If you're planning to work with a custom home builder to build the house of your dreams, step back a bit and see how much soundproofing your plans have. Your home may have a lot of space around it, but exterior noise isn't the only noise you need to deal with. Interior noise can be just as bothersome. When you have a custom home builder create a plan for you, however, you can address potential noise from the start. The result is a quieter, happier home.
Remember Interior Walls
Dual-pane windows and better external wall insulation go a long way toward cutting down on noise from the neighbors. However, the walls inside the home also need noise insulation. Do you really want to hear everything going on in the bedroom next to yours? No, you don't — and you need to ensure that the walls between the rooms will block out most, if not all, of the noise.
Heck, Be Sure There Are Walls
A lot of modern homes have an open plan, with huge great rooms that take up much of the house showing up in a lot of models. You need to be sure that these huge spaces don't allow sounds from one end of the house to be heard at the other end. There's no reason for the upstairs bedroom over the garage to get noise from the kitchen downstairs at the other end of the house. You may want to look at plans that have more interior walls instead of those two-story, vaulted-ceiling great rooms.
You Need Soft Features
When you decorate the house, your furniture will help dampen echoes around the place, but you also need soft, room-filling features like carpets in some areas. If you really like hardwood floors, be sure you get rugs for each room. The echoes will be almost unbearable if you do not have soft furniture and soft features in each room.
Don't Forget Pipe Noise
Many plumbing systems use PVC pipes now instead of cast iron. These PVC pipes are often very noisy, with the sound of toilets flushing or showers running broadcasting around the house. If you use PVC plumbing pipes — after all, they are much cheaper than cast iron — ask the builder to add restraints and insulation to muffle the sound of the water.
Soundproofing a house does not have to be difficult, especially if you can do it when the house is still being built. Don't assume everyone in the house will be quiet enough to satisfy your need for peace; be sure everything is insulated properly.