Super Soundproofing Community Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to our forum specially upgraded for faster searching and a higher level of soundproofing information.


 Your question may have already been answered!
Use your KEYWORD in our search function before posting a query!
This forum is operated as a public service by the Super Soundproofing Co, whose experts are standing by to help you with any soundproofing situation.
 

Author Topic: So I just installed SoundProof Windows  (Read 128423 times)

matt

  • Guest
So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« on: July 02, 2007, 12:19:54 PM »

I had perused this site before making my decision to buy from Soundproof windows.  I felt like I was rolling the dice based on mixed reviews as well as the cost (not cheap).  Let me give you some quick background as it may help others decides if it's the right choice.

I live in a new home.  That means it's got very good thermal insulating properties but built as cheaply as building codes will allow.  Not a problem if you don't back up to a road, something we didn't fully consider the implications of when we bought.  First time home buyer's mistake.  And for the record, I now hate all motorcycles thanks to the few people that get their giggles by running their POS bikes at decibels that would be illegal on any car or truck that is in for state inspection.

Anyway, with a second child due any time now, I had to do something with one of the back bedrooms.  We had a contractor come in to give me some cost options to build a second, interior wall.  Yikes, that would have been a mistake.  I also called some local window vendors and had one guy come out but he "wasn't familiar with a soundproof window".  Useless, in other words.  Guy didn't even send me a quote after coming out to see me.

Anyway, long story short...I bit the bullet on the soundproof windows company.  Like I said, not cheap since we have double windows side by side and my wife insisted on up and down sliders.  I opted to use the sill mount option for the install.

Here are some observations:

- putting the frame together is somewhat annoying.  The screws provided can't quite handle the torque needed to cut into the unthreaded frame channel.  I had two snap on me.  Make sure you have a power drill that allows you to adjust speed and torque, otherwise you'll either kill your hands or kill the drill motor.

- you'll need another set of hands to help with the install if you don't want to drive yourself crazy, especially with double windows like I have. 

- Do yourself a favor and use double the insulating foam / strip along the frame.  Unless your walls are straight and flush, you may have some little gaps.  I do and I should have used double the foam.  I'll have to caulk to seal.

- Getting the panes into the frames is not easy by yourself, have a helper.

- windows are hard to slide up and down once installed.  You may want to get something like a Teflon spray.

Ok, finally...the result and was it worth the money?  I'm pleased to say...yes they are.  The windows our builder used are complete crap.  I was very pleasantly surprised at how effective the soundproof windows are.  The weak point is now the walls (2x4 construction and not even full plywood, grrr) when the rumbling bass noise goes by.  But, even that is now tolerable.  And the surface / sill mount frame is surprisingly unobtrusive.

The only problem is they're a bit of a b--ch to get open and closed.  However, our the latest addition to our family will get to enjoy peace and quiet and I'm glad I opted to use them.  If money is a limiting factor for you, however....they may not be your best choice.

Hope my experience helps others, I'd recommend them if you know your existing windows are the problem.

bjnash

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 02:06:10 AM »

How much did it cost?
BJ Nash - Senior Soundproofing Technical Specialist
Super Soundproofing Co
www.soundproofing.org
888-942-7723

matt

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2007, 12:56:04 AM »

We paid about $1200, not including shipping cost from CA to PA by FedEx.

Are there better bargains out there?  Don't know, if there are I'll be annoyed but I wouldn't be surprised.  However, what's done is done and, like I said, I'm pleased with the result.  All I have to do is walk into the bedroom right next to the new baby's room and I can hear the improvement.  It is considerable. 

The panes are very heavy and they seem to do the trick.  The frame is actually pretty nice installed and is low profile.  I'd use them again based on my experience this time 'round.

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2007, 07:55:41 PM »

Ouch, you got burned!

You could have achieved a much better solution for a fraction of the price, and could have constructed window plugs for 1/10th the cost.

Now that you know what 'soundproof' windows are all about, next time around you can design your own.  A local window manufacturer will gladly put in thicker glass or laminated glass if you wish.  And the extra cost is nominal.  You could probably talk him into using thicker/solid extrustions for the sash or stuffing some fiberglass/mineral wool inside hollow units before fusing them together.  All in all, you'll get better 'soundproof' windows for a lot less money.   

I put custom IGU's in my bedroom windows and spent about what you did for four units (including fabricating custom wood sashes - old house, didn't want to go with vinyl), but my windows are 'ultra soundproof' - easily STC 50, and close to 60 with my plexiglass plugs.  I had to actually tear apart the wall and modify it to get a bigger counterweight in there, the windows are so heavy.

matt

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 01:16:47 PM »

It is worth noting that:

- I was not interested in ripping apart the wall or sash
- I was not interested in pulling out the old window
- I needed something that would fit properly without having to rig stuff up
- I did not want to have to engineer the thing myself (I'm an engineer by day, I don't want to be bothered with this sort of crap at home)
- it had to have a neat appearance that would meet the approval of my wife since this is the new nursery

For me, this was an acceptable solution that has provided the desired results.

