How to Adapt Your Home to Avoid Irritating Neighbours When You Enjoy Your Record Collection

Excessive noise is one of the most common causes of conflicts between neighbours, particularly in urban areas with dense housing. Then again, listening to music the way it should be listened to is one of the great joys of life. So how do you balance the desire to enjoy your record collection with the need to placate the family next door?

Here are some useful tips for creating and managing your home so that noise transmission to the outside world is reduced, leaving you free to savour the base of your favourite records without worrying about alienating your neighbours.

Consider Fabric Hangings to Dampen the Sound

Soft furnishings can effectively dampen the noise from stereo systems without compromising the effect in the room itself (and they can add a nice aesthetic touch at the same time). Woollen drapes will have a noticeable dampening effect, but for the biggest noise reductions, go for a material called Homasote. Developed to prevent the transmission of noise in offices and schools it can be covered in burlap, creating a handy surface for homes as well.

Install Door Sweeps

Sometimes, it's not just the walls that are the culprit. Noise also travels throughout your home, particularly where there is an unbroken flow of air. To combat this, you can add door sweeps to the underside of internal doors. Take care to measure the seal properly (or get an expert in) as a flush fitting will maximise the sweeps' effectiveness.

Think About Your Windows

Windows also allow noise out, which can then find its way into neighbours' homes. Double glazing is a good solution, but specialist sound reducing windows are even better. You don't need them everywhere in your home. Just install them opposite your stereo speakers and far less noise will escape. If that doesn't work, heavy curtains should help to reduce noise even further.

Add A Plasterboard Layer to Your Walls

Just like your windows, your walls have a huge impact upon how much noise reaches the outside world. You can often achieve huge reductions by adding a thin layer of plasterboard to the inside of your walls. This layer doesn't have to be installed everywhere, just in the rooms where you play music and, particularly, any walls directly attached to neighbouring properties. For the best results, use a specially designed soundblock with a high density core that has been developed to dampen noise.

There's no reason to compromise on your listening habits. By installing plasterboard panels, adding fabric hangings, considering sound proof windows and dealing with gaps beneath your doors, you can dramatically cut the noise that reaches the ears of your next door neighbours.