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What is the Cost of Soundproofing vs. Moving House?

There’s no doubt about it: the cost of soundproofing is cheaper (and it's less hassle) than moving house!

There are many people who have never considered reducing nuisance noise, put off by the potential cost of soundproofing. Yet, so many of us sit down to relax in the evening, only to have our peace disturbed by the neighbours next door or traffic outside.

Unfortunately, once you’ve noticed the noise it somehow becomes more noticeable. It could be your neighbours’ conversations, their TV, or music playing. It is even more infuriating when  you are trying to sleep.  

Many people believe moving to a new house to escape the noise is a better option than simply soundproofing their home. It’s common to want to move home to escape the noise from next door. But if you love the area, love the street, and you’re only unhappy with the noise from next door, then consider soundproofing your home instead. The cost of soundproofing is less than moving. Plus, it is far less hassle and you get to enjoy the home you already love.

The cost of moving house

Before comparing the cost of soundproofing to moving house, we need to understand the costs involved in moving. Let’s start with moving to a similar house. You will need to budget for:

  • Conveyancing fees, which are a collection of legal costs you pay when you buy or sell a house,
  • Survey fees,
  • Removals,
  • Estate agents fees,
  • Stamp duty land tax.

According to the comparemymove.com, calculator the cost of moving to a detached house in the same area, of the same value in 2022 is £28,145

cost of moving
family lounge

Of course, you may also incur further costs with your move. For example:

  • Additional mortgage costs or arrangement fees, or additional deposit,
  • Additional money spent getting your house ready for market,
  • Any additional work or decoration required in your new home,
  • A possible increase in your commuting travel costs.

The cost of dealing with the real problem

However, it is unlikely that moving to a similar property is going to solve your noise problem. This is due to the way in which homes in the UK tend to be constructed and altered. For example, alterations to homes such as loft conversions, open plan living, and the installation of RSJs can make noise worse in your home. In addition, modern construction methods such as ‘dot and dab’ plaster boarding and hollow stud walls can amplify noise from neighbours.

New build homes built in the 1990s onwards tend to be much worse for this than older homes. However, as we update and alter older houses, the problem is worsening. The result is that you may well spend your money moving from one semi-detached home to another, only to wind up with the same noise problems as before, if not worse.  With flexible employment shift patterns, noisy devices and flimsy new build properties, modern life is getting noisier. It’s likely that noise will be a part of your new home, too.

For this reason, some people may consider moving to a detached property. This frees you of the noise from neighbours and allows you to make your own noise. However, detached homes are becoming increasingly expensive. Following the pandemic,  the average price of a detached home increased faster than other types of housing. According to the UK House Price Index, the average price of a semi-detached home in December 2022 was £303,135 compared to £494,459 for the average detached home. This is an extra £191,324. If you’re purchasing with a mortgage then this will cost you even more with the interest you pay each year.

How does this compare to the cost soundproofing that noise problem you have?

Soundproofing a room from noisy neighbours can start from £6,000 and go as high as £25,000 per room, depending on what types of noise you want reduced.

Road traffic noise soundproofing starts at £2,500 per room, to over £30,000 for the whole house.

These rough figures suggest that soundproofing is considerably cheaper than moving.

And, guess what? Just having one room completely soundproofed can give you the peaceful space to escape to and feel settled and comfortable. It can make your house a home.

Even if you decided to soundproof every room in your house to a high standard, treating all the different noise paths, soundproofing is still more convenient and less disruptive than moving. Better still, it can normally be installed in just a matter of weeks.

Check out our client video on making the decision between soundproofing vs moving.

Other factors to consider

It’s common knowledge that moving house is one of the most stressful life events, but soundproofing, although still somewhat disruptive, happens over a much shorter period of time.

If you move to a new area, you have to find your way around, meet the new neighbours, and become familiar with different shops. Some people may need to think about changing schools, vets, and health clinics.

But when you soundproof, the company takes care of the whole project for you, with no extra disruption. At Quietco, we even offer a completely discreet service so no one need know what work you are having done during the 2-3 week renovation.

Plus, soundproofing comes with other advantages, too. Many people don’t realise that when you soundproof a room you’re actually getting a brand new room, newly decorated, and it doesn’t take much effort to position everything perfectly for when you move back in. If you’ve ever wanted a TV on the wall, a new layout, new lighting and sockets, different skirting, or new doors, then soundproofing is the perfect opportunity to design your dream living room or bedroom.

The grass is not always greener

Joe lived in an end of terrace property, but the noise was affecting him and his family. Though he considered soundproofing, in the end he decided to move to a semi-detached house. Joe’s new house was a lovely three bed, semi-detached house with an open plan kitchen extension and large double bedrooms, plus it was closer to schools than his old house and had a driveway and garage, too. The attached next door house was rented and when Joe and his family moved in, things were absolute bliss. They were so happy with their decision to move – for the first 6 months, that is. When new tenants moved in, things took a turn for the worse. Suddenly Joe and his family became fully aware of the new tenants next door and their activities.

Music went on until the early hours of the morning during the week, together with foul language and bedroom noises that Joe’s twin boys did not need to hear. Despite calling the police and speaking with the tenants and landlord, the situation didn’t improve, and Joe and his family began to question the move. It was a difficult situation, and the stress, frustration and sense of helplessness caused Joe and his wife to lose sleep.

The Solution

They heard about soundproofing and the mixed reviews it gets, with some people saying it had changed their lives and others saying it had done nothing at all. Joe was concerned what the results would be, and whether soundproofing actually could reduce the noise those tenants were making.

After a soundproofing consultation visit from Quietco, Joe was shown that someone had in fact already attempted to soundproof the living room, the boys’ bedroom above the living room, and the kitchen. This attempt had been made before he moved in. Joe realised that the way this soundproofing had been installed meant it amplified the noise by almost 10dB, effectively doubling the noise from the tenants.

Joe found that Quietco’s 4 step method of addressing the main cause, finding a solution to the direct noise paths, soundproofing the indirect noise paths and soundproofing the fixtures and fittings was more logical than moving again. After consulting with many people that had similar installations in similar age houses, Joe decided to invest in soundproofing the living room, boys’ bedroom and main bedroom.

With access to the property next door we were able to conduct a UKAS accredited sound test and Joe was also able to test the new soundproofing himself with specialist DJ equipment. He was absolutely delighted with the result. Not only does he not hear any more noise from the tenants, but he is also able to confidently practice his music mixing without bothering the tenants.

No place like home

If you’re struggling with noise and considering a move to escape it, consider making your existing house a home first. It will be far less trouble than moving, and cheaper, too.

With Quietco, you don’t even need to worry about whether the soundproofing will work or not. Firstly, we use our unique 4-step soundproofing method which ensures we treat all routes through which noise can travel. Secondly, we give you a page of 50 people that you can phone up and speak with who have already been through the same decision process as you: whether to move house or soundproof and stay in the home they love.

If you are ready to have the peace and quiet you would get in a detached house and to be able to make as much noise as you like without bothering your neighbours, then fill out the contact us form and book yourself a free noise diagnosis call.

If this article has been useful, please share or comment on our Facebook page. Have you ever moved to escape the noise from neighbours? We’d love to hear about your experience.

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