I just got this fanmail from the thoughtful pookagehayes, and thought I’d share it in case it’s useful to anyone suffering from a noisey house and no buildery types or awesome budget:
For the record- the best form of soundproofing is THICK CURTAINS! They also look less ridiculous than your other options.
If money’s tight then you can just sew together a whole bunch of old clothes etc you can get from the charity shop. Bung ‘em in with some bleach/dye if you don’t want a patchwork-coloured wall.
If the ceiling’s an issue then that’s more difficult ‘cos curtains don’t work. If you’re okay with the room looking a little like an insane asylum then stick some duvets up there - nail-gun if you have wooden supports to go into, if not then pulleys in the corners of the room all holding up a net will work.
*tips cap* best of luck, mademoiselle! Let me know if you need…
Rob told me yesterday that egg boxes glued all over your wall is also good, but he might have been lying. He does that a lot.
I am lucky enough to be able to lend some of my savings to the co-op as loanstock to be paid back in a few years’ time, so I don’t have to resort to putting curtains up all over my walls or anything. :) When you’ve got enough money and a buildery friend, putting up extra plasterboard etc. isn’t that much harder than putting up curtain rails. Also, it will look much better than pinned up duvets or the existing ugly woodchip wallpaper.
Here’s what we’re going to do in my room, which will be new-build between-homes standard of soundproofing. It’s going to be a big job, but well worth it for my peace and that of any future tenants.
- Knock out the weird-shaped walls and put in more sensible ones, thus making my room and the adjoining room bigger.
- Leaving a gap, put up some studwork just inside of the existing studwork along the entire west wall.
- Wodge it full of insulation batting.
- Plasterboard over it. (Possibly two layers, or one layer of acoustic plasterboard, which is over twice the price but may be worth it, not sure yet.)
- Plaster and paint and replace skirting board.
- Install dinky sink near the window so I don’t have to go out to the communal areas to wash, make tea, etc. (This will give me a lot of freedom and save my sanity.)
- Take up floorboards, and wodge insulation batting between joists.
- Replace floorboards.
- Cover with layer of insulation batting, and then new tongue-and-groove floorboards. No connecting screws, because sound can travel along them.
- Fail to put down carpet, because I have allergies and a cat and a crafty inclination.
Ta-dah! There needs to be gaps everywhere, because sound can even travel through screws and slight touching areas of wood.
This will take maybe 15cm off the west walls of my room, but the room is so big that it won’t make much difference. It will certainly cost under £1,000 but we’re not sure quite how much less yet. My lovely friend Steve will be helping me throughout, so we’ll work out a quote together.
In other news, I am not a girl (“mademoiselle” is the French word for a maiden, young unmarried/virgin female), and such words are always gendered in French. If anyone knows of the gender-inclusive French words of this ilk, please do edit them in to this awesome wiki page.
Neutral language is used for me (ie: people use singular “they” when referring to me) or none at all, but there are often ways to address people in a neutral way.
In this context, perhaps I might have said… heh, maybe dude or something like that? I think of dude as being quite neutral. Dude (n): one who is awesome.