How to Reduce Noise in Your Newly Built Home

You want your new home to be calm and relaxing. This article offers tips and suggestions to minimize the noise inside your home and, above all, to prevent outside noise from entering.

Isolation. Probably the most efficient way to reduce noise is the use of insulation, both for exterior walls and interior walls. If traffic noise is bad, you may want to consider using a 2×8 frame instead of 2×6 on that side of the house. The cost will be a bit more, but it may be worth it.

For interior noise from toilets and washer/dryer, insulation in surrounding walls would reduce noise. You might even consider insulating all interior walls, including the middle floor. It’s amazing how quiet it can be!

Windows. If you live near a freeway or outside noise of any kind, you may want to consider Milgard Quiet Line insulated windows, which can reduce noise by at least 30%. The big drawbacks of these windows are that they are very expensive and are not recommended on the coast.

Another possibility is to consider triple pane windows which are energy efficient and should reduce noise. These windows offer an additional barrier and also allow another surface to receive a Low-E coating. Again, the big drawback is that triple pane windows are very expensive, but they are something to consider.

Plumbing. One of the worst noises in the walls of a house is the drain between floors. To minimize this noise, cast iron pipe should be used. For the water line, pex line should be used instead of copper. Pex water line is designed to reduce noise and will not break when frozen. For toilet flushing noise, it is suggested to use low-height toilets which are quieter. However, lowboy toilets may not flush as well as standard toilets.

Exhaust system. For the bathroom, get the quietest and best fan you can get for the size of your bathroom. In other words, don’t skimp on this. And be sure to vent it to the outside, not into the attic. Fan noise is classified by sones, which is a scale that provides degrees of noise. A rating of 1.0 sones means the fan is very quiet, 2.0 is very good, and 4.0 is loud.

As for the kitchen range hood, most of the noise comes from the fan motor and the airflow through the duct system. It can get worse if not installed correctly. For example, using a 6″ duct for the hood that requires 8″ or when there are too many 90 degree bends in the duct. Just make sure your hood has enough power to get the job done. It may make sense to buy more power than you need and run it at a lower speed. This can greatly reduce noise.

Landscaping. Proper damping of trees and bushes can reduce noise by up to 50%. Evergreen varieties that retain their leaves throughout the year are recommended. To choose the best species for your area to offset noise, you may want to enlist the services of a landscaping expert who can help you make a design.

Taking steps to reduce noise whenever you can is a worthwhile endeavor. Coming home to peace and quiet from the noisy world is good for your well-being.

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