Every time the news is on, there is talk of recession and economic downturn. Inflation is continuing to rise, and many of us are trying to find deals wherever possible. This often means DIY projects - Do it yourself. Sometimes DIY is fantastic and sometimes, it's not depending upon your skill level going in. But I specifically want to speak to DIY acoustic panels, as they are rampant on YouTube, Reddit, and other forums in general along with other less-expensive (cheap) acoustic options. What does it really mean to do acoustic panels on a budget?
To a certain extent, you get what you pay for when it comes to acoustic panels. Additionally, unlike many other building finishes, acoustic treatment has a functional purpose, and there are many technical aspects that need to be considered apart from price per square foot alone. The following points are worth considering as you search for the most affordable acoustic panels for your project.
What is the Fire Rating?
Unfortunately many retailers do not publish the fire rating on their acoustic products because they do not meet Class A or 1 standards. The United States uses the E84 system for rating and Canada uses the ASTM S102 system.
If acoustic products do not meet Class A or 1 on these rating systems, they are not allowed to be used in commercial or industrial buildings. However, many homeowners do not realize that these products can still be sold on the market. At My Acoustic Panels, we happily display our Class A Fire Rating on all products.
What is the NRC Rating?
When it comes to acoustic products, the NRC rating, which stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient, is the most critical rating to know. It is how you can determine how well a product will perform acoustically. Ensure that the manufacturer has published data with the products NRC rating. My Acoustic Panels has published NRC data for all of our products. 1" wall and ceiling panels have an NRC of 0.8 and 2" panels have an NRC of 1.0. To learn more about NRC ratings, check out:
What is an NRC Rating? Most acoustic foam pyramid panels have an NRC of around 0.3 for example. This mean that you need more than 3 times the amount of treatment by square foot to meet the same basic performance requirements!!
What is Included and What is Excluded?
Make sure that you are calculating the full cost of either making or buying acoustic panels. If the panels require glue or an adhesive, is it supplied? Is mounting hardware supplied? What about SHIPPING? This can be a huge cost - be sure to calculate this in when comparing your options. All orders over $500 qualify for free shipping in Canada on My Acoustic Panels. We also include all mounting hardware that you will need. No need for anything extra!
What is Your Time Worth?
Depending upon your situation, time may or may not be a valuable commodity. But, if you are a busy individual, keep in mind how much time your DIY project may actually be taking. Include your trips to the hardware store (gas, time, incidentals, etc.) as well as your manufacturing time. You may be surprised how much time DIY ends up costing you. Do you have all the materials already? What about the tools? Is it worth your time? If your answer is yes, than you probably weren't planning on buying My Acoustic Panels anyways, so I hope we've given you a few things to think through during your project. But if your answer is no, consider the cost of low-overhead professional acoustic panels, and you are likely saving time and money! My Acoustic Panels are some of the most cost effective professional acoustic panels on the market.
What Materials are Being Used?
Ensure you consider the raw materials for your acoustic panels. Are they formaldehyde-free? Spoiler Alert: Most are not! Do they have low VOC, are they Eco-Friendly, etc. If you're attempting a DIY, is the fabric your have selected acoustic transparent? These factors have all be considered at length by the team at My Acoustic Panels. We hope that our intense research into the best building materials helps you and helps the planet in the long run!
Best of luck on your acoustic project. We would be honoured to be your acoustic panel provider. If we are a good fit for your project, please visit our store for product specifics. And if you have any questions about our products that you can't find online, please reach out.
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- Tags: budget, comparision, diy, diy acoustics, economy, fire rating, inflation, nrc rating, recession, value