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Newly built homes less sound-proof than old homes?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 10th, 2018 6:17 pm
[OP]
Member
Oct 28, 2015
280 posts
37 upvotes
north york, ON

Newly built homes less sound-proof than old homes?

Hi, after living in my new home for one year I noticed that it's less sound proof than my old house. for eg. I could faintly hear piano, TV while working outside in the garden, and can easily hear my neighbor's rumble idling truck while in my bedroom.

My old house you can't hear anything going on inside the home , nor can you hear your neighbor's idling vehicles.

I am not so sure whether it's due to so many windows put in my new house(lot more big&tall windows for every room, like most upscaled new house design) or simply the wall sound-proof materials are simply less optimal.

I didn't feel any draft, nor the new house seems to lose heat quickly in wintertime, so I supposed the wall were properly insulated(both sound and heat?).

My old house was built in the 1960s.

thanks
27 replies
Deal Addict
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Dec 29, 2008
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It's true, my house is definitely less sound proof overall. I can have a full conversation from the second floor while others are on the opposite side on the ground floor.

You can hear people flush from the thrown etc.

The bricks on the outside are hollow, tried to attach a hoes reel.....and yes i can hear the neighbour idle car in the bedroom.
[OP]
Member
Oct 28, 2015
280 posts
37 upvotes
north york, ON
JonSnow wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 9:11 am
It's true, my house is definitely less sound proof overall. I can have a full conversation from the second floor while others are on the opposite side on the ground floor.

You can hear people flush from the thrown etc.

The bricks on the outside are hollow, tried to attach a hoes reel.....and yes i can hear the neighbour idle car in the bedroom.
why they design new homes to be less sound proof? These new houses look fantastic (like disney fairy land castle) but every morning I was waken by idling truck, or neighbor scraping their driveway with a shovel.

yes, internally I can hear other room's loud showering every night(master bedroom adjacent to her bathroom), it is so loud that I finally refrained her from showering after 10pm.
Deal Addict
Feb 11, 2018
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A particular weakness as far as sound is concerned is the area around each window. There is maybe an inch of space on all four sides and often it is filled with loose insulation. On the inside all you have is the trim and on the outside it's caulking.

If you pay attention you should notice noise coming quite easily from the space directly around the window. Your door(s)/patio door suffer from the same issue.
Always try to think outside the box!
[OP]
Member
Oct 28, 2015
280 posts
37 upvotes
north york, ON
TomLafinsky wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 9:24 am
A particular weakness as far as sound is concerned is the area around each window. There is maybe an inch of space on all four sides and often it is filled with loose insulation. On the inside all you have is the trim and on the outside it's caulking.

If you pay attention you should notice noise coming quite easily from the space directly around the window. Your door(s)/patio door suffer from the same issue.
Thus all these big giant massive windows are the culprits? but I noticed the idling truck were seemingly coming from the wall side.... one thing I don't understand, should so many windows causing sound proofing issue, why heat isn't losing more quickly? It's actually better heat-insulated than my old home overall....

now I missed my old home in Scarborough, though it's much smaller with tiny/no windows and looks ordinary....
Deal Addict
Feb 11, 2018
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xuanzh wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 9:32 am
Thus all these big giant massive windows are the culprits? but I noticed the idling truck were seemingly coming from the wall side.... one thing I don't understand, should so many windows causing sound proofing issue, why heat isn't losing more quickly? It's actually better heat-insulated than my old home overall....

now I missed my old home in Scarborough, though it's much smaller with tiny/no windows and looks ordinary....
When building the house the framers will always make the opening for the window larger than the window itself. One big weakness is the space directly around your window. Sound will reverberate on flat surface like wall.

If you want to do some tests (when it will be warmer outside - not really the season right now) put a radio outside your house at a constant distance of 10 feet and set volume quite loud. And buy a sound level meter like this one and use it inside your house while the radio is playing outside. It will allow to see where there is a concentration of noise.
Last edited by TomLafinsky on Dec 8th, 2018 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Always try to think outside the box!
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2009
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Could also be that new homes are packed so close together and usually much closer to the street as well. And it doesn’t help that they are basically built from particleboard and cardboard.
[OP]
Member
Oct 28, 2015
280 posts
37 upvotes
north york, ON
fdl wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 9:51 am
Could also be that new homes are packed so close together and usually much closer to the street as well. And it doesn’t help that they are basically built from particleboard and cardboard.
My house is quite apart from my neighbor, the closest one is still about 7 meters away, the otherside has no house for good 30 meters (back yard).
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
You can blame the windows, but that wouldn’t explain why you hear people showering in the next room
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Ottawa
The only loud noise I hear are lawnmowers.
Considering newer homes are practically airtight, they should be more sound proof than older leaky homes.
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Feb 25, 2004
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Longueuil
My house (1998) is definately less sound proof than the house of my parents (1980). When I moved in my house, one night I heard the neighbours in their backyard talking. I thought I forgot to close the windows and went to check and I didn't forget. It is much more air tight but it is terrible for sound isolation.
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Deal Addict
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Dec 29, 2008
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Windows are a key factor for outside noise, but isn't the only thing. I find the material used in our home is very cheap and extremely thin. Just because they use good insulation to keep the heat in doesn't mean it will provide better sound proofing.

Even with carpet in the bedrooms, the mirror on the dresser moves when walking. The subfloor is extremely thin and i suspect its the same on the outside framework.

Once the house dries out and settles a bit more I'm most likely going to seal the windows again, mostly for draft purposes.

I'm not too concerned about outside noise but rather noise between bedrooms is really annoying.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5587 posts
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BC
These observations suggest that interior drywall is less sound absorbent than it used to be. Looking this up, discontinued use of asbestos may be a factor.

If your home or work site was built from the 1950s through the 1980s, there is a very strong likelihood that asbestos is in the drywall.
It was added to drywall to make it more noise absorbent, improve fire resistant capabilities and to make the drywall stronger.
Even once it was no longer in common usage for new home and commercial construction, the drywall already in place was still there and still contains the toxic fiber.


I have noticed that current drywall seems to be less dense than it used to be.

Re. a home built in 1980 - that wasn't exactly a period when house building practices and materials were exemplary. So surprising it would be more sound-proof than a 1998 build.
Deal Addict
Mar 13, 2018
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xuanzh wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 9:23 am
why they design new homes to be less sound proof? These new houses look fantastic (like disney fairy land castle) but every morning I was waken by idling truck, or neighbor scraping their driveway with a shovel.

yes, internally I can hear other room's loud showering every night(master bedroom adjacent to her bathroom), it is so loud that I finally refrained her from showering after 10pm.
Bigger windows, windows are obviously less sound proof than brick

People like more and bigger windows for more natural light

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