Whether you are a homeowner sick of hearing the sounds from outdoors as you try to relax and chill after a long day at work, or if you have a sound recording studio and need absolute audio clarity, you may need extra soundproofing.
Soundproofing your windows can be very useful, not only do you not have to suffer the sound effects that remind you that there is a whole chaotic world outside your happy home, but it can also add audio clarity and minimal background noise if you are in a recording studio, or even if you are just shooting a home movie.
There are many ways you can go about soundproofing windows, doors, and even rooms.
However, windows are the most sought after thing to be soundproofed, and while you can simply resort to a complete rebuild, you can DIY the job to save yourself money and get the job done just how you want it to be.
For the most part any time that you soundproof anything you need to place thick and dense material around the window to block out any potential sounds from seeping through.
You should probably also insert absorption panels around the walls. Even furniture and rug choice will help the room to sound better as it will reduce the echoing noise within the room. Carpeting is a good way to do this for example.
So, what can you do to improve the soundproofing quality of your home? How can you fix sound leaks on your own while saving money. We will tell you all you need to know to do. So sit back, relax, and let’s get to it!
Things to consider
When looking into soundproofing a home, so many people will make the mistake of thinking that acoustic foam panels (often seen in recording studios) is the best soundproofing product.
While these panels are inexpensive and seem to be professional, they are not what you seek. They absorb echo, they do not soundproof rooms, windows, or doors.
The first step that you should make when you are looking into doing a job like this is to consider if you even actually need to have a window in the room that you are soundproofing.
If you do not need the window then you could just remove it and block it up entirely. Quick and easy fix don’t you think?
Removing and blocking a window is one of the best soundproofing methods as you will instead be replacing the sound leaking window with a thick and dense material which noise will have difficulty getting through.
However, if you cannot block out this window then there are still plenty of options for you. It is not always the best choice to permanently block out a window just for soundproofing purposes.
You may want to sell the home on some day and the majority of people would not want a windowless room, most people like to have at least one window in every room in a home.
So, if you do block out a window, it could lead to issues trying to resell.
The 7 best ways
So, if blocking out a window is not the best course of action for you, and you want to try out other methods, what can you do to stop sounds leaking through your window?
Let us take a look at 7 of the best ways that you can tackle this problem without seeking the help of professionals. Let’s keep this all DIY!
1. Why not try installing your own window block?
While it is not for everyone, and it is not always the first choice option, you can install and build your own temporary soundproof window block.
There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will explain this to you and help you make your own. It may take you by surprise just how easy it is to do this, and how functional it is too.
First of all, you need to measure your window, be sure to have the exact measurements as you do not want to go through the process of building one, and then it will not fit, we can all imagine just how frustrating this would be.
You also need to ensure that there are no cracks on the sides, if there are, it will render the soundproof window block useless.
Step-1. Measure out the interior of your window frame that you want your soundproof box to fit. Cut out a piece of plywood that is 1” x 4” accurately from the measurements you took for the window frame.
Step-2. It can help to attach some diagonals on at least two corners, This will keep the bows frame securely square. We recommend doing this.
Step-3. Attach a piece of plywood to enclose the back of your box.
Step-4. Seal up the inside of your box where each section of the frame will come together. We recommend using a Green Glue Noise proofing sealant.
Step-5. Now you should place in Your insulation, Roxul do a great Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation for this. You need to make sure that the insulation fits tightly inside the box. You can get many sizes, so there should always be something that will work for you.
Step-6. Next, place a ½“ sheet of cement board that is the size of the interior of your box frame over the insulation. You could also use a super-dense acoustic foam cut to size it. Hold down the sheet tightly with your body weight and securely screw it into place, then throw some acoustic sealant around the edge of the sheet.
Step-7. Now, place the back of the box into place and seat it shut with some of the green glue sealant and securely screw it down. Screw in some heavy-duty chest handles too. Then extract the soundproof box from your window with ease!
2. Try out a quilted fiberglass window panel
If that technique is not for you then you could always try a quilted fiberglass window panel. Although this is not the most conventional method of soundproofing a window, it does
actually work better than you may think. You can easily get a double faced quilted fiberglass panel from Amazon.com from many sellers, so that you can get one that suits you, and your window.
