IF IT SEEMS AS IF THE AVERAGE AMERICAN home is getting noisier these days, it's because it is. Due to such new developments as home-based businesses, media rooms, and open floor plans, the typical house has an almost constant hum. Valley Forge, Pa.–based CertainTeed Corp. has launched an effort that aims to help.

The company's SoundChek Web site (www.mysoundchek.com) is a new tool that is dedicated exclusively to improving sound control and adding privacy to residential construction. “We wanted to create a site that would provide useful information that builders are looking for,” says Tom Newton, the company's manager of advertising and promotions for the insulation group.

SoundChek consists of five sections, including a primer on the basics of sound control, a list of acoustic terms, and basic sound-control techniques and tips. “One of the most unique parts of the site is the room-by-room analysis,” Newton says. The section features a spinning three-dimensional home that indicates rooms where builders should focus their sound-control efforts.

Another feature of the site is a section that offers advice on the different types of products that can help prevent noise intrusion. Though CertainTeed admits that it offers some of the products that solve sound problems—insulation and windows—Newton says the site is broader than that. For example, it advises builders to use solid-core doors with acoustic seals and to caulk the bottom of both sides of a wall.