Sound control, what you need to know before you build

Sound control is often overlooked in new home design. Why? Few architects and builders understand it and even fewer of them can explain its importance. You can’t see sound control. It doesn’t make your house more beautiful. It just is—tucked away inside of walls, ceilings, floors and other components of your home. But if you forget it, lack of it will slowly eat away at your sanity every day.

 Two types of noise inside your home

 Airborne noise is the most common noise problem experienced. Airborne noise is that created by speech and music among others and is the easiest to address.

 Impact noise is the type of noise created by doors banging and footsteps and is much more difficult to address because this type of noise is structure borne sound that radiates through the structure of the building.

 What can be done about it

 Due to inherent features of contemporary design (e.g. open floor plans, hard floor surfaces, numerous media systems), noise transfer between rooms can be an issue. Controlling sound promotes relaxing & private environments inside your home. Sound control is not only about muffling noise from the outside; it’s also reducing the sound transfer between activity zones within your home. There are two ways to accomplish this: soundproofing and sound-reduction.

Soundproofing

  • Soundproof noise prone areas like the laundry room.
  • Specify solid doors with door sweeps.
  • Select a spray-foam insulation or ICF for your exterior walls.
  • Request sound dampening of waste pipes traveling from upstairs.
  • Soundproof walls, ceilings, and floors between bedrooms and bathrooms.

Sound-reduction

  • Choose a low decibel dishwasher, garbage disposal & hood.
  • Substitute a noisy jetted tub for a soaker tub.
  • Use a bathroom ventilation system with a remote motor.
  • Select a door opener with a belt drive instead of a chain drive.
  • Specify proper sizing of ducts to prevent the wheezing sound in ductwork.
  • Request a silent thermostat to avoid hearing the system click on and off.

Why think about it now?

Adding sound control to your house after it has been built is costly, time consuming and is a major interruption to your life. Avoid this by installing sound control during the construction phase of your home. This will significantly reduce the price and eliminate the inconvenience. The reward is in the years of peace and tranquility: priceless!

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