The Silence of the Lam(p)s
Solving Volume and Noise Problems in a Home
By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando
When most people contact Audio Visual for noise control and noise solutions they often don’t realize what’s truly contributing to the volume of the sound. When you’re in your home trying to get work done and you can hear the birds clattering outside or someone listening to music in the next room the noises meld together. Clients often think that their walls are too thin. Though this may be true what is actually bringing that noise to your attention is the other contributing quieter noises which in tandem compose that loud hum drumming in your ear.
In a client’s home working on solving an audio and volume problem, the first thing our employees do is listen. Much as we talked about in our last article (read that here) listening is super important when it comes to having a reliable business with a good reputation. When solving volume and sound problems, listening is also super important. Walk into a home and ask everyone to be quiet: when the initial noise they can identify is silenced you can open your ears to other disruptive noises. Things like the refrigerator, the dishwasher, heating and cooling, plumbing, creaking of cabinets, a distant train, traffic, and other clicking and fan noises of technology all slowly add up to increase the decibel count in a residential area.
Once you can identify these other noises in the home you can then make a structural plan to minimize how much of that your client hears on a day-to-day basis. If you go in and solve the problem that the client thinks they have it’s often a temporary fix that might not even fix the overarching problem. If the client believes that their son is too loud and just wants the room to be soundproofed, you can most certainly do that for them. What they will frequently find is it they still can’t focus because it wasn’t just their son’s loud bedroom that was contributing to their distracting noises, but, it was also the refrigerator and the birds outside. When you listen to a client’s home, listen to the extra noises around their house, you will find very quickly that the other noises contributing often go unnoticed. When recognizing these noises you can make a better plan for the client to achieve a more quiet home (or office) and satisfied with a job well done.
At AV Bend we promote listening to a client and listening to their home first before making an acoustical plan. This is why when giving quotes it is super important to go out and do so in person. Someone might call us on the phone and say “my kitchen is too loud because my entire family likes to cook.” Once you are there you may find, as we mentioned earlier, that there are a lot of other things going into that problem. When working with a client it’s important to solve the overarching problem, not just the one that they can identify. After you’ve identified the sounds that are contributing to the problem it’s also important to consider other things about a space like the ceiling walls and angles. These things all contribute to how noise is distributed throughout the home. It’s good to keep in mind that the solution for one home is not going to necessarily be the solution for another. Rooms are noisy for varying reasons and sound emanates off of walls differently based on their material and angles. These are all important things to take into account when building an acoustical treatment plan.
After listening to a client, listening to their home, considering the angles and materials in their home, an acoustical treatment plan almost makes itself. When you properly identify the problems, where they are, and how they need to be fixed, you will leave your client satisfied and their home quiet.
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