good at snaglists and very experienced. Then check your options with their recommendations - free legal aid, citizens information, TD. Really hope you get some of the value back that an A3 property SHOULD bring. I just shake my head when I hear this....

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,097 ✭✭✭PMBC

    I remember when the BR was introduced in the 90s. The CIF lobbied and succeeded in having it as an industry regulated system. They didnt want anyone looking over their shoulders - it was bad enough having to go through the planning system. This sort of crap is what we have got because of that; not to mention the apartments in Dublin that have big problems with Fire Safety. I remember asking a number of builders that I dealt with of any ideas of how we could improve costs. One suggested "get rid of the Clerk of Works"!

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,143 ✭✭✭DaveyDave

    I think the limited number of testing required doesn't help the situation. Something like only 10% of units in larger developments need to be tested which just means potential for more houses to have problem. The development where I live has 500+ units.

    When I mentioned noise previously I was told there shouldn't be an issue because they were all signed off for fire regulations by someone on site.

    In terms of air tightness testing I did contact some companies outside Dublin but I'm currently only speaking to one and trying to arrange something in the next few weeks.

    I'll need to contact more about sound insulation testing as I only contacted the ones on the list for Dublin.

    It seems testing companies are more focused on commercial/builder work than residential so it's difficult for homeowners to query things.

    Post edited by DaveyDave on

  • Registered Users Posts: 151 ✭✭imp1

    To conduct sound insulation testing, the tester needs free access to both sides of the party wall, upstairs and downstairs, this allows the tester to determine the most appropriate location for testing. Given that you indicate your neighbour is engaged in weed smoking or growing, that might put people off being involved. The number houses requiring a sound insulation test is laid out in TGD E ( and depends on the nature of the party wall.

    The Government backed SITRI scheme has details of members that conduct sound insulation testing (there are other non affiliated but qualified testing organisations).

    Sound insulation test results of a representative number of houses in the development should be available from the assigned certifier, that was looking after the development.