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How to Soundproof a Room

Soundproofing is defined as the method of reducing sound from travelling from point A to point B. It reduces noise by using materials to absorb the sound before it gets to point B.

Soundproofing is useful in both residential and commercial buildings. There are four basic elements to soundproof a room:

  1. Decoupling

Sound in its basic form is vibration. If there is a direct path sound will travel easily. A great way of explaining it is thinking about two cans that are connected by a string. The string acts as a direct path. However, if the string was cut the pathway would be decoupled and there would be no sound travelling to the other can.

In a room, the less sound that can travel from one side of the wall to the other is best. It is the frame of the wall that acts as the path for the sound vibrations. A simple and effective way of soundproofing is to decouple the framing within the ceiling and walls.

There are a number of different methods that can be used, some are more effective than others. Creating a double stud wall with Green Glue is certainly the most effective, but the most complex. Other methods include using soundproofing clips with Green Glue or creating a staggered stud wall with Green Glue. The easiest, but least effective is making a resilient channel with Green Glue, however, this is a simple solution that might be appropriate in some situations.

2. Absorption

If there are air cavities air can resonate. This is what happens when you hear the ‘ocean’ in a sea shell. So if there is a hollow wall, air will be trapped within it. When the wall is then vibrated from sound on one side it will be carried by the air in the wall across to the other side. Adding insulation in the wall cavity will help to absorb some of this sound and prevent it from travelling to the next wall.  This technique is best used in conjunction with decoupling as each method will remove some of the sound transfer, not all. It is a cumulative effect, so the more elements of soundproofing you add, the better the overall result.

3. Add Mass

When sound moves from one side of the wall to the other, it actually has to move the wall slightly. One way of reducing the sound transfer is to make it harder for the sound to move the wall, this can be done by making the wall heavier. The simple ways that a wall can be made heavier include Drywall, plywood, OSB and cement board. Drywall is one of the lowest cost solutions.

Heavy walls can still move, but not as easily. However, sounds such as low frequencies (bass sounds) can still be heard easily. This solution is good depending on the location and the sort of sound you are trying to reduce.

4. Damping

Adding a product such as Green Glue to the drywall will dampen the sound, particularly if it is added on the sound producing side of the wall.

Some of these products and elements are best used in conjunction with each other, and some are more suited to certain projects.

Contact STAGES Construction to discuss your needs and we can help you with a tailored soundproofing solution to meet your needs and budget.

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The benefits of soundproofing

Soundproofing your home or at least a room is something that every home owner has considered. There are some real advantages and benefits, so depending on your circumstances it might be well worth the effort.

If you work from home or would simply like a quiet place to concentrate soundproofing may be a viable option for you to create a room that has less noise penetration that the other rooms in the house.

However, there is also the option of soundproofing a room to stop sound exiting the room. This might be a good option if you have a drummer in the family! You can create a room where they can play the drums or other musical instruments without disturbing the rest of the family. This would also be good for a home theatre room where you might want to have movies play loudly or watch a sports game without disturbing the rest of the family or waking the baby! There are also practical rooms in the house to soundproof like the laundry to reduce the sound of noisy appliances. Window soundproofing is a great way to reduce road traffic noise. An experienced contractor can help you determine what would be best for your lifestyle and goals.

It isn’t just the benefit of your quiet enjoyment of the house with the addition of soundproofing, but real estate agents will tell you that houses sell better with soundproofing. This is particularly the case for ‘hard to sell’ houses, if the house is less desirable because it is on a busy road or next to a train line then the addition of soundproofing removes that objection by prospective buyers.

Because some soundproofing techniques include adding insulation to the walls or ceiling this has some other benefits. These include reduced utility bills because there is less need for heating and cooling, instant increased capacity of existing heaters and coolers and reduce maintenance due to less use of these systems.

You can’t underestimate the improved quality of life and living if the house or a room is creating a quieter, more peaceful space to relax. For someone who lives on a busy road or has noisy neighbours, soundproofing their bedroom could have a hugely positive impact on their health if they are getting a better quality sleep as a result of the soundproofing.

No matter what your situation, the size of your project or your budget, we can help with a solution. Contact STAGES Construction today so that we can discuss your project and provide you with some solutions.

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How to choose a commercial contractor

When choosing a commercial contractor most people get several quotes. There is often an inclination to choose the one that provided the lowest cost quote. However, there is more involved when choosing the right contractor for your job.

  1. Be wary of cheap quotes

Sometimes a cheap quote seems appealing, however, choosing on price alone can be risky. It may be that in order to keep the price low the quote has excluded some things that lead to problems once the construction process commences. This can then push prices above what the competitors quoted anyway. You may find that the project quality and schedule fall below expectations as a result.

2. References

Most contractors will tell you that they have great practices, high quality and can meet the schedule. However, the best way to determine this in a transparent way is to ask for references. Talk to other business owners or architects and engineers that have worked with the contractor. References are a great way to ensure that you are choosing the right contractor to meet your needs.

3. Safety

Safe work practices is critical. There may be times when the contractors staff are working amongst your own staff, and safety for all of these people is paramount. Safety incidents can cause bad publicity for both the contractor and yourself. Ask your contractor about their safe work practices and what they do on a day to day basis to ensure that the employees are safe.

4. Schedule

Always ensure that your contractor provides you with a detailed schedule so that you both know the important milestones that need to be achieved. It is important to ensure that your contractor understands your business critical dates.

5. Experience

Not all contractors are equal. Ensure that your contractor has experience doing the type of work that you require. Understand what the experience that they have and that of their staff. Make sure you bring your contractor on early in the planning process so that the can assist in the development stage, this will help ensure that the engineers and architects design something that is easier to construct which will in the long run save you time and money.

6. Check out their website

A company website can help you establish the specialties of each contractor. They also often list their completed projects so you can see first hand some of the jobs they have completed.

7. Relationship

It is critical that you have a contractor whom you can develop a strong relationship with. The project will be more successful if there is open communication and trust between you and the contractor. So when you first meet with them, ask questions to determine if it will be a good fit for both you and the contractor.