View Full Version : Speaking about house design questions

Wild Dingo
02-12-2007, 08:13 AM
Now... things generally change pretty rapidily around here... so her highnesses latest idea is to demolish this place and put up a new one... shes even found one she likes... ex Victoria and yes they will deliver to the house extra $6000 but no worries

Anyway were thinking that since we have this railway system up the back where the humpyhoochy was which is about where she wants to build this new house :rolleyes: So the train tracks will be within about 30mtrs of the back of the house

Now the house is this one


From Alternate dwellings... and its timber :cool:

oops its the one on the right... or if you download the pdf its the Highlander 35

Anyway the question is what can be used to beef up the sound proofing of the house? particularily the back and sides the front will be facing the creek so shouldnt need as much as that which faces the damned railway.

Yeah yeah you get used to it... LIKE HELL!!!... weve been her for 2 years now and the flamin mongrel things STILL wake me up every friggin flamin bloody hour and this place is over 100mtrs from the boundary... why she wants to locate the new place way back there is beyond me but then she wants what she wants... reckons she wants to turn the rest of the place into a botanical type garden then flog it... in about 2 years!! bloody stupi... ahem flamin sheilas :mad:

Anyway any ideas on a reasonably low cost sound deadener... for trains!! so please dont suggest egg cartons as they are no good for trains... and dont ask!:(


Phillip Allen
02-12-2007, 08:20 AM
I would think you should build as close to the tracks as possible in the style of a Victorian Depot..."ALL ABOARD!

02-12-2007, 08:36 AM
Sound dampening....

First, just inside your property line from the railroad right of way, put up a 3 meter concrete fence. Those get used along freeways in California to minimize road noise in the backyards of people who live right there next to the road.

Second, plant a row of trees with foliage. Does anything like Arborvitae grow there? That's will absorb a little of the sound that doesn't get reflected back at the train by the wall.

Third, have house walls that face the track made out of several layers of stuff, including some sound insulation. Fiberglass in the wall cavity is good, then make the interior surface out of several layers of sheetrock with a layer of foam insulation between them. You want mass to absorb sound and insulation to isolate that mass and keep it from traveling onward. Old fashioned lath and plaster is well regarded that way too.

I bet someone else will now come along with better ideas though...


02-12-2007, 08:41 AM
A big fence or sound barrior. We have them all along the major highways around here. They are usually concrete and fairly tall. Hope this helps to get the brain turning for you. On second thought how about a tall fence with some quick growing tall trees planted in front and behind the fence.

02-12-2007, 08:58 AM
Hi Shane;
That's a tall order as you can probably remedy the train sounds traveling through the air but you will also be getting vibrations through the ground. I like the idea of a sound barrier along the back property line. Concrete barriers combined with foilage should help somewhat. Look into constructing any barriers as baffles to absorb and redirect the sounds away from your property. Thick, leafy vegitation can help as well will hide the barriers. A thick earth berm will work almost as well as concerte barriers and can be incorporated into the landscaping.
Now to the house. The walls facing the tracks should have as few openings,doors,windows,vents,etc. as possible. I like the idea of a double wall system with 12 inches of insulation. A buddy of mine does this for heat retention in this area but it also makes for a quiet house. The inside wall finish can be placed over purpose sono board on "Z" channel attatched to the studs. An alternate method woult be to construct the house using ICF,(insulated concrete form) blocks which also give good sound resistance.In the end you will probably still hear the train traffic but it will be muted.


02-12-2007, 09:00 AM
Sorry, sound barriers won't cut it. At that distance, the ground shakes.

I once made the mistake of building a house too close to railway track, at a distance of about 200 ft. I planted trees along the track which grew up beautifully and formed a good sound barrier. Even so, the house rattled a bit every a train went by. They weren't that frequent, but we eventually moved anyway.

Wild Dingo
02-12-2007, 09:26 AM
oooh geez Will put a dampner into the mix why dont yer? :( I mean were already 100mtrs from the trains and this place rocks and rolls like Elvis's pelvis in Vagas :cool:

Id thought of the "berm"? idea along the lines of a levee bank right around that part of the property and then a thick limestone retaining wall on top of that and trees this side of the wall... or a line of trees with a tallish hedge between it and us

There should be about 20 -40mtrs between this and the house proper we reckon given her layout area today... So Im thinking the thicker the walls the better...

Okay now add to the mix the flooding issues... so the house will be on stumps about a metre of the ground which will make it a metre and a half above floor level of this place... but higher to the trains... and more direct

But aside from building a houseboat and having it permanently moored alongside the house (this would not be a good selling point Im thinking) what else to do?

The house from what the bloke was saying this morning will be ready to leave the factory if we go ahead in about 3 months... so these ideas and thoughts will need to be gelled right quick... she is thinking of sending the money for the deposit through next Monday :eek: gawd help us!! :rolleyes: Wish some of yous fellas were over here in West Aussie man it would be good to garner some physical muscle help when that arrives I can tell yer!! :cool:

Cheers fellas for the thoughts and ideas so far... and Will mate? I was just joking always good to get other views and experiences so thanks ;)

02-12-2007, 09:44 AM
Ok, Shane, what about building it on some kind of dampening foundation, such as pilings with rubber blocks? Not sure if that's the preferred option out your way, but pilings are commonly used for cottages and such up here, since they're only used in the summer. They're cooler, and keep the building well elevated if there's a flood.

It would be similar in concept to earthquake foundations, that allow some movement in the foundation, without shaking the entire building. Course it might be a great place for the snakes to live.

Wild Dingo
02-12-2007, 09:57 AM
Yep Will the house will be on 1mtr high stumps as in the pic on the right... dont know about rubber footings we tend to use treated timber under the timber stumps but Im thinking of getting the concrete stumps instead... keep the flamin termites at bay as much as possible as well as getting the house away from the floodwaters

02-12-2007, 10:51 AM
Sure, concrete pilings with rubber dampers on top. Bolt the frame down to the pilings, through the dampers.

02-12-2007, 11:11 AM
You've got to use some of that charm of yours to convince Her Highness that it's a bad idea to build near the track....farther away is better than nearer.
If she balks, stomp your foot and say NO by gawd. Try it and see what happens. Report back when you get out of the hospital.

02-12-2007, 11:19 AM
Be firm. Build as far away as possible and put the garden back there.
Promise her anything but politely and firmly explain the "logical" reasons why building it close is not a good idea.

Good Luck!
Love the look of the house you chose though. Looks great.

02-12-2007, 11:20 AM
Without being too personal here, there is a deeper problem that needs fixing, a short time ago it was moving to NZ that was going to fix it, now its a new house. I feel that neither will solve what ever the underlying discontent is. Sort that out, and save yourself some money!

02-12-2007, 11:40 AM
...."then flog it in about 2 years!!"

Does "flog it" mean sell it in Aussie, or something worse?

If it's sell it in two years, then you're not really building it for yourself but for somebody else. So, you must consider what would appeal most to a buyer, not to Her Highness.

I agree with Stiletto, without getting personal, that Her Highness seems to have a streak of rabbit developing in her recently.
When that happens, it's best to use caution and don't make any sudden decisions. Nice house BTW!
30 meters is just too close to a railroad track. No amount of barrier and insulation will help enough to make it tolerable. Only my opinion!