Whether you have noisy neighbours or are situated under a flight path, soundproofing your home can make a huge difference to your quality of life. However, your infuriation at the noise could be coupled with despair at having wasted your cash, if your attempts at soundproofing fail.
Here are some common pitfalls of home soundproofing:
1. Unnecessary professionals
Is your home noisy? Do you struggle to hear each other from across the room because of background noise? Then you have a soundproofing need. You do not need an ‘acoustic consultant’ to tell you that. An acoustic consultant’s job is to work out where unwanted sound is coming from and offer solutions for getting rid of it. Skip this step and save a lot of money by working out the source of the sound yourself, then asking a soundproofing material supplier for advice on how to sort it.
2. Not choosing your soundproofing materials carefully
It can be tempting to just get whatever product the people in the DIY shop point you towards. Different noise nuisances (e.g. low flying aircraft versus the yappy dog next door) require different soundproofing products. If the material isn’t right for the job, you will have wasted your money. Opt to buy your materials from a specialist soundproofing supplier, who can give you advice about which materials are best suited to your particular noise problem.
3. Falling out with your neighbours
If your neighbours are the source of your noise problem, there is a chance that they don’t know about it – in which case, if you mention it to them in a polite and friendly way they might apologise profusely and immediately stop. It is more likely, though, that they will take offence at your request to not play their music at 2am. If so, you will not change their minds by arguing with them, you will just make things worse. It will be less stressful to just soundproof your home.
4. Assuming you are an expert soundproofing installer
Soundproofing material only works if it is installed properly: it’s got to be stuck down (or up) properly and it’s got to be put in the right place. Getting both of those things right is something you really should leave to the experts.
5. Using household products to soundproof your home
Egg cartons… corrugated cardboard… mattresses… these can all make the problem worse, depending on the noise nuisance. Plus they don’t feature in interior design magazines for a good reason. Choose materials that have been specifically designed to deaden or reduce the type of noise that you are experiencing – specialist suppliers can advise on what materials are best.