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Feeling like we've made a big, big mistake with our build...

11 years ago

After all these months of selling our house, moving to a rental, spending day after day agonizing over every decision of our dream house, I now think we've made a HUGE mistake. (And it's going to sound crazy...) Today I went over to the new house and I was stunned by how everyone was out in their yard and how I could hear EVERY kid, baby and dog barking on the street. Now I know you're thinking, "Uh, why didn't you notice this sort of thing before you decided to build there?" We bought our lot in October and we never saw excessive amounts of kids, or any neighbors for that matter, out all winter. Today was a gorgeous warm day and everyone was out in their yard. I have kids, and love children, but dogs were yapping, babies crying, parents saying, "Wave hello to our new neighbors!" it was crazy. We cleared our lot quite a bit in order to accommodate the house and a pool, but now I'm realizing we have no privacy whatsoever. Other than really increasing my landscaping budget and planting lots of privacy trees, what can I do to not to hear all these neighbors? This was going to be our forever house, but I'm a very private person. I don't want to have people always right outside my windows. (We thought since it's a 1.5 acre lot that there would be plenty of room, but now with all the clearing, it feels like a fish bowl.) Now I'm sick to my stomach, feeling like it's going to be grand central there. :(

This post was edited by southernmum on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 23:21

Comments (46)

  • carp123
    11 years ago

    i think you should take a deep breath and relax. spring has sprung and naturally people will flock outside when they've been cooped up for the winter. as summer comes most people will probably want to be in their air conditioned home.
    fast growing trees can be your best friend.

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  • kirkhall
    11 years ago

    And, you are the newbie! In a friendly neighborhood, they want to introduce themselves to you. After the newness wears off, they won't be flocking to get your attention either.

    Insulation will help tremendously.

  • Xclusive
    11 years ago

    I agree with you, this post does SOUND CRAZY! Just as you go outside when its nice outside and the weather breaks, what makes you think other people don't as well(Its been a long Winter)From your post, it at least sounds as if you have nice friendly neighbors. My suggestion to you

    1. Step back
    2. Get over yourself
    3. Enjoy the process

    Once its finally over and done I'm sure you will be happy!

    Just my .02 cents!


  • flgargoyle
    11 years ago

    Once the insulation and drywall are in, it will cut down on transmitted sound. The outside sheathing of a building doesn't do much to cut down on noise.

    You must be used to living on a much bigger piece of property. We have 7 acres, and it's still plenty noisy outside at times- barking dogs, chainsaws, gunfire, and roosters! There are just certain days where everybody seems to be out and about. Around here, spring just arrived, plus the kids are out of school.

  • worthy
    11 years ago

    I could hear EVERY kid, baby and dog barking on the street.

    Kids, babies and dogs. All barking. Hmmm... And the effrontery to address you as their future neighbour! (And the irony, knowing how you secretly loathe their kids, their dogs, their babies.)

    I lived in the Toledo State Hospital for nine months. Very calming. Very peaceful. No kids, no babies, no pets there. I know what you mean.

    Maybe a cabin in the wilderness far from the madding crowds?

    This post was edited by worthy on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 7:57

  • LuAnn_in_PA
    11 years ago

    Sound like the mistake was moving into a neighborhood... with those pesky neighbors hanging around and making noise.

  • doc8404
    11 years ago

    ". . . and we never saw excessive amounts of kids, or any neighbors for that matter"

    What pray tell is excessive? :)

    Yes, just relax and try to enjoy the process. It'll be okay.

    You're luckly you didn't live next door to me. On her bad days, my late wife would strip naked, stand in the driveway and howl at the moon. (Okay, the last part is a fabrication, but, sadly, the rest was true - the poor dear.)

    Best wishes,

  • mommyto4boys
    11 years ago

    Southernmum: I do understand what you are saying and I certainly hope it gets better for you! EVERYONE stresses about certain things while building a every stage. Fortunately, most of these things are minute little details and "we" don't notice them a year after we move in our new homes. Many stress over the exact shade of paint, is the extra 1/4" trim "right or wrong?!" The one piece of tile that isn't "perfect." ETC, ETC!!!! What seems silly to others might be a huge deal to someone building their dream home.

