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Acoustic qualities of a new space

(23 Posts)
shovetheholly Mon 26-Sep-16 10:00:41

This is a weird/specialist question - apologies.

As I keep telling anyone who will listen grin I am having an extension done next year.

The new space is going to be tall - around 4 metres high, with tall glass along the wall that faces the garden (no curtains). There will be a kitchen/living area (on different levels). Flooring in the living area will be tile, flooring in kitchen will be Amtico/Karndean. The external wall will have a huge bookcase lining it from floor to ceiling.

I am worried about the space sounding echoey because of all the hard surfaces. But then there are the books to soak it up a bit. Is there some way I can get some kind of sound engineer to model this in advance to see if it will be a problem? Or is that overkill and silly?

MuseumOfCurry Mon 26-Sep-16 10:28:36

Well that sounds amazingly cool shove.

I think your idea is probably overkill. The books will absorb a lot (I just removed about 200 books, so way less than yours will feature, from our cozy over the weekend to have some work done and it was so echo-y!) and you'll probably enjoy a bit of click-clack won't you?

shovetheholly Mon 26-Sep-16 10:42:19

grin I love that description "a bit of click clack". I guess it's the difference between a little bit of noisiness, and that kind of echo that you can get in rooms that are quite empty. I'm struggling to describe it (not great a physics!!) - sort of a 'buzz' that makes things feel cold, somehow.

I hope the books will 'soak up' and dampen down echoes! Maybe I need to see whether this is a problem before going to lots of expense to solve it?!

MuseumOfCurry Mon 26-Sep-16 11:44:29

I understand what you mean, but it sounds amazing. Will it have a full-height component as well?

bookbook Mon 26-Sep-16 11:49:47

Sounds lovely ! Trial and error should work - as it will depend on what else is in the area - so soft or hard furnishings in the living area will be a factor. The Amtico/Karndean will help, as there is a certain amount of sound absorption, but you may also need something on the tile floor , even if its just a small rug under a chair. One thing - if your washing machine/dishwasher are in that same space, choose very quiet ones, and allow that they will to a certain extent reverberate on the floor.

shovetheholly Mon 26-Sep-16 12:06:18

book - yes, I could just buy a rug couldn't I?? I've found when emptying rooms for decorating that it's surprisingly small things that make the difference between echoey and not!

I think I'm making far too much fuss about this. Am getting nervous about all the details and need to calm down!! grin

That is good advice about the dishwasher, thank you! (Washing machine will be in separate, tiny utility room that will double as a place to wash dirty allotment veg!!)

bookbook Mon 26-Sep-16 12:51:56

Its exciting - a place to wash dirty allotment veg -- I always seem to have little piles of dried mud on my utility room floor. smile
It maybe is linked also to how you want to use the space - and whether it is going to be that you spend the vast majority of your time there.
We collect paintings and I have a lot books so no minimalism here at all am envy at the floor to wall bookcases...

bookbook Mon 26-Sep-16 12:53:53

ooh forgot - check fridge and cooker extractor for decibels too. My DD took her fridge to her new house - open plan kitchen/dining/snug. Its the loudest thing in there..

shovetheholly Mon 26-Sep-16 13:13:37

I will definitely check the fridge - it hadn't occurred to me that they make a bit of a racket! I've had some good advice on another thread on here to be very careful with the extractor, so I will definitely pay attention to that as well. My new obsession appears to be decibel levels of household white goods. grin

I want one of those whooshy taps that you can wiggle about to hose down the sink. I seem to be perpetually wiping the mud from the veg off mine with a cloth and smearing it everywhere.

I am so impressed by the idea of a collection of paintings - how lovely to be surrounded by beautiful things. We have absolutely ridiculous numbers of books. I dread to think how many but it is well into the thousands. We are both as bad as each other, so I can't even blame DH.

bookbook Mon 26-Sep-16 13:47:16

I was a book dealer until last year as you may know smile I am down to the odd 5, 000 at home that are just mine really and have managed in the last week to finally dispose of the last of my business stock ( I had about 140,000 when I stopped last September) .
We love paintings - the walls are full. We have to be very disciplined now. If we both like a new one, we have to agree to take one down...grin

bookbook Mon 26-Sep-16 13:48:54

DD has one of those whooshy taps- it needs quite a big sink ( hers isn't very large - cue a lot of mopping up...)

shovetheholly Mon 26-Sep-16 14:02:07

I didn't know that! How absolutely wonderful!! 140,000 books is my idea of HEAVEN. I don't think we'll be able to fit that many even on the new shelves wink It must be difficult for you both to dispose of them. But I guess it means more time for the plot and the garden and other rewarding hobbies!!

