Q: What can been done to help reduce noise that is created within the house? A: Sound is all about vibrations. Even inside of the home. Everybody has their pet peeves. Here is what I hear most from our clients: (1) listening to plumbing sounds from upstairs, (2) Equipment like exhaust fans, heating and cooling equipment, kitchen appliances, laundry sets, competing television, stereo/music playing, (3) Kids and our adults playing, (4) upstairs foot traffic and (5) a snoring spouse!! Here are some ideas to help. Upstairs noise will travel through the wall. Insulating and sealing is extremely important (even on interior walls) in absorbing sound. Design your floor plan so that plumbing pipes aren’t located in the walls that are key living areas downstairs. You can also use cast iron pipe with a good insulation wrap. This will help. Upstairs noise will also travel between the floors. Insulation and sealing air gaps will make a big difference. Open areas like stair railings, loft type floor plans or full height first floors will allow sound to travel. Think about this in your planning phases. Locate as much equipment you can in a mechanical room that is insulated and sealed. The industry calls these rooms conditioned spaces. They really work to save energy and help keep the home quiet. Seek out equipment that is quiet to operate. It is out there just ask. Dense wool based insulating product works great for absorbing sounds. This type of insulation is used frequently in commercial buildings. We love using this product in the interior walls where laundry rooms, television and music areas are located. It doesn’t cost a lot and works great. The best advice that I can give is really think about sound abatement. There are practical ways that will help you enjoy you home. Thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian a part of your day. Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girodon 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am and 860 am Saturdays at 1 pm. See you next week!