    You are just like others, trying to get your dream home..."PERFECT!" You have dreamed, planned & visualized yourself at your property and living in your dream home. Property has a huge thing to deal with our overall home & in the end many people might feel the land is even more important than the home.

    Privacy is more or less important to others too. I never understood (when I was in my late 20's) why MIL & FIL didn't like the neighbor kids over "every" time they went outside. I get it now:)

    I understand that you want a little piece of heaven and your own private oasis. Nothing wrong with that...we all want something different. Some people build little homes on 100 acres and some huge home on 1/4 acre.

    I also think that the neighbors are "outside" more because spring has sprung and they want to be friendly to the newbies. It most likely will settle down with time. Some neighbors are very close and become family and some barely speak to each other. The noise will certainly be much quieter when the house is completed.

    I really hope that this is a home you will be happy in forever. We built our last "forever" home on a wooded 1 1/2 acre and thought we'd be happy for life! We had so much room to each side, BUT...the way the homes were and our back yard neighbor ended up way too close. It really bothered us, but most people
    "thought we were crazy too." We have moved on and built on 8 acres and we are loving the property and home.

    Try to relax and enjoy the process of building your new home. Most likely the noise and everything will settle down. Be cordial to your neighbors and is good to get to know them never know when that will come in handy. If you have children, they will certainly want to have some playmates in the area. Then, set boundaries from the start as needed. again, I hope this works out and you are happy with your new home!!!

  • andry
    11 years ago

    In my neighborhood those first few days of really nice weather are like that. Everyone is just so excited to be OUT! Its a novelty. I'm not saying there will not be days like that, but it certainly won't be an everyday thing. Before we had kids we kind of felt the same way at times, but have learned that is the noise of a happy, involved neighborhood. I suffered a tragedy in the fall and I learned how very, very lucky I am to live in such a neighborhood. My kids are now part of that noise, and I'm grateful to be in a neighborhood that they have buddies and can just go out and play. So much so I bought another house in to live in while we build the new one! All within a couple of blocks!

    Embrace it - it sounds like a nice place.

  • DLM2000-GW
    11 years ago

    To say this is one of the more interesting threads I've read here is an understatement!! Doc & Worthy I would love to sit down with both of you over a drink - sounds like there are some 'stories' worth hearing.

    A 1.5 acre lot is a nice size but certainly no guarantee of seclusion, especially if it's in an existing neighborhood. If one of your primary expectations for your forever home was a sense of solitude, I'm sorry to say, you did blow it. Most people would probably enjoy the neighborhood you describe and I hope you can find a way to enjoy your home and create enough screening in your back yard to have what you want.

    Our next door neighbors who moved away last August (thank goodness) were like you - didn't want any interaction with neighbors, were offended when people out walking would stop and say hello and they called police for 'disturbing' neighborhood noise' - and they bought a house on a lot less than 1/2 acre!! I could be out in my garden and the wife next door would pull in their drive, into the garage and hit the button to close the door before she even shut off the car - that's how desperately she wanted to avoid any interaction and (as her husband told me) maintain her privacy. They put up an arborvitae hedge opposite our deck and felt better. What they didn't seem to realize is that although that offers great visual screening (they couldn't see me sitting outside reading) it offered no sound insulation. They'd stand in their yard less than 25 feet from me and have no idea I could hear every word they said. So do remember that when you create your private areas - just because you can't see your neighbors, they may still be there!!!

    Have to ask, do you think your children (and their friends assuming they are allowed over) won't make any noise when using your pool? Where is the pump for your pool going to be located - will you neighbors hear it? How about your AC unit(s) - are they placed so your neighbors won't hear them? It sounds as if you don't think your noise will be disruptive to anyone. Will you have landscapers with leaf blowers (in my personal opinion the WORST offender) and lawn mowers? We all make noise. It's a noisy world.

