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Soundproofing Windows

9 replies [Last post]
Joined: Aug 20 2006

Just bought an Eichler in San Rafael that backs up to a small park. It's great for our small children during the day... and is silent most of the night. However, the evening silence is often broken up by the park being used as a teen hangout. Their lively (read: loud) conversations can be heard from the master bedroom, and after only 3 nights in the house are already driving my wife crazy. Would like to purchase soundproofing windows. I wonder if anyone has experience with these.

Joined: Apr 2 2003

A couple of things:

- you might consider alternative sounds

o such as using a radio or stereo tuned to a all-music station, or CD playing your favorite strains.

o perhaps a water feature in your backyard. We use a small fountain from a local hardware store in our atrium to mask our conversations and neighbors' various activities.

o on hot nights, the sound of a running fan also masks a lot.

- you might find simply switching to a double-pane glass and adding sound/heat insulation to the exterior wall there to be helpful. We notice a big difference on sound from the backyard pool pumps when we switched to double-pane glass.

Best of luck. Let us know how it turns out.


eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Aug 20 2006

Thanks for the ideas. I will be talking to an acoustic consultant in a couple of days... who says he's worked on a lot of eichlers. Name is Lee Brenner from Bay Area Noise Control. Will report back after speaking to him.

Joined: Apr 20 2006

Some shopping malls turned the tables on congregating teens. They played 'elevator music' in problem areas. The music drove them away. Turns out teens tolerate this type of music as well as vampires handle sunlight.
....or, if it is really loud, you could do what Johnny Carson did. He used an amplifier to bounce the constantly barking dog sound back (louder) to his neighbor. Of course, they were not home.....just the now-neurotic dog.

Good luck with the sound- proofing.

Joined: Aug 30 2003

We just replaced all the old single pane windows and sliders in our 1959 atrium Eichler with double pane "low E" windows and Bloomberg sliders. The house is much quieter, and will not only retain heat better in the winter, but it will have less heat gain in the summer. We had it all done in dark anodized aluminum, which matches better to our design style and paint color.

Of course the cost to do this is formidable. Our model has glass in almost 50% of the exterior walls, and we added 14 linear feet of glass in our recent remodel, so the bill for the new glass was about $34,000.

Obviously I will never recoup that cost in savings on heating bills even if I live to be 100. But that wasn't the point. The new double pane glass feels better in every way: reduced sound, increased comfort, greater clarity, and it looks better.

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo

Joined: Mar 16 2005

This probably won't work in the long run, but ask the local police about park curfew -- normally, parks are "open" until sundown -- the city has an interest because of garbage (beer cans) overnight.

Also, ask your neighbors about this -- if you involve others, the police will respond more actively.

Randy's music idea works well in a private or enclosed environment like a shopping mall, but if you try it, you should to involve your neigbors so it is a community effort.

Joined: Aug 20 2006

Thanks for everyone's input. I ended up putting soundproofing windows on both the entire wall of the room that consists of the sliding glass door as well as the smaller bedroom window. It has helped considerably but has put the focus on how thin the original walls are... can still hear the teens occasionally (tho it has been winter so they're not out in full force). In preparation for the summer I am having an acoustic soundproofing consultant come out and recommend the best materials for soundproofing the walls. Will report back in a week.

Joined: Aug 20 2006

btw... the windows I installed cost a cool $5000.

Joined: Apr 20 2006

I'ts good to see that you are making progress.
Now most of the sound you hear is likely coming through the walls. You might get quotes on insulating the walls before the soundproofing company shows up. You will be better informed and better prepared to consider their recommended fixes.

Joined: Apr 10 2006

not sure if you've seen this yet, but it's a paint that claims to have sound deadening qualities. i haven't used it so do not know how effective it is, but it does sound interesting.

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