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Remodeling Tips to Reduce Noise in the Home

05/01/14 6:07 AM

whisper quiet

We want peace and quiet to relax, but with homes built closer together, increases in street and air traffic, and the addition
of more household appliances, we may not find our home to be an escape! There’s nothing worse than looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday, only to be awakened by the neighbor firing up lawn equipment. What can be done?
Thankfully there are many home improvement products designed to lessen noise you may want to specify when home remodeling.

Windows are one of the biggest culprits in conducting sound coming from outside. Windows have a Sound Transmission Class (STC) Rating to measure their conductivity. A single pane window has a STC Rating of 26, which is about the same an un-insulated interior wall or hollow core doors. Compare that with a typical frame constructed exterior wall that usually rates between 40-42. A home improvement remodeling project of installing dual pane efficient windows will really make a difference.

A good quality dual pane window with multiple glazing layers and gas fills with an STC rating in the high 30’s should be sufficient for most locations. There are windows made that help for those in the path of an airport runway with a STC Rating close to 50. Since sound travels linearly, so you only need to upgrade to a higher STC Rating on the windows that face a source of noise.

praying woman Do you want to minimize the sound coming from an adjacent bathroom or a bedroom? Install solid core doors, and 5/8 inch sheetrock which can have a STC rating from 50-60 depending on installation. Here is an impressive video demonstration on the difference home remodeling to lessen sound can make!


Here are some more home improvement remodeling tips to help lower noise levels in the home:


  • Seal the building envelope which will eliminate sound as well as air leakage. Common problem areas are around receptacles, switches and doors.
  • Either have a media room that can be closed to not carry the sound throughout the house, or have your own quiet sitting room to go to if you want quiet place to carry on a conversation, read, pray, or write while others are watching tv or entertaining their friends.home theater
  • Use energy efficient appliances that will run less, and run quiet.
  • Install quiet exhaust fans and range hood.
  • Have the right size heating and cooling system for your home so it runs less because of its efficiency.
  • Have adequate fabric surfaces to absorb sound throughout the house such as padded carpet, drapes, rugs, and upholstered furniture.


Make it so your can hear yourself whisper, “There’s no place like home!”

Happy Home Remodeling!

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