There are some sources of noise that we simply cannot eliminate. For instance, if you’re traveling to work, there’s nothing you can do about the traffic noise. There’s also nothing you can do about the workplace noise, as it’s usually produced by machines that make the workflow possible.
While other people can be quiet, even the most considerate of coworkers still need to communicate with each other.
So no, you can’t have too much silence throughout the day, seeing as how this is not what your daily routine is for. Silence is something that you’re supposed to get at home. Sadly, for some people, this is not the case. Living with others (family or roommates) is bound to be noisy.
You can’t tell them to be quiet since you don’t have the right to restrict their freedom in their own homes, either. What you can do, on the other hand, is make some moves to keep the traffic noise out of your rest area. Here are some ideas and the best part is, they don’t have to be expensive to work.
Keeping the Home Quiet on a Budget
There are several things you can do to muzzle the noise of traffic in your home, ranging from making the home to be less reflective of sounds all the way to erecting barriers of all sorts.
Blankets on doors and windows
The reason why this works so well is that it gives you a non-reflective surface as a barrier. Imagine throwing a ball at a hard wall. Now imagine throwing it against a hanging blanket. While this comparison is incredibly crude, this ball would bounce off these objects in a similar way in which sound waves would bounce.
These blankets across windows are especially effective, seeing as how windows both vibrate and enhance the bounce rate (due to them being incredibly smooth).
Buy soundproof curtains
Curtains can achieve the same effect. They, however, have two additional advantages. First of all, they’re far more aesthetic, seeing as how they have a decorative function even outside of soundproofing the area. Second, unlike these blankets, they’re a permanent solution. Blankets are mostly placeholder until you get the money for an upgrade.
Now, keep in mind that heavy curtains, floor-to-ceiling curtains, and curtains with sound-absorbing properties give an even greater effect. Nonetheless, they are slightly more expensive.
Wood is simply more acoustic than PVC and vinyl. You see, wood is a great absorber of sound, which makes it creates a more peaceful interior environment. Now, if you’re attempting to turn your home into a fortress of solitude, wood can offer you more than silence. It’s believed that natural materials, like wood and stone, have a calming effect on the human psyche.
Moreover, no one can dispute the beauty of wooden furniture, even antiques, which is why it’s also a sound decision from an interior decoration point of view. Also, keep in mind that with a bit of work via a DIY project, you can go for shabby chic in your own home. Perhaps you can even repurpose some of your outdoor furniture and give it a new role.
Thick rugs and door sweeps
Going for a runner’s rug in your hallway and area rugs in the living room can make a massive difference when it comes to the impact of foot traffic on the peace inside of your own home. This is especially impactful if there’s a room above your home office or bedroom (which is not an ideal situation, to begin with).
Also, a rug is a lot warmer than a hard surface floor. This makes it a great choice for people with young children. Even aside from this, a thick carpet can increase the temperature in a room by one or two degrees.
While buying a rug, you can also get a door sweep to completely seal the room from outside noise. Like rugs, this also makes the room warmer since it reduces heat loss.
Earplugs and noise-canceling headphones
Lastly, to make your home quieter for you, you can always start using earplugs. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can buy quality headphones. Sure, they’re more expensive than earplugs, but they’re also more hygienic and considerably less expensive than a total renovation.
Renovation for a Quieter Home
Now, if you’re willing to spend a bit more on soundproofing your home and plan to invest in a long-term solution, you have several options worth trying out.
Buying soundproof doors
Investing in a quality soundproof door is always a good idea. First of all, it gives you a noise-free area where you can go into self-exile at the end of the day. Second, it gives you greater privacy.
This way, you’re no longer restricted to headphones, which gives you a lot greater maneuverability (for dancing and possibly even headbanging). Also, bear in mind that this is a one-time investment.
Switching to double-glazing windows is generally a great way to increase the sound resilience of your home (if you have just one pane currently). You see, two panes and the air between all act as sound insulators. This way, the noise transfer between your home and the outside world will become considerably reduced.
This means that you’ll get far greater privacy, and the impact of traffic noise (and noise caused by neighbors) will be considerably lower. A lower-cost solution would be to install blinders (and hang a curtain, which we already mentioned).
Now, the insulation, in general, affects the soundproofing, seeing as how it adds to the thickness of the walls. However, the most traditional way of soundproofing your walls is to cover them with acoustic panels. A low-budget alternative to this would be to hang walls.
However, acoustic panels are always a superior option. They can also give you home that iconic podcast studio looks that some people are going for.
Tend to your vents
Noise is like heat. If there’s a hole in the wall somewhere, you can count on it to find it and escape. Now, before we proceed, make sure that you don’t cover your vents. Ventilation is crucial for the health and well-being of everyone in the home. You can, however, cover unused vents and insulate the ducts with liners and acoustic foam.
Remember, noise is not just an inconvenience. It’s a proper health hazard. No one can deny that continuous noise acts as a powerful stressor. This is why it’s an issue that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
You’re not the only one concerned with noise, so to prevent potential family/roommate disputes in the future, you need to make soundproofing your home your No.1 priority. Fortunately, now you know how.