Why is My House so Loud and Echoey?

Your new house comes with high expectations. But when it sounds loud or when it feels echoey you might think there’s something wrong with it. In most cases, there is.

A house is loud due to its thin walls, room arrangement, lack of soft furnishing, and due to having open floor design. The more furnishing you have the less echoey a house is. However, a home still has plenty of echoes if it has built-in air vents.

Having a loud home might seem intimidating. Some people don’t want to live in homes that are loud as they can seem a bit off-putting. The problem with loud houses is that they’re typically new homes, which cannot simply be abandoned.

9 Reasons Why Your House is so Loud

Loud homes have very clear reasons for their echoey nature. Your home might be loud due to one or multiple of the following reasons.

9. Poor insulation

Poor home insulation is one of the main reasons a home is loud. Insulation has a thermal barrier role. But it also reduces the vibrating effect of walls whenever sounds hit them. The thicker the insulation the less likely a home is to be loud or echoey.

8. Uneven flooring

Uneven floors can be a sign of a serious issue. However, uneven floors or even open slabs of wood flooring or tile can lead to improper noise insulation between the floors. It’s best to check the flooring, especially on the upper floor to see if it’s in a good condition if you think your home is loud.

7. Thin walls

Thin walls are common today. Most builders will choose the minimum thickness required by the building code to save money. Thin walls don’t do good sound insulation. They can even amplify sounds if they aren’t properly installed as well.

6. Cheap down attic stair

Down attic stairs are sometimes known to allow sound to make it into the attic. If they aren’t sealed properly when closed, these types of stairs allow sound to travel through the entire attic.

Whenever you speak under these stairs the sound might travel to another room or the entire upper floor through the attic.

5. A lack of furnishings

Minimalist furniture is a real thing. However, minimalist furniture also makes your home feel empty and it doesn’t cover up the walls as well.

Smaller furniture doesn’t prevent sound from bouncing off the walls. This is why you want to add a bit more furniture in the loud areas of your home.

Soft furnishings such as sofas and armchairs are particularly good at dampening sounds. Make sure to add a few soft furnishings to each room of your house.

4. Air vents

Air vents are known for carrying sound. Unless you cover them up completely you’re bound to have sound traveling through them at alarming levels.

Furthermore, depending on their design, air vents can amplify sounds easily.

3. The arrangement of your rooms

How are your rooms designed? Are they situated close by or are they separated by hallways? The way a house is designed is crucial for sound insulation.

The more rooms you have the less noise will be able to travel from one room to another.

Furthermore, a living room that’s in the center of the house is going to make the entire home feel loud and echoey as the sound you make while talking or listening to TV travels easily from a central point.

A living room that’s located in a corner of the house is going to propagate less noise. At the same time, living spaces that aren’t separated by thick walls from the immediate rooms are also going to feel quite loud.

2. Wall materials

What materials are your walls made from? Timber framing walls are going to be the loudest no matter how much insulation you add. European-style brick walls are going to dampen sounds the best.

One of the techniques used to limit walking sounds whenever new floors are laid includes leaving a small gap between the final top portion of the floor and the wall. This eliminates vibrations being transmitted to the wall and in return, this reduces the noise levels inside the house.

1. Open floor design

By far, the biggest problem that makes your house sound loud is an open floor design. Wide-open spaces allow sound to travel without physical barriers.

A kitchen and a living room in an open floor design are going to be places where the home feels the loudest.

Furthermore, there are apartments and homes where the kitchen, living room, and bedroom are all essentially a single room.

Open floor designs are modern and they look good in pictures. They’re inefficient when it comes to heating and most importantly, they make your home feel loud.

Echo is considerably more pronounced in open floor design homes than in classic homes with clear wall separation for each room.

You can consider adding a few ‘fake’ or partial walls in your open-floor home to limit the noise levels inside of the house.

While noise can also make its way indoors from the outside, it’s indoor noise that feels most controllable.

Summary

Homes can feel very noisy when there isn’t much furniture inside. This doesn’t mean you should stock piles of furniture. It means you need to add a piece of furniture in key areas such as corners where sound bounces off easily.

You can test specific noise levels in areas of your home by using a free app. These measure noise levels in decibels and should give a clear indication of which area of the home is the loudest.