Once upon a time, I lived in an apartment located in the corner of a busy intersection. You can just imagine the amount of traffic, both vehicles and foot, the passed by my little corner of the world. From sunrise until sunset, there was just a lot of noisy racket penetrating its way into my home. The only reprieve I got was at the wee hours of the morning, but by six am and even late into the night, it was just noise, noise, noise everywhere.
I finally researched and learned that soundproofing my windows would help drastically reduce that amount of sound that gets in and out of my unit. Spending a huge amount of money to triple glaze those windows was out of the question because I was just renting. Moving was also not an alternative because the place was near my work and the university where I was taking my post-graduate studies.
Doing my own DIY soundproofing for the windows was my best bet because I needed to drown out the noise that was stealing my peace, preventing me from getting my beauty rest, and distracting me from my important obligations. I asked permission from my landlord and he gave me his blessing to begin sound proofing. I set out on a mission to soundproof those windows, and I tried to search for ways that will not completely block out the light.
If you currently live in a neighborhood or area that is busy and noisy, and you’re stuck with the same dilemma I had back then, you have certainly come to the right place. I used several experimental ways back in the day to soundproof those windows. Now that I own my own house, I used the same methods for my home office because I really prefer a quiet room when I am working, so I won’t get distracted.
In this guide, I will enumerate the materials you will need to help you get started, I will also give you various tips to sound deaden your windows, including making your own DIY soundproof insert plugs, so you can finally mitigate that noise emanating for the outside world. If you’re not a handyman, don’t worry because I am not either.
The steps enumerated here are also easy to do, requiring only a little time and effort. Moreover, you can choose the tips you think will work best for you. Now, let’s get started!
Materials You Will Need to Soundproof Your Windows
In our modern world, we have to be thankful that many products are now easily available online. There are numerous reputable online sites like Amazon that sell all sorts of odds and ends, which are affordable and can be delivered right to our door step. The following items are those that you can get online for this project:
☛ Fiberglass sound proof blanket offer better sound deadening for your windows.
☛ Calyx interiors cordless honeycomb 9/16 inch cellular shade are blind akin to sound dampening curtain that reduce the reverberating echo in a room.
☛ Barrier panel like this acoustic foam works great in absorbing unwanted sounds and prevents sound reflections.
☛ Adhesive for sealing that gaps in the windows.
☛ Install soundproof curtains.
☛ Window insulator kit that works for 3 to 5 windows.
☛ Put an extra layer of acrylic over the window.
☛ Use Green Glue for adhesion and added noise barrier
☛ Buy weather stripping tape for making tighter seals
☛ Shell handles are needed for your DIY plug
☛Soundproof mat for the plug
☛ Soundproof foam/ sponge to deaden sound
Steps You Need to Do to Soundproof Your Windows
1. Consider Blocking Out the Entire Window
Blocking the window entirely will work to block out the sound. The only caveat is it will also block all the light and air. If you don’t mind the darkness or lack of fresh air, then this method is for you.
Remember, there are other soundproofing techniques. However, this tip is a super easy and cheap method. For those that don’t have a lot of time and need quick results, plus don’t mind losing some light or being unable to open windows to get fresh air, then this method is the way to go.
Just get super cheap insulation panels from Amazon and ensure there is no gap left in your windows. You will have to trim these panels down to size to fit your windows perfectly. Insulation panels are not aesthetically pleasing, but they are effective in blocking noise.
The best part is, you can mask these from within with curtains over your windows. If you want to attain more efficient sound dampening, use a fiberglass sound proof blanket which offers the best results.
This may cost a little bit more than ordinary insulation, but they are worth every penny because they do a terrific job.
2. Replacement with Double-Pane Windows
If you have extra-money to spare for this project, then you can consider this option. This works best if you own the place because it will cost quite a bit of money. Aside from completely blocking your windows, this is an alternative guaranteed method of retaining all the noise in or totally blocking them out.
Double pane windows have been noted to reduce the quantity of noisy sounds significantly by as much as sixty percent. On top of dampening sound, this method can also reduce the transmission of heat, keeping your rooms cooler in summer and warmer in winter, which saves your energy costs.
