Friday, April 08, 2005

Home Improvement Project: Soundproofing a Wall

My most recent home improvement project was soundproofing a door area that connects me with my neighbors. We’ve just gotten used to hearing each other’s every movement - and our even louder children. But the other day I decided to go ahead and do something about the obnoxious sound problem we were having.

It started out as a simple home improvement project. I ran over to Lowe’s to pick up some insulation to fill in the door area but when I got to the insulation aisle… eeek! There were so many different types of insulation to choose from. They all had writing on them like R-15, R-25 and R-30. I assumed that the bigger number meant better and as it turns out, once I read the package, I was right.

Then I ran into all sorts of problems like finding the right size, deciding whether or not I need fully encapsulated batts or if the big piece of foam insulation was going to be enough. So I did what any God fearing person would do: I went home to sleep on it.

I popped into this home improvement forum to see if anyone had any ideas. You can read my eloquent post in the door and casing section here. (By the way, while I was poking around on that site, I found a great resource for kitchen cabinet refacing that’d I’ve filed away for when I reach that point.)

Meanwhile I ran a Google search on how I could best insulate the area for sound and ran into some pretty heavy information on Resilient Channels (RC as they are know in the technical building world). Some places say they are great and others have sworn them off with a Haitian voodoo curse. I decided they wouldn’t work for me because they are basically metal strips you attach between the drywall and the studs (i.e. not so great for an existing wall).

I decided my best bet would be to insulate with fully encapsulated batts. I figured it would reduce the amount of itch I would experience later since I didn’t want to invest in gloves for such a small project. When I got back to Lowe’s I decided that I would also cover the entire wall area with some alien like thin foil insulation. It looks like a metallic version of that bubble wrap you loved to play with as a kid.

All of the headache of starting the project done, I was ready to rock and roll. (Uh, or at least start to muffle the rock and roll coming from my house!) Let the soundproofing begin!

After that, it was a piece of cake. Getting the game plan is always the hardest part of home improvement projects. But if I’m in the mood for a home improvement project and I’m not sure where to start I check out this home improvement site for ideas on what to do next.

Back to my soundproofing project – I slapped up the insulation in a mere matter of minutes. Just me and my staple gun was all I needed to become a soundproofing expert. I jammed two pieced of insulation in the door area side by side and stapled those in. Then I took of the door casing so that the whole wall would be flat for when I [eventually] put drywall over the whole wall and I staples up the alien insulation to finish off the wall. (It’s a small wall).

That’s it! My home improvement project is done! Well, at least for the time being. We’re soundproofed anyway. I’ll see about getting my husband to lug some drywall home from Lowe’s one of these days.

Until next time, I leave you with this article on home security - Home Security Tips

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