    This post was edited by dlm2000 on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 8:59

  • chicagoans
    11 years ago

    dlm makes some good comments about how we all make noise. In a neighborhood of wonderful friends, the one curmudgeon lives next door to me. He blew a gasket when DS's basketball went on his driveway, but has no problem running his leaf blower or snow blower any time of day or late on a school night. We all affect the neighborhood in one way or another.

    I personally love living in a neighborhood with close, friendly people -- they have been a lifesaver to me recently as my DH died of cancer -- but you clearly feel differently. Although it might not be in your nature, I'd advise that you smile and fake it at least for awhile so that your new neighbors accept you, and most important - your kids, as a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

    You may not feel like accepting invitations to coffees, happy hours, or BBQs, but you'll want your kids to be included in kid activities, right? I'd hate to see them left out because you are shuttered behind your privacy hedge trying to keep out noise. Who knows, maybe you'll meet some people who will become lifelong friends and your home will truly be your dream home.

    I hope it works out well for all of you.

  • boymom23
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    I like my new neighborhood -- I wouldn't have bought the lot if I didn't. And I do actually like socializing with people, regardless of how it may sound. What I don't like is hearing a person's "inside voice" total conversation from my porch, and hearing like four different dogs barking all at the same time. It's just a bit disappointing to realize this now, when I'm in the process of designing our pool area. And yes, I'm coming from a house that had four gorgeous acres of privacy. And no, I'm not oblivious to our own noise -- we can be loud. I'm just at a different stage in life, with kids that are older and will be going to college soon. We don't have crying babies or dogs at our house. I think the bottom line is that we just made a mistake on which lot bought. There were other lots left in the neighborhood but they were really steep. We tried to make the best decision, but didn't take into account all the noise from future neighbors. For those of you here truly trying to help, thank you, I appreciate the encouraging words. Mommyto4boys, I think you definitely get where I'm coming from! That's why I have a sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach: I think we will probably end up doing what you did. This probably won't be our last build after all, and that's a little sad for me.

  • dannie_gal
    11 years ago

    If you include a waterfall in your pool design, that will go a long way to drown out the sounds of the neighborhood when you're enjoying your backyard. Try to relax. Building is stressful and you are probably on edge these days. Once you get settled in things will calm down. Take a deep breath and try to look at the big picture. Many of us will all be at a place in our lives one day where we may long to hear the noises of everyday life.

  • boymom23
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Thanks, dannie_gal. Good idea about the waterfall! I'll discuss this with my pool builder. Yes, I'm sure I'll get used to it all, it's just a big change.

  • CamG
    11 years ago

    I'm sorry in advance for philosophizing.

    I suspect you are particularly sensitive to the noise because you had the idea that you would have an isolated haven. Relative to your expectations, it may be bad; but in absolute terms, it is surely not. Noise level decreases with distance, and you're on a 1.5 acre lot. In my neighborhood, in that same space as your lot, I have 6 houses, 7 dogs, 8 kids, and 6 lawn mowers (not to mention that I live two houses down from a busy street). From spring until fall, there is rarely a moment without an internal combustion engine or kid screaming. We can still relax on our deck because we don't expect silence. Yesterday I had 30 minutes of absolute bliss watching my son play in the rocks in our front yard, despite the incessant muffler-less motorcycles that every one of my neighbors apparently just unearthed for Spring. So, if I can be pretty happy here, surely you can be very happy in your far, far less noisy area.

    I don't mean to say that you're unreasonable for wanting silence; rather, that you don't NEED silence, and your belief that you do is what is making you unhappy. I think if you adjust your expectations, you will quickly notice that you love your area, even on the loudest of days.

    This post was edited by CamG on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 12:00

  • lolauren
    11 years ago

    I, like others, am guessing people were especially eager to be outside because of spring. Depending on your climate, you might have many months of quiet. I don't see my neighbors from October until March. :)

    I second what dannie_gal said. Put in a water fountain on your patio or a waterfall in your pool. If it's strong/loud enough, it will drown out a lot of that background noise. I have a small fountain on my patio (on a 1.5 acre lot,) and it dramatically changes what I can hear.

