What era property is best for lack of noise?

(39 Posts)
FingersXrossed Fri 30-Oct-20 10:51:17

We're renting until I buy somewhere new.

It's way better than my old flat (godawful upstairs neighbour) but still noisy at times.

Downstairs neighbours are elderly and have visitors every day. Fair enough but the volume really goes up. I can hear what they're saying as I'm working. The old guy was just singing a song and they frequently slam doors. The other neighbour through the wall is very loud and sweary but it's not even a muffled voice you can hear every word as you're sitting on the sofa.

Husband has lived in 3 countries where detached homes are common/the norm. He's very noise sensitive too so keeps going on about the neighbours noise.

I am buying without him going on the mortgage as he's not a permanent resident or citizen. Can't afford detached so will either go for a semi or end terrace.

But what era is best or worst for noise transmission? Or is it down to building materials and insulation? It would be good to rule some homes out when we're looking.

My parents have a pre war semi and you can hear next door's dog barking or the grandkid shrieking when he's over but that's it. A friend lives in a flat similar to this one but says she hears nothing from her neighbours. She asked downstairs if they heard her DC and they said no. So I'm not sure what to think.


OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Fri 30-Oct-20 10:55:02

I found a new build flat super quiet. Victorian flat was the worst as you could hear neighbours speaking.

I now lived in a detached house and it’s fab.

Toddlerteaplease Fri 30-Oct-20 11:39:22

My house is a 25 year old mid terrace. I barely hear a thing.

Wildwood6 Fri 30-Oct-20 12:27:16

I lived in a new build flat for a while and I was surprised at how quiet it was. New standards for Building Regulations with regards to Sound (known as Building Regulations Part E) were introduced in 2003, anything built after that should have fairly decent sound insulation. Other than that its luck of the draw, unless you're able to buy something detached. I've moved house a fair bit and have lived in Victorian and Edwardian properties that have been both fabulous and awful for sound proofing. Apparently it depends on how the individual builder at the time constructed the walls, how good the mortar was, etc.

justchecking1 Fri 30-Oct-20 12:38:17

If you don't mind losing 6 inches off the room lengths of rooms with party walls, you can stick up an extra stud wall and fill the cavity with sound proofing. Doesn't work out hugely expensive as long as you're not having to move kitchen cabinets, etc.

TaleOfTheContinents Fri 30-Oct-20 13:01:25

We were worried about this and did a lot of research around it. It seems like it differs from house to house rather than the era it was built.

So we did our 2 viewings on a Saturday morning and after work when we thought the neighbours were likely to be home and listened carefully for noise in the rooms along our shared wall. You could also look at the floor plans and try to go for something where your kitchen has a shared wall but your living room doesn't, or your kids' bedroom has a shared wall but not yours.

We were lucky to find a converted semi-detached bungalow, which means only 2 of our 5 downstairs rooms have a shared wall and the upstairs conversion is completely separate - is that an option?

FingersXrossed Fri 30-Oct-20 22:35:12

Thanks everyone. Yes it seems it might be a house to house/materials used thing...

I didn't know that about the sound regulations. I think the newest property we've viewed to date was from the 90s. We're seeing one tomorrow built in the 70s. Hard to tell until you're actually living in a place I think - never heard any noise from any of the places we viewed apart from one where the adjoining neighbour's dog barked very loudly the entire viewing. Could hear it all through the house shock

OP’s posts: |


Utterlybutterly8 Fri 30-Oct-20 22:54:43

I’ve lived in modern and Victorian housing where I could hear my neighbours. However, our current place (semi-detached Edwardian) is really brilliant in terms of soundproofing - we hardly ever hear next door.

Honestly though, I don’t think there’s one particular “era” that’s better or worse than another - some people will say their Victorian houses are 100% soundproof whilst others in Victorian properties will say they can hear every word from their neighbours. I think it’s basically just luck of the draw.

Blue5238 Fri 30-Oct-20 23:13:18

Some of it is house layout too. We are in a victorian end terrace with adjoining halls and hear next to nothing as so few common walls

Porridgeoat Fri 30-Oct-20 23:15:55


safariboot Fri 30-Oct-20 23:22:17

I'm in a Victorian terrace. I'd say we only hear the neighbours if a) They're being kind of noisy and have their windows open (or are being noisy outside), b) They're having a real kick off fight, c) The vacuum banging into the skirting, and d) DIY/construction work.