These panels can be any size so depending on your window you can always get one that will fit.
It kind of reminds you of moving blankets, but it is much thicker and heavier.
These qualities are exactly what you will need for soundproofing, the denser they are the better.
These types of fiberglass window panels will cost significantly more than soundproofing blankets traditionally do, however the quality is there and that is what you want.
The best thing about this option is that you can always soundproof two windows at once by simply cutting it in half!
We do advise against hanging the window panel with the hooks that you will often get with these set-ups.
Instead, it is a good idea to use something such as a double-sizes Velcro tape and stick it to the window frame, this way you avoid any holes and marks left behind if you do ever decide to sell your property.
You should use this tape on the full length of each of the four sides and do the same on the panel.
By doing this you will not only prevent any random hook holes, but you will avoid any cracks on the sides that may let noise in and make the whole process moot.
3. Consider thick material blind for your soundproofing.
If you do not want to block out the block entirely, and you are thinking about investing in some blinds, there is a way you can get the best of both worlds here.
Honeycomb sound absorption blind are the option for you. This type of blinds will absorb some of the outside noise and will help in soundproofing your window.
Of course, blinds will not always give you the same effect some something like sound deadening curtains, or a fiberglass window panel, but they do help It is always a good idea to give them a try, they are a fantastic option for you if you are not yet 100% sure what road you want to take with your decision on sound proofing, and if you are already in the market for blinds, you can’t lose!
4. Invest in some sound deadening curtains
We mentioned sound deadening curtains just above, this is where we want to talk about them.
They do an excellent job of cutting some of the outside noise from coming in through the windows. You should not buy these however, in the belief that they are 100% soundproof, they are curtains after all.
One thing they do have going for them is how they give you a wonderful aesthetic, high-quality material that will spruce up your room whilst helping to dull down the sounds that are sneaking their way into your room.
Another advantage that you will get from installing these sound deadening curtains is that they will do a great job of reducing echo effects.
This means you do not need to spend any money on acoustic panels, as acoustic panels will help to minimize echo by absorbing the sound from inside the room.
Sound blocking curtains will have the same effect and so rather than buying those, buy these instead.
If you install noise-blocking blinds as well as these noise blocking curtains, then you will have much more soundproofing quality in your home, as well as a gorgeous looking set-up.
Do remember however, that for your sound absorbing curtains to be properly effective you will need to get a higher number of panels than usual so that they thickly cove the whole window area.
These curtains should also extend around 4” beyond all edges of the window. Usually these types of curtains are longer than the regular curtain is, and they will go all the way up from the floor to the ceiling.
If there are any gaps then the soundproofing effect will not be as effective. If you would like to see an example, here is a set of wonderful sound absorbing curtains that are also thermal, keeping you warm, cozy and undisturbed.
5. Indow window inserts are also an option
Indow window soundproofing inserts are very impressive. Not many have tried then however they do seem very interesting. Indow is a company, and on their website they describe exactly what these inserts can do for you.
“ Indow window inserts use our patented Compression Tubes to press inside your window frame and seal out noise.
Our standard Grade inserts block sound by 50% and our Acoustic Grade inserts block sound by more than 70% when placed over operable single-pane windows.
When place over operable double-pane windows, Acoustic Grade inserts reduce noise by up to 12 dBA equivalent to more than a 50% reduction in noise and an STC rating of 42 to 45”
You can use the money that you spend on a sample kit will go towards purchasing the whole product. So if you decide you want to give it a try, and then you like it, you can make the full purchase.
This is a much better route to take then buying the full product outright only to find that you don’t even like it, or that it doesn’t work for you.
6. You could simply replace the window
If you don't fancy any of these other options you could go the simplest route of all. Hire out a professional to replace your window with a soundproof window.
This is an option that can be expensive to do, due to the parts, the labor amongst other things.
If you are not a handy DIY person, if you are not handy with building in any shape or form then it is probably best for you to take this route so that you get the best results.
This is an expensive option though, raising above $800 or more in costs. If you hire a professional, then you need to ensure that they have experience in soundproofing.