    You can also consider playing quiet music from your backyard while you're out there. Obviously, nothing loud enough that the neighbors put on their music louder.

    Next, figure out what your county rules are on noise transmission. I'm not suggesting that daytime noises should be reported, but find out what leverage you have at nighttime if those dogs are still barking. Whether noise violations are enforced well is another issue. My county is actually quite good, but my mom's is terrible.

    Finally, if you can put in a privacy fence and have the budget for it, it will certainly help give you a sense of privacy. (It might help with noise transmission a tiny amount, but not a lot.) I realize you want advice other than landscaping, but I don't think you have too many other options.

    Stop stressing about this for now. What's done is done. Live in the house for a while and get a sense for if it's something you can tolerate. Maybe after a few years, those kids will be teenagers who are never home....

  • boymom23
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Thanks, Cam. I'm sure you're right, and that I'll get used to it. Yesterday was just a bit of an eye-opener, and I felt upset with myself, that I'd not realized this before. Btw, I really like your writing style.

  • chicagoans
    11 years ago

    Depending on your climate, the trees may not have leafed out yet. It's possible that once trees are fully blossomed, some of the noise will carry less.

    I know you asked for ideas other than landscaping, but that may be your best long-term solution for muffling sound and gaining privacy. It might be worth asking a landscaper for a long term plan that you can add to incrementally over time. Or short term, maybe some tall, fast growing grasses can be placed strategically to provide a bit of screening. (Something without fluff or seed pods that will blow into your pool.)

    If you're concerned about sound while you're inside, you can google strategies for reducing noise. (Here's one article: While the walls are open you have more opportunity to put in additional insulation.

    Try to bear in mind that your construction is causing (or did cause) noise and traffic in this neighborhood. Although it won't last forever, it's several months worth of noise that may have caused your neighbors less-than-peaceful days both outdoors and in. (If you can hear a neighbor's conversation, it's a good bet that your neighbors could hear saws, hammers, and other construction noise, including some possibly colorful language.) I'm not saying this to be preachy but to try to provide a point of view that might help put the occassional barking dog or crying baby in perspective.

  • energy_rater_la
    11 years ago

    you get used to it, and inside you wont hear the racket.
    but outside....when school is out you'll hear it.
    I live in the country & life was good working in my
    yard...until the 'gotta shoot my gun every evening
    & play country music really loud' moved close to me.

    I like people, animals & some music..but don't feel
    safe when a 12 year old boy starts shooting 100 ft
    from my house. Being raised in a house with guns
    & learning to shoot at a very young age...I don't like
    guns in the hands of unsupervised kids. not a fan
    of guns in my older years...

    hopefully you'll adjust, build a fence to ensure privacy
    at the pool.

    I truly understand, not everyone is against kids or dogs
    we just want peace & quiet sometimes.
    like going out to eat with squalling baby at the table
    next to you. there is a thing called common courtesy
    and good manners.

    ok folks start the bashing....I know I'm in the minority
    here, having dogs instead of children.

    best of luck OP

  • zone4newby
    11 years ago

    I can relate-- it's hard to discover that an expectation wasn't realistic.

    We're building on 10 acres, and we still hear cars and kids and barking dogs... as much as I like privacy, I will be glad that we aren't so far out we can't easily run out for milk and my kids can have friends in the neighborhood.

    You will get used to the noise, and there's lots of upside to this! Really!

  • ILoveRed
    11 years ago

    I think some of you may be a little too hard on southernmum.

    There is nothing wrong with liking your privacy and feeling a little disappointed or surprised that there will not be as much as you thought there would be.

    As others have mentioned, it will quiet down after everyone gets over the excitement of not being cooped up anymore.

    You must have liked the property. Try to remember what drew you there in the first place and relax. Building a home is stressful.

