Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


Highways and Homes: How to block out the noise

You've picked out the perfect new home everything is looking up, but there's one problem. That home is sat right beside a busy motorway, road or like us a small but busy street with limited parking and as we all know, this is the recipe for possible noise and disruption.

Unfortunately, there is no way to eradicate each and every nuisance that arises because of
situations like this. The motorways and roads aren't going to move, but at the same time you don't have to either. You can take advantage of several useful tips to at least minimize the effects and live without those dreaded disruptions.

A beautiful and well insulated room (image)

As you've probably gathered by the title, the bulk of these suggestions relate to your windows. It's here where most noise is allowed to penetrate into your house, so it stands to reason that this is the first area you attempt to rectify.

Most of the solutions we'll cipher over are inexpensive to say the least, but we'll quickly go over one of the more investment-heavy tactics you can implement. If you happen to reside in an older property, there's every chance that you are still using single-glazed windows. By upgrading to double-glazing, or even triple, you can quash the noise pollution considerably. It might cost a lot, but from a value-boosting perspective you will make this back in the long-run.

Our bathroom windows could do with some blinds

Fortunately, not all of the recommendations are costly. For example, simply caulking up the gaps around your window can work wonders and block a passage for those engine-noises to penetrate.
Something which perhaps falls between the above two solutions revolves around our window blinds. Window treatments are used to block out the cold and heat, so it stands to reason that they can also regulate the noise that is permitted through into our properties. Some of the newer models, such as insulated blinds, don't just concentrate on temperature control but can block those sound waves. If you reside near a particularly busy highway, triple insulated window shades could be the answer as these block pretty much anything that attempts to bypass the glazing.

Of course, it's not all about noise. Another drawback relates to privacy. The last thing you want is morning and evening commuters peering through your windows on a daily basis, yet this is exactly what can happen if your windows are left untreated. 

Blackout blinds are also an option to block the outside (image)

The solution for a lot of years was to pull the blinds down and just cover the glazing. Now, things have got a little more creative. Top-down bottom-up shades can block out the lower portion of the window, whilst still allowing natural daylight to shine through the upper section. Ultimately, you are provided with a best of both worlds solution, where your privacy is maintained at no expense to that elusive natural light.

It goes without saying that living near a motorway is by no means an ideal scenario, with all sorts of pollution hardly basking these properties in eco-friendly glory. However, it can be managed and as we’ve just highlighted, a lot of this is based upon simple window treatment solutions.

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  1. I guess I'm quite lucky, I live in a close and we never ever suffer with noise, couldn't imagine what it;s like to live near a motor way or any busy road tbh

    1. I know - I use to live near a very very busy road but we had very thick windows which really helped

      Laura x

  2. I don't live near a motorway and don't suffer with any noise to be honest but great post :)

    1. Thanks so much Melissa for stopping by

      Laura x

  3. I like the top-down bottom-up shades as you can operate it from the top down or the bottom up to meet all your privacy needs while still giving you access to natural light.


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