Maximize Privacy in Zero Lot Homes
Throughout America, builders face increasing challenges related to lot space. In turn, more and more builders are moving toward zero lot (z-lot) homes, which effectively conserve more space. While they offer a number of benefits, z-lot properties do pose challenges related to privacy. Fortunately, you can reduce issues by using some smart design strategies.
Small Lots are Growing in Popularity
According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), lot availability is at record lows in many parts of the country. Z-lot homes provide builders with practical solutions for lot deficiencies. They’re also appealing to certain market segments who want low-maintenance lifestyles, along with spacious homes for entertaining friends and family. The concept is also appealing to younger, urban home buyers who are more accustomed to living closely alongside neighbors. Still, to secure buyers, it’s important for builders to take steps to minimize privacy concerns.
Managing Sight and Sound
While they offer effective solutions for diminished lot space, z-lot homes have a bad reputation with some market segments. To pique buyer interest, it’s important to maximize privacy. Many builders accomplish this by aligning the neighboring exterior walls zigzag fashion without side windows. This is a nice solution for visual privacy. Unfortunately, noise is much more difficult to manage.
To limit the passage of sound from home to home, many builders choose to double up on drywall layers, using resilient channels and acoustic clips. Added insulation can also make a big impact; however, all of this complicated setup requires more money for more materials. In turn, some builders choose to install factory laminated noise reducing drywall. Specifically designed to absorb sound, this standalone product is cut and installed just like traditional drywall.
What Options Are Available?
There are a number of factory laminated noise reducing drywalls on the market, including SilentFX® QuickCut from CertainTeed. This product is engineered with a layer of viscoelastic polymer, sandwiched by two dense layers of gypsum board. Acting as a shock absorber, the polymer dampens sound energy vibrations as they pass through. Called constrained layer damping (CLD), this noise-reducing technique performs quite well over an extended range of frequencies, resulting in improved sound transmission class (STC) ratings.
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