Insulating and soundproofing your home
You might not think that you need it, but a third of the heat your home stores are actually lost through the walls. If you can fill in the gaps between your walls with insulation, not only will everything seem much warmer – but you will actually reduce energy costs. Because more heat is stored, you will not need as much heating to keep the place nice and warm, so it’s a win/win situation.
Most new houses come with insulation, made from glass fibre or occasionally rock wool. However, a property built years ago will not have proper insulation and having insulation fitted could really make your money back long-term with energy saving. Within about four years you can recoup the money the investment costs, while enjoying a better quality of living.
You may be considering insulation for a variety of reasons – like neighbours next door who make too much noise or have crazy pets. Constant noise can keep you from concentrating or enjoying life at home, as well as affecting your sleeping quality and time. Insulation can be an effective solution to dull down the noise. You may also want to avoid the noise of utilities throughout the house like showers.
Noise from upstairs or next door can really bother you, then you should bear in mind that soundproofing a floor is easier than a ceiling can block out the noise. There is also more difficulty when soundproofing a room which has already been built, rather than still being put together, although certainly not impossible.
You can get soundproofing material for whatever it is you need to soundproof – walls or ceilings, even floors. Remember that if you are soundproofing walls, certain varieties can make the room smaller by up to six inches, so keep that in mind when considering what type of soundproofing to go for.
If you are considering going for soundproofing, you must meet the building regulations passed in 2003. Homes which have been built since 2003 will be covered by these regulations, but properties built before then will not, unless they have previously had conversion work carried out.
You can buy all the necessary materials and utilities needed to perform a complete DIY soundproofing, which helps stop noise travelling through the house. All of these systems have passed regulations and are fire resistant, making them very safe. If you have some DIY experience, you should be able to do this yourselves, however getting somebody to help you with experience is a better idea.
Some smaller soundproofing systems can be fit on with relative ease by gluing or screwing them on. However, keep in mind you will need a qualified electrician to come out and remove all fittings and re-fit them within the new wall insulation.
When fitting thicker soundproof systems, it is a bit more complex but does provide a more efficient protection from noise and bass beats. You will need to create a timber frame for the insulation to go inside, and fitting acoustic plasterboards. Adding acoustic vents will also allow air travel while also reducing noise levels, so you may consider reducing the noise levels.
To cut down on noise levels from above, particularly in a flat, lighting systems can be added to the ceiling. This is extremely effective, but an even more powerful method is to take down the ceiling itself and make acoustic material stick to the bottom of the floor between the floors above and the ceiling. Fitting bars across the joists in the ceiling, add some plasterboard onto the bars. A qualified electrician will again be needed to remove light fittings, and re-install.
Although soundproofing is easier on a floor, then getting a carpet fitter to help you complete the job is probably much easier. This means gluing or nailing layers of soundproof material and underlay on to the floor. The products which you use will depend on just how much noise reduction you are looking for.
Soundproofing materials are pretty heavy, so you will probably need some assistance in carrying them and putting them down. Remember that soundproofing the walls, floors and ceilings is not your only method – you can also get double or triple glazing windows. However, this can be pretty expensive and sometimes more expensive than soundproofing your home.