For many WAHMs, it is enough just to get a home office set up, and we don't even consider soundproofing. However, soundproofing can be absolutely essential to your comfort and peace of mind when working from home. All too often, it is easy to be interrupted by the constant flow of conversation in your home, outdoor noise or racket from your neighbors. Soundproofing can help shut out distractions, increasing the quality of your work life. Here, then, are 5 reasons to consider soundproofing your home office:
Noise reduction is the most obvious reason for soundproofing. Reduced noise means fewer distractions for you, allowing you to focus more clearly on your work. Since most WAHMs get very little time in the office, it makes sense to take as many steps to reduce your distractions as possible.
Soundproofing works both ways, buffering you from outside noise while keeping noise from leaking out of your office as well. This is ideal if you have a great deal of conversations that must be kept confidential. It also helps if you work late at night, after the children have gone to bed--for example, you can still have phone conversations at a reasonable level, or send and receive faxes, without being overheard.
DIY or Contractor
Although soundproofing sounds very complex, it is actually comprised of several steps. Some are easily accomplished through a DIY weekend project; for example, you can change your office door from a hollow-core to a solid-core, and add weather-stripping for a relatively easy project. Others are more complex; for example, wall insulation can be added to fill the space between your walls. This is something, depending on your level of experience, which you may want to hire a contractor to do. In short, some basic soundproofing can be accomplished on any budget or with any level of experience.
As a renovation to a home office, soundproofing is potentially tax-deductible. But before basing your entire decision to soundproof on deductibility, be sure to check with a seasoned tax professional. There are many rules regarding taxes and home offices, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
Having a soundproof office can really boost the resale value of your home, should you ever decide to sell. As with all renovations, make sure the amount you put in to the soundproofing is something you can potentially regain with the sale of your home. A real estate professional can assist with the math, and help you determine how much value soundproofing will add to your home.
Taking all of these reasons into consideration, soundproofing is a renovation that can be done for relatively little effort and cost, but it can bring you a lot of peace of mind and privacy. Since the average WAHM must deal with countless distractions throughout her workday, it makes sense to at least investigate soundproofing as a viable option.
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.