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Hello,

I am purchasing a detached house in hope to house a baby grand piano someday (something akin to the size of a kawai gl20).

The main reason I am purchasing a detached house is to play at night 8-11pm and to avoid neighbourly disputes.

Our neighbour will be roughly 2m from us. Does anyone have any experience whether your neighbour is able to hear you at that distance with or without the muffler.

For context I live in UK and it is a new build type of home.

Thank you

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Hello,

I think it depends entirely on the building structure, materials, insulation, etc..., and the piano. Not sure what 2M is.. miles? Meters?

My closest neighbor is about 100 yards/300 feet away, and he says he can hear me playing my Yamaha C7 on occasion, late in the evening, when sound waves seem to travel easier; my music room exterior wall faces his house. But he has never complained, and says he loves to hear me play.

But they like to get out and shoot guns on occasion, which is way louder than my piano playing, and I have never complained.

On occasion, I will play my digital piano, with keyboard amp and PA system, and jam pretty loud out in my piano shop/detached garage. Again, none of my neighbors have ever complained. Guess I'm fortunate.

In your situation, it may just be a "try it and see" approach. But there is nothing wrong with some strategic planning.

Good luck!

Rick


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Ay9293 Offline OP
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Hello Rick,

Sorry for not being clear, 2m is 2 metres. The exterior wall of my music room would face my neighbours garage with a distance of 1 metre, then their actual home a further 1m (their garage is attached to their house) Yes, I will move my upright and see how it goes. But just wanted to see if anyone had any experience as my main reason of purchasing this house is that it is detached so that I can play at night.

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Well, there's no problem hearing a piano 2 meters away! So it all depends on how sound travels through the walls - which is going to be hard to predict. But I would think that your neighbor is going to hear you.

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My neighbors, who are further away than 2 meters, can hear me play at night. It seems to be more obvious at night. You might see if you can improve the windows on the side nearest your neighbors or maybe add sound insulation. One house I lived in was stucco over concrete walls, and sound of the piano still carried in the wind.

Maybe consult a professional?


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Are there any windows facing the neighbour and if yes which kind ? When i moved into my house i changed all the windows and put triple layer of glass. There is barely anything coming out at night. Any way the best way to test is to put some music in the house (portable cd radio for example) and put the volume at what the piano would do.


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I live in a house with concrete walls and hurricane windows. I asked my teacher to play loudly (a Yamaha U3 upright) and stepped outside to see if I could hear him. If I stand by the front door yes (but very faintly), if I walk to the sidewalk I can't.


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I would be surprised if they couldn't hear you quite well, especially since you said this house is of newer construction.

Before buying the house and going to the trouble of moving the piano in to see what happens, why not just crank up a loud stereo in that room and go outside and see what you can hear. You could even play piano music on your stereo! And it's a lot lighter to carry in and carry back out than a piano.


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Ay9293 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Are there any windows facing the neighbour and if yes which kind ? When i moved into my house i changed all the windows and put triple layer of glass. There is barely anything coming out at night. Any way the best way to test is to put some music in the house (portable cd radio for example) and put the volume at what the piano would do.


There are no windows facing their side. However, the room has glass patio doors leading to the garden.
The portable computers radio is a good idea.
Thank you

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Yes I might try that to see what happens

Last edited by Ay9293; 03/13/22 05:45 AM.
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I'm in a detached home with neighbours around the same distance away as you on either side...I'm guessing it won't be an issue at all. With traffic and ambient noise, plus whatever noise they have going on inside their own homes, I doubt they will hear you at all ( maybe very very faintly if all was quiet ). I play a large upright.

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Hi, this may be slightly besides the point but where I live there's not much you can do about noise from neighbours between 7h and 22h, as long as it isn't excessive. I know you want to avoid disputes but I can't imagine that you're required to avoid any and all noise during reasonable hours, especially if you live in a detached house. I wouldn't worry about it.

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With windows open during the summer I guess they will be able to hear. However in other circumstances I would hope sound transmission through an insulated cavity wall, a 1m air gap, then a garage, across the garage and through another cavity wall into your neighbours house would be quite small and it would not deter me from buying a baby grand. However as far as I know Kawai GL20 baby grands are not imported into the UK but please correct me if you know otherwise.

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There are many variables such as outdoor ambient noise / road noise, building materials and techniques used, etc... As such, I would consider testing it with music playback from a stereo system.

1. Place a stereo system in the location you plan to place
the piano.

2. Purchase a SPL meter.

3. Play back some of your favorite solo piano pieces ( use a variety ) at a level between 80-85 decibels.

4. Go outside your home and listen for the music.

Perform this test at the same time you would plan on playing ( 8-11pm ) since it will likely be quieter during that time.


This should give you a basic idea of how loud the piano could be for your neighbors.

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Lots of great info here...

This may not be totally relevant, but somewhat relevant, perhaps. I'm thinking the neighbors will be able to hear the piano to some extent, as opposed to not hearing the piano at all.

For example, my music room in my house has an exterior door (French doors), and I've been playing my pianos when a visitor would show up at the door. If I saw them or heard them knock at the door, I would stop playing the piano and get up and answer the door. Usually, the first words out of their mouth were "I heard you playing the piano".

In another room, on the front side of my house, I have an upright piano near the front door. Same thing... if I'm playing the upright piano, and someone comes to the door and knocks or rings the door-bell, and I happen to see them or hear the knock/doorbell, I will answer the door, and they usually tell me they heard me playing the piano.

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that if someone is near the exterior of your detached house, they will hear you playing the piano, to some extent, most likely. Again, depending on the sound-proofness of the wall construction, windows, doors, etc...

An interesting topic!

Good luck!

Rick


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Your neighbors are likely to do plenty of things that annoy you as well.


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Originally Posted by malkin
Your neighbors are likely to do plenty of things that annoy you as well.

Of course, but your community may have written noise ordinance including hours of acceptability.


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Given that you’re in the UK I assume that your house is of double skin brick / block construction with cavity insulation, and that your glass patio doors are double-glazed and have good draught-proof seals.

Because of that I think you should have pretty good sound insulation and probably should not disturb your neighbours too much.

But it could be very different if any of this wasn’t true, say if you lived somewhere that houses are lightweight wood framed / skinned and glass doors are leaky single layers of glass.

The best things to stop sound getting out are (a) heavy, solid walls and (b) not even the slightest air gaps around doors, windows, vents etc. Compromise either of those and your neighbours will hear much more.


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Originally Posted by scirocco
Given that you’re in the UK I assume that your house is of double skin brick / block construction with cavity insulation, and that your glass patio doors are double-glazed and have good draught-proof seals.

Yes we do have those in place. So hopefully the sound transmission will not be too bad.

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Originally Posted by malkin
Your neighbors are likely to do plenty of things that annoy you as well.

Yes, neighbours are prone to annoy each other, which is why it is a good idea if everybody tries to be a good neighbour and limit annoyances.

One of the problem with the noise of piano practising (if someone doesn't like to hear it, for them it is noise), is that it is repetitive, if the piano player is diligent. To get disturbed by an occasional party, by a screaming child, a hammer drill, is not that hard to accept, but every single evening between 8 and 11 is hard if you are tired and want to relax before going to bed - maybe at ten and not at eleven!

So insulate your piano room well.


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