Most homeowners don’t know or don’t appreciate the importance of soundproofing until noise becomes a nuisance and impedes daily living. Did you know that noise interferes with sleep and rest, causing headache, stress, fatigue and irritability? This underlines the value of sound control when building or renovating a home.
Sound control is a process of studying the types of noise within your neighborhood, and taking steps to minimize their intrusion into your daily life. Noise comes in many shapes and sizes, but the two most common types inside your home is airborne noise and impact noise.
- Airborne noise is sounds coming from the stereo, the TV and people screaming or talking loudly. It doesn’t vibrate against the structure of a building, making it easier to address.
- Impact noise is also referred to as structure-borne sound, as it is created when something hits against the walls or floors. Good examples are footsteps, doors banging, and hammering against the walls.
Between the two types of noises, the latter is much more difficult to address, as it is structurally related. This means, addressing the problem may involve making changes to the building and a house’s layout.
Once you identify the type of noise that must be dealt with, the easier it will be to create a good design, and implement soundproofing whenever and wherever necessary.
Sound Control Considerations before Building a Home
- Take into account sources of noise, such as shops, schools, or garbage recycling collection. You can then include into site planning the construction or addition of sound barriers, such as walls and fences, or trees and vegetation.
- Create a layout where noise sources are kept as far away from areas that require peace and quiet. For instance, bedrooms should be built as far away from noise sources as possible. Windows should not open to the streets to minimize noise being carried into your home. Noisy appliances, such as a washer and dryer, should be installed away from quiet rooms.
- There should be provisions for soundproofing. You don’t need to install wall-to-wall carpeting to soundproof your home, but you should limit noise from passing through walls by doing the following:
- Soundproof areas that give off unpleasant or annoying noise, such as the home theater, game room, and the laundry room.
- Minimize the amount of noise coming from the bathroom and going to the bedroom by soundproofing walls, ceilings and floors between the two rooms.
- Use ICF or spray-foam insulation for exterior walls.
- If there are waste pipes traveling from upstairs, request for sound dampening of those pipes.
In addition, you also need to find ways to reduce noise within your home. You need to use home fixtures and appliances with low decibel or those that operate quietly. For example, use a soaker tub instead of a noisy jet tub. Use a belt drive for door openers instead of a chain drive.
By taking into account sound control before home construction starts, you will save a lot of time and money. Adding it after the house has been completed could be a time-consuming and expensive process. There’s a possibility that your health will be compromised, before you even realize that it’s the noise that is making you and your family sick.