There are many ways to soundproof a house, after the initial construction phase. It is just as easy to block sounds coming in from the outside as it is to eliminate inside noise that can be disturbing to neighbours. A variety of products are used to soundproof different area and items, even appliances. Soundproofing materials not available locally can usually be ordered online.
The largest percentage of noise enters and exits a room through a window or windows. Unfortunately, windows are not typically soundproof, especially older models. One of the best ways to correct the problem is to install new windows. According to Repair-Home.com, double-pane windows block up to 20 per cent more noise than their single pane counterparts. Acrylic window frames will block up to an additional 30 per cent of the same sound waves.
Less expensive options include window plugs and noise reducing curtains. Making homemade window plugs is not difficult. All that is required is the purchase of several soundproof mats. Simply cut the mats to fit each window frame and attach securely. This method won't work for some situations, because the mats block all incoming light. Noise reducing curtains are available in a variety of colours and styles.
Walls typically pose a problem, as well. Thin drywall alone does not block sound waves. Since adding insulation is a costly option, especially in pre-built homes, installing additional layers of drywall is a less expensive alternative. The more layers that are utilised, the more soundproof the walls become.
Soundproof material panels are another option. Tack them to walls, along the top mouldings and baseboards. They can be painted to match any decor.
Many people don't realise that it is possible to soundproof appliances. Dishwashers, washers, refrigerators, dryers and treadmills don't need to be noisy. This type of noise-reduction maintenance is beneficial when family members work opposite schedules.
Quiet a dishwasher by replacing the foam material under the front panel. (This panel is easy to remove by loosening two screws in the bottom section and lifting it out.) The foam should be replaced with a piece of sound-absorbent matting. Glue the mat into place with contact cement.
Other appliances, including TV's, will make less noise when the same type of mat is placed underneath them. A refrigerator will make less noise if it surrounded by three walls. This can be accomplished by placing it in a corner and building a wall along its other side.