How to deal with Noisy Neighbours
Apartment and townhouse living means that many of us have to put up with noisy neighbours - but there are a few tricks you can use to block out sound from neighbours.
If you are interested in this article, chances are you have already tried talking to your noisy neighbours and chances are that this failed dismally. I am sure that many homeowners have been placed in this situation and have been unable to resolve it to everyone's satisfaction. There is no getting over the fact that some neighbours just don't care about whether their noise levels bother neighbours.
With many people moving into apartment and townhouses, it is a fact that many of us have to put up with noisy neighbours. Whether it's a TV or stereo on high, drunken revelry, or just loud neighbours, there are a few tricks you can use to block out some of the annoying sounds.
Is there legal recourse?
For those living in a development managed by a Body Corporate, your first action would be to take a closer look at the Rules managing the development. It is understandable when a neighbour gets carried away occasionally, but when noise becomes a regular disturbance you should have recourse via the Body Corporate, and chances are you are not going to be the only person to complain.
Unfortunately, and something I have had personal issue with, is that sometimes the Body Corporate or Home Owners Association has tried to rectify the problem but has had little success. If this is the case, take a look at some of the ways you can block out or soundproof your home against noise levels.
Don't want to move?
It is an unfortunate fact that the design of and materials used in townhouse developments or apartments do not take into consideration that there may be noisy neighbours. From everyday noises of people walking up or down corridors, turning the television up loud, to blasting music, the lack of insulation may be the reason that noises become magnified.
If you are buying your home off-plan, this is the best time to make arrangements with the developer or builder to have insulating materials incorporated for your peace of mind. Discuss your options when them to have insulation materials in walls and ceilings, double-glazed windows, etc., and while this will be an additional cost to you, in this way you can ensure that the possibility of noisy neighbours will not make you want to sell up and move out.
Decorate for a quiet home
If you are purchasing a built home, there are a few design tricks that you can incorporate in your home to help with lowering neighbourly or outside noise levels.
- Use plenty of textures and fabrics
Layering of fabrics and textiles in your home will go a long way towards soundproofing your residence. The more textiles you can add - the more soundproofing.
Rug pads not only prevent your rugs and mats from sliding all over the floor, they are also great at adding soundproofing to your home. The thick underfelt pads absorb noise from your own home, as well as outdoor noise. There are plenty of places to purchase rugs pads of various sizes and styles, but underfelt works the best at blocking out noise.
GOOD TO KNOW: If you are ripping up carpets to install laminate flooring or tiles, put the underfelt aside to use to make your own carpet pads.
If you are renovating your home and can't decide on the type of flooring to install, consider that fitted carpets block out a lot of noise. If traffic noise is an issue, or any other type of noise over which you have no control, carpets might be a good choice purely for their soundproofing effect.
The bedroom is one room where you will want to have as much soundproofing as possible. Consider laying rugs with rug pads over the top of fitted carpets to block out noise for a peaceful night's sleep.
In the same way that floor rugs deaden sound, so the same occurs when you hang rugs, mats or carpets on the wall. A thick rug mounted on a wall will help to block out disturbances from noisy neighbours, and the thicker the rug - the better.
And rugs or mats aren't just good for blocking out sound, they also add colour, texture and pattern to any room in a home.
GOOD TO KNOW: If you have a bathroom that echoes and doesn't give you much sound privacy, add a comfortable, thick rug on the floor and possibly an attractive textile wall hanging, to make it more soundproof.
Using layered window treatments that incorporate medium-weight fabric Roman blinds and heavy-weight curtain fabric will decrease sound levels dramatically. The fabric absorbs a lot of outdoor noise, including traffic sounds from a busy street. Finishing Touches offers a complete service whereby you can choose your fabric for both blinds and curtains, select the perfect hardware for your window treatment, and hang your custom window treatment without any fuss or hassle.
- A library at home
When you walk into a public library you immediately notice how quiet it is. You can achieve this level of quiet in your own home by adding a wall or alcove of shelves filled with your favourite books.
Books act as a sound barrier, so the more books you have in a bookcase, the better the effect. Where you have a troublesome neighbour on one side, install a wall of books to muffle the sound.