How to Deal with All the Construction Noise at Home
There’s an awful lot of construction going on in Malta at the moment. Old, decrepit buildings are being torn down and hundreds of new ones are going up every year. All over Malta, construction is rife and new projects are being announced all the time. The noise from a construction site is at best annoying and at worst completely disrupting. If you work or live next to a construction site, you’ll know the nightmare that is coping with the excessive noise.
While there are laws in place that govern when construction can take place in Malta, these don’t really help if it’s happening right next to your office or apartment. Legally, construction can start at 7am and go on until 8pm, with only a small break between 2 and 4pm! Even on Saturdays, you can be woken up at the crack of dawn by a drill. Sundays and public holidays are the only exceptions. Unlike noisy neighbours, whom you could probably ask politely to turn down their loud music, you can’t really ask the construction workers to stop doing their job. Not unless they’re working outside of the legal hours, anyway.
Almost everyone in Malta has been affected by construction noise at one point or another. If you’re someone who works from home, you’ll struggle to get anything done if your apartment is next to a construction site. Not only can the noise affect your work, but it can also affect your down time and your sleep. So, how can you stay sane and deal with construction noise? Here are some tips to help you stop construction noise from disrupting your life:
Wear earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones
During the day, if you work from home, then you’ll need to block out the noise if you’re going to get some work done! Noise-cancelling headphones are the perfect solution. In contrast to normal headphones, noise-cancelling headphones block out unwanted frequencies and sounds. If you take a lot of calls for work, you can purchase a pair that connect to your laptop and/or your phone. A decent pair will cost you around €100-€200 or more. A cheaper option, and something that you can use at night, is earplugs. Earplugs can take a bit of getting used to. But, once you’re comfortable with them, you won’t want to stop using them! Pair your earplugs with an eye mask and nothing will wake you up from your slumber.
Use a white noise machine
White noise machines are less expensive than noise-cancelling headphones. Using a white noise machine will lessen the disturbance of construction noise. In addition, you can use it to drown out the traffic or your noisy neighbours. White noise machines can help to reduce stress and improve sleep. You can buy a good-quality one for around 40 or 50 euros. Alternatively, you could run a fan (a ceiling fan or a standing fan) to create some white noise. This is perfect for the warmer months!
Change your schedule
It might feel frustrating to change your schedule, but it would only be a temporary change. Besides, it could dramatically improve your situation whilst you’ve got construction going on next door. If you’re always getting woken up early in the morning and losing out on sleep, go to bed a little earlier. Some of the most successful people in the world swear by their early morning starts! If you don’t work at home, you can even speak to your boss and see if you can temporarily alter your working hours for a short time. This way, you can be out of the house during the loudest construction hours.
Work from a café
When the noise gets too much at home, why not go to a local café? Take your laptop and have some lunch or a coffee. Give yourself a break from the noise. Just a few hours in a quiet environment where you can concentrate will be way better than a whole day of disturbance at home! If you rent your apartment in Malta, do double check if there’s any construction going on (or any planned for the near future) in the local area before you sign the lease. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere noisy for 6 or 12 months without being able to leave!
Insulate your windows
Installing proper insulation will help a lot. Double glazing significantly reduces outside noise. On top of soundproofing, double-glazed windows will help increase the efficiency of your home. With properly insulated windows, you will be able to heat and cool your home for less money. If you rent an apartment in Malta that doesn’t have double-glazed windows, speak to your landlord to see if they can improve the insulation for you.
Move your bed
If the construction is happening right by your bedroom, and it wakes you up in the morning, move your bed. It’s really not pleasant to be woken up with drilling noises at 7am every day. Just moving your bed a few inches away from the wall could help. Otherwise, if possible, you could turn your bed around. Put the headboard up against another wall until the construction has ended.
Try yoga or meditation
Both yoga and meditation are well-known stress-busters. When you find that the noise is really getting to you, why not try a session of calming yoga or meditation. The excessive noise from a nearby construction site can hinder your sleep, your mood and your productivity. Practising yoga or meditation might help you switch off and relax. Yogis often rave about how good yoga makes them feel, so it’s definitely worth a try!
Look after your pets
Noise from construction sites can be even more upsetting to your pets than it is to you. The loud noises can really stress your pet out, as many become anxious and afraid. If you have to leave your pet while you’re at work, take them for a long walk or tire them out with a play session before you go. That way, hopefully they will mostly sleep while you are working. If you can, let them stay in the quietest room so they don’t get too stressed out. If you have a dog, perhaps you could take him or her to doggy day care, so they’re not left alone and afraid. Otherwise, leave the TV on for them and some interactive toys.