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Pros and cons of 2 types of semi-detached houses

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  • 31-01-2020 4:25pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 151 ✭✭


    Hi,

    There are structurally different semi-detached houses out there.
    Two main ones are where entrance doors are together
    OR
    Doors are further away from each other like below ones:

    Mzdi-ODM4-MGMw-MDQ0-OGNh-MDc2-Zm-I0-ZWYx-ODk0-NTcw-Y2-Plh-Kvhg-CZt4a-Ea-B9-Asf-Ux4a-HR0c-Dov-L3-Mz-LWV1-LXdlc3-Qt-MS5hb-WF6b25hd3-Mu-Y29t-L21l-ZGlhb-WFzd-GVy-LXMz-ZXUv-NS85-Lz-U5-OGZi-ZDMy-Nz-Az-MDU5-NWRh-M2-M5-YTYx-Zj-Uz-Njli-OWQ5-Lmpw-Z3x8f-Hx8f-Dc5-MHg0-Nz-B8f-Hx8.jpg Zj-Mx-N2-Fi-Zj-Jj-Nj-Vm-Zm-Ez-ZWQ4-M2-Jj-Mj-Q5-Y2-M3-Zm-M4-OGKQt-Mv-RPUcv-Wm4aa-0aj-Pnsa-HR0c-Dov-L3-Mz-LWV1-LXdlc3-Qt-MS5hb-WF6b25hd3-Mu-Y29t-L21l-ZGlhb-WFzd-GVy-LXMz-ZXUv-ZS81-L2-U1-Mjcz-Mz-Y5-Nj-Nm-NWM5-Nm-Fm-NDBk-Zm-Iy-ZTNh-NWM1-Zm-Q5-Lmpw-Z3x8f-Hx8f-DEw-NDV4-Nj-Awf-Hx8f-A.jpg

    Differences are:
    * If entrance doors are together then bedrooms are further away from each other (mostly).
    Bathrooms & single beds and stairs are touching with neighbour.

    * If doors are further away then the double bedrooms are touching with the neighbour.

    Most semi-ds are entrance doors are further away and bedrooms touch.

    Does anyone know benefits and disadvantages of living in each of these?

    I am expecting if bedrooms are further away it should be quieter, but then stairs are too close to each other and the showers so neighbour's stairs actually become closer to the bedroom.

    Do you have any experiences or knowledge to share in terms of quietness, warmness, practicality, cost etc?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,834 ✭✭✭Captain Flaps


    Quietness and warmness are 100% dependant on how thick/well insulated the walls are.

    I know my parents' house has touching master bedrooms and in 30+ years they've not heard a peep from next door as far as I know. I'm in an ex-council terraced house and the neighbours power shower is against the wall of our master bedroom and while I know when it's on it's a dull hum rather than anything that would wake or bother us.

    By comparison, a work colleague has the second configuration in your pic above and even with two halls/staircases between the bedrooms she can hear everything next door. EVERYTHING.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,779 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    In my nearly 50 year old house you can't hear anything except some percussive noises from next door, and that's partly down to it being built out of depleted uranium or something similarly heavy/hard (:p) and partly down to having the staircases on the same side the entire way down the terrace. Bedroom adjoins bathroom, living room adjoins hall for every house and helps a lot.

    Staircases on the inside of a semi-D pair would have even less chance of transmission that way; but if the houses are badly built it won't matter as in the post above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,394 ✭✭✭Ray Palmer


    With modern houses it can be so hit and miss on sound travelling. Having your stairs and hall on the outside wall makes sense in heating terms as you spend more time in the rooms that will hold more heat.
    As the room where kids will likely be will not touch it would be better in likely sound making situation. Adults can of course make noise but babies crying and toddlers playing are more likely. So doors apart make most sense to me


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Creamy Goodness


    I live in a semi-d (built 2018) that has the two doors beside each other, only time I hear my neighbours is when we're both in each respective hallways together and one of us have the front door open.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,767 ✭✭✭GingerLily


    If the doors indicate where the stairs are, then I'd say always go for doors together, more privacy that way.

    I'm in a new build and only hear front door and sometimes the stairs next door, never anything else!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 151 ✭✭Seregwethrin


    GingerLily wrote: »
    If the doors indicate where the stairs are, then I'd say always go for doors together, more privacy that way.

    I'm in a new build and only hear front door and sometimes the stairs next door, never anything else!

    Most of the time doors indicate but if stairs are not going up flat i.e. they turn 180 degrees in the middle then it depends and mostly the opposite. But those types of houses are the most rare.
    Most of the time you can guess from the windows, bedroom windows are bigger than bathroom etc...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    Ah Semi-Ds.

    All the disadvantages of external walls and heat loss that you get with detached, but none of the privacy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭SNNUS


    The doors together protect you a bit from possible neighbour noise as the sitting room and bedrooms etc are not attached directly to the neighbour. I have one and only noise would possible be their stairs if I'm on my own stairs other than that no noise, plus not fond of the thought of my neighbours head only 6 inches away from me when I'm lying in my own bed ��


  • Registered Users Posts: 151 ✭✭Seregwethrin


    SNNUS wrote: »
    The doors together protect you a bit from possible neighbour noise as the sitting room and bedrooms etc are not attached directly to the neighbour. I have one and only noise would possible be their stairs if I'm on my own stairs other than that no noise, plus not fond of the thought of my neighbours head only 6 inches away from me when I'm lying in my own bed ��

    This!

