Noisy neighbours are something most of us have had to put up with at some point. Though the odd birthday bash or Saturday night warm up is nothing to get too concerned about, persistent noise can often lead to very serious problems such as neighbourhood disputes or even long running feuds which can result in court action or in particularly unbearable situations, families having to relocate.
Noise Action Week is an annual initiative coordinated by Environmental Protection UK (formerly NSCA), that aims to raise awareness of the problems caused by neighbour noise and the solutions available to tackle it. It provides an opportunity for local authorities, housing providers, mediation services and all those involved in neighbour noise management to raise awareness of services available and promote practical solutions.
If you are affected by problematic or unreasonable neighbours and you want use Noise Action Week to draw attention to any concerns you concerns you might have or to resolve any issues, you can do so by logging on to the Environmental Protection UK website where you will find lots of helpful information, case studies and phone numbers for various regulatory bodies.
During Noise Action Week you should also take the time to look at your own living habits. Do you show respect for those next door or are you a fairly noisy neighbour? Even though most of us try to show consideration for our neighbours, the physical make-up of our homes can often make this an impossibility. This is especially true in new builds or city apartments which are generally separated only by timber and plasterboard partition walls rather than solid brick built walls.
If you want to be a good neighbour why not look into the ways you can add some further insulation to your property- it’ll help keep you warm in winter anyway.
The areas you should be considering when looking to soundproof your home are-
Windows- double glazing can reduce noise over single pane windows by up to around 20%- if you can’t stretch to new windows, at the very least get yourself some thick ready made curtains and/or some vertical blinds.
Doors- Solid, thick wooden doors are best but it’s not just about the doors themselves. You need to ensure that jambs, thresholds and door heads are also airtight and special weather seals put around the door frames can make a remarkable difference on their own.
Walls- Cavity wall insulation will make a huge difference, as will double skin brick walls in place of single skin variations.
Floors/Ceilings- Same thing really- one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor and all! Carpets, rugs, cork flooring and inter-floor cavity insulation will all prevent sound from travelling and reverberating excessively, though I’d suggest you don’t attempt to lay a carpet on your ceiling!
Once you’ve given your home the sound proofing treatment it’s time to look at your home habits. Things like taking your shoes off if you have hardwood floors, refraining from revving the engine of your car during morning or evening hours and keeping your finger off the volume button of your TV or stereo will ensure you get a Christmas card not an ASBO come December.