Sound proofing in the home can be broken into a few major areas.
The roof, the sash windows and doors, and the walls. We will look closely at the best methods of reducing sound pollution as well as not breaking the budget, keeping things realistic and relevant. Depending on the kind of pollution you are suffering from the order of importance may vary. In the example I will look at today we will consider a home directly over London Heathrow flight path. This is an important case because I have been to many homes that are suffering from this sound problem to the point they have considered moving. Mother’s that have new born children in desperate need of sleep, as well as individuals who have sleep apnea are really struggling and it is a situation that we need to solve.
In this example of the London Heathrow Flight Path we will want to insulate our roof first. There are several methods however the most common and beneficial is to install sound proofing boards directly against the roof trusses and then use a tongue and grove timber panel to finish off and hold in place. The insulation itself also creates a really nice area that can be used for storage or even as a small bedroom, although obtaining relevant permissions to have it labelled as an additional room are almost impossible. This certainly does not stop you enjoying the extra space. Please note there are a couple of things you really need to get right before converting the loft in such a way. Firstly ensure all pipework and electrical cabling is run as you do not want to go to the lengths of fitting out to find that it all needs pulling out again because you forgot a radiator, or an external light.
This is by no means a full fit out. Incredible things can be done with the lost and I will go into that in this full loft conversion post. The essentials are insulation boarding behind the cladding, and then loft insulation as standard between joists with a chip board finish. This will cut noise coming from above to almost zero as well as make a more useable space.
The next most significant part is sash window sound proofing. Sash window sound proofing is crucial and the most common ways of improving the noise pollution is double glazing of existing sash windows. By double glazing your original sash windows you create an air gap within the two panes of glass and this air gap is extremely good at stopping noise, and has the wonderful benefit of really improving the heat retention as well. It’s normally combined with a draught proofing system to create high quality and efficient sash window sound proofing. The draught proofing system is vital in the reduction of sound pollution, if you’ve ever seen a recording studio, there are absolutely no gaps between walls and doors as this is the point in which almost all sound is lost. They will normally have a sash window draught proofing specialist come around and install this upgrade.