Soundproofing Contractors

One Stop Shopping

Have you been asked for the “square footage” ?

One person provides the advice, the materials and the labor. Good for a kitchen tile job perhaps, but inadvisable for soundproofing and noise problems. Unlike tile, soundproofing is not a matter of applying the “best” product to the “problem” surface.

Have you been asked for the “square footage” over the phone in order to get a quote? That’s a sure red flag; appropriate for the kitchen tile, perhaps, but never for a noise problem. It shows that the contractor has already decided on the method he will use, sight-unseen. Without the proper testing and expertise, a contractor will liklely rely on what may have worked on another job, without knowing exactly why.

But the “why” is very important. Different frequencies of sound, different sound sources, different building construction, different paths of sound transmission and other factors necessitate specific solutions tailored to each individual case.

Read "A Case Study in Two Letters": A cautionary tale of a job done twice and a lawsuit as told in two letters of thanks from a client (finally) enjoying some quiet.

True Story

Years ago, I designed a sound mixing room for Atlantic Records. Unfortunately, a large pipe that ran across the ceiling of the room forced me to design an undesirable shape into the ceiling structure, the best compromise given the fact that the pipe was unmovable.

Years later, I discovered an exact copy of the the Atlantic room in another studio, including the compromised ceiling design. Turns out that the “acoustic consultant” was one of the carpenters who built the room at Atlantic. He had obviously gotten a copy of the plans, assumed my design must have been impeccable and used it as “his” blueprint for all future designs.

One Size Fits All?

Even the “successful” job the contractor bases his work on may not have been efficiently done. Perhaps they did A,B,C and D when only C was effective. Based on this “success”, they will repeat A,B,C and D at every other location, but your problem may require E and G instead. And “B” could actually make the noise louder! Yes, in some cases the application of more materials can actually make a noise problem worse.

And if what you really want is quiet, “soundproofing” may be the wrong approach altogether. Sometimes the proper cure is a modification of the noisemaking machinery or other source.

Advisor + Salesman = Conflict of Interest.

Even an “honest” contractor has an inherent conflict of interest. Noise problems are tricky; “more” soundproofing not only nets him a bigger profit but//(seemingly) gives him “insurance” that he will have solved the problem. But this scattershot approach adds extra cost and can still omit the method that would have been effective. Nothing is more expensive (and disruptive) than having to do a job twice.