Silencing Noise in a Home Office
Posted Mar 10th 2014 | By:
If you have and work in a home office, chances are you are well acquainted with distractions. Noise is probably the biggest enemy to productivity, pulling you away from what you were doing to make you lose your train of thought sometimes to the point that the entire train derails. It is hard to get things done with constant noise streaming in, whether from above or below, inside or out.
The good news about a noisy home office is that it can be fixed, giving back both your sanity and the sanctity of your work place. All you have to do is stop the routes of noise into the room. Even if you have what looks to be large, solid walls surrounding your work space, all it takes is a small gap or hole to let sound penetrate. To begin the process of solving sound problems, start small, as in with holes. Conduct a thorough search of the wall space in your office and look for holes, sealing up those that you find. A good means of sealing holes, depending on where they are and how big, is spackle or caulk. Some places where you might need to seal holes are around electrical outlets and windows since noise can pass through those areas. Another easy way to reduce noise is by adding a door sweep. This will block noise from entering underneath your door. The door itself can be a problem, too, if it is not particularly thick. A door with a solid core will block out more noise than the standard interior door used in most houses today.
If these methods do not bring your noise problem down to a tolerable level, continuing your efforts can prove costly and expensive from here on out. Acoustic board can be hung then covered with another layer of drywall, but this will mean having to make adjustments all around the room. Door jambs, baseboards, and crown molding will have to be redone and electrical outlets will need adjustment as well. Alternatively, you may be able to add acoustic board inside stud spaces that function as air returns but that will impede air flow and may not be possible; you will have to enlist the help of a HVAC professional to find out for sure. Acoustic board could also be placed beneath carpet, but that will require pulling carpet up and reinstalling, which may be worth considering if it is time to add new carpet.
Another option is to add insulation that is made of rigid foam or fiberglass batts. The problem with this is that it needs to go into wall space, which means having to open up walls. The same goes for adding this to ceiling space. If you have another reason to open walls and ceilings, that would be the time to incorporate an insulation upgrade to your plans.
While quiet workspace is precious, so is time and money. Unfortunately having all three might not coincide as it will take time, money, and noise to give you the closest thing to a silent workplace possible. Preserving the sanctity of your work area can be priceless, however, and for some a very worthwhile endeavor. If you decide to tackle home office noise, remember to start small. It could be that you are able to fix that which troubles you with minimal effort and expense, leaving the heavy lifting for another project on another day.
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