Home buyers dig open floor plans. But what they rarely think about as they ooh and ahh over great rooms and loft spaces is how noisy that layout can be. The din of everyday life—a vacuum cleaner's growl, a laundry machine's shrill buzz, the roar of the football game blasting through a whole-house audio system—leaves many homeowners feeling like they'd give almost anything for serenity at home.
But just how much is the question. This past fall, Owens Corning surveyed 300 homeowners to identify key trends in home noise. It found that 34 percent dealt with unwanted noise in their homes. Moreover, while 82 percent of all respondents lacked any type of noise control product in their homes, 42 percent said they would invest in a noise control system in the future. As it turns out, more than three-quarters of those people would shell out anywhere from $250 to $2,000 for noise reprieve.
Carmel, Ind.-based Estridge Homes saw the up-sell potential in the research. As an upgrade, noise control products could provide an additional revenue stream while differentiating the builder's product. So, it joined with Owens Corning to create three model homes for a new community that would showcase the manufacturer's Quiet-Zone products, which include insulation products, acoustic sealant, and sound-absorbing ceiling systems.
Estridge's executive vice president Charlie Scott says that although the venture falls in line with the corporate philosophy “to enrich the lives of the people we touch,” it also makes the builder distinct in the competitive Midwest market. “With today's larger, open floor plans, noise is a problem. Other builders are more focused on selling the home rather than improving the home experience,” he explains.