This fact sheet provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about residential sound insulation under the Quiet Home Program. We hope that it will help you understand the insulation component of the program and encourage those of you that are eligible to participate. It is also intended to correct some of the misinformation which has been common about the program.
1. How soon can I expect to receive sound insulation?
It is expected that sound insulation activities will take more than ten years to complete. Availability of funds will determine how fast the program can continue to work on sound insulation. Approximately 2,100 homes are eligible for sound insulation treatment.
2. How will I know if my house is next in line for sound insulation?
Program Staff will notify you in person and/or in writing that your property is in an area for a future sound insulation project. Program participation is voluntary.
3. If my house is sound insulated, will I have to pay back the Program or the airport?
No. All sound insulation work is provided at no cost to the property owner. No lien will be placed on your property.
4. If my house is sound insulated, will I have to grant to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) an avigation easement?
Participants are required to provide avigation easements to LAWA which state that the owner will not sue the airport on issues of noise and nuisance. Issues of safety remain unchanged.
5. How long will it take to sound insulate my house?
The entire construction process should take no more than ten (10) working days, start to finish. There are different elements to the sound insulation of your home. Typically, sound insulation work includes the installation of acoustic doors and windows, heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, attic insulation, vent baffles, chimney dampers, etc.
6. If I receive sound insulation, how quiet will my home be?
After receiving sound insulation, the interior noise exposure level of a residence will be no higher than 45db CNEL in all habitable rooms. This is the acceptable interior noise level for residential dwellings under Federal and State requirements.
7. Can I sell my home if I participate in a sound insulation project?
Yes. Participation in the sound insulation program does not preclude you from selling your property during or after the sound insulation work.
8. Will the sound insulation treatment make my house look ugly?
No. The sound insulation work will not change the overall appearance of your house in a negative way. Actually, the work will improve the appearance and comfort and it will make your home more energy efficient.
9. If I am eligible for the sound insulation, can I still be considered to have my house purchased?
No. The Quiet Home Program does not offer that option. Once sound insulated, a home is considered compatible with airport operation.
10. If I receive sound insulation, will I be required to pay higher real estate taxes?
No. The State Board of Equalization does not generally consider the soundproofing of existing residences to be an assessable event.
11. Can I add to my house or make other improvements?
Program participation does not change any rights you had previously. Any room additions or other related improvements will be required to meet zoning code requirements and other applicable building requirements.
12. Do I have to live at the property to be eligible for the program?
No. The eligibility factor is that your property be located within the contour specified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and/or LAWA.
13. I work during the day. Do I have to be home during the construction?
Either the homeowner or someone representing the homeowner will be required to be present during all construction. No work will be done otherwise. Either the owner or his/her designated representative must be present to provide access for the Contractor and Program inspectors.
14. I have pets and I am concerned for their welfare during construction. What should I do?
The homeowner is solely responsible for the well-being of their pets. If you are worried about any aspect of your pet’s welfare (construction noise, strange people in and out of the house, escape from yards, etc.) you should remove the animals during construction. The Program cannot be responsible for your pets.
15. I have a doggie door in the back door and a mail slot in the front door. Can I keep these features?
Every effort will be made to maintain the features currently in place in your home. However, doggie doors and mail slots are pathways by which sound enters your home and may need to be treated as part of the sound insulation work. If you decide you must keep the doggie door, be advised that the desired reduction in noise level may not be achieved in that room. You may be asked to sign a document accepting this condition. Mail slots can be relocated or replaced by surface mounted exterior mailboxes.
16. Will the Program remove and reinstall window coverings?
No, the Program requests that the homeowner remove and reinstall all window treatments. Please be advised that in some cases, it may be necessary to increase the size of a window in order to meet current code requirements.