Soundproof the apartment - temporarily
January 27, 2014 11:04 PM   Subscribe

So we've found ourselves living next to a mall for the next couple of months. The construction noise wasn't terrible, but now it's the whistles and megaphones that are entirely audible - even 14 stories up. Help us make our apartment more soundproof! Difficulty: not in the USA.

Other difficulties:
~ Walls are concrete, so no chance of insulating the Western way.
~ Whatever modifications need to be temporary (it'll be a long two months without any changes!)
~ Can't really spend a fortune here

We need to soundproof one set of windows (~2 x 3 meters) and two sets of typical sliding doors.

Thoughts? What have you tried?
posted by chrisinseoul to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Surely a white noise machine by day and earplugs at night?
posted by LarryC at 11:47 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is awful, but I'll tell you anyway...

I built window plugs by going to the hardware store and using contact paper. (a longer roll), sound proofing board, and a styrofoam insulating board.

Get a carpet knife and a metal straight edge (or a yard stick ?) to cut against.

Measure your window. Measure the boards providing a scant millimeter extra to all sides on the board. Cut out the boards with the carpet knife. Wrap them together with the contact paper. Press them snug into the windows. Done.

Measure twice. Cut once.

Do this outside because sound proofing board makes lots of fibers it is dangerous to breathe in or get on your skin. Wrapping the boards together completely with contact paper seals that mess in so it doesn't impact your home.

Last step? Enjoy the silence:)
posted by jbenben at 11:58 PM on January 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

I lived next to a construction site for about a year. The two best things that we did were to:

1. Move our bed to a place in the apartment which was farthest away from the construction (even though it wasn't the 'ideal' place to sleep.

2. Come to mental terms with the construction and leave the anger behind.

good luck.
posted by jazh at 1:55 AM on January 28, 2014

If you are still want to look out of the window or want light, you might want to try a few things that won't completely block the noise. 1-see if you can put foam in the gaps that might exist. 2-After putting in foam strips, use styrofoam pieces to line the window frame to absorb some sound but not block the window. 3-cover the window either with thick clear plastic or plexiglass (at the sill, not against the glass.) Since it is temporary, you can use double sided tape to attach for easy removal later. Here is a company that does weather sealing for doors and windows to give you an idea. There are also sound dampening curtains. Hope you find some peace!
posted by Yellow at 5:13 AM on January 28, 2014

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