  • autumn.4
    11 years ago

    southernmum-wow has this filled up since this morning! I totally get what you are saying. We currently live in a neighborhood that is comprised of .75 acre lots. So we aren't on top of each other but noise definitely carries and yes we can see our neighbors on their deck but can't really hear them if they are having a normal conversation. Admittedly we don't sit out there hardly ever but by the time the kids are in bed we are whipped and ready for bed ourselves! My husband refers to it as a fishbowl all the time but he grew up on 10 acres and I grew up in the city-very different perspectives on spacial boundaries.

    On to the eye opening visit you had - likely it is very much attributed to the nicer weather. For us - once spring comes everyone is eager to get outside and there is a noticable difference in activity and people and noise. As we see our neighbors again while working in the yard, walking, etc. we all remark at how much the kids have grown over the winter because it is like you are living in solitary confinement once the windchill and piles of snow hit! There is a marked difference and it is completely seasonal. After the isolation I think everyone is ready to say hi and get reaquainted with what has transpired over the winter. Plus you are the new neighbor so they want to say hi and greet you properly.

    I wouldn't completely discount your initial surprise as I know how different winter from summer is in our neighborhood. Hopefully once you settle in, even though It might be different than you were expecting you will adjust to it. I am a fairly private person also but am fine seeing neighbors out and about and everyone waves/acknowledges each other when passing by - friendly. Neighborhood living does have its perks as you grow to know and trust each other with kids running about or when you run out of vanilla or eggs while making cookies........ ;)

    I really think as far as intrusion goes it is neighbor specific. Like energy says - even in the country your peace can be shattered. We have one neighbor in particular that doesn't really have any boundaries per se or doesn't know when he has overstayed his welcome (dinner burning or getting cold, kids washed up and at the table and he is still chatting it up...). In general a nice guy and means well but just no clue as to when it's time to wrap it up and go home. Thankfully it does not happen often and it's just the one neighbor, most understand common courtesy. If they were all like that I would have jumped ship long ago!

    So, I can completely understand your apprehension - especially with it being your forever build.
    I wish you the best with your build and certainly there is so much energy that goes into it that this is just another 'thing' to stress about as you are analyzing every detail from beginning to end.

  • boymom23
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Thanks for the encouraging words! red_lover -- Yes, we've loved this lot for years, actually. It's a gorgeous neighborhood and there are super nice houses surrounding us. I know I will love it once we get in it! Thanks for understanding where I'm coming from. (And believe it or not, I'm an awesome neighbor and all my neighbors from previous homes still love us and stay in touch! Shocker, I know..!) energy rater, I can totally understand the concern for the guns. You definitely want someone to know what they're doing when shooting guns. And zone4newby, ENJOY those 10 acres; Nice!

  • sweet.reverie
    11 years ago

    Our rental is in a neighborhood and I had not lived in one since I was little- where we lived in the biggest one in our state (think 500-1000 tricker-treaters). I wanted to live in one before we bought land to rule it out.

    It was ruled out the first week! I do not like seeing people all the time. I hate when I am playing with my girls in the front lawn, my one neighbors comes over EVERY SINGLE TIME to chit chat. I don't like that they have a dog they let bark till 11pm, despite complaints and that it wakes my little one up from her nap all the time. I don't like my other really strange neighbors who have one of those real life fake infant dolls that they treat like a real child and take it for walks in a stroller and talk to it....

    Our land is 2.5 acres and has a wetland buffer all the way around. It also backs up to 7 acres. We are right near a school, I don't mind hearing kids playing at at recess, I actually love that sound :) I don't mind hearing the occasional dog. I am just beyond excited for people to me to abel to bother me while I am sitting on my new front porch.

    So I totally get where you are coming from and I expect I would feel the same way. If we had not experienced living in a neighborhood, we might have bought a lot in one thinking it would be fun.

