A renter's question: cheap ways to soundproof a property

Hi All!
I know that this is a long shot, but I thought I would give it a go anyway. I have found a place to rent that I really like, but the problem is noise. The living room is noisy enough, but the bedroom faces onto a busy road and it is as if there is virtually no sound-proofing. I reckon that the sound is coming via the windows and was wondering if there were ways to help reduce sound. I don’t like earplugs or headphones but have read about soundproof curtains. I was wondering if anyone knew where they could be acquired in Dublin or how much they would cost. Any other economic solutions would be welcomed as long as it didn’t mean damaging or fundamentally altering the property in any way, as I am not buying it. Noise is a dealbreaker for me, but I thought I would put this out here before turning down this particular property. I noticed a thread on insulation and there appears to be a cornucopia of knowledge on these matters in this forum.
Thanks for your help

Don’t go for that. There will also be a pollution problem associated with cars and trucks. There are tonnes of other properties out there. Say goodbye and move on. Its a renters paradise oute there now. Good Luck. Tell the landlord to put in sound proofing if he wishes to rent that place.

You’d need proper windows put in. I’ve never heard of soundproof curtains, I expect with good cause. Avoid. Sound proofing and insulation are things tenants can’t do.

You would need secondary glazing with a gap of a few inches between inner and outer. When its hot you would want to open it and it wouldn’t work.

Its a renters market - you don’t need the pain.

If the windows are poorly soundproofed you can guarantee that you’ll freeze your ass off in the winter. Run away from it.

The answer is in your test. Noise is the deal breaker, therefore you must turn it down.

I speak as someone who is highly sensitive to background noise.

I lived near a busy road 2 years to long and it wrecked my head. I said never again but through circumstance I’m in a not too dissimilar situation but I don’t plan it to be long term. Peace and quiet is priceless.

So my answer to cheapest solution, leave it alone and find somewhere else. It won’t cost you a dime!

I often used to stay with my cousin in the past. He lived in an old single glazed house built on the corner of a busy junction. Sound insulation was almost nil. Heavy trucks rattled the windows and door frames and traffic noise was almost constant. I being from the country and used to silence did not sleep a wink any time I was there. He having lived there all his life slept well always.

People who are used to this noise won’t have a problem with it. But if you are from the leafy suburbs or from the sticks I would advise these:


Egg boxes apparently for a cheap and cheerful sound insulation, never tried it myself mind but remember someone telling me about it.

Oh no no… they may deflect and change the sound characteristics but they do not provide sound proofing. Its a myth.

The surest way to provide sound proofing is to have to unconnected (or unbridged) surfaces with no gaps around the seems and as much cavity/air in between. After this you can add other material to increase the proofing effect but if this elementary set up is not in place it will fail. Its the basic principal for double of triple glazing. Sames goes for walls and so on. Its not about density always. Though that comes into play for certain frequency ranges.

This has been discussed on other threads the sound and thermal proofing is poxy in Ireland. You can achieve a high standard of both if you synergise the process from the get-go rather than focus on one and hope it sorts out the other.

Well, OP, it seems the question you have to ask yourself is: are you a town mouse or a country mouse like random punter :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I was hoping that there was a simple solution (like buying slippers instead of carpet), but in my heart of hearts knew that noise, and more importantly not being able to sleep, would be intolerable. I wrote back to say it was a lovely apartment, but that I couldn’t sleep with the noise. It was a great location, so I may find somewhere nearby that doesn’t face onto the street. Onwards and upwards!
Thanks again