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which period semis have the best soundproofing / thicker walls?

(11 Posts)
beaglesaresweet Sun 08-Dec-13 01:10:39

I've only ever lived in Victorian/Edwardian flats, but now hoping to move to a house, and budget wise, more likely to get a 30s or later house.

I have no experience of them, or living in any semi-, but going by MN threads, the neighbours can a nightmare, that every cough can be heard! shock I thought I'd be getting away from it after being in flats with upstairs neighbours )which i really don't enjoy as insulation isn;t great in conversions).

So what is he best bet? sounds like it's 30s houses, or are they worse than victorian? thank you!

GuinevereOfTheRoyalCourt Sun 08-Dec-13 08:23:15

I don't think there is a cut and dry rule for this. Apart from houses built in the last 10 years, which have to comply to building regs relating to sound insulation, it will simply come down to the quality of the build.

The best way to guess at the build quality is to consider who the house was originally built for. Regardless of its current relative value, if it was originally a pauper's cottage then it's much more likely to have been built on the cheap.

60s and 70s builds are perhaps the most notorious for thin walls. However, I live in a 70s terrace, and although it isn't brilliant, it's actually better than some of the Victorian and 30s houses I've stayed in.

It's also worth thinking about which and how many rooms are along the party wall. Halls adjoining is often preferable as you don't usually want to sit quietly in your hall and thus won't notice any noise coming through.

BrownSauceSandwich Sun 08-Dec-13 09:14:02

Totally agree with guin... I've lived in victorian terraces with good, and some with terrible sound insulation, a victorian semi where it felt like the next door neighbours were in the same room as us and, currently, a 1930s semi, which is ok, but by no means perfect. If you're sensitive to noise, look for edwardian "front doors together" style houses, which tend to have the living rooms at least away from the party wall.

imme Sun 08-Dec-13 09:34:26

We live in a terraced house that was built some time in the 1920s according to our surveyor and the walls are very solid. I only hear our neighbours coughing when we all have the windows open. You do sometimes hear a little bit through the walls but it's by no means intrusive. It probably all depends on the individual houses.

lade Sun 08-Dec-13 10:13:06

My parents live in a 1950s semi. They have a quiet neighbour so you don't hear much, but I remember rah you could hear loud stuff. Living rooms were attached.

I had a 1960s end terraced, that had adjoining halls, so you didn't hear much, just stomping up the stairs by the teenager occasionally.

I'm now in an end terraced built in 1990, and have never heard our neighbours, but that is because of the layout - we're two storey and our neighbours are in a three storey house. So, due to layouts, we're not often on the same floor at the same time.

My conclusion - I think layout counts for a lot!

beaglesaresweet Sun 08-Dec-13 17:47:21

thank you all very much! No clear cut answer, as I can see.
I do know about halls adjoining, but this does narrow the choice a lot.

imme sounds like the 20s is good, but did you have additional clues to the fact that the walls aer very thick? is it obvious from outside (extra width?) - as others say probably the period of the house isn't always the only thing to go by.
Guin yes interesting angle re who was it built for. I don't really like small cottages with front door into reception anyway (or very narrow living room) but in suburbs of London ( mainly 30s) and counties like Herts with the garden cities, not sure - were they built for middle income people hence ok quality? These houses tend to be cheaper now than Vict/Edw.
lade, do you like living in a new built? they do seem dar and low ceilinged usually when looking on rightmove.

beaglesaresweet Sun 08-Dec-13 17:47:49

dark, in last sentence.

ElsieMc Mon 09-Dec-13 14:28:13

Worst semi we lived in was a thirties bay windowed semi where we could even hear the neighbour's phone messages which she often played at gone midnight. When I asked her to keep the noise down late at night, she said I couldn't possibly hear - until I relayed back to her her messages. She looked really shocked.

Our seventies semi was a bit better. You could hear really loud rows (and there were plenty) but not day to day noise.

Best was an old terraced cottage with really thick walls. Just as well as next door played the trumpet out of the window and that was the only time we heard it. The trade off was that it was rather dark, but that didn't particular bother me.

Pooka Mon 09-Dec-13 14:31:37

I live in an Edwardian semi. Is halls adjoining, which helps. But even in the adjoining rooms, we never hear next door at all. Sometimes hear if their dog is barking in their hall.

Weirdly, can occasionally hear plugs being taken out of sockets.

But can't hear even muffled conversation or music.

beaglesaresweet Mon 09-Dec-13 18:01:26

well, sounds like Edwardian is best - sadly they tend to be te most expensive due to room sizes (which I love) <sigh>

played the trumpet out of the window hilarious grin, they obviously wanted to perform to the passers-by.

janmoomoo Mon 23-Dec-13 20:55:27

The layout of the house is probably more important. I have lived in quite a few victorian houses. The best ones are where halls are adjoining. That gives you a bit of a buffer between your main living areas. My last house had no hall, just front door into lounge, and we could hear our neighbours every move. This house is a semi with halls adjoining, we hear them going in and out but otherwise no noise problems at all. Which is a blessed relief.

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