Why you may not want to live on the top, or bottom, of a building

Share this Article

In Case You Missed It: Every so often, BrickUnderground digs through the archives to find the best advice our experts have shared through the years.

We'd all like to live in spacious, bright apartments with fabulous views and quiet neighbors, but the budget doesn't always allow for it. That said, no matter how great the deal might seem, avoiding these seven spots in a building is a safe bet:

1. Below a roof or setback terrace. Roofs leak and terraces draw people and noise.

2. Next to an elevator shaft. Talk about noise: you'll get it in the form of neighbor chatter, elevator rattling, and even vibrations. Also, privacy is an issue, as people waiting for the elevator might be able to hear inside your apartment.

3. Near the compactor shaft . Vibrations and noise are problems here, too. 

4.  On the first floor. Noise is just one concern. The other big one is safety. And if an apartment  is above the mechanical room or boiler room, expect vibrations and the sound of boilers and pumps going on and off. Also,  if you live over a boiler, your apartment is going to be hot—and you might not want to open the window on the first floor (noise again).

5. Down the hall from a community room or playroom. Unless you love the sound of playgrounds.

6. Along an exterior airshaft.  These certainly aren't picturesque. And you'll want to check which neighboring buildings share the shaft. It might be a smelly restaurant. On the plus side, though, airshafts can make for quiet neighbors, since they're away from the street.

7.  Beside the mechanical room. These contain boilers, A/C equipment, pumps—devices that can generate noise, heat and/or vibrations.

For more, read "The 7 worst places to live in a building."


The top 7 construction defects, and how not to be a sucker

The 5 least safe places to live in your building ... and how to stay safer anywhere

How much is a higher floor worth?

The perfect condo

8 ways to get more space for less money in a NYC apartment