Why do houses in United States have thin walls?

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Mon Apr 19, 2021

Coming from India, which follows European building techniques, one weird thing I noticed here in the U.S. is that the walls in houses are made from wood and are very thin. Not that I am complaining about the strength of the houses, but one odd thing I am facing is that I can listen to the sounds from all the rooms near me. It makes me wonder if people in the rooms next to me can also hear what I was doing. Well, being in an overpriced separate room does not include privacy I suppose. Also, the doors in the rooms do not have locks. I am not sure why that is.

When I first watched the episode from the TV series “Friends” where Chandler, Monica, and Phoebe eavesdrop on Ross through the wall, I was sure it was just for fun since I knew that you cannot hear through walls. But after moving to the United States, I realized you can even eavesdrop on the entire series of “Game of Thrones” from your neighboring room. The sound clarity is too good, provided the volume is high enough.

Yesterday my neighbors decided to party heavily with friends: alcohol, cigarettes, sound music, and all. Well for the entire night I felt like I was in their room. If only I had my own beer, I would be a part of their party. I could also smell the smoke from cigarettes or whatever it is that could generate so much smoke and a pungent smell. I did not sleep for the entire night. My friend suggested telling them to keep it low. I thought well, at least they are having an enjoyable time partying, why should I spoil it. Three days back I listened to the entire episode of "Breaking Bad," repeating the dialogues, which might have troubled them. 

My neighbors who I have never met also have good music sense. I take an interest in searching (on Google) and finding out what music they are listening to. Well, my playlist gets good updates now and then. Good thing they do not have a dog or a baby. I sincerely hope I should not hear something that I am not supposed to that would lead me into trouble. Also, a kind request for the construction engineers from the United States, please upgrade your wooden walls to be soundproof. I am still wondering what things my neighbors would have heard from me.

 

 

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2021-Spring-Issue 10
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