All posts by Kristen Baker

Noisy roommates? Soundproof your apartment with these affordable hacks

Roommates can be a lot of things: best friends, acquaintances, or worst of all (and perhaps all too commonly) noisy! Living with other people means learning to coexist peacefully—but, the fact that we’re all unique individuals with our own schedules and hobbies can make it difficult! Whether your roommate is a night owl or an aspiring guitar legend, you’re going to want to establish some parameters for noise control if you ever hope to catch some z’s. But if you’re spending over a thousand dollars on rent every month, the last thing you want to do is spend extra money to soundproof your apartment. Fortunately, there are a number of affordable measures you can take to drown out sound so you can sleep, well, soundly.

Do it yourself.

According to a recent survey by mobile banking company, Chime, 54% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. When a professional soundproofing job can cost up to $2,598, you’ll wonder if sleeping is even worth it! However, soundproofing doesn’t have to break the bank if you do it yourself. If you deduct the cost of premium materials and installation, you just might find it’s affordable when you’re ready to tackle the problem.

Locate the source.

In order to address a noise problem, you need to first find the source of the noise. Remember, sound is a vibration that can travel through air or other mediums (like your wall). So, obstructing the flow of this vibration is how you’ll be able to tackle the problem most effectively. Is the source of noise coming from the wall you and your roommate share? Or perhaps the city slickers outside decided to make their favorite hangout spot below your window. Either way, you’ll want to address the major culprits of your problem before spending the money on insufficient solutions.

Dealing with walls.

If you’ve pinpointed the source of noise to your walls, there are a number of things you can do. A bookshelf provides a thick layer, which will make it harder for sound to permeate your wall. In fact, depending on its thickness, a bookshelf is one of the most effective noise-disruptors. Hanging textiles, rugs, or acoustic panels (designed specifically for soundproofing) on your walls will achieve a similar result—but will vary in terms of cost and soundproofing effectiveness. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker and denser the object, the better proofing!

Dealing with windows.

It could very well be that the source of your problem is due to frequent street noise, or a neighbor that likes to mow a little too often. Unfortunately for us stargazers, covering up your windows may be the best solution for your sound troubles. For most apartment dwellers, replacing windows with a triple pane is usually not an option (although if it is, it’s certainly something to consider!). Therefore, you should look to cover your windows with the heaviest or thickest drapes you can find. There are also some options that are removable (like a barrier quilt), allowing you to hang them up only during the periods you find loudest.

Dealing with doors.

Perhaps your walls aren’t the problem, and you’ve found the ruckus is coming from a shared common area, kitchen, or hallway. In this case, you’ll want to do something about your door. Many of the same soundproofing solutions for your walls apply to your doors as well, the major difference being the large space underneath your door. Sealing this will work wonders for preventing sound from leaking through. If this happens to be you, consider splurging on a draft stopper or installing on a door sweep on both sides of the door. Both will have the same effect, and will ultimately help you get back to sleep in no time!