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2007, 11:19:39 PM »

I don't expect anyone to replicate what I did with my windows - a novice soundproofer doesn't have the knowledge, skill or tools to do so, anyway.  I was just illustrating the stark contrast in performance of buying 'soundproof' windows vs. doing it yourself, at the same dollar amount, roughly.  With everything closed up, my bedroom is dead quiet, even in the daytime, but all things considered, I probably wouldn't go to that amount of trouble again....   

It's just my opinion, but 'soundproof' windows are a rip-off.  Assuming you want to replace your old window with a single unit, you can contact a window manufacturer directly and very easily order thicker, laminated glass installed in an ordinary window and get damn near as good sound isolation as any 'soundproof' window you can buy from a manufacturer.  And the additional cost is in the tens of dollars, not hundreds or thousands.  The STC might be 2-4 points less, but it's not noticeable.  All you'll notice is that your new windows are much, much quieter than your old shoddy ones.  And that is the goal here, isn't it? 

With the 'soundproof' window like you installed (without taking out the existing window) the real thing killing the noise is the 'double leaf' effect, brought about by creating a larger effective airspace and doubling the mass of glass, not necessarily due to the window itself.  Even a 'regular' window, bought off-the-shelf at Home Depot will do wonders if the resulting airspace is large enough, provided you pay attention to sealing the perimeter.  STC 40 is pretty easy to reach with two sets of ordinary, cheapo windows.   

To create a double leaf at home, you could have simply made removable plexiglass plugs (with good seals) and achieved performance close to what you have now, and you'd still have an extra grand in the bank to spend on pizza and beer.  Or plugging the rest of your windows.  Then you'd have a really quiet house.... 

These 'soundproof' window companies are like auto mechanics - really, they prey on people's ignorance.  And make a nice living doing it, too!

gugy

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2007, 02:17:24 AM »

I have the soundproofwindows guy emailing me almost every month. They want to sell their windows so bad to me. I am on the fence. I heard good and bad things but what really doesn't excite me is the window on top of window idea. It looks cheap to me. I am highly considering paying way more and have the Milgard's Quiet Line installed. I rather have a nice job done than a cheap solution. I believe a nice job will add to the value of my home.

My biggest question comes to people who have the Milgard's Quiet Line. Are they really effective?

Thanks!

johnbergstromslc

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2007, 11:22:57 PM »

Well, the 'window on top of window' is the most effective solution, doubling the amount of glass with a large airspace, but upgrading to better windows will help too. 

Try contacting Milgard directly and ask some specific questions.  Ask them the thickness of glass in the Quiet line windows versus regular windows, as well as the airspace; a 1" airspace would be optimum for both sound and heat transfer - the closer to that the better.  Also ask if the sashes are solid, or filled with any kind of insulation, or are they just hollow vinyl (worse).  Ask if the seals are better than regular. 

If they can't answer these questions and are unwilling to put you in contact with any kind of technical support person who can, they might just be blowing smoke and the so-called 'soundproof' windows might not be that good.

Also, if you decide on Milgard windows and they will fit with the architectural style of your house, get casement windows (the kind that swing out on a hinge).  When closed, they compress the seal and rate 3-6 points higher on STC than similar sliding windows do. 

gugy

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2007, 06:43:53 AM »

Thanks for the info!

Unfortunately in my home all the windows are sliders. So I am planning just to replace the windows that face the noise street.

I'll try to contact Milgard. I had a gentleman that is a noise specialist here and he said he likes the Milgard Quiet Line. But he also said if properly installed the Soundproofwindows can be very good as well.

joel

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2008, 06:57:04 PM »

This is not the first time people have had difficulties with soundproof windows . com materials.  That is why we list the replacement windows first on our "Options in Sound Control Through Windows" article on our web site.

homemodder

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 03:03:44 PM »

You should really check out Milgard windows. They have many options and varieties. I purchases mine at http://www.1stwindows.com/. They had a wide selection of Milgard windows and great prices too!. When I called they also knew a lot about Milgard products and were very informative.

Check them out!!  :)

letsgobobby

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 10:51:28 PM »

I thank the OP for this thread and am leaning in this direction. Your problem sounds exactly like ours. Beautiful house, but backs up against a road and we didn't even think about the interior noise problem til we'd slept in the house the first night.

Milgard quiet lines would be nearly $14,000, installed. Soundproof windows, installed will be closer to $4000. Still not cheap, but this is installed by someone who's done 'dozens' of these installs and so he would have the experience to do it right. With our sills we can achieve 3 inches of air space between the soundproof windows and the current double-pane Milgards that are in place. We thought about the magnetseal option, which would be maybe $1500, but aesthetically it doesn't seem like the long-term solution for us.

