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Handy Harry; Your guide to DIY.

DO you dream of a quiet life away from noisy traffic or even thoughtless neighbours?

Noise is the biggest source of nuisance in many people's lives as most of us live in an environment in which ceaseless clatter and hustle and bustle is a major problem.

One way to prevent noise is to install good sound insulation in your home. The best place to start is the windows which are probably the weakest link on the outside.

The most obvious way to prevent noise from entering the house through the windows is to keep them closed. If you do this you will have to make sure that rooms receive adequate ventilation through alternative means that do not allow noise in with the air. Sound can penetrate the smallest gaps, which makes efficient draught-stripping important too.

If you want to achieve even better sound insulation, you could consider acoustic double glazing which is specially designed to keep noise out. External doors can be almost as weak a part of the house's structure as the windows.

To improve their sound insulation performance, you will need to apply the same principles as for windows. Fit draught-stripping round the sides and top of the door, and add threshold excluder to close off any air gap underneath it.

Even a letter box opening can admit sound. Fitting a hinged and draught-stripped flap on the inside will help to prevent this.

There is not a great deal that you can do to improve the performance of your house's walls as far as sound insulation is concerned. They are already the most efficient part of the building. However, party walls between semi-detached or terraced houses are worth insulating. The most-cost effective solution is to put up an insulated stud-partition wall on your side of the party wall. This work will cause fairly major disruption, but it is relatively inexpensive and will bring about a significant reduction in noise transmission.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 23, 2003
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