At night when everyone is in bed, it should be quiet. But there are probably sounds that you are not even aware of. What do you hear? Ticking a clock? A dripping tap? The dog scratching a door? The boiler that starts? These have become normal nocturnal sounds for you, but that will not be the case for your guests. Sleep a night in the guest rooms and make an inventory of which sounds you notice. If you hear something, your guests will.

The point is that there are unnecessary sounds that you can do something about. That Frisian tail clock, which gives a cozy home feeling and is a family heirloom, gets a place far from the guest rooms or you put the pendulum at bedtime so that the clock does not turn every half hour at night. Repair the faucet, replace the rubber. All sounds that can be remedied must be corrected.

There are also sounds that are inevitable, the usual home, garden and kitchen sounds: voices, the telephone that rings, the TV or radio that is on, doors that open and close. In the first place, you try to see how these activities will cause the least inconvenience for the guests. Loading and unloading the dishwasher is as gentle as possible in the evening. The sound of the TV or the radio is not too loud. In the second place, the layout of your house influences how all these sounds will be experienced. In a large house there is more freedom to do all sorts of things without others bothering. It also helps when the walls are thick and the doors let through as little noise as possible. You have to ask yourself whether your house will feel full, busy and noisy when guests arrive. Are the rooms classified and insulated so that sounds do not penetrate? Your guests should not have the idea that you or other guests are bothered by their conversations, snoring or other sounds and that they can be addressed. Paper-thin walls make them feel uncomfortable. Assess whether there is sufficient rest and privacy for all attendees.

You may get guests who are hypersensitive to sounds (or the absence thereof!). Even though there is no noise pollution, a guest experiences it that way. Therefore, you should try to make the house sound-friendly, so that all guests feel at ease.

What can you do?

You can take measures to prevent noise in a preventive manner. It is a considerable investment if you install sound-insulating tiles or wall panels directly. Therefore start with less extreme solutions, such as:

- Heavy curtains and carpeting in the rooms, in the hallway and on the stairs. Because carpet is less hygienic, you can opt for a wooden floor, but with the best insulation layer there is.

- Wallpaper on the walls is an extra layer that stops more noise than bare, painted walls.

 - If it is practicable, make sure that no guest rooms are next to each other. Adjoining rooms not only share a wall but also sounds. It is also advisable not to have your own bedroom next to a guest room.

- The same applies if the one guest room is above another. Thick floor covering with an extra insulating layer is then necessary. If necessary, insulate the ceiling.

You can have less influence on outside sounds, but they do disturb the peace. There is little to do with the cock crowing at sunrise, the rushing traffic or the barking dog of the neighbors. Double glazing is the best solution for noise nuisance from outside, but there is a price tag. However, it is an investment that pays for itself, because double glazing is not only sound-insulating, but also energy-saving.

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