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Do you get used to road noise?

(66 Posts)
irregularegular Mon 11-Jul-11 10:03:07

I went to view a beautiful house yesterday. Truly gorgeous. The oldest part dated from 1760, with later Georgian and Victorian extensions, and it was chock full of period features from the 18th Century though to the early 20th century. Tonnes and tonnes of space too. Beautiful half acre garden and fabulous views.

It was just the right kind of a renovation job too. The elderly couple living there have done so since the early 70s and amazingly didn't impose any 70s/80s hideousness on it. Everything is still there. Yes, it's very old fashioned and needs lots of work, but they actually seem to have maintained it pretty well, so it's perfectly habitable and you could do it up bit by bit.

So far, so good. I'd buy it like a shot IF it wasn't end on to a fairly busy road. There's no denying the road noise - and I realise that is the only reason we can afford it.

Where we are now is so quiet, DH won't even contemplate this road. He didn't even come and see it with me (there were diary clashes) but once I mentioned the road noise that was it. I, on the other hand, keep wondering if the trade off would be worth it, whether you'd get used to it. But he's probably right, isn't he? Sigh it is such a perfect house, otherwise.

piprabbit Mon 11-Jul-11 10:11:44

I can't comment on road noise, but I used to live right beside a railway line (embankment above roof level about 50m away).

We quickly got used to the noise of trains.

However BIL used to live near a busy road and never reconciled himself to it.

irregularegular Mon 11-Jul-11 10:16:39

Thanks piprabbit. We actually have some train noise now. I remember the first few days in the house, I was really aware of it and thought we'd made a big mistake, but now it doesn't bother me at all.

DH says roads are different though.

libelulle Mon 11-Jul-11 10:18:57

I think trains are different to cars - I live by a train line now and find the noise of trains quite comforting! But I grew up near a dual carriageway and I'm afraid that while I learned to tune it out, I never fully got used to the noise and it was a relief to move away. So personally I wouldn't do it, sorry!

irregularegular Mon 11-Jul-11 10:24:20

Thanks libelulle, you're probably right.

This isn't a dual carriageway - in fact it is a 30mph speed limit - but it is an A road and the house is right on it, albeit sideways on, with the front door opening onto the garden/drive.

I should never have looked, should I?

suzikettles Mon 11-Jul-11 10:31:29

Yes you do.

I remember the first night (or rather early morning) in my flat, weeping that I'd made the most horrendous mistake because it's on a very busy A road (city centre as well, lots of buses).

For about a week I woke up when the first buses started running in the morning and after that I didn't notice it any more.

piprabbit Mon 11-Jul-11 10:32:36

As the house doesn't face directly on to the road, are there any options for introducing planting to absorb sound, or if you are doing work to include some sound insulation?

Might be worthwhile investigating these sorts of options if you have fallen in love.

BuggerAllTheBestNamesAreTaken Mon 11-Jul-11 10:33:26

We moved from a quiet avenue to a busy 30mph road, we have buses every 5 minutes, emergency vehicles etc but the road goes so quiet after 11pm you could hear a pin drop!

We soon got used to the road noise and now never notice it.

Maybe visit the road at different times and see if it is only during the day that it's busy.

SybilBeddows Mon 11-Jul-11 10:45:49

I would buy it like a shot. The house I am in love with is pretty much exactly as you have described but is slightly too far away from dh's job sad

If you are after a nice old house, quite a high proportion are on main roads, so if you are prepared to make that compromise you increase your chances of getting one.

Anyway when fuel prices go through the roof there will be less traffic. <hopeful>

irregularegular Mon 11-Jul-11 10:57:13

This is the house btw, though the interior pictures do it no favours at all. It's far more charming than it looks (the local EA always takes terrible pictures!)

If you can be bothered, click on street view, then do a 180 degree turn, go forward a bit and it's the first house on the left with a white back and blue/grey end. You have to keep going and turn round to get a front view.

As you see, it is right on the road.

Yes, it's hideously expensive, but it's just a very expensive area. Believe me, this is a lot of house for the money round here. Our current house is worth nearly as much and it is a lot smaller.

MackerelOfFact Mon 11-Jul-11 10:59:32

You get used to the background traffic noise. I grew up in a house whose garden (and my bedroom) backed onto a main road. I never noticed the traffic. I now live on a busy high street, and again the normal traffic noise we can sleep through with the windows wide open. Not a problem.