    The waterfeature is a great idea! My parents live in Seattle and their house as quite a bit of freeway noise and their waterfall drowns all of it out! And I agree, you may have experienced the worst weekend of noise. :)

    Also, I agree you will now just have to let this go. You will be under so much stress building the house, you cannot worry about things you cannot change.

  • kellyeng
    11 years ago

    Consider yourself lucky that you found out now, while still building, how noisy your neighborhood can be. Now you can plan for landscaping and other privacy/noise abatements.

    Do you have empty lots next to you? Take this into consideration because who knows what/how your neighbors might build.

    My neighborhood has all 1 acre lots and of course, after our house was built with an outdoor shower on the side, a house was built as close to the property line as possible and angled towards our house! Side yard with shower is completely useless unless we want to be observed by our neighbors sitting on their very high deck. Privacy landscaping isn't growing fast enough!

  • brickeyee
    11 years ago

    If you do not want to see or hear ANY neighbors you should have thought more about 100s of acres and some heavy forest.

  • back2nd
    11 years ago

    I know where you're coming from. We live on 2.5 acres and hear EVERYTHING. It is super quiet in the country and we can hear the neighbor kids a 1/4 mile down the road, and any of the neighbors when they are outside talking, grilling, partying, whatever. In our development there are about 40 houses, and of the people on the 3 streets by us, all but about 2 have dogs, and they bark and bark and bark. You just get used to it. I really hated it at first, but now I don't even notice it. Sounds dumb I know. Even late at night if you go outside and just stand to look at the stars, you will hear a dog barking, but you have to tell yourself to listen for it!! LOL

    In the spring I cannot wait until all the leaves are on the trees, it makes it feel more private, even though the noise is still there. We have 4 neighbors that back up to us and 6 dogs! Across the way, 2 more dogs and the house directly across is grand central for all the kids. We have really grown to love our neighborhood as I'm sure you will, it will just take a little time. Good luck with your build - you will hear less once your house is enclosed and insulated and sheet rocked.

    The waterfall is a great idea. We used to have a stream in our back yard and the sound of the water running over the rocks really muffled the other noises.

  • LOTO
    11 years ago

    We just sold our home in a subdivision and are bulding new on 30 acres but our old home had a pool with several water features...they drowned out most noise if you are right by the pool but 50' or so away they I could hardly hear the waterfalls.
    The little cabin that Worthy included above might not be so quiet anymore as it is in Washington DC

  • kirkhall
    11 years ago

    I'm not sure if this was mentioned yet... But, if you have a lot of hard flat surfaces around your porch at the moment (or finally), they might reflect the noise right to you too.

    For example, hard dirt, no grass; hard patio all around the pool; hard sheathing on the side of the house (but not the final siding to introduce some "roughness"); etc. If you get some grass, some leaves to rustle in the breeze, and some pool noise, the relative sounds of the neighbor might adjust down.

    It is like turning up your radio to "hear" when you are rolling along at freeway speeds, but having to turn it "way down" when you park because it was way too loud. Your ears are tuned differently.

  • arch123
    11 years ago

    I agree with what my others have said above - it will calm down. However I often wonder about neighborhoods with 1 - 5 acres lots - some folks feel they are in the country and others are offended by somebody's horses. We lived in such a neighborhood around Houston and at one homeowner's meeting people were pulled out in handcuffs by the police. This was generated about front yard fencing.

  • lavender_lass
    11 years ago

    I like the idea of a waterfall by the pool. I think that will drown out a lot of the noise.

    Think of your building lot as an empty room. When you walk in and it's all glass with no curtains, rugs, furniture...everything echoes! Once you start adding those things into the room, they absorb a lot of the sound and it's much more enjoyable.

