18 Jul 2016

Simple-Ways-Soundproofing-Your-Home

Noisy neighbours can be the bane of our existence. But what happens when you’re the culprit? Avoid getting on the nerves of those next door by soundproofing your home properly.

When it comes to home theatre set-ups, practising a musical instrument or a space to partake in hobbies such as woodwork, it’s imperative that our homes are set up to deal with the noise.

Noisy neighbours can be the bane of our existence. But what happens when you’re the culprit? Avoid getting on the nerves of those next door by soundproofing your home properly.

When it comes to home theatre set-ups, practising a musical instrument or a space to partake in hobbies such as woodwork, it’s imperative that our homes are set up to deal with the noise. And it’s not just about the neighbours, it’s also about the rest of the people living in your house.

Open-plan living has become very common, if not the norm, when it comes to homes. We want to be able to see everything that’s going on and move seamlessly from space to space. But this can cause big problems when trying to keep sound out. From noisy appliances in the kitchen to surround sound in the living room, the combination of noises can aggravate those in the house and sometimes even cause medical problems such as headaches or hearing loss.

But there are a number of general things you can do to ensure peace in the home and the street.

1. NEW HOME? BUILD IT PROPERLY

While this may sound obvious, if you’re building your home, it’s helpful to ensure it’s soundproofed correctly. Make the interior walls a bit thicker and always ensure there’s proper insulation. There’s also soundproofing wall sheets you can purchase (or ask your contractor to provide it) which will help. Another great tip is to try make sure doors opening off the same hallway aren’t directly opposite each other. This will stop noise travelling between rooms when the doors are open. And of course, make sure the windows are properly glazed. This may mean investing in double or triple glazed glass to keep the outside noise out and the inside noise in.

2. DRESS THE HOUSE

Hard surfaces reflect sound waves, whereas soft surfaces absorb them. Often, the floors are the biggest problem. With floorboards, tiles and marble being popular choices for homes, the noise is not being absorbed by anything. If you don’t want to lay carpet, put down some rugs to help with the acoustics. You’ll be amazed at the difference. Dressing your windows correctly will also be a huge help. Heavy fabrics can be great to keep noise in rooms such as home theatres and rooms where music is played or practised loudly. Also, an empty house is a noisy house. Sound reverberates around an empty room so popping in some furniture is a great way to reduce noise.

3. CONTAIN THE NOISE

Yes, open-plan houses are wonderful, but not all the time. Having a home cinema in an open section is not ideal, neither is practising an instrument loudly or using power tools. Creating a dedicated room for your hobbies is the perfect way to satisfy everyone – you get to enjoy what you love most and the rest of the family won’t suffer. When it comes to these rooms, it’s crucial to follow the sound-proofing rules – a solid door, glazed windows, carpet for a home cinema or a rug at the very least for band practice and proper insulation.

4. USE SOUNDPROOFING MATERIALS

Other than insulation, solid doors and proper walls, there are some soundproofing materials you can use to help keep the noise contained. For example, you can use sound-deadening coverings on the ceiling and walls so that the noise is absorbed, rather than bouncing around the place.

Additionally, furnish the room so the noise stays inside. If your home cinema backs onto the living room, popping the screen on the common wall rather than the speakers will add another layer of sound protection. Alternatively, you can line that wall with bookshelves to display your fantastic DVD and CD collection. Again, this creates another barrier so the noise cannot travel through.

5. CHECK THE DOORS

Most homes are built with hollow-core doors for the interior, which aren’t that great at keeping sound contained. For the rooms that are going to be the noisiest, invest in some solid doors. Remember, this goes for the garage as well. Often, the garage becomes the workshop or the band practice space, and garage doors aren’t known for being great at keeping the sound in to avoid disturbing the neighbours. Investigate whether you can get a more solid garage door to help with this, some may even have in-built insulation and additional layers to help with the noise.