    I think builders prefer doors further away from each other more because it can make the place warmer (adjacent living rooms & bedrooms, warmer) and further away entrance door is a more private entrance.

    But as you said I wouldn't wanna hear my neighbour from 6 inches away if they are watching TV there middle of the night or ... bedroom can be noisy sometimes.

    I remember I had an adjacent bedroom years ago and one morning at 6am I had to tell her "could you please close wardrobe doors a bit slower". She did in fairness but I prefer the home to be quieter by itself rather than relying on people's carefulness.

    But having stairs close by also might be dangerous as people can be banging foot on stairs and it is closer to your side but I haven't had that issue before.


  • Registered Users Posts: 744 ✭✭✭Vita nova


    There is one advantage of entrances at the far ends of the houses that hasn't been mentioned but it only applies to semi-D houses with garages, so mainly of interest to people buying older houses.

    If you get a garage converted to a 'granny flat' then you can use the same entrance for the house as for the granny flat, furthermore, if you add a porch to the entrance and bring the garage conversion out to the front of the porch then you can put secure entrances from the porch into the granny flat and the main part of the house, so the flat occupant doesn't have to enter the main part of the house and the house only has one visible front entrance.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭SNNUS


    pwurple wrote: »
    Ah Semi-Ds.

    All the disadvantages of external walls and heat loss that you get with detached, but none of the privacy.

    Us peasants have to live somewhere


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    In the old 1930s house where I grew up the front doors were apart and the main bedrooms together. I was in the box room over the door. I always remember my Dad saying that he knew when herself next door opened the creaky wardrobe and shifted stuff up and down the rails, and of course vice versa would have been the case. We had great neighbours so it wasn’t an issue. In fact the husband in there was very protective of our household when my father became ill and disabled. One time Dad was in hospital with a stroke and Mum & I were up on stepladders decorating his room to make it nice when he got home; it was halloween night so we put most of the house in darkness so as not to be distrurbed by trick or treaters. Himself next door thought we must be at the hospital, and when he heard noises coming from the dark house he came in through the front door (we kept each other’s keys) with his son carrying a bat. We heard the front door open abruptly, I jumped down off the stepladder and went out carrying my own bat and we nearly whacked each other on the stairs!

    So, in a 1930’s semi-d the walls can be thin and a lot can be heard. In our case it was almost advantageous, but not for many people.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭r93kaey5p2izun


    I grew up in a terrace with front doors beside each other with one neighbour, and front doors away from each other with the neighbour on the other side. The most noise came from the side with the doors together, even though they were a quiet family and the family on the other side were rowdy. You could always hear people on the stairs, full conversations could be heard though the box rooms that were together, and you could unfortunately hear everything in the adjoining bathroom. Never heard anything from the other side with master bedrooms and sitting rooms together. 1970s council houses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 69 ✭✭Bythefire


    All the houses I have lived in have had front doors beside each other. I never understood why considering in every house, I could hear the neighbours talking amongst other things in their bedrooms/living rooms! Some were older houses, some more modern but same in all, everything could be heard.

    Living like that DRIVES ME CRAZY! If I do move again, it'll be a detached in the middle of nowhere!


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭Dolbhad


    Grew up in 1980’s council house end of terrace where our living room was next to the front door. Sound proofing non existence and had noisy neighbours.

    My room was next to the stairs so could hear everything they kids ran up and down the stairs. I would think option 1 would be better.

    Always said I’d get a detached house if budget allows it!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    SNNUS wrote: »
    Us peasants have to live somewhere

    Anything, literally anything, is better than a semi-d. In mid-terraced and apartments you have protection from heat loss, you're a larger heat block. That is miles better.

    But anyway. It's the irish way I guess. :rolleyes: We like to have the ability to roll a bin from the back of the house, to the front of the house.


  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭SNNUS


    pwurple wrote: »
    Anything, literally anything, is better than a semi-d. In mid-terraced and apartments you have protection from heat loss, you're a larger heat block. That is miles better.

    But anyway. It's the irish way I guess. :rolleyes: We like to have the ability to roll a bin from the back of the house, to the front of the house.

    Yep I like the access to the side of the house for bins etc, 1 neighbour attached is certainly a better bet than ebeing attached both sides.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    SNNUS wrote: »
    Yep I like the access to the side of the house for bins etc, 1 neighbour attached is certainly a better bet than ebeing attached both sides.

    Or, have your bins collected from behind the row of houses. :cool:


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,593 ✭✭✭theteal


    pwurple wrote: »
    Anything, literally anything, is better than a semi-d. In mid-terraced and apartments you have protection from heat loss, you're a larger heat block. That is miles better.

    But anyway. It's the irish way I guess. :rolleyes: We like to have the ability to roll a bin from the back of the house, to the front of the house.