    The same is true outside. You don't have any walls yet and you have have very little to muffle the noise. Will you have a fence? Maybe some shrubs to help absorb some of the noise? You might even consider some outdoor speakers by the pool, so you can have some nice background noise that you want to hear...and it will be great for parties, too :)

  • niteshadepromises
    11 years ago

    I can certainly relate. I'm probably one of the more antisocial folks in our current neighborhood. Now having said that I have no problem chit chatting with neighbors. However we don't have kids, nor do we especially like them (theres a reason we don't have them). Therefore there isn't that common thread that draws us to our neighbors. Nor do we attend church with them sooo....we probably have the wrap many of the more snarky gardenwebbers gave "those neighbors" in their post. Especially because on a number of occasions I've had to chase kids off our property, due to anything from simply playing along a rockwall where they might break their necks and sue us, to throwing cobbles (we have rocks in our mowstrip, it draws the little buggers like flies to flypaper) at our siding.

    We live in an area where its the social norm to have a house full of kids. There is literally 30+ kids that pop off the school bus on our street alone. It is loud in the spring and summer. I notice it most when windows are open. Close the window and its quite manageable unless they are playing next door within a 10 ft range of the room I'm in, so I wouldn't fret yet. This house is not extremely well insulated either, tho we do have good windows.

    Along with the other suggestions folks have given, if you really need a quiet spot outside I'd plan somewhere you can enjoy after dark. A screened in porch or the like. Most children and neighbor noise goes away then and you can enjoy your daily peace and quiet. I find the night more relaxing than the daylight anyway, its when everything winds down. As for dog noise..well that can definitely be a hassle at all hours depending, and may lead to strife with your neighbors. It has for us and many folks I know. Not much you can do but what was suggested, call animal control or live in such a secluded spot that dogs can't be heard.

  • boymom23
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Kirkhall, that's very interesting. Yes, right now we have all hard surfaces. Can't wait until we have walls -- and esp. grass, leaves on the trees, water in the pool, etc. Glad to know this will help! Makes sense, kind of like adding drapes to windows in a room. Thank you!

  • ontariomom
    11 years ago


    We have gutted our house and added an addition. Now that we are living in the house without insulation and drywall I can't believe what we can hear through the walls, and yikes what the neighbours can hear from our home (there might have been the odd tense moment during this stressful build LOL). The house is in the same neighbourhood, but the noise level is amplified to the max. You will see an enormous difference once you have insulation and drywall. Don't worry and I am sure your kids will love all the neighbourhood friends.


  • worthy
    11 years ago

    The little cabin that Worthy included above might not be so quiet anymore as it is in Washington DC

    Ted, is that you??
    I long ago learned that the city can be quieter than the country when I bought a couple of country cottages on a pristine lake.The first weekend up, my gf and I went to bed at midnight, only to be awakened to the sound of all-night partying from across the lake: powerful speakers set up outside. Every weekend the same. No local constabulary. Besides, if you complained, your cottage was guaranteed to be trashed when you went back to the city. After the main culprit decapitated himself in a snowmobile accident, things calmed down. But the visions I had of his head rolling downhill in its helmet, and his girlfriend searching for bits of flesh afterwards, somehow took the fun out of cottaging.

    This post was edited by worthy on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 23:33

  • sanveann
    11 years ago

    I agree with those who said that things will calm down once the warm weather isn't such a novelty. My current neighborhood is like that the first few warm days, too. I agree that the waterfall idea sounds like a great idea to help drown out noise.

  • zippity1
    11 years ago

    we bought 4 acres in a subdivision where all the lots are over an acre up to 10 acres
    we also bought 45 trees with the 4 acres
    went out there Sunday afternoon and the blackbirds have arrived they were so loud we had to yell at each other to
    have conversation
    not so worried about people I am worried about the birds!!

  • chispa
    11 years ago

    We had some beautiful wetlands surrounding our previous house. After sunset, in the spring the frogs were so loud you couldn't hear anything else!

    In our current house, the coyotes have a yipping/howling party around midnight ... is there a noise ordinance to cover that!!!

  • ILoveCookie
    11 years ago

    I have one suggestion regarding privacy -- start planting lots and lots of fast-growing evergreen trees along your property line.

    We have two very long rows of tall green giants along two sides of our house. (The backyard leads to the deep woods so we don't need more trees in the back.) They grow really fast, and are supposed to get to about 40' tall. We have only 1 acre, but have great privacy due to the natural tree barriers.

