Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' question?

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Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' question?

Postby KenTaiwan98 » 05 Nov 2010, 22:39

I have a noisy neighbor in the apartment above who when confronted about 'her' noise levels (banging, dragging, jumping, exercising...) just shouts and screams at everyone, despite us being quite reasonable.

This has made me wonder: if we buy or rent a top floor apartment in a newish community, what are the pitfalls of living in the top floor. We did live on the top floor of my wife's house for about 1 year, and found it quite hot in the summer, but I don't know if that experience applies to all top floors or not. Are there any other pitfalls I should know about?

By top floor, I don't mean an illegal top floor, I mean a top floor as in the highest legal floor in the building, ie. 17/17 floors...

Does anyone here live on the top floor? What's been your experience?

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Re: Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' quest

Postby Mucha Man » 05 Nov 2010, 23:11

I lived on the top floor for 4 years. Loved it. No noise from above. Could open the door and let the cats wander up to sun and explore the rooftop. Easy access for drying laundry in the sun (important in Taiwan).

But much higher electricity bills in summer (more than double now) and had to use heaters in winter.

Overall though I would still like to have what I had. With my new place's kitchen. :)
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Re: Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' quest

Postby creztor » 06 Nov 2010, 00:54

I will aim for a top floor next time. Sick and tired of noises from above.
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Re: Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' quest

Postby Icon » 06 Nov 2010, 01:13

How about the noise, ehem, we may inadvertely cause? I was thinking that if I move to a top floor -ding lo- would that spare me neighbor trouble as kitties and doggie go on with their territorial wars?
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Re: Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' quest

Postby Rice_Eater » 06 Nov 2010, 01:14

KenTaiwan98 wrote:. Are there any other pitfalls I should know about?

Kenneth


The biggest problem is that cement buildings suck up the heat of the sun and hold it quite well. For that reason most people in Taiwan don't want to live on the top floor, or many people use the top floor of a four or five floor walk up as a store room. Choose a building where the roof is shaded by a higher building and one that is an area that gets a nice mountain or ocean breeze and you may be happy with it. If you can get on the roof and paint it with white paint or plant a nice roof top garden that may help too.

Good Luck.
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Re: Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' quest

Postby tommy525 » 06 Nov 2010, 01:19

KenTaiwan98 wrote:I have a noisy neighbor in the apartment above who when confronted about 'her' noise levels (banging, dragging, jumping, exercising...) just shouts and screams at everyone, despite us being quite reasonable.

This has made me wonder: if we buy or rent a top floor apartment in a newish community, what are the pitfalls of living in the top floor. We did live on the top floor of my wife's house for about 1 year, and found it quite hot in the summer, but I don't know if that experience applies to all top floors or not. Are there any other pitfalls I should know about?

By top floor, I don't mean an illegal top floor, I mean a top floor as in the highest legal floor in the building, ie. 17/17 floors...

Does anyone here live on the top floor? What's been your experience?

Kenneth


My experience. Top floor is hot. And whats worse, if the roof is flat i can leak in taipei's constant rain. And you may have to waterproof it every year or two and YOUR COST.

Concrete is porous. So they have to either:

1. tar it (messy , ugly , hot and lasts a year maybe)
2. tile it (expensive and lasts a few years, constantly replacing tiles)
3. waterproof concrete (lasts until the next quake when the building moves cracks happen and ....leaks)
4. waterproof vinyl (lasts 1 to 3 years or so). needs constant reapplication.
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Re: Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' quest

Postby DiaFun » 06 Nov 2010, 01:26

Muzha Man wrote:I lived on the top floor for 4 years. Loved it. No noise from above. Could open the door and let the cats wander up to sun and explore the rooftop. Easy access for drying laundry in the sun (important in Taiwan).

But much higher electricity bills in summer (more than double now) and had to use heaters in winter.

Overall though I would still like to have what I had. With my new place's kitchen. :)

Other things I've noticed when living on top floors:
(positives)
- the view, if there's anything nice to look at
- the roof for moon/stargazing, depending on light pollution levels
- the prestige of claiming you have the penthouse, if you care about such things
- can leave windows open with less fear of being broken into
- if the building is tall enough, some insulation from street noise and activity
- built-in free exercise if you take the stairs
- might be able to finagle permission to install solar-heated hot water system (panels are small and light these days and the system is dead simple) or beg forgiveness via ignorance later :oops:
- you can probably grow vegetables or herbs on your roof in containers - this can help with the heat and potential water issues too
- you tend to haul less stuff home to your place if it's a PITA
- even when it's really hot, there's often a breeze higher up

(negatives)
- in an earthquake or windstorm, the building will sway more at the top than at the bottom
- in a power failure or fire, more flights down to negotiate, with a potential for issues getting out if there are blockages
- in a power failure or if elevators are out of service, climbing many flights of stairs or waiting a long time for a lift
- can be hot as hell
- can be cold in winter especially if windows are inadequate
- can be very dangerous for small children/pets; must install bars so they can't fall out the windows
- privacy on the roof can be an illusion and people might steal your stuff
- food delivery can take longer or they might refuse to do it at all

On the whole, I LOVED my two years living on the top floor. I got fit climbing the stairs, had a great view, and had the luxury of a nearly-private garden at no added expense (my apartment was split from an original two-story penthouse, so you took the elevator to the 12th floor, walked one flight of stairs up to get to my place and another flight to the roof, and most people couldn't figure that out and if they did, they often could not be bothered).

If you're not scared of the power bill, I'd say the great reduction in NOISE from the elephants living upstairs is absolutely worth the extra money.
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Re: Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' quest

Postby Mother Theresa » 06 Nov 2010, 07:17

Psssshaw. . .

If others have criticisms of top floors, that's their business, but all five places I've lived in over the past 10 years have been top floors and I never regretted it. Twice I actually lived in the tin shed addition on the rooftop and those admittedly got very hot in the summer (but had aircon of course). My first place in Taiwan was 17th floor rooftop overlooking Da'an Park, which was pretty cool for starting out. Now we own a terrific 4th floor place that includes our own private 5th floor rooftop with addition up there. The rooftop is fantastic for birthday parties, rollerskating, gardening (I even have a mango tree up there), barbecues and margaritas with friends, hanging the laundry, cleaning my bike, just hanging out, or even just checking the weather before going out. We've done all that and more we love it.

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Re: Top floor or not top floor: that is the residents' quest

Postby Eiger John » 11 Nov 2010, 13:51

Top-floor apartments rock. I had a waterproofing guy re-do everything up top, so that leaks are not an issue, and so now we have treated cement that's super smooth so that the kids can rollerskate, ride little bikes, etc. and we have an inflatable pool that's in use nearly all summer long.

All the water gauges have been moved off the floor onto the wall adjacent to the stairwell, and now that our toddlers are a bit taller we have installed a pretty nice wrought-iron fence extension on top of the existing concrete walls so that everything is an extra bit more safe.

Regarding noise, our downstairs neighbors who had caused us no end of grief during the construction phase despite their own illegal addition attached frankenstein-like onto the side of the building did try to bug us a bit after we moved in. For example, they complained about the noise of our toddlers' and chihuahuas' tiny little feet "early" in the morning. We dealt with it pretty handily by looking at them as if incredibly bored, pointing out that it's tiny toddler's feet that they're complaining about (not me with tap-dancing shoes), and that the time of morning is what it is. Pretty much anything after 7 am and before 10:30 pm is not going to be a problem, and there's not a single noise-abatement official or police officer who is going to even respond to a complaint about children's feet.

Rooftop gardens offer a nice respite from city life, and probably every week we're eating or flavoring something we're eating with things that we've grown up top.
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