    Sorry pwurple, a bit of heat loss is not the end of the world, it's hardly the arctic we're living in.

    Bins, bikes, lawnmower, wheelbarrow, tree/hedge cuttings have been transported around the side of our house in the last week. She'd have a canary if that stuff was regularly dragged through the house.

    A semi halves the possibility of noisy neighbours. Not only that but I'm also less self conscious about the noise we make. The baby howling the house down at 3 in the morning and not a peep heard by the neighbours. Being able to watch a film/match with the surround sound on (with associated sub woofer) without a second thought is definitely another bonus in my book.

    The larger plot of land means the garden is wider/bigger which gives more flexibility. We also get the benefit of a few extra hours of sun light getting into the back garden in the early summer mornings (fruit/veg bed, purposely built here) via the gap between the houses.

    I grew up in a 50's terrace which had really good sound insulation and also some very conscientious neighbours so I have no hatred towards them but I still wouldn't go back to one after living the semi life for a decade.


  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭SNNUS


    To say that a terrace/apartment is better than a semi d is a bit short sighted, I do not mind paying a little more in heating costs rather than squeezed in amongst other houses. I have nothing against terrace housing but to say anything is better than semi-d is daft.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,184 ✭✭✭riclad


    i live in an old terraced house ,i never hear anyone talking,
    if you hear people talking the problem is low or zero levels of sound insulation,
    this is common in houses built before 2008, in the boom.when there were very few inspections of house,s by councils.
    you can fix it by putting in sound insualtion on the side walls, facing your neighbour.
    https://www.soundproofcow.com/online-guides/wall-soundproofing/chapter-3-soundproof-existing-walls/


  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭Bargain_Hound


    I'm going to throw another type of "Semi D" into this... :P I'm sure they are called "dual aspect" semi-D's. We bought one new 2 years ago. Has 3 walls exposed like a detached, but to the rear it is attached to another house/row of houses.

    aa.png

    For a new build, we could hear their front door open and close everytime. We could also hear their shower pump run every time they were showering, it was a loud hum that transferred right into our house. Our neighbour showered at really unsociable hours waking us up during the frequently. Probably wouldn't buy another type like this as most rooms in our house were adjacent to their main living space thus sound always transferring between the two properties.

    Funnily enough, I didn't put these issues down to lack of sound insulation between the two properties as most sound seemed to travel through the structure itself IE. door closing vibrated structure, shower vibrating through floor joists etc.. (Block built insulated cavity w/ solid block laid flat between joined properties).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    theteal wrote: »
    Sorry pwurple, a bit of heat loss is not the end of the world, it's hardly the arctic we're living in.

    Bins, bikes, lawnmower, wheelbarrow, tree/hedge cuttings have been transported around the side of our house in the last week. She'd have a canary if that stuff was regularly dragged through the house.

    A semi halves the possibility of noisy neighbours. Not only that but I'm also less self conscious about the noise we make. The baby howling the house down at 3 in the morning and not a peep heard by the neighbours. Being able to watch a film/match with the surround sound on (with associated sub woofer) without a second thought is definitely another bonus in my book.

    The larger plot of land means the garden is wider/bigger which gives more flexibility. We also get the benefit of a few extra hours of sun light getting into the back garden in the early summer mornings (fruit/veg bed, purposely built here) via the gap between the houses.

    I grew up in a 50's terrace which had really good sound insulation and also some very conscientious neighbours so I have no hatred towards them but I still wouldn't go back to one after living the semi life for a decade.

    This is 100% why our housing is so inefficient here.

    Why on earth would you drag anything through the house? Access to the rear for services is much simpler. This is the norm in loads of countries, where I've lived anyway. denmark, UK, even the US cities. Such a waste of space having that poxy alley down the side. More sunlight? It's a concrete path you're talking about.

    A well laid out grid planning of terraced houses,with services out the back, and paths leading to where you want to go.

    84350931_10156891263166512_629439873979252736_o.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_ohc=wOH_NFSsJtkAX_m5mB-&_nc_ht=scontent-dub4-1.xx&oh=f2d0e274a71972963cc645c6672e94f8&oe=5ED6E68E


  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭SNNUS


    Access at the side of your house a waste of space.. Hmm handy for washing the car, with a hose to the back, not dragging a lawn mower through the house, a bike through the house, dragging a bag of moss peat through the house.. Awful waste alright, stick another house on top of ya instead to save a few Euro on heating ��


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭r93kaey5p2izun


    I grew up in a terrace and never had to drag anything through the house. We had a gated laneway along the back and one end of the terrace row


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 149 ✭✭bdmc5


    pwurple wrote: »
    Anything, literally anything, is better than a semi-d. In mid-terraced and apartments you have protection from heat loss, you're a larger heat block. That is miles better.

    But anyway. It's the irish way I guess. :rolleyes: We like to have the ability to roll a bin from the back of the house, to the front of the house.

    Semi D are only behind detached housing in terms of desirability. It’s grasping at straws to suggest Apartments and terrace housing are “miles better” due to heat when most new build semi d are very well insulated . I get the feeling you live in terraced housing or old 1930s detacted in the country. I know the type :)


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