What you don't get used to though are a) sirens, particularly if it's a through road to a hospital/police station/fire station, b) cars going past playing excessively loud music, or c) noisy speeding motorbikes. The first two are a massive problem where I live now (and they tend to get stuck in traffic right outside our flat so you can lose a good 30 seconds of the TV programme you're watching or conversation you're having because you can't hear it above the sirens) and speeding bikes were a problem at my parents' due to it being a long straight road.

It does depend on the road and the community though - here in SE London the sirens and loud music are pretty common.

piprabbit Mon 11-Jul-11 11:03:40

If I had the money I would buy that house like a shot - and bugger the road noise grin.

The master bedroom and drawing room are at the end of the house furthest from the road - and it's a big house.

I'm not sure I could live with the regret if I didn't follow it up...

SybilBeddows Mon 11-Jul-11 11:05:05

nice smile

I love the steppy bits in the garden.

suzikettles Mon 11-Jul-11 11:10:45

Ok. Well our housing expectations are so far apart that I don't think I can be of any use to you grin

Seriously, that looks completely fine to me, but like I say - I live in the middle of a huge city so I'm used to real traffic noise - not motorway levels but sirens/buses/lorries/blaring music/horns so this sort of thing would be a reduction in noise level to me. If you're used to complete silence though then it might irritate.

suzikettles Mon 11-Jul-11 11:11:23

(Beautiful house)

JumpJockey Mon 11-Jul-11 11:14:04

Steady road noise you can get used to - if it was lorries changing gear for a roundabout, ot a bus stop right outside your door, probably not. I grew up in a village house that fronted onto an A road with a 30 limit and while the odd person would stop and rev for no obvious reason, if they're steady it just becomes a buzz.

piprabbit Mon 11-Jul-11 11:15:17

<Fantasizes about using the Family room and 2nd Kitchen as a children's playroom with adjoining easily wipable messy play area>

Selks Mon 11-Jul-11 11:18:18

You do kind of get used to road noise in that generally speaking you don't notice it so much after a while, but roads can be pretty smelly and dusty too and I don't know if you really get used to living near that, with the pollution coming in open windows.
Also it's not just in the house that you need to think about; it's the use of the garden too.
It's a personal thing really. Some people will be able to live with it just fine. I've always struggled - it depresses me slightly.

irregularegular Mon 11-Jul-11 11:20:22

Thanks Suzi - I think the road is noisier than it looks on Streetview (if that makes any sense at all - maybe Streetview should start including video and sound effects!)

Thing is, obviously at that price it is a final, final house and a huge expense just to move, so one really doesn't want to get it wrong! If it was a starter home, there would be more scope for compromise. The thing I've discovered though, is however much you have to spend, it's never perfect. Though I also know that if someone looking at 1m houses when I was looking at 100k houses had told me that I wouldn't have been too impressed!

Selks Mon 11-Jul-11 11:21:00

Amazing house! envy
But I'd have thought that if you can afford that kind of budget you could find something wonderful away from busy roads.

Ephiny Mon 11-Jul-11 11:21:45

You do get used to it to some extent, but I think it can be quite stressful to have constant noise, and not very good for your health long-term. I suppose it depends on the individual though, and some people would be more stressed/irritated by noise than others. It would not be ideal for me.

One advantage of being on a busy road is you don't get the noise of kids screaming playing right outside your front windows...depends which kind of noise you find easier to tolerate...

share Mon 11-Jul-11 11:22:38

Yes. In a way it's kinda comforting in an - all's well with the world kinda way.

irregularegular Mon 11-Jul-11 11:25:00

Selks - you'd have thought so, wouldn't you? But we don't want to leave the village, which narrows things down a lot. There aren't many large, older houses and my heart isn't in a modern house. If this was in a quieter spot it would be more like 1.5, I suspect - which we don't have, even if the house existed (if you see what I mean!)

Ephiny Mon 11-Jul-11 11:25:21

Just had a look at the link - that is a gorgeous house and garden though! And it looks like a fairly quiet, rural-ish area. We live near an A road in London and have constant lorries, buses, sirens, loud music etc, that was more what I thought you meant. How bad can it be?

HelloKlitty Mon 11-Jul-11 11:27:03

You do yes...I live by a railway embankment and actuallythe noise lulls me to sleep!

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