Chris J

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2012, 03:56:35 PM »

We installed quite a few soundproofwindow.com windows in our place with good results....already had double pane(although rather cheap ones) and have 3inch + air space. You can still hear the traffic noise but it is faint compared to the levels before the SPW's. If I had it to do again I'd ask myself realistically which windows I would ever open......the ones I never planned to open I'd go ahead and just install 3/8's panes of laminated glass. Maybe with temporary caulk or maybe have a carpenter build simple removable frames that could be screwed on to the window opening......It would almost certainly be less that the products on the market currently. Also, check your local window manufacturers- some make storm windows situated so that interior mount is easily possible....most are available with laminated glass upgrade.....could be A LOT less than the dedicated soundproof window products.

n8r0n

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 08:10:36 AM »

My own experience with Soundproof Windows:

Just some background.  I want people to know what I tried to do.  I certainly think the product failed to deliver, but you can decide for yourself.

I have an old Craftsman home, with some leaded glass single-paned windows.  In an upstairs room, I had three small casement windows (leaded/single-pane) facing the street.  The adjacent side of the room (not facing street, at 90 degrees) had two modern, double-paned, vinyl windows - not great, but not bottom-of-the-line, either.  The walls have plaster and lath construction.  On the side that faces the street, I got into the "attic" under the sloped roof and added 1/2" sound-absorbant material (fiberboards) and then fiberglass insulation over top of that.  So, between the road and the room interior was cedar shingles, some roof framing, attic airspace, fiberglass insulation, 1/2" sound boards, very old (but not original) rock wool insulation, then wood lath, then plaster walls.

I added Soundproof Windows inside the three leaded, single-pane windows.  I did not add them to the vinyl ones that were on the adjacent side of the room.

After all was said and done, I literally could tell no difference in the level of road noise in the room.  If someone measured it and told me that the noise level dropped by 10%, I wouldn't argue, but it certainly wasn't anywhere near 50%, or anything close to what Soundproof Windows advertised.

Could it be that until I do the other windows, too, I shouldn't expect ANY reduction in noise?  Maybe.  That doesn't mesh particularly well with my intuition, but I suppose it's possible.  I did all kinds of experiments, where I blindfolded myself, turned around, listened to noise at various locations within the room, etc.  In all experiments, I could not detect any reduction in sound with the new Soundproof Windows.

That's only half of it.  The condensation problem with the leaded-glass windows has gotten MUCH worse.  With just single-paned windows, the glass temperature is going to be pretty close to halfway between the inside and outside temp.  That's enough to get some condensation in the winter, where I live.  With another layer of Soundproof Windows, you essentially have the air gap at half the temperature of the room and outside air.  That means the temperature of the single-paned leaded glass is now about halfway between that temperature, and the outside air.  In other words, the temperature of the single-paned glass is a few degrees colder with Soundproof Windows.

This temperature drop was apparently enough to produce a lot more condensation.  And as opposed to the original situation, where a little condensation could be wiped off, now you have to unmount the soundproof windows (doable, but not quickly), wipe off and let dry, and then remount.

I'm sure the overall energy efficiency of the windows is better now, but the sound isn't, and the sweating is worse.

When you add to that terrible customer service, an inefficient, non-automated ordering process, and expensive shipping, and this was nearly $1300 I really did flush down the toilet.

Oh, I forgot to mention all the lies the sales rep told me.  First, he lied about the profile of the Soundproof Windows.  It turns out that they're thicker than he told me, which makes my glass opening smaller (not cool).  Then, he lied and said the windows were eligible for the federal tax credit, which they are not.  That's a nasty 30% hit to what I expected my final net price to be.  He lied about the lead time of the windows.   Of course, there's the statement about how effective the windows are at reducing sound.  While everyone's installation is going to get different results, I feel comfortable saying that their claims were certainly not accurate.

Finally, like someone else said, their manufacturing process produces frames whose screw holes aren't properly lined up.  This made assembly less than easy.

Two thumbs down.

kjburg

  • Guest
Re: So I just installed SoundProof Windows
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 01:28:51 AM »

Soundproofwindows claims that they are significantly better than an interior storm window.  Actually they say better than a storm window, I assumed the interior portion.  I got a quote for a secondary interior window (which company called interior storm window) with laminated glass from a local vendor that would allow me to access my pull down blinds.  Installed it was priced the same as the soundproof window.  How much credit would you put into their claims of being that much better?

Noise Reduction from Storm Window: 10-35%
Noise Reduction from Soundproofwindow: 75-95%

While I was interested in the magnaseal, my wife wants a more accessible option that can access the pull down/ push up blinds without removing the whole unit (so a window that opens and closes).