EdgeOfACoin Sat 31-Oct-20 05:35:42

I'm currently in a 1980s ex-council flat. It genuinely looks really nice from the outside.

But we can hear everything. Neighbours turning their light switches on. We can hear our neighbours using the toilet and we know exactly what they are doing on the toilet. I'm almost certain that the only walls separating us and them are stud walls.

I grew up in an Edwardian terrace. It was nowhere near that bad, noise-wise.

I understand that '60s council properties are better made, though uglier to look at.

We're in the process of moving. Ensuring peace and quiet is a priority.

KarlKennedysDurianFruit Sat 31-Oct-20 06:37:32

I had a new build flat and could hear every footstep from neighbours, we now have an Edwardian semi hallway/stairs adjoining, bathroom adjoining and smaller front bedroom, which for us is DSs room and next door is a study, we hear nothing. It does have down sides because our 86 year old neighbour had a fall in lockdown and couldn't get up to get to the phone, she was on the floor for two days. We thought nothing of not seeing her as she was shielding and we'd seen her in the garden the morning before her fall. It was only when her daughter couldn't reach her she came round, couldn't get in because she had all the deadbolts on, the fire brigade had to remove the door to get to her

JoJoSM2 Sat 31-Oct-20 07:33:54

That’s helpful that the dog was in. Presumably, it’d get used to new neighbours and shut up eventually.

With regards to soundproofing, you could even just add a soundproofing plasterboard to party walls without losing too much room and that’d make a bit of a difference.

user1471538283 Sat 31-Oct-20 09:10:10

I've lived in terraces and converted houses most of my adult life and there was no noise. Our last house was a 1920s terrace and I soundproofed it when new neighbours moved it and it was great. I'm hall to hall in a 1930s now and it's quite good. A friend has a new build flat and you cannot hear a thing!

Billericaydicky Sat 31-Oct-20 09:17:47

Our semi is 1998, our living rooms, bedrooms and stairs are adjoining. We very rarely hear anything.

MirandaMarple Sat 31-Oct-20 14:59:52

I've lived in a 1920s semi, minimal noise.

Rented a new build detached for a few months, noisy as hell. Never felt private.

Now live in 1700s 3 storey cottage and I can't hear anything, even when people are in the next rooms/shower. The walls are very thick.

MoirasRoses Sat 31-Oct-20 15:04:53

I live in a 15 year old house. Don’t hear a peep from the neighbours at all. And I mean literally nothing. I was surprised to be honest as I expected some noise. I almost bought my Grandparents 1920’s terrace but I actually decided not too as I knew you could hear every little thing through the walls. Telly, talking, music! 🙈

My parents 1930’s house is pretty sound proof as well.

Blueuggboots Sat 31-Oct-20 15:13:31

Our house was built in 1862 and I can't hear what my son is saying to my unless he's in the same room.
I can hear the neighbours laughing at the TV sometimes though as their sitting room backs onto ours.

IcedLimes Sat 31-Oct-20 15:17:00

I grew up in a 30s semi and could really hear a lot. Eg. The TV/talking. Now in Victorian end terrace and the walls are thick so i hear very little. (Have had a family grow from babies to teens next door)

lubeybooby Sat 31-Oct-20 15:19:46

I'm not sure but I've lived in an 80's build flat, a victorian mid terrace, an 80s mid terrace and now a 70's build detached

The 80's flat was brilliant, barely ever heard anything

Victorian mid terrace, awful. Might as well have all lived together. Walls were pointless.

80's mid terrace was ok, heard a few things but nothing hugely annoying even when they had building work

Detached is without a doubt the quietest but if I had to have a flat or mid terrace again I'd go for 80's

Amijustagrump Sat 31-Oct-20 15:20:04

Ours is a 1970s which is okay for sound proofing however you can easily hear loud music/shouts. Day to day living is okay though!

Changethetoner Sat 31-Oct-20 15:24:00

I once rented a flat in a Victorian tenement, and I swear you could hear the tinkling of teaspoons when they stirred their tea. Awful noise travel, not helped by the odd-hours the neighbours worked.

NotMeNoNo Sat 31-Oct-20 15:36:37

You might get lucky and find a small/odd detached house. Otherwise look for big enough rooms to add a soundproofing layer?

Puffykins Sat 31-Oct-20 17:09:25

I live in a 70s concrete brutalist block and we literally never hear our neighbours. Apparently they never hear us either and the children did ballet all through lockdown, and one plays the clarinet and the other the recorder.

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