Soundproofing 101: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

At some point in time you may find it necessary, for any of a variety of reasons, to soundproof your home, office, or personal space. While you will need to put a little bit of effort into learning about different types of soundproofing techniques and materials, you find that your research time is really minimal. Creating a sound barrier is something you'll find easy to do, on your own terms and within your own budget. Very little professional assistance, if any at all, is usually needed.

Problems usually arise when those inexperienced with soundproofing turn to the wrong sources for information on how to get the job done. The bad information, hype about materials that don't work, and negative opinions can turn a project sour very quickly. Here are 5 soundproofing mistakes you should avoid from the start.

5. Hiring a Sound Consultant

Unless you are trying to create a professional sound studio, there is absolutely no reason on earth for yout o hire a soundproofing consultant. Also known as acoustical consultants, these individuals get paid to come into your home, identify a problem, and tell you how to fix it. With a little bit of time and effort, you can easily figure out the answers to all of your questions on your own. The difference is that you wo't get a bill from yourself at the end of the day for your advice. Avoid hiring a consultant unless you're at your wits end.

How to Soundproof a Room

4. Drawing Conclusions

One of the worst things you can do when you have a problem with sound is jump to conclusions about its source. Let's say, for example, your next door neighbor's teenage son has a bedroom window directly across from yours. He plays his radio late into the evening and, during the summer when the windows are open, the sound is distracting.

Do you need to create a sound barrier, or do you need to approach your neighbor about the situation? Someone not thinking clearly might jump right to soundproofing, but if you're smart, you'll talk to your neighbor (in a friendly manner) first. He may be able to remedy the problem - by having his son turn off the radio or shut his windows - before you waste money on an unnecessary project.

3. Listening to Bad Advice

The moment you start talking about soundproofing, your family members and friends will want to tell you exactly what they've done to solve their problems. Some will tell you about nailing old carpets to the walls and others will tell you to pain the walls dark colors. This type of advice is a waste of money. Unless your family members are telling you to go out and buy some Green Glue buckets, they probably don't really know what they're talking about.

2. Involving the Authorities

Is the sound problem you're having caused by your neighbors, by a nearby business, or by passing traffic? If so, you may be tempted to call the police, but this method rarely helps. If your neighbors are doing something vindictive or illegal, the police will only be able to offer you a temporary solution and, in the end, you'll only make yourself some enemies. In this situation, you're better off taking measures to soundproof your home.

1. Uneducated Guessing

Not sure which soundproofing method is right for your specific situation? Don't guess. Figure out the real cause of your problem and then compare a couple of different techniques. One will jump out and present itself as the right solution. Whether you end up using Green Glue, a few tubes of acoustical caulk, mass loaded vinyl, or acoustical panels, you're guaranteed to be pleased with the end results of your soundproofing work.

Avoid these soundproofing mistakes at all costs. Doing so will save you time and money - guaranteed.

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