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Is Your World Too Loud?

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James Pedicord


Do you have any of these noise issues that bug you in your home? I mean, REALLY bug you?
  •     Noisy neighbors
o   Are they REALLY rock stars or just wannabes?
o   Loud parties (that you weren’t invited to)
o   Loud cars / motorcycles (don’t they know about Midas?)
o   Really amazing sound systems with earth-shaking bass
o   Kids (not your own)
o   Barking dogs (not your own)
o   Lawn mowers and other equipment
o   Are they TRYING to come up with new ways to drive me up the wall?
  •   Noisy things in your own house
o   Kids (your own)
o   Barking dogs (your own)
o   TV
o   Radio/stereo
o   Game machines
o   Phones ringing (no I don’t want to take your &*^&#%$^^&&$ survey!)
o   Beeping notifications that ANOTHER Facebook friend has posted something (probably a cute kitty video)
o   Appliances: fridge, icemaker, dishwasher, range hood, washer, dryer
o   YOU know what else…
  •    Environmental noise
o   Street/highway noise
o   Airport noise
o   Railroad

You may not realize that excessive noise can create health issues, and can really be a serious problem for people with elevated sensitivities. Also, some things are not so annoying if they come at a “reasonable” time of day, but if you work nights and sleep days, you have a different definition. 



So, how can you keep noise from driving you crazy? You can block the problem with noise-cancelling headphones or you can try to blend white noise in with them so you don’t notice them so much. Then there are some noise-makers that you can control without any cost (like when you run the dishwasher), but other remedies will require varying degrees of effort (murder? Heavy artillery?).  
At the low end of the scale are do-it-yourself home improvement projects but there are others that only make sense if done in conjunction with a major renovation, remodeling or construction project. Some even save you money on heat and cooling at the same time they are helping reduce noise. At the high end cost-wise would be to move underground, but there aren’t many caves around here. 



Sending noisy kids to camp would be somewhere in the middle.

DIY efforts that will give the most bang for your buck:
  • Seal up holes and cracks. Noise will infiltrate even the slimmest gaps. Use flexible polyurethane or latex caulk to seal cracks and gaps around windows, doors and siding. 
  • Pack putty or squirt expanding foam around pipes and wires where they enter the house.
  • Tighten up existing door and window openings. Thoroughly weatherstrip all four sides of existing doors and windows.

Some construction details that can make a difference:
  • Heavy landscaping elements, trees, hedges, fences, walls
  • Electrical boxes back-to-back on opposite sides of a wall are a direct noise path (but really easy for the electrician to do)
  • Separated ductwork routing and register locations are a similar noise route
  • “Ordinary” wall construction vs double walls, staggered stud framing, and added soundproofing boards
  • Plumbing piping and fixtures – using larger pipe sizes and heavier cast iron drains instead of PVC, selecting quiet toilets and faucets
  • Double-pane windows or storm windows
  • Solid core doors and storm doors. 

My personal favorite though, is to let me find a new house for you in a quieter neighborhood, one that has incorporated sound-proofing measures, or can be upgraded more readily.





Please visit my website jimatthetop.com for a wealth of information and how-tos about buying and selling real estate, Houston area communities and neighborhoods, financing, mortgage resources and more. 




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Go to James Pedicord Blog
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®
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