If you’re looking for a quiet home, you might think that it’s just a case of staying away from busy roads and late-licence clubs, but there’s a bit more to it.
To help you to find a restful place to live, we have nine tips to make sure you’re covering all your bases, including some you might not have thought about.
Think carefully about the location
The location of a property is a huge factor in its noise levels. Look out for obvious sources of noise, such as busy bus routes, nearby pubs and railway stations, then look at the transport website for the area to see if there are any big developments planned.
Look closely at the immediate area
Watch out for things like speed bumps, as while they slow down traffic, they can also increase traffic noise. Is there farmland or a smallholding nearby? If so, are you likely to be woken by a rooster every morning? How about the pubs in the postcode? Are they open late or are they known for their rowdy clientele?
Hang around at different times of day
Are there lots of delivery vans and HGVs in the mornings? Does the nearby primary school mean that hordes of excited children will be trooping past your home office every afternoon? Does the pub have loud music from 7.00pm to 11.00pm (or later) at weekends?
If you’re buying a flat, think about which floor it is
The top floor of an apartment block is often the best option for noise as there’s no one above you and it’s further away from the mai entrance. It can also be somewhat removed from street-level hustle and bustle.
Talk to your surveyor about previous soundproofing
Your surveyor can tell you what, if any sound insulation has been installed in the building. Even older and period buildings may have had soundproofing and fireproofing measures installed in recent years and if this hasn’t been done yet, you may be able to do it.
Ask about the neighbours
The vendors of any property are legally bound to tell you if there’s been any serious neighbour disputes in recent years. You can also find out more about the nature of the dispute from your local authority, as any complaints or mediation must be logged and declared.
Look at the floor coverings
If you’re buying a flat, then the lease might stipulate that you must have carpeted floors or install soundproofing material underneath wooden flooring. This is especially the case in properties that have been converted into flats.
Think about further soundproofing
Once you’re settled into the property, you can install more soundproofing and sound dampening measures. There’s double or triple glazing, thick curtains inside road-facing windows and put rugs down on wooden floors to absorb noise. If you can modify the exterior of your new home, you can plant sound-baffling hedges or install shutters on your windows.
Be ready for change
Even if you’re in a fairly quiet or rural location, things can change down the line. There may be a new housing development, a new railway or bus line or a disused property may be turned into a shop or cafe. If this happens, you can always install extra soundproofing ahead of the works so you stay peaceful and happy in your home.