Detached House - Worth it?

We live in a semi detached house - the neighbours are friendly and quiet but the more I think about it the more I reckon i’d like to live in a detached house next if we ever trade up.

No need to rely on them to also keep their gutters clean, no real noise at all, access on both sides.

Downsides I can think of are more external walls (more heatloss) and extra purchase cost.

What are people’s thoughts? Worth paying bit extra to go detached?

We used to live in a terraced house with dreadful neighbours who’d have screaming fights at all hours of the night. Detached was a strong requirement for my wife when we bought the current place. I do like having the space around the sides of the house, but I’m not sure it’s worth the extra heating bills.
I think if you get along okay with the neighbours, semi-detached or even terraced is fine.

I get around the problem by living in two places. Location one has the screaming neighbours from hell. Location two is detached … by a long way … so I get to be the unheard neighbour from hell, bashing the piano at all hours of the night.

My sister is in a detached house in a 1970’s estate in Rathfarnham. Definitely worth it in every way. No issues with noise or any of the other things you refer to. She got it externally insulated last year and the heating bills have decreased by about 60%.

Our semi (built circa 2004) has the hall, staircase, bathroom, two smallest bedrooms and smallest reception room against the party wall.

This means master bedroom, living room and kitchen are all several walls away from each other. These are the rooms in which things are thrown.

I’d be happy in another semi, or a well built terraced (I grew up in one of those). It’s only really a problem if they’re underbuilt and neighbours are very noisy.

I could never understand why all semi-d’s aren’t built this way.


Definitely worth it for all kinds of (fairly obvious) reasons. You can, of course be lucky with a semi as some here have stated and I’ve been in terraced places (usually very old) where you hardly notice the neighbours.

A lot of older (pre 1960s) semis that I’ve encountered recently seem to have substantial rear extensions, creating large modern kitchen/living areas, which end up being a decent distance from the neighbours in most cases. The old bay-windowed front room tends to become quite a lonely, forgotten place in a lot of these houses - somewhere for the books to gather dust and to house the piano!

My parents live in a 1920s terraced house and you would very, very rarely hear the neighbours in it. It’s well built and each house is the same layout rather than every second house mirroring it’s neighbour. That means the livingrooms and all but one bedroom share a wall with the neighbours’ hallway/landing which means there is rarely people being noisy on the other side of the rooms they use. So a well built and designed terrace or semi will be fine, unless your neighbours do a lot of diy at unsocial ours or are phenomenally loud people. And if they are the latter you are probably going to hear them a in a detached house too. I had neighbours a few years ago in the other half of my semi and the neighbour on the other side of me, who was two houses away and completely detached from them, was regularly, justifiably, bothered by their noise.

But I don’t know how much you can tell in advance about how well soundproofed a house is. I had assumed that older houses would be better built but I lived in a Victorian terrace in London and could hear everything my very loud neighbours on one side did and a bit from the very quiet neighbours on the other side. After that I lived in an Edwardian terrace where both my neighbours had babies and I became well acquainted with when the babies were teething and any sleep training attempts. So if it’s possible a detached house is definitely preferable. I bought a detached house a few months back and it is great. Tbh, with a toddler in the house I’m the noisier neighbour and it’s good to know that if my son has a bad night nobody outside the house is bothered. I don’t find the house any colder than any other I’ve lived in and the cavity walls are currently unfilled. That said the house is in a sheltered position and the south facing rooms have huge, good quality, windows and get very warm with even a little winter sun. And the main livingroom while at the back only has one fully external wall and that has no windows but does have the radiator on it.

the living rooms are usually beside the party wall because it’s easier (cheaper?) to have the chimneys back to back and forming the party wall?

Some good input as always. We are the noisy neighbours at present - twin toddlers - so god love our next door neighbours.

I like the idea of when they are bit older they can have a bit more freedom to play music etc. Also I find it weird when they have the odd barney and I’m sure they find the same when we do.

Then there is the aforementioned guttering issue (along with chimney flashing and others), access etc.

The more I think about it the more it seems like a good idea.

It’s not a must or anything more a strong want if we do ever move on.

Absolutely worth it, if you are comfortable with the extra cost. I spent 20 years in one of the good semis as described by Eschatologist. It’s a five fireplace 2 chimney house, and the kitchens/breakfast rooms are back to back. Main living and bedrooms on the detached side.

A family of shouters moved in next door. Teenage sons screaming at mother, who gave back better than she got.
We were always nervous about entertaining guests in the kitchen lest there be an eruption.

When we bought in the US 15 years ago we specifically chose an older hood with bigger lots and mature trees, over smaller lot, but newer better equipped but also detached house, where you could touch your neighbor. The 20-25 year younger houses just down the road were about 5% more expensive.

Having lived in a semi for about 8 years and moved to a detached(one off) much prefer the distance between us and neighbours and not being heard or hearing the neighbours. I can see that for a well made/planned semi differences less noticeable but I enjoy being able to walk around the house and having distance between us an neighbours.
It’s probably a bit. More antisocial though as we wave at neighbours rather than have a chat.