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Live and let live is a rule that sounds much simpler than it is. Sure, it’s easy not to stick your nose into other people’s business, but what if your lifestyle seems to be in other people’s way? What if their lifestyles interfere with yours? 

The most common way this happens is through noise. There you are, minding your own business, and suddenly, the argument, pet, or music from next door starts disturbing. Or, you’re just having a good time, living your best life, and the neighbor rings you up to tell you to keep it down. 

So, how do you soundproof your home for common home noise complaints? How do you prevent things from happening?

1.   Loud neighbors

If your neighbors are noisy, or you are accused of being a noisy neighbor, it might be a good idea to ensure that all the barriers toward the outer world are reinforced and all the gaps are sealed. The noise travels through gaps and bounces back when encountering an obstacle. This means that, even if audible, it will be a lot softer. 

You must start weather-stripping your windows and getting heavy curtains or drapes. 

You also want to consider wall coverings like acoustic panels if you want to spend more. Still, you can also do quite a bit with proper furniture placement or wall ornaments. One of the best things you can do is move bookshelves next to the exterior wall. This way, the books themselves are a great buffer. Aside from being able to stop a bullet, the layered nature of the book will prove to be an impenetrable barrier to noise of any kind. 

Just keep in mind that unless you go to the length of padding the entire home, you’ll still have some noise coming in or going out. In other words, nothing can protect you when living next to an airport or an industrial zone. 

Either way, soundproofing your place should be one of the first things you do after moving to a new home, even before you meet the neighbors.

2.   Footsteps

Now, chances are that the noise source is coming from above or below. So, you need to get a rug or learn more about floor soundproofing. This way, you’ll also be quieter to people living below you. 

Picking the right rug is the best action, but you’re aiming for the right thickness and material. This will make a world of difference regarding the noise effect. 

If you’re really willing to make an effort, you should explore the available underlayments. Acoustic underlayment beneath the carpet can absorb the sound of footsteps and doesn’t require a complex installation. 

If you’re remodeling your home, you could also pick a bit of softer flooring material like cork, rubber, etc. The problem is that softer materials tend to scratch and dent more easily, so dragging furniture becomes out of the question. 

You can also hire specialists in soundproofing while making the floor so that you can install special acoustic caulk to the underlayer. 

If you’re decorating your own multiple-story home, you can take the easy way out and work on the floor of each level simultaneously with the ceiling of the room below. However, there’s one thing you could do to prevent the noise coming from upstairs (if you’re living in an apartment building, for instance). Hanging ceiling clouds are particularly effective at stopping noise coming from upstairs, and they can have quite an interesting look.

3.   Pets

If your neighbors have pets, there’s not much you can do about it other than soundproofing your home’s entire exterior. At the same time, if you own a pet, you want to keep the home quieter and keep your neighbors from complaining too much. 

Designated pet areas, furniture pads, and white noise machines can do quite a bit. This way, the pet will sound quieter, but this also creates the ripple effect where your dog will seem calmer, so they’ll keep the noise down. 

You also want to take them out for an exercise. A tired dog is never as noisy as a bored one. Just make sure to do so in time. 

Dogs respond poorly to slamming noises, so you might want to use soft-close features on your cabinets. This way, you’ll have a smaller chance of triggering them. 

Having a designated pet area, away from the bedroom, can give them the freedom to enjoy the comfort of their own home without actively endangering their own rest and well-being. Remember that you can’t force your dog to like it or spend time there. The best you can do is make the place according to their own preferences and hope they’ll respond well to it. 

Ultimately, this has everything to do with training, but that’s a topic for another time.

4.   Street noise

The first step on this list is expensive, and it involves upgrading your windows. You see, double-glazing windows can save more than just money; they will also keep your home quieter. It’s not just two panes either; it’s also about the air trapped between them that acts as an extra buffer. 

If you want a bit cheaper alternative, you can always go for window inserts. This way, you’re adding an extra layer. Of insulation and reducing sound transmission. 

Adding anything to your walls will help, as well. Sure, rendering and cladding are quite expensive, but what about doing drywall on the home’s interior? 

Also, any outdoor barrier, whether it’s a hedge, fence, or shrubbery, will keep the place a lot quieter. In other words, this is as much of a landscaping task as it is anything related to home improvement. Speaking of which, a water feature like a fountain or a pond may also mask the noise or even add an extra barrier.

Wrap up

Noise travels both ways, in and out. By building a quieter home, you’ll also make a home that’s more resistant to outside noises. This means that you’ll be less bothered by your neighbors, and they will, in turn, be less bothered by your own activity. This means buying peace of mind, good neighborly relations, and, above all, investing in your own privacy. Most people would agree that this is, indeed, a huge deal.