Unless you live in a rural area far away from civilisation, you’re most likely having to deal with unwelcoming noise entering your home, right? Everyone can agree that it’s far from ideal and just something they’re unwillingly dealing with. Whether it’s dogs barking, birds chirping, kids playing outside, people honking their horns, or even neighbors chitchatting, all of it can get to the point where it’s terribly annoying, right? Sometimes the quality of life can even be affected, such as lack of sleep.
The negative effects of not getting a good night’s sleep are pretty apparent. So, rather than moving houses or just dealing with the exterior noise, hoping to get used to it, why not instead focus on something else, such as changing your home? Here are some home improvements you should consider if you want more peace and quiet!
Is Soundproofing Your Home Necessary?
For the most part, you can expect a drop in quality of life if it’s constantly loud outside. It can affect concentration and sleep and just make your home feel uncomfortable overall. Needless to say, this is something that’s not exactly ideal. So instead, you’re going to want to consider soundproofing your home so you can get that wonderful quality that you’re after!
Take a Look at Your Insulation
One of the best ways to reduce noise pollution is to insulate your home. Adding insulation and sealing gaps with caulk can help keep out unwanted noise as well as keep it more energy efficient too. Besides, depending on the age of your home, it’s probably best to take a good look anyways to see how your insulation is doing because it may be time to get new insulation anyways. So if you think about it like that, it’s essentially a win-win!
Consider Replacing Your Doors and Windows
Unwanted noises can distract and erode focus, but it’s easy to reduce or block the sounds of traffic and other activities that invade your home space. But a lot of it comes in from the doors and windows than any other place in the home. Hollow doors, as well as gaps between the sounds, will easily allow soundwaves to go through. Replacing hollow ones with solid-core doors will dramatically cut down on the amount of sound that passes through them.
If you can’t splurge on new interior doors, consider adding sweeps and weather stripping to minimise air gaps that allow noise to pass through. In terms of the glass of your windows, you’ll want to take a close look at that too. Believe it or not, regular windows aren’t really cut out for soundproofing, which is why you should look into acoustic glass for your windows instead.
Seal Air Gaps
It’s not only about the thickness of the doors and windows, but another contributing factor is the air gaps, something you’re mostly going to find with doors. Regardless if your door is thick or not, this is a pretty common problem. It’s not just the sound, but cold air usually gets in too. So sealing them is an important step in soundproofing a room. Installing weather stripping around the edge of a door prevents outside noise from filtering in, while sound-absorbing curtains help quiet echoes in interior rooms. This is especially helpful for front doors and back doors.
Get a Rug
Simple, chic, and a nice insulator, you should definitely consider getting a rug! While a quiet home may conjure images of renovations and expensive DIY projects, the truth is that many simple strategies can cut out the noise. The rug is perfect for this. So, when it comes to rugs, especially large ones, there are different ways you can play with them.
For example, if your home is two stories, and the top floor is very loud, by getting rugs or carpet, you’re dampening the noise and impact on your floor. You can even look into hanging a rug on your wall. It sounds a tad odd, but this is something that’s still in fashion, especially when it comes to Russian and Eastern European interiors. It’s a pretty nice insulator too!
Take a Look at Your Window Treatments
Do window treatments really matter when it comes to soundproofing your home? They absolutely do! While you may initially think at first that window treatments are only there to make a room appear better looking or to just block out light, these are only a couple of small parts of the bigger picture. Generally speaking, window treatments should make your home more tolerable and more comfortable. So what better way with something thick yet gorgeous?
Soundproofing curtains are an option, and honestly, these are fantastic options that you should consider. Due to their thickness, they help muffle out the sound. This includes keeping noise inside rather than it going out, and vice versa. Also, due to its thickness, it’s also a pretty nice insulator for the summer and winter months too. It’s not just about the thickness either, but rather the length of the curtains too. You should also ensure they go from the ceiling to the floor rather than halfway. Not only is this going to help with the acoustics, but overall this is also going to help with the aesthetics of your home too.
Add Mass to the Walls
The more mass in your walls, the better they’ll resist vibration and sound transmission. You can add more mass by adding acoustic or “sound” insulation between your studs. Unlike standard fiberglass, this type of insulation is formulated to absorb noise. You can find it at most home improvement stores by sandwiching a sheet of Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) between the ceiling drywall and a ceiling joist. While your new wall materials will help reduce unwanted sounds, it’s important to keep in mind that they won’t stop all outside noise completely. If your home is near a highway or next to a busy road, you might need extra measures.
Consider Your Furniture Arrangement
Have you ever considered that your furniture could help you out in getting rid of all of this unwelcoming exterior noise? To a degree, your furniture could help, and it could actually be just what you need to make this massive change. Hard surfaces reflect and amplify noises, while soft materials absorb them. A good way to reduce reverberation in your home is to install sound-absorbing panels, which are made of superior noise-dampening materials and are available in various sizes and colours.
However, if you’re not in the mood to shell out money for something new, you can try using things that are already present in your home. For instance, a bookshelf filled with books can act as an effective barrier to sound. Just move the bookcase in front of the wall to create a barrier that will absorb some of the noises coming through. Ideally, you’re going to want to move these where the most exterior noise is coming from.
Can it Work?
In the end, it is possible to soundproof your home, but you need to keep in mind that there is a big difference between having your home completely silent and muffling noise. Honestly, it’s next to impossible to block out all of the exterior noise unless you’re considering adding concrete walls to your home, but even then, that doesn’t work too well either. It’s best to just be realistic with these solutions, as you can’t expect anything but pure perfection.
So, have the expectation of muffling out unwelcoming sounds, not blocking out exterior noise entirely. Plus, if you do all of these or even most, you can still expect a fairly large difference in acoustics and the sounds that get inside your home.