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More home building questions---soundproofing and heating systems

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My friend brought over a potential house plan today. I really like it. I think it would be very workable and hopefully affordable (bringing it to the builder later today).


I just have a few minute issues with the plan but think they can be worked out.


First is that at least 1, if not 2 of the bedrooms in the daylight basement would be in underneath the master bedroom. I know in many houses sound CARRIES very clearly through the heat ducts and/or floors. We don't want that;). We are looking at doing radient heat though in the basement so they wouldn't need duct work to the basement. If we did that and then put some insulation between the 2 floors would we be OK?


The second issue is whether or not to put a fireplace in the living room and/or the master bedroom and if so, a wood buring unit, gas log, etc. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of each? My idea is to have a living room with NO television in it but rather a gathering nice quiet spot and then have the TV down in the family room.


The third thing was that I was thinking of a deck off the master bedroom with a hot tub with privacy screen out there. If we did that, the deck would be over the daylight windows in the bedroom. Does anyone have this type of set up? Is it something you use a lot or not really?


Of course, we still have to see what the state will give us for our property and then go from there to see what we can afford.


I do like a lot of this plan. She has it open with a handicapped accessible guest bedroom and bath on the main floor that could have a roll in shower. There are almost no hallways in the house so nice and open.


The biggest plus is that there is a MUD ROOM with 4 large lockers, a big closet, a seat (for putting on and off shoes, etc) that is off the garage. Off that with a door to the outside is a 1/2 bath (remember we are rural and on a farm). Then off that 1/2 bath you can access a shower as well. The closet in the mud room could house the washer and dryer at some point if I wanted a main floor laundry instead of downstails---but for now with a laundry chute and the kids bedrooms downstairs, a basement one is nice.


Any hints, input, etc? If I get her permission, I can see if I can post a floor plan sketch as well.

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The floor joists also carry sound... you can mitigate that by using various things.


1) open cell foam, and two layers of sheet rock.

2) recycled denim foam and two layers of sheet rock


There is also a special type of sheet rock that leaves a small gap between the joist and the sheet rock so that it reduces sound as well.

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We have a daylight basement that we built several years ago. Our 15 yo son's bedroom is below the master bedroom. So far, noise hasn't been much of an issue except when some of the guys are over in the evening. Their maturing voices carry so the compromise is that everyone stays out in the family room which is on the lower level. There is some soundproofing material between floor and ceiling. However, I will admit to having called down the heat duct when I wanted ds to turn his music down.:blushing:


The great room is over the family room and they share a common flue. There is a wood burning fireplace in our great room and a gas fireplace in the family room. They were both supposed to be wood-burning, but a mistake in the location of the upstairs flue left no room for the basement one. This has worked out for the best. I love wood-burning fireplaces, but a few years ago dd and I developed mild asthma and the smoke can trigger a problem. Sadly, we use it far less often than we do the gas fireplace. There is no television in the great room either, only in the family room.


We have a small cantilevered deck that extends between the kitchen window and the sliding glass door by where the dining table sits. It is large enough for dh and I to drink wine on and watch the sunset, but not really big enough for entertaining. The cantilevers mean there are no unsightly support posts, but not a lot of room. We have looked at extending the deck by dropping stairs down from the existing one onto a larger one but have decided against it for present because we don't want to block the light into either the one bedroom or the family room.


I like the layout. There are four bedrooms: two upstairs and two downstairs. This allows everyone a certain sense of privacy. I wanted to avoid having all the bedrooms right next to each other and the doors only a few feet apart.


Good luck and have fun. Designing a new home is a blast.

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I am doing some tweaking here and there already. I brought the plan over to our builder and his wife (who designed homes for a living before) and they really liked it. They suggested a few things as well. It was nice to see the builder's house as their kitchen is the exact layout that is in our plan and it was nice to see it "in person" as it is much nicer than I could picture from the floor plans.

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I vote for a direct vent fireplace in the living room (supposedly, net positive - more is yielded in heat energy than the gas costs, or something like that). NOT a "B-vent" (old technology, costs more than it produces, involves a ventilation hole that pours cold air in when it is not running).


But I don't know if there's been any improvement in fireplace technology in the last couple of years.


That mudroom is my dream!!

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