To stay under budget, a lot of people look into some creative ways initially to soundproof around the home. A window can become pretty noisy if it is not treated, so every little bit of soundproofing helps.
A few of these often below are all worth checking out initially before may be looking into more permanent solutions later. All in all, there are plenty of people who are probably fine with doing some pretty basic soundproofing techniques before even trying to jump into anything more advanced.
Most people think only of weatherstripping (Amazon) as a way to fill in the gaps on the exterior. It helps a lot with thermal insulation, but it also helps with controlling sound coming in and out.
It qualifies as a do-it-yourself option, simply because it is so affordable and most people already have some around from previous projects.
If a person really wants to go with a do-it-yourself option, weatherstripping is a lot like basic tape. Any type of thick tape would work pretty well, but it is worth the investment to just go with weatherstripping in the first place.
It acts a lot like electrical and duct tape but is a little more geared towards closing gaps for windows and doors.
Make sure to go around all the windows in the room and see what gaps need to address the most. Most of the time, the stripping would go near the top of the windows.
That seems to be the most vulnerable area, but the sides can struggle as well. If the window opens and closes a lot, be careful about putting too much at the bottom.
No one wants to completely seal off the window just because they want to improve soundproofing a little.
2. DIY Window Plug
For people who really need to have a pretty quiet area, a window plug might be one way to go. It is not the most practical item, since it usually needs to be removed when not in use, but it does do a great job of providing soundproofing.
Companies sell window plugs that are already made, but it can be a little problematic since windows vary in size quite a bit. It is actually more convenient for some people to go with a do-it-yourself option, and making a plug is not as complicated as one might think.
Like anything else with soundproofing, the goal is to add mass to the equation. Start by measuring the window and seeing how big the plug needs to be for a perfect fit.
Then, purchase some wood to make the plug, and use some soundproofing material to help take it to the next level. Think about adding mass loaded vinyl, foam, floor mats, and more.
Add layers of MDF at the end for just a little more effectiveness. A lot of people will attach handles to this plug so it is easy to take on and off the window cavity.
People do not need to spend a lot of time making it look great, because the plug is not going to be a permanent fixture. This is more for those who just need a very controlled setting once in a while, so throwing a plug in provides bonus effectiveness.
3. Thick Curtains or Double It Up!
This might not sound like a true household item, but soundproofing curtains (Amazon) are really just a marketing term created by a lot of companies out there.
In actuality, what makes for quality soundproofing curtains is just the heavy options out there. That means a lot of the curtains that are also marketed as blackout options can kill a good amount of sound.
Some people might already have curtains like these around the home, so moving them to the most problematic window is one way to go.
There is also the option of buying dense fabric and making curtains without going out in purchasing them. This is one way to match everything up with the rest of the home, since these curtains will usually be put up for constant use.
No one wants to use soundproofing curtains that just do not match the rest of that home, as they will stick out like a sore thumb.
The great thing about curtains used for soundproofing is that they can be opened or closed at any time. There are so many other soundproofing options that end up being a little more permanent, and that can turn some people off.
Having versatility within the room, while also using items that might already be around the house, are definitely worth looking into. Sound is unable to go in or leave the room with curtains put up.
Put them on the inside of the room for the ultimate effect, but there are even some people who will temporarily put up curtains on both sides if they want to control sound.
Blankets work a lot like curtains and can be used in a pinch as an option to help control sound. It is usually not a permanent option, because hanging a blanket up over a window it is not exactly aesthetically pleasing.
However, everyone has a spare blanket around, and a heavy option could block out sound pretty easily.
The great thing about having a blanket or two to use for soundproofing is that they can be moved around pretty easily. This comes in handy if the need for soundproofing changes all the time.
Some people might want to soundproof different parts of the home at different times. It is a perfect option for every situation.
You can also opt for moving blankets (Amazon). Moving blankets are thick, inexpensive and will do a great job at blocking some noise from coming inside through the window.
5. Sealing The Cracks
If there are any cracks whatsoever, sound is going to pass through easily. Use a sealant (Amazon) to stop sound as well.
The older a window is, the more likely there are at least a few gaps that need to be sealed up. It might be something tiny that is allowing some sound to get through, so test around all the different areas to see. (Source)
6. Rearranging Furniture
Another temporary solution that can help as far as soundproofing is concerned is to move furniture in front of the window that is causing problems.
This is not something that people like as far as a look is concerned, but it does help out if the window is problematic. Moving something in the way can help solve any issues pretty quickly.
Look at either a bookcase since it is tall or a couch if the window is located a little lower.
If the window really has no use whatsoever, this could be a more permanent option to block with furniture. If that is the case, look into something that will completely cover the windows so that no one knows that it is actually there.
Some people do this if that window is directly in the sun, or if it is particularly loud. In the end, it is cheaper than fully removing the window and getting it replaced in some way.
7. A combination Of Household Items
The final solution for people trying to keep things fairly quiet is just to use a combination of items to add mass. Think about extra pillowcases, towels, a spare mattress, blankets, and more. It is about the most makeshift way to solve a sound issue, but it ultimately is better than nothing.
Not everyone wants to soundproof a room permanently. If a person does not want to spend money, they do not have to. With a combination of items, it can at least help a little bit in muffling the sound.
Just also know that all these items will block light from coming in as well. Make sure there are other light sources set up before taking all these away. (Source)
Final thoughts on soundproofing with household items
Soundproofing does not have to be as complicated as some people make it out. They are options worth exploring if a person does not want to spend a ton of money. It is not going to look the best, but there are ways to make it as useful as possible.
Before spending money on soundproofing material for a project or two, look around the home and see what is available.
Some people end up surprising themselves by figuring out ways to solve sound issues without spending money. That money can later be used for more important things, as the room is soundproof with the windows.
A lot of these materials also work for the door, and that is another way for sound to leak in and out. With doors, about the only difference is that carpet can also be used.
Carpet does a great job of going right underneath a door to block that space usually left for clearance. Carpet (or a floor mat) does not work nearly as well with windows, simply because there is typically no gap near the floor. However, a rug could also be an alternative to hang up over a window if a person needs to do it.