If you have ever lived through the nightmare of neighborhood construction, neighborhood kids with loud bass in their cars or even the neighbor’s incessantly barking dog, you realize the value of a truly soundproof window. Most good quality windows will block out a great deal of noise from outside your home, but sometimes even the best replacement windows aren’t enough to turn your home into a cocoon of peace and quiet. In that case, it’s time to get serious about soundproofing.
Do-it-yourself soundproofing: does it work?
Before you opt for new windows to block out all those unwanted sounds, a few do-it-yourself remedies might help. Installing thick drapes over the offending windows can help if you don’t mind keeping them closed — if the offending sounds are coming from a little-used corner of your property, then you might be able to get away with this option.
Adding acoustic panels or foam, such as that used for recording studios, might help. But again, you might have to deal with the problem of not being able to see out your windows. If you’re okay with that, then a foam layer might be cheaper than replacement windows.
Don’t embark on any major project until you have tried the option of heavy draperies or other coverings. That’s because the sound might not be traveling only through your window. For instance, a heavy construction project next door creates not only sound, but vibration. That vibration can move through your walls, thus making the sound even louder. In this case, new windows might dampen the sound somewhat, but they won’t work the wonders you might be hoping.
However, if the draperies work to cut down on the noise and you need a more permanent solution, now you’re in the market for soundproof windows.
What to look for in soundproof windows
There are two major types of soundproof windows. The first is the complete replacement window, which has sound-deadening foam and other options built into it. This is installed just like any new window. The second option is a soundproofing window that fits over your existing windows, forming a barrier of air between the layers. This space can form a nice buffer against the outside world and deflect sounds that would normally make their way through your windows.
Look for soundproof windows that also offer a high rate of energy-efficiency. Some soundproof windows are made of very thick glass that also offers protection from UV rays. That glass can also insulate your home well enough to drop your utility bills throughout the year. Look for windows that are not only soundproof but also get high marks in energy efficiency.
Finally, what about the cost? Window installation cost for soundproof windows is often on a par with the cost of any other replacement window. Windows that fit over your existing windows can be much cheaper and can even be installed on your own with the proper tools and attention to detail.