If you are hiring someone from a big contracting company then you will probably get someone who is experienced in soundproofing.
Someone who knows what they are doing in installation and sealing the soundproofing window, but they will seal around the window with an excellent soundproofing sealant.
Using a good soundproofing sealant around a window would make a massive difference since the sealants these companies typically use will never crack, they are also more likely to stay flexible to extend the life of the window.
After window sealants begin to crack the noise will continue to come through once more and the project will be a fail.
This is another reason that hiring a professional can be worth your money as it will be more likely to be a long-lasting effect.
7. Or you could simply remove the window
We mentioned this technique earlier, and it is a last choice back-up plan.
If you do not care about having a window in this room, and if you are not worried about the effects upon re-sell, then you can always block the window up entirely.
Even though getting a professional in to fix up your window is a very expensive option, this is probably the most expensive choice.
However, it is also the most permanent solution to sound leakage through windows.
Blocking out a window also means making the inside and outside the home look as though there was never a window in that place to begin with, this can be very difficult, and it makes the costs even higher.
Of course, you could do a cheap job if the outside and inside your house doesn’t matter too much to you in aesthetics.
But if you do care about the aesthetics of your house then a professional contract can help you to do this job.
The contractors would block out the window with soundproof insulation with drywall on the inside and siding that will match the rest of the house exterior.
If you are curious about the way that this is done, you can see videos of this being done on YouTube.
Other options if these do not work
If none of these above options speak to you in any particular way then you can always try out one of these three options.
Although the above options are probably the most popular, productive and effective in the long run.
However, if you are feeling creative and like you want to try something different that may be suited to your, your windows, or to your individual DIY skills then these other options.
Try adding in extra glass for more soundproofing
You can decide to add in some extra glass to your windows as a less expensive method than completely replacing your windows. All that you need to do is add in a layer of acrylic over the window.
This option can reduce the amount of noise that will pass through the window. Think of it just like single, double, or triple glazing in your windows.
First of all you need to install a metal frame around your existing window. Then you use magnets to connect acrylic to the existing windows. You will also have to assure that you secure the seal airtight as well.
The best part of using acrylic is that it is transparent, hence you will not lose any daylight that is coming through the window.
An acrylic layer will only work for minor noise problems, if you are dealing with some extremely loud noises, for example if you live near an airport, then this option may not be the best option for you as it will not do much for you.
Seal the gaps, sound might be leaking through
We all know that any small gaps or cracks in the sealant around the window pane will let sounds through into the room, no matter how small they are.
Therefore, it is essential that you ensure all gaps around the window are sealed. There may be gaps in your window, this is something that you should definitely check for, especially if your window installation was done quite some time ago.
It is not uncommon for sealant to degrade and for cracks to appear over time. This will happen more likely, around the edges due to aging or poor installation.
You may decide that you should seal up these first and see it if it solves the noise issue that you are experiencing. There are a couple of ways you can check for this.
The best way is to use a soundproofing caulk around the window seal and to reseal it. This type of caulking is very pliable, so it will not crack over time and nor will it let any noise through.
You could also use adhesive tape, although not as good as caulk, it can be good to test and see if there is an issue beyond gaps in the sealant.
This is a self-adhesive strip that is crazily easy to use. It can ensure any weather you can use it inside and outside, and you can cut it to fit your specific needs.
If you do not like these options, you can also get windows insulation kits, these come with a variety of materials that you can use to insulate anywhere from 3 to 5 windows.
You can try out barrier panels if nothing else works
If nothing else works for you then you can always seek out using a barrier panel that will help in absorbing unwanted noise as well as sound echoes. Kill two birds with one stone.
You can easily find these for sale in many places including Amazon.com. These are also super easy to install, and it will make your window much more soundproof.
It is, however, a bit more pricey than some of our other options, but it is not quite the cost of getting a whole new window installed.
So there you go, there are plenty of options to help you soundproof your window. Soundproofing your windows can cost you $50, or it can cost you $1000.
There are plenty of techniques you can use to do this, you can DIY it, you can hire a professional, or if you are fed up with the noise, and you do not even like the window. Just get rid of it.
It is entirely up to you, take your window into your hands and free yourself of unwanted noise.