The main reason we are doing the extension is I collect C18/early C19 stuff (though I don't have that much that is really valuable), and DH collects reconstruction plans and anything to do with architecture/ planning mid C20. But we are out of space everywhere else in the house. The fact that it's not possible to move in our tiny kitchen is a bit of a secondary issue to the crisis that we are starting to have to pile newly acquired books on the floor!! grin

Having a house full of pictures sounds so lovely.

bookbook Mon 26-Sep-16 19:18:37

Shelving could be interesting - no standard sizes!. I am always re-arranging mine when I buy a new one so that I can fit it in the right spot. You have to get quite inventive. I collect vintage cooking/gardening and crafts books ...

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 27-Sep-16 07:04:59

Adding thick cork to the rear of any canvas type big pictures can help absorb sounds too !

Add density where you can - sounds like more books could be key !!

shovetheholly Tue 27-Sep-16 08:46:16

book - that is the big issue, how to make something built-in (necessary because of the size/weight) but flexible so the shelves can be moved, as even with just the books we have so far, having moveable shelves has been vital so many times. We are working on a kind of pre-drilled holes idea at the moment, but it's not quite 'refined' yet!! wink

That's a great tip about cork oneplan. I hadn't thought of concealed absorptive materials!

bookbook Tue 27-Sep-16 10:09:03

Just a quick dip in as busy - but is it worth looking at
Hulsta hulsta
or Treske
we looked at them a few years ago, but didn't end up researching very deeply, so don't know if they do adjustable shelves
great idea about cork!

shovetheholly Tue 27-Sep-16 12:29:03

They are lovely, but our preliminary investigation has suggested they are £££. The architect reckons it'll be cheaper to design something and have it put together by a joiner. Am wondering about plywood - I quite like the look of it, though I know it's not to everyone's taste!!

bookbook Tue 27-Sep-16 22:41:09

They are ££££ ! In the end, we couldn't justify the cost either, but thought I would just link smile Plywood can be lovely , it is a real 'honest' sort of look I think - and the end grain showing the layers can be beautiful with a stain on them

shovetheholly Wed 28-Sep-16 08:09:43

Yes, that end grain is what I love so much about it! It should be strong enough, too, which is another factor. Until I found the Ikea Billy bookcases, bowing shelves were the bane of my life!

We are very much not doing a posh fit-out inside. We just don't have the cash and the house isn't really worth the money we are already going to be spending on the extension (but we like it, and we especially love our garden and neighbours, so it is worth it to us to stay). The kitchen is going to be Ikea's finest and friends are getting us a discount on flooring, and I think I'll probably do some of the easier interior work myself - hopefully we can all cobble something together that's passable. grin

bookbook Wed 28-Sep-16 10:14:06

sounds sensible to me - we tend to penny pinch where we can, and spend it where it is necessary to us.
we bought our kitchen flooring off ebay - (its was an amtico look alike, someone had bought too much, so what was left over)- It was a risk, but as my kitchen is quite small, we were prepared to take it, as it went relatively cheaply.
Nothing wrong with Ikea kitchens either. We put one in from when Ikea first set up in the UK- about 1986 I think. We kept it, just changing the doors and handles until about 5 years ago.
And we have always done most of the work, to save money. I just wish I hadn't chosen the corner cupboards I have now - they are a menace to me, wish I still had Ikea carousels smile

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 28-Sep-16 12:39:21

Things like split levels and kitchen islands will make a big difference too. It's not just whether the surfaces are hard or not.

shovetheholly Wed 28-Sep-16 12:43:47

It is split level whatsthecoming - kitchen is higher than the living area (and consequently there is a 'normal' space floor to ceiling, not a cavernous one!)

book - I'm glad to hear your Ikea kitchen lasted that long. This is the first kitchen I've ever done for myself - previously, I've always soldiered on with whatever was in situ (all of them a couple of decades old!). Am glad to hear yours lasted, as I really don't want to have to do it again for a very long time!! It's good to hear from people who did some of the labour themselves that it can be done - not having done it before, it seems very daunting. It's the 'hanging on wall' part that freaks me out - I actually enjoy flatpack!

bookbook Wed 28-Sep-16 13:06:10

We are lucky - DH was trained up by my lovely FiL who was a whizz at DIY from the early days. I am mostly the 'gofer' , but we do everything in our house just about- always have ( now doing the daughters when asked!) .
I did spend an amazing amount of time with graph paper and cut out bits of card ,moving units around to get the best layout for me. And I enjoyed helping my DD when she designed hers this year. Experience is a wonderful thing- you get to know what is feasible,and workable! Hanging on wall is not so bad, as long as you can stand on steps and hold it steady!

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