Finding a quiet place to live is important but often this aspect is commonly overlooked leading many to endure disturbances soon after moving in. However there are plenty of things to check for that can go a long way towards ensuring peace and quiet at all times.
If you are looking to purchase or rent a condo unit then the choice of location of the unit within the building will likely go some way to dictating the noise level. It is wise to choose a unit that is on a high floor, as this will provide insulation from street noise, although be aware if there is another tall building adjacent, for example, on the other side of a narrow soi, then street sound can still reverberate between the buildings. Therefore choose a high floor unit in a building that has no near structures to it.
Also worth looking at is the location within the floor itself. Try to ensure the unit is not near a lift area otherwise you may find disturbance from people standing at the lift and chatting whilst waiting for the lift car to come. Next is noise from neighboring units so a corner unit far from the lift is likely the best option, as it will have fewer neighbors.
If you want to avoid noise from neighbors on the floor above then it will be necessary to consider the top floor of a building. In this way you can be assured that there will be no disturbance from this area. The only downside to a top floor apartment is that it can become hotter in the summer months due to the direct exposure of sunlight on the roof. Also be careful to choose a unit away from satellite and other antenna installations as these will often be maintained and could cause a disturbance as new ariels are added along with the drilling that comes with this type of work.
With construction noise in mind, it is worth being aware that a new condo may well have empty rooms that are being fitted out and so one way to avoid workman’s noise is to choose a building that is relatively new but has already passed the phase of having most of the unit owners refit their properties. Either that, or look for fully furnished condos where there will be no need for major reworks.
One good thing about condos is that dogs and other pets are usually prohibited and so there is at least a rest bite from this type of disturbance.
As for choosing a house, then there could be grounds for believing this will offer a quieter life as compared to a condo, but much care needs to be taken. Granted, for single detached houses there will be greater separation between you and your neighbors as compared to living in a condo, and no one will be above you either, but you will not be able to migrate to a high floor and so road noise and the noise of neighbors in the street is a possibility.
The trick here is to ensure that you are located in a quiet residential area such as a gated village so as to minimize traffic noise from a main road. Many gated communities will allow dogs and so this can also be a disturbance but it may be be possible to find a few projects that will have a rule preventing dogs.
As for a single detached house on an open street, then it is possible that both neighbors and road noise will be more noticeable than that seen in a housing or condo development. If choosing a town house, be aware that this may provide the potential for noise from neighbors in much the same way as a condo will. In addition there could be commercial activities going on in the vicinity of the ground floor and so it is worth checking if an industrial works or even a restaurant or bar is operating close by to your proposed dwelling. Even if there are empty units or no signs of activities currently occurring, these could come at any time.
With street noise in mind fitting new windows can certainly help. In Europe and other countries where temperatures can plummet in the winter, double glazing is commonly used to insulate properties against the cold weather, however they also have excellent sound insulation properties and can easily be fitted to existing properties in Thailand, whether house or condo. The trick is to ensure that all windows in a property are refitted so as to maximize the effect. French style shutters, although primarily used to shut out light, can also be used to great effect in combination with double-glazing to shut out unwanted noise.
By choosing a house or condo within a development, and with rules in mind, if there is a disturbance it is usually possible to complain to the juristic person, the management and/or the security on patrol so as to ensure that any disturbance stops quickly.
One thing that would be out of the control of the management of a project is the noise coming from a nearby building such as an industrial works, or construction site. Therefore it is worth being very aware of your surroundings and ensuring that the condo or house you plan to live in is far from these types of properties.
With construction in mind, empty land nearby is unlikely to stay empty for long, and so you may find that it is worth researching any place with empty land nearby to ensure that construction of new buildings is not about to occur as this will certainly lead to a long term disturbance.
Finally, renting first before buying can be a good way to test for noise. Simply, if it gets noisy it is easy to move as compared to selling. It is also a good way to ensure that a unit you wish to buy will provide much needed peace and quiet.