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In my view home soundproofing and sound control is an
essential benefit to living in a well constructed home. Reducing ambient noise
adds to client comfort and lifestyle. Let’s review the basic, low cost options
and then take a look at some more thorough methodologies for controlling
interior noise levels in your home.
At Wardell Builders, the basics include:
·Insulation in every interior wall and between
·Sound board (fiberboard) installed on walls
between bedrooms and common room or baths
·Solid core interior doors
·Use of 5/8” drywall over ½” drywall
·Careful locating of outlets boxes
The theories of home soundproofing and home sound control
involve two primary methodologies, first absorb sound, next block it’s
transmission through the structure. The items above do both of these tasks
fairly well and inexpensively. Insulation and sound board absorb sound. Solid
core doors and 5/8” drywall help prevent the transmission of sound. Locating
electrical boxes (as much as possible) to prevent them from being back to back
in a common stud bay maintains the wall assembly sound characteristics. All of
these methods require thinking and good craftsmanship. The best acoustic
assemblies will have poor results if installed incorrectly.
The strategies listed above will do a reasonable job with
wall assemblies; insulation is a marginal aid to floor to ceiling assemblies.
Fiberboard can be difficult to use in some finished floor applications. Our basic
floor assemblies start with a manufactured joist system. This can be I joists
(like Truss Joist or TJI) or open web joist (Red Built or Trim Joist). A prime
benefit of manufactured floor joist is their low sound transmission. Above, a
solid plywood or OSB layer (3/4” minimum) is glued and twist nailed in place.
This assembly with insulation and 5/8” drywall below will do a moderate job in
controlling sound between floors. With this method the finish layer installed
above will heavily influence sound transmission. Carpet will absorb the sound
prior to its transmission through the floor. Hardwood floors will be quiet for
low sounds but higher pitched sounds will easily transmit. How can this be
Floor assemblies can be greatly improved by adding a few
dollars to the design. Below the joist, resilient channel can be installed to
breakup transmission to the drywall. The drywall itself can be upgraded to a
“QuietRock” or equal product. This is a laminated drywall designed for sound
control. Acoustic caulking can be used between the ceiling and wall drywall to
inhibit sound transmission. On the top of the floor frame assembly, sound
deadening products (cork, vinyl mass, gypcrete, enkasonic, etc.) can be applied
that will greatly reduce sound transmission. This finish installed above tends
to drive the selection of these products. Their application can enhance or
reduce the viability of the finished floor’s lifespan. There are too many
factors involved to cover in this short blog.
Sound control is lifestyle enhancement. Make sure it is
designed into the construction of your home. When thought of early, planned and
installed correctly the benefits will be easily apparent and effective. Other
than the more exotic installations, none of these should be seen as cost
prohibitive. The basic addition of interior insulation will add much less than
two thousand dollars to a five thousand square foot home. Sound control is a
high value purchase and should be a part of any quality home.
Home SoundProofing | Home Insulation | Solid Core Interior Doors | Sound Control in your home |
Construction grading jobs and soils work:these are arguably the phases of construction
work that can cost the most per hour with the greatest risk of surprises.
Large pieces of land grading equipment with their heavy
equipment operators cost in the $100’s per hour to run. The basis of the grading
work is the evaluation of the soils conditions derived from scattered samples.
You really don’t know what you will find when you start uncovering the ground.
No other work can proceed until the ground is ready for construction and if
surprises are found – you have no choice but to rectify them immediately.
The long term success of your custom home’s foundation and
structure begins with proper bearing soil. Your home foundation is engineered to
the type and bearing capacity of your soil. There are many types of soils,
based on their clay to sand ratio, amount and type of rock and degree of
stability. Most top soil is unsuitable for home foundations and can be easily
compacted allowing for little bearing foundation bearing capacity. Most home sites,
even if the grade elevations are not changing, will have the top few feet
removed and replaced. This replacement can be a reinstallation, under
controlled conditions, creating an even density and bearing throughout the
If a home site is underlayed with formational soils (very
firm, old ground) the weathered soils above will still need to be replaced and
keyed into this firm layer. There are times when the depth of home footings can
extend into this layer and the need for removal and recompaction is greatly
diminished. In the southern California, coastal regions, this usually only
occurs when a house basement is constructed with the home. The depth of the
home foundation under the basement can easily be set deep into the underlying
In locations where stable soil is located very deep on the
site, coastal hillside or cliff side lots, we will drill down to reach the
formational layer and extend the house foundation down with caissons. Caissons
are vertical tubes of reinforced concrete typically extending three times the
depth of the loose unstable top soils, into the formations below. This is a
more costly foundation system for most homes but the only alternative when
stable soils lie too deep to reach with traditional grading. The other use for
a house caisson system is to shore up the side of an excavation against a nearby
property line. This is to avoid the chance of the grading cut collapsing.
The surprises can come when unexpected soil conditions
exist. The Soils Report can only assure us of conditions where the samples were
taken. I have been on a project where an old stream bed lay between two
sampling sites. The soil in this area had to be removed to a depth of sixteen
feet and replaced. An expensive surprise but work that had to be done to ensure
a home that could last many years with a solid and well founded home foundation
Home Foundations | Grading |Soil Tests Reports | Construction Solutions