Do you ever feel like the Grinch, in the scene where he is complaining about all of the “noise, noise, noise, NOISE!!!”? Home is supposed to be a place of calm, quiet, relaxation, and recharging, right? Well, we all know that his doesn’t always work out to be the case in reality. Unwanted noise from both outside and inside can ruin the zen for anyone. And while it’s not realistic to assume you can create total silence in your home, there are certainly steps you can take to reduce noises to more tolerable levels.
If the annoying noises are coming from OUTside, you may want to consider installing laminated windows, which are placed inside existing windows, and can eliminate a huge percentage of unwanted noises from outside. Well placed bushes and shrubs can also offer a barrier to many outdoor noises. If wall air conditioning units are the source of the problem, there are soundproof boxes available to diminish that noise. Sometimes, for these units, as well as for outdoor air conditioning units, air compressors, or ventilation fans, it’s just a matter of having them serviced and updated to reduce the noise problem at its source.
When it comes to INdoor noise, there are several things you can do. Impact noises stemming from an upper floor can be greatly reduced by installing a “floating ceiling,” which is basically a dropped ceiling a bit below the existing one. When done properly and professionally, the air space between ceilings creates a barrier to the noises from above. Of course, if you’re REALLY serious about diminishing noise in your home, you can spend the extra money to soundproof by using a mass loaded vinyl barrier, which is purchased and installed on ceilings and walls by the square foot, and is very dense and noise-absorbing. This is honestly only realistic for the “extremely noise-perturbed” homeowner. For the only mildy perturbed, consider putting some thick carpeting down, particularly on the upstairs floors.
Then there’s the obvious. Look for the source of the impact noise. Do all Zumba and aerobics workouts on a lower floor. Have a “shoes off” policy in the house. Take the Nerf basketball hoops down from the kids’ rooms. Enforce rules about them jumping off the beds. Heck, send the kids OUTSIDE to play! Then you can close those laminated semi-sound proof windows and be at peace while they yell and scream. At least until your tranquility is disturbed by the sound of the phone or doorbell when the neighbors complain. Get yourself a set of earphones or earbuds. Seriously. If what you are searching for is a little quiet time, then shut out the world for a short while and enjoy some relaxing music. The noises will still be there, but you won’t be bothered by them. Which could make you much less . . . . . . Grinch-like.