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It doesn’t matter what the reason – traffic, noisy neighbors, noisy kids, old homes with thing walls – you’ve decided you need to soundproof a room in your home. The first step is always to identify the problem and now that you have you can takes some actionable steps towards a solution. Here are some tips for soundproofing your home the right way the first time.

Do You Rent Your Home?

If you rent your home, the first thing you need to do is get permission to soundproof your space. If you’re putting up some acoustic panels or soundproof curtains, you really won’t have a problem. But if you want to add damping compound and extra drywall, you should make sure you get permission to do construction type work. When your landlord realizes you’re generally improving the property, though, you probably won’t have much of an issue.

Identify the Sound Sources

You know what you’re hearing but how is it getting into the room you’re in when you are bothered? Are there cracks in the seals around your windows? I solved an issue like that once with a tube of sealant. Are there mild vibrations from your child’s video game room next to yours? You might be able to get away with putting up an acoustical panel or two, like the ones from Trademark Soundproofing. Regardless, you have to know where the sound is coming from in order to make sure you accurately solve the problem.

Avoid Cheap Solutions

There are plenty of people out there willing to give you advice on budget soundproofing. The good news is that real soundproofing materials are relatively inexpensive – or at least they are when compared to buying junk and then having to pay a second time for the right stuff. Don’t let anyone talk you into using egg crates, old mattresses, carpeting, or dark paint for any reason. None of these things, when attached to your walls, will actually help.

Gather Some Friends and Work It Out

A simple soundproofing project where you install a layer of damping compound with a second layer of drywall over top of what you already have should make for a simple weekend project. You’ll need to seal the seams over the new drywall and repaint the room when you’re finished, but that’ll just add a makeover effect to the project. Grab a friend or two and you’ll be finished the work in no time flat – and sleeping better sooner, too.

Soundproofing your home doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Just make sure you’re addressing the real problems, using the right materials, and won’t get into hot water for doing the work. You’ll be glad you took action.