Wednesday 18 January 2017

Improving the soundproofing

Our holiday cottage is at the edge of the village's main road. The road has trucks and buses as well as cars during the day and evening. The road is literally one metre from the front door of the house. We do not hide this fact from people booking. It is noted in the cottage description and there are photo's showing the road by the front door on the booking page.  In fact we offer a lower rental fee than the facilities of the cottage would normally attract in the village because of the road. However we still get comments from some people who are blinded by the word "cottage" when they book the place. Possibly they visualize a thatched cottage with a front garden of roses just off a village square with a stream and duck pond.  Wirksworth is an old mining town/village with a history going back to medieval/Roman  times. The road has always been busy.

However we believe the customer is always right, and within reasonable spend limits, we are doing something to reduce the noise level within the cottage. We have to be mindful of getting some return on our investment, so it is a matter of balance of customer expectations and the cost of remedial action. The front windows are already double glazed, but a lot of the noise floods in through the front door which is of a half glazed (single layer windows) wooden construction. The cottage is a conservation area and the local authority has a history of being picky about changes to the outward appearance of the property, such as changing the front door.

We're going to install a secondary front door and lobby within the lounge. The room is not massive so we'll keep the lobby quite small to reduce the amount of space this takes. When guests are inside the house they'll be able to close the inner door to cut down the sound coming through the existing front door. It won't be possible to open the front door without first opening the inner door.

The new lobby frame will have double glazed clear poly-carbonate panels and the new door is also fully glazed (safety glass). I'm building the frame and double glazing of the lobby in my workshop, the door itself is purchased pre-glazed. It is a heavy oak door weighing 35 kilograms including glazing, so I'm making the lobby frame quite sturdy.

The next step will be to triple glaze the front lounge and bedroom windows using poly-carbonate windows. It is possible to install acoustic glazing using specialist glass to reduce the sound coming through the windows, but that may require planning permission for the new frames. It would be a much greater cost.

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