The sound of silence: Reducing noise within the home

Written by in Real Estate on July 2, 2015

As more people move to areas with busy streets to escape the urban sprawl, traffic and night life noise can be a little bit of a surprise. If noise pollution is making your happy home less than comfortable, then you’ll want to take steps to reduce the problem. You don’t have to move house or spend a huge amount on concrete fencing, because there are some attractive ways that you can make the property quieter in an affordable way. By adding shutters, trees, fences and even garden shields noise from your property.

Quick Landscaping Changes
Many decorative grasses, like zebra grass or any tall grass or reed, will grow quickly and spread out in just one season. They can be invasive, so you’ll want to use it in a window sill pot or something that can be stood near windows away from your regular plants. They’re a lovely addition that will help absorb sound while also providing you with a visual and auditory barrier. It’s a great option if you don’t have a private garden or you live in an apartment as they can be placed indoors along the sill.

The Long-Term Benefit of Trees
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, trees are a lovely addition to any landscape, and they’ll provide you with the greatest long-term benefits. Over time, the trees will fill out to provide you with great coverage. In addition to their visual appeal, they’ll also shade sections of your home to help you stay cool in summer, and they’ll help block noise from the traffic, crowded areas as well as inclement weather. Consider Plane or Acacia trees for a fast growing tree that will fit in with most front yard designs. If you can grow a hedge, then the Chinese Apple is fast growing and is low maintenance and is easily available in parts of Australia like Perth.

Add a Fence
A simple privacy fence can also help block noise from a street while also giving you some protection from prying eyes. Taller fences will block out more noise, so you’ll want to go with a standard six-foot fence, if possible. Wood is best for absorbing noise, but you may prefer the low-maintenance of vinyl. Regardless of the building material you choose, the fence will require some maintenance over the coming years, but it will also provide you with immediate relief from the noise. Make sure you speak to your local council for height restrictions.

Multi-functional Shutters and Blinds
Shutters are a top choice for people who want to control noise, light and protect their homes from severe weather. Interior shutters will help block the noise, and they’re easy to operate. They look beautiful and can easily be opened or closed to keep the sun and sounds out of your home.
However, you may prefer the idea of aluminium shutters that are mounted on the exterior of your home. Also known as storm shutters, they can be opened or closed as needed to keep your home quiet and dark. When storms come through the area, exterior shutters will help protect your windows from flying debris, perfect if you live near some of Australia’s fantastic bushlands or near the beach. These are especially good for those who live in apartments or multi dwellings that cannot significantly change their garden (or don’t have one!).

Heavy Curtains
Curtains may seem like a high maintenance addition, but the amount of noise protection they can give is fantastic if you get thick or heavy drops. You can also layer your window treatments for the greatest level of protection. Choose exterior shutters for storm and sound protection. Have roller blinds mounted on the interior of the window to help block the sun and keep some noise out. Finish off the look with a lovely set of curtains that matches your décor. The layers protection will keep out most noise while also making the windows more attractive.

For a noise pollution plan, it’s best to go for a multi-layer approach and utilise a few ideas to create a layered effect. Some more benefits of adding noise reducing items to your home is that they can improve the privacy of your property.

manAbout the author: Dean McCoy is the owner operator of Riverview Shutters. He is an expert on budget-friendly home improvement and believes your home is a work in progress