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Old 2010-10-14, 03:41 PM
Greyhawk Greyhawk is offline
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Default Townhome BuildingCode Ottawa

In the family/friends I've visisted in Gatineau and Toronto, all the Townhomes and Semi-detached I've visited have cinder blocks between each unit all the way from the basement to the attic.

Now, in townhomes that I've visisted in Ottawa, I'm not sure if the builders are cutting corners or its simply not in the building codes here, that it's just drywall and insulation between the units !?!??!!?

I find it absolutely ridiculous that a new Semi-Detached being built in Gatineau in the Tecumseh project goes for $150,000 and they put cinder blocks from basement to attic. But a $340,000 townhome in Ottawa (Riverside South), has no cinder blocks ?

This has deterrred us from buying a townhome as I hear horror stories from friends in Ottawa about noisy neighbors in townhomes. Also from the perspective of safety it seems so much safer for fires if cinder blocks were between the units.

Does anybody know why they don't put cinder blocks between townhome units in Ottawa ?
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Old 2010-10-14, 06:05 PM
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in new towns, the two units dont actually touch each other - no framing is connected at any level

there are also multiple layers of fire code drywall - 3 I believe - in between

fam members have recently built towns and semis and there is no noise transferance to speak of

it must be a code requirement in quebec ... they haven't used block walls in Ottawa for over 30 years

Last edited by good2know; 2010-10-14 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 2010-10-14, 07:42 PM
foxborough foxborough is offline
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The cinder blocks have to be used every certain number of units - I can't remember exactly how many, but I believe it may be every 6. If you look at some that are built, you will see it jut out and up from the roof lines.

Other than that, it is just basically a double wall between them with staggered studs. You are right - noise is a huge issue.
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Old 2010-10-14, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
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Other than that, it is just basically a double wall between them with staggered studs. You are right - noise is a huge issue.
in older ones yes ... in new ones no
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Old 2010-10-14, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyhawk View Post
I find it absolutely ridiculous that a new Semi-Detached being built in Gatineau in the Tecumseh project goes for $150,000 and they put cinder blocks from basement to attic. But a $340,000 townhome in Ottawa (Riverside South), has no cinder blocks ?
Different municipalities have different requirements.

For example: I am currently working on 16 townhouses in Oakville. The base price for each unit is $950K. Between each unit is 2 layers of 5/8" drywall, 2x4 stud wall with insulation, 1" gap, and then the same for the other side. There is a cinderblock wall every 6 units.
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Old 2010-10-15, 12:13 AM
Fingers Fingers is offline
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in older ones yes ... in new ones no
Mine was new (richcraft), and i had substantial noise transfer issues. it was built to spec, and i have photos to prove it. nonetheless, i can hear neighbours walking, arguing, closing cupboards and drawers, etc.
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Old 2010-10-15, 08:00 AM
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Fingers could you post a couple pics if the wall assembly? When was it built?
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Old 2010-10-15, 08:54 AM
Greyhawk Greyhawk is offline
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I currently live in Riverside South and I've visited new townhomes being built and have not seen any cinder blocks at all ? They are built in chunks of four units. I guess if they are under 6 units per budiling cinder blocks are not required. I also confirmed with the sales centre for both urbandale and richcraft that NO cinder blocks are used.

I find this a total rip-off for noise and fire code issues. I have family that live in Gatineau who just paid $150,000 for a 1800sq/ft semi-detachted and had cinder blocks from the basement all the way upto the attic.

Meanwhile were expected to pay upwards of $330,000 now for a new townhome in Ottawa that is sub-standard. I think if more people were aware of this they would stop buying townhomes and/or force the city or builders to upgrade building codes !

We have ruled out townhomes for now due to noise and fire safety issues.
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Old 2010-10-15, 10:13 AM
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Correct me if I am wrong.. but Gatineau is in Quebec isn't it? Ottawa is still in Ontario?

You have different provincial building codes, different municipal building codes, different trades per region, and most significantly, different land values..

Land value makes up a significant amount of the purchase price for a home. In many cases down here, it's over 50%.
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Old 2010-10-15, 10:33 AM
barryst barryst is offline
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Move to Gatineau then?

You're paying for location. I hear my neighbours too, but it really doesn't bother me. To each his own.

If you were to 'force' builders to add cinder blocks, how much more will you pay on top of that $330,000?
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