    We are lucky because the previous owner planted all of them several years ago. The trees were planted very close to each other (intentionally), perhaps only 2-3 feet apart. Now that they are tall (about 18') and dense, we get to enjoy the privacy. It's not perfect, but I don't think it can be much better.

    This post was edited by ILoveCookie on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 15:04

  • boymom23
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    ILoveCookie, thanks so much for the input! Your yard sounds nice and private. Yes, I think we should get to planting asap! And Chispa, I think I'll take crying babies over the coyotes! (However, I do really think we have coyotes around here, too!) I just don't want to run into any!

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    11 years ago

    First of all, you will get used to the noise. I'd visit Mom in FL whose house was a half mile away from the train tracks and the first day, I'd hear every train, but after that, hardly ever.

    Second, I think you need to get to know your neighbors...sounds like they are friendly types which is a good thing.

    I grew up in the country surrounded by lots and lots of land and few children because there were few houses. When I married and moved to an acre lot, it was terrible for awhile....all the traffic, the kids, the dogs, the mowers... Then I got to know my neighbors. And trust me, the chain saw isn't so loud when it's good neighbor Tim doing the sawing and you don't mind asking John if he could not mow on Saturday as you're planning on a memorial service for your Dad with lots of people coming.... And neighbors can be a great help, like when your snow blower breaks or when you need someone to feed the cat. I know our neighbor was glad for us when the house next to her's caught fire and the firemen wouldn't let her go home that night, so she spent the night with us.

    Every lifestyle has it's plusses and minuses. Change your perspective, seek the good, and then see where you're at. You may be surprised.

    BTW, we are now back home on 11 acres, but the area is so much more built up than when I was a kid. Even on our 11 acres though, I know when Bill is sawing or Jimmy is running his back hoe or when Norma is out mowing, or when Jessica's kids are playing with their dog. It's comforting.

  • Houseofsticks
    11 years ago

    I read many of these posts, some with a smile, I didn't see mention as to the elevation. We are on a hill and substantially higher than our neighbors. We can hear everything. If you are in the street having a conversation, yes we are listening;). We have 1.5 acres as well, but it is heavily wooded. I find hanging ferns on the porch help to visually insulate as well as soften sound. Good luck and reserve your outrage until all the softening agents are in place. You may be one of the only pool builds and have people wanting invites but it will be apparent after a little while that your home is an island:)

  • peegee
    11 years ago

    Hello all - (first time here - can't believe I've somehow missed this forum) My daughter lives on several wooded acres that abut a busy highway; to minimize the sound indoors that is still quite loud, she is using the very expensive, thicker sheetrock called Quiet Rock - was not easy to locate in her area, but the sound is substantially reduced in the LR she recently finished, and she plans to use it in the rest of her 1st floor reno. Can't remember the cost but was significantly higher; she feels it was $ well spent for her quality of life. Also agree on a water feature and get evergreens in appropriate perimeter areas. I would have the same response to the experience of unexpected levels of neighborhood noise, as although social, I highly prize privacy and have a sort of low tolerance for a lot of neighborhood noise like yelling, loud radios, etc., although lawn mowers and like in reasonable hours never bother me. I hope others are right about the noise levels because it's an early spring day, and don't mean to be pessimistic, but it is also possible this is a taste of what you will be my area it get's worse, not better as the summer progresses, so I am happy for you that you are not wasting time in getting ideas to help improve your life quality. Good luck! I hope you add to the post over time to update, as this is interesting! -Penny G.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    11 years ago

    If you want to keep your house quiet, use spray foam insulation...ours is closed cell and it's so quiet, we don't even know when the delivery guy delivers a package unless the doorbell rings.

  • wvmama
    10 years ago

    I think southernmum was looking for some reassurance or solutions with this thread. But instead, a few of you felt the need to be rude and critical. All I can say, glad I don't have them for neighbors! And southernmum, hope it all works out for ya!