House construction & detached vs semi/terraced

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Not sure if DIYnot is the best place for this question but I can't think where else to ask, so here goes... I'm hoping someone in the building trade or just experienced in these things can offer some general advice when it comes different house constructions.

To give a bit of background - for one reason or another, I have mostly lived in detached properties so haven't had to worry too much about direct noise transmission, party walls and so on. However, as a family we are now expecting to move in the next year or so to a more expensive area (school catchment issue) and most of the property in our price range is likely to be semi-detached or terraced.

Unfortunately I am a light sleeper (and don't get on that well with ear plugs), so the first concern I have is over potential noise when sharing a wall with a neighbour. I appreciate each house is different, but wondered if there are any general rules of thumb, like beware houses built between X and Y dates or by certain builders because the sound insulation was usually poor. Our current Barratt house was built mid-nineties and internal soundproofing isn't great, but I suspect isn't as bad as some.

I'd also appreciate any other relevant tips on adjoined properties vs detached, and more generally on any characteristics to be aware of when looking at homes of any particular era... whilst we'd love a property with bags of character, it's ultimately more important in our case to have something that is reasonably low-maintenance. Again, maybe there's too much variation out there for anyone to really be able to say, but I thought it worth asking the question (the area we're looking at is in Yorkshire, in case that makes any difference).

Lastly, I'm also wondering if there are any common themes with new builds these days, again on the noise front but also any particular modern construction practices to be aware of - good or bad - which may influence our decision on whether to consider a new build (I remember how a friend bought a new home and drilled into the wall, unaware that the pipes are not only plastic and therefore not picked up by a pipe detector, but also run diagonally across the wall so unfortunately he was unlucky enough to drill just at the wrong point!). I tend to be wary of brand new housing given some of the quality and snagging nightmares I've heard about, but I don't think we could or should rule out the idea completely.

My next preoccupation is the state of the housing market as it seems way overheated just now (and predicted by some to continue that way even after stamp duty returns to normal) but that's probably a whole other debate for another day!

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
 
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Lots of variables that it’s hard to say without seeing a particular property.

All I’d suggest is look at the connected neighbours’ property carefully. A dozen cars on the drive, kids toys in the garden, etc? Can give hints. You might think a little old lady next door is great, but noise goes both ways so, you might be the ones getting complained about.

Look at layouts. A ‘doors together’ semi will keep the main living/sleeping rooms away from each other, so can reduce the risk of disturbances.
 
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The biggest, and possibly the only factor is the neighbours. Get some nice considerate neighbours and life can be great, get some selfish gits and you've had it for sure. But not only that, it can be some innocuous thing like laminate flooring or a sub-woofer up against the party wall and you'll know about it.
 
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The biggest, and possibly the only factor is the neighbours. Get some nice considerate neighbours and life can be great, get some selfish gits and you've had it for sure. But not only that, it can be some innocuous thing like laminate flooring or a sub-woofer up against the party wall and you'll know about it.

Argh, yes, and even with good neighbours, there's always that possibility they may up and leave and be replaced by someone very different (always a risk, but so much more acute when sharing a wall...).
 
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