This case study specifically looks at following our four principles when soundproofing a room in a semi-detached property from noisy neighbours.
When faced with noisy neighbours, many people find themselves wondering:
- Should I move or should I soundproof my home?
- What result will I get if I stay and soundproof my house?
- How will I know it will actually work?
Our clients, Laura and James were asking themselves these questions. They loved the area and their street, the house was very practical and had everything they needed. The only problem was the noise from the neighbours. It was so bad they could make out words from next door as if they were in the room with them. The neighbour next door had a particular tone of voice and a sort of cough that was clearly recognisable in every room.
The noise problem
Before soundproofing Laura and James could hear, children crying, loud talking, conversations, and when voices were raised, they could make out words from the neighbours. In the living room and dining room in particular they could hear impact noises such as plug sockets and light switches and kids running around.
In the main bedroom they could follow conversation and literally had no privacy unless they talked under their breath. Unfortunately, these noises from the neighbours continued into the night and this made living there very uncomfortable. Due to the noise Laura and James were always looking to move to a new house and this made them feel really unsettled in their house.
The Quietco approach to soundproofing a room
Quietco have helped reduce the noise for over 300 people in the last 10 years, the success of all these projects comes down to following our four principles of soundproofing, these principles underline our company values, integrity and give our customers peace of mind they are in safe hands.
Our four principles of soundproofing a room in your house:
- Treat the main cause of the problem
- Treat the direct noise
- Treat the indirect noise paths
- Treat the fixtures and fittings.
When we say ‘Treat’ this means fix, apply soundproof insulation or apply soundproofing techniques to these areas.
If you complete all these principles when soundproofing a room in your house, there is a very good chance you will not hear your neighbours anymore, you will feel settled and comfortable and ultimately love your home.
Read more about our four key principles here.
Back to Laura and James’s semi-detached house and soundproofing a room, in particular the living room and upstairs bedroom.
James and Laura had a limited budget and stretched it as far as they could, understanding the 4 principles they addressed as many key areas as they could afford.
Soundproofing a room downstairs – living room and dining room
- The main cause of the noise downstairs was an un-insulated stud wall separating the living room and dining room with double doors, this stud frame was built in such a way perpendicular to the party wall amplifying the noise. Laura and James experienced for themselves that the noise from the neighbours was transmitting louder down this stud wall coming off at right angles to the party wall then it was the actual party wall. To treat this main cause of the noise Quietco insulated the stud wall and applied TPS30W™ to the dining room side of this stud wall.
- The direct noise path downstairs was the party wall and we soundproofed the living room and dining room party walls using our trademarked floating frame system TPS80W™ across the length of the downstairs party wall.
- The indirect noise paths on this semi-detached project were the sections of the window wall, and patio door wall, the suspended wooden floor void, and the ceilings. Quietco treated all of these flanking areas.
- The fixtures and fitting were treated during the design phase by re-positioning a radiator, which gave more space and improved the heating distribution in the living room. The sockets, skirting and architraves were all renewed using our unique soundproofing techniques for fixtures and fittings.
Soundproofing a room upstairs – main bedroom
- The main cause upstairs was a hole we uncovered through to next door, the installation team could get their arm through to next doors bedroom via the bay window ceiling. A huge hole like this is not uncommon and was insulated and patched up accordingly.
- The direct noise paths were the party wall in the bedroom, where we installed our 90mm TPS70W™ wall system tucking the system down beneath the bedroom floor to interlock with the TPS80W™ wall system downstairs.
- The indirect noise paths for upstairs were the bedroom floor void, the bay window wall, the flanking wall separating the front and back bedroom and the ceiling loft area. Unfortunately, Laura and James could not stretch the budget far enough to treat all the indirect noise paths in the main bedroom or the spare front bedroom.
- The fixtures and fitting for the main bedroom were the skirting and radiators and flooring which were all installed back in a way that did not compromise the new soundproofing investment.
So what was the result Laura and James….?
“Well downstairs living room is amazing, we have not heard them once….it’s an absolute dream”
“…But upstairs…we can still hear the neighbours, down the flanking window wall and door wall like you said”
Laura and James were due to go on holiday a month after this evaluation, so we put a plan together…
With permission of course…whilst Laura and James were on holiday, Quietco removed the coving, skirting, door frame, window sill, radiator and carpet in the main bedroom, we installed the TPS30W™ wall system to the flanking window wall and door wall, plastered the two flanking walls, re-fitted new skirting, window sill, and re-fitted the radiator and had the carpet cut to the new size too.
Two weeks after Laura and James returned from holiday we asked them again…what noise do you hear in the bedroom now?
“You guys are amazing, unbelievable how you did all that while we were away, we have not heard our neighbours in the bedroom yet, nothing in the two weeks since we got back”
“We can’t believe we lived with that noise for so long!….if we had known we would get this result we would have done this years ago”….I’m so excited about my home”
So great result with Laura and James’ home. They followed our 4 principles of soundproofing a room in your home as best they could, as a result they do not hear their neighbours anymore and love their home.
They kindly wrote us a testimonial…
“WOW! where do we start!
We moved into our semi detached house almost 5 years ago, each time we viewed the property noise was not an issue…..until the evening we moved in!.
Once unpacked after a VERY exhausting day, we felt like we had moved in with the neighbours. We could hear the TV, talking, coughing, banging, children crying (also carried on throughout the night).
Luckily, the neighbours moved out…..and another family moved in. The family that moved in are your typical nightmare neighbours – inconsiderate, loud, noisy and continued to act like they were in a detached property despite many friendly attempts to try and explain how thin the walls were.
We could hear their conversations and 3 children constantly crying, running toys over the radiators, screaming, doors slamming, toilet flushing…..the list really is endless!.
Once my Son started school I made a friend who comforted me on a daily basis after being so tired after being woken up and generally being down as a family.
By this point my husband and I were desperate to move house – to a detached property. Unfortunately, the area that we are in we couldn’t afford the same size standard in the area. My friend sympathised and explained she had used Quietco for the same reason, I contacted Jim straight away.
Jim arranged to visit and along he came full of information and enthusiasm.
My husband and I sat down and worked out if we could afford what seemed at the time a huge amount. For the sake of our health we decided to proceed.
We had the entire house soundproofed apart from our spare room which no-one ever uses.
They are THE most professional workmen we have ever had the pleasure of meeting! trustworthy, reliable, friendly AND they clean up after each day they are there….very helpful when you have OCD like I do! Nothing is too much trouble for the team and they will always go the extra mile to achieve the best results for you.
If you are in two minds on if to soundproof your property…..do not hesitate as it’s completely changed our lives.
All of the above complaints have now been resolved as we can no longer hear our delightful neighbours.
Thank you so much guys, we’re almost as passionate about your company as you are!”