Author Topic: Townhouse window noise - adding sound proof windows  (Read 1863 times)


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Townhouse window noise - adding sound proof windows
« on: November 04, 2014, 09:36:06 PM »
When I first purchased my townhouse, I was mostly worried about noise between the shared walls. So I bought an end unit, not once considering the super huge wall of windows that backs up to the next building's super huge wall of windows. My neighbors and I both have walls that are about 80% windows - they face each other and are only separated by a small walkway between the units. Although I have asked my neighbors on about 10 different occasions to keep it down, they continue to do everything as loud as they prefer. Their television is always very loud and they often use surround sound, which sounds like thunder in my townhouse. Even when their tv volume is a little lower, it still sounds like a loud humming or ringing coming from the windows. When they open their windows, I can hear their television as if I'm in the same room. They also have very loud speaking voices, so I can hear them talking all day long - even when both our windows are closed! So of course when they open the windows, forget about it - I might as well be sitting in the same room with them. Not to mention that people walk past those windows all day and night to get to their units and walk their dogs.

The two windows on the "shared" wall are 70.5 x 46.5 and 82.5 x 58.  The neighbor's windows are the same size/quality and line up directly with my windows (again, only separated by a narrow walkway). Their television is on the opposite wall and faces the windows (so it faces my windows as well). Their kitchen table is right up against one of the windows, so when they open the open the window during dinner, it sounds like they are standing and talking just a few feet from my window (literally). Because of this, I never open my windows - to at least always have one layer of something between our units, as missearable as it is. They say they don't hear anything from my unit, but I didn't think that they would because I make a conscious effort to be quiet. Also, they are so loud that I don't think they would be able to hear much over their television anyways.

I suspect that there are three things at play here: 1. my neighbors are not very considerate people; 2. I am fairly sensitive to noise; and 3. the windows are very poor quality and close proximity of the buildings/windows.

I've looked into adding a layer of special laminated glass, double pane storm windows from Soundproof These would go right over the original sliding glass windows. I've read that it is the best way to sound proof windows. It's kind of on the expensive side, but at this point I'm willing to pay for what ever WORKS. They claim to be able to achieve an STC rating of 43-52, with a 75% to 95% reduction in noise. This is with their residential grade windows. Although I don't doubt their claim, I wonder if my circumstances are conducive to achieving these results. Last thing I want to do is drop a few grand and still be saddled with a lot of noise.

My questions are:
1. Will the laminated glass of the storm windows reduce the ringing/humming from outside noise? How about inside noise? To be fair to my neighbors, I think the buzzing of my refrigerator even causes the windows to "ring" a bit.
2. Considering how close the neighbors are to my windows (probably 6-8 feet away), will anything really be able to stop the noise from their unit, especially when they open their windows?
3. What thickness of laminated glass (or any other type of glass) would be needed to achieve proper soundproofing in my situation (proximity to neighbors, their surround sound tv and the busy, open walkway next to the windows)?