Another option to double-pane windows is specialized soundproofed windows. You will need to hire professionals to do both kinds of window jobs. A reputable company is essential because poorly installed windows that possess even just a tiny gap will still bring sound into the room.
3. Put on An Additional Layer to Your Windows
This step is so much more affordable than replacing your windows. The only thing you have to do is to add an another level of protection in the form of an acrylic on top of your windows because this will reduce the passing sound waves.
To make things work, install a metal frame to your existing window. You will then use magnets to attach the acrylic to the existing window. Double check that everything is sealed in your windows to ward off all noise.
Acrylic will allow you to plug out the sound, but it will still permit sun rays and night lights to get into the room because it is transparent. This is perfect for those who still want light. On top of that, this option is relatively cheap, so it won’t hurt your pockets.
The only drawback is this works for regular noise problems. If you have a pretty big sound issue, this may not be the most ideal option.
4. Install Soundproof Curtains
These soundproof or sound deadening curtains will not block out all the noise, but they will certainly help mitigate any sounds coming from the outside world and prevent them from coming into your house.
This is great to use in conjunction with using cheap insulation panels from Amazon to block out all sound. They can cover the unsightly foam you used and work as a double protector. If you still fancy some light to come in, then you can also use these special curtains because you can move them anytime or tie them to let the light or even air come in.
These curtains also reduced the effects of echoes in my rooms, improving the acoustic levels. The material also soaks up a lot of the sound, making your interiors so much more quiet. These curtains are very thick and can also block out light when you want them to, if you want to sleep in.
The best part about this, they come in a broad range of colors, so you can pick the color that will go best with the interiors of your house.
5. Use Thick Blind Materials.
Just like curtains, there are some blinds that reduce the impact of noise and echoes in your room, which will make the place a lot more quiet. If you go this route, choose thick materials because they work better. Investing in something like Calyx Interiors Honeycomb blinds brand is a great option.
These blinds will help prevent outside environmental noise from coming, making them a great tool for noise reduction. They also work by allowing some light to seep through. Blinds will work great in a home office, where you need more light because it is just more conducive for doing business.
6. Place a Barrier Panel
Installing a barrier panel crafted out of an acoustic foam will help in the absorption of unwanted sound. It will also prevent further unwanted sound reflections. These panels are quiet effective and they are easily purchased online in Amazon. These are very versatile products, which come in different sizes to suit any of your windows.
These panels works really well and offer a nice grip for the air to latch onto. For super noisy zones, you can install double panels in those windows. This product is very reasonably priced, so you don’t have to worry about buying multiple items.
7. Seal All Your Window Gaps
Even a tiny gap will let sound in, so be sure to seal all those gaps where sound and even air can come through. Unfortunately, not all windows are well constructed. If you notice tiny gaps in your windows, particularly the edges, then you can seal those to deter any outside noise from bothering you.
The easiest way to get this done is to put adhesive to seal the gap. This cheap and easy method will ward off all unwanted noise. I have personally tried this adhesive and it really acts a good window seal.
This adhesive actually also works in reducing the noise emanating from the movable segments of a window. This is very easy to set-up and can handle any type of weather. You can cut this down to size to suit whatever dimension is needed to cover the gaps in your window.
On top of this adhesive, using a window insulator kit. This handy kid is actually an assortment of materials that you may need to cover 3 to 5 window panes. This kit, with its various rolls in different sizes, offers easy and simple installation.
Put Up Your Own Do-It-Yourself Soundproof Window Inserts
This window insert is a soundproof device that is made of a really simple frame that is crafted to make your window space air tight. Another term for this is a window plug, usually made of an acoustic foam or sponge, which is the perfect material for sound deadening because of the material’s thickness and density.
What’s awesome about this approach is that you can device the foam to be removable. You can conveniently plug in and take this out anytime you want. When yo don’t need it, you can easily remove it to welcome back the natural light.
If you have noisy children practicing with their band mates and making a lot of racket, this is a perfect solution. This is actually a great temporary soundproofing option, which will not hurt your pockets. This works well in all sizes of windows.
You can consider making your own plugs because it is really simple and easy. All you have to do is buy the foam material and cut it one inch larger than your window. This permits you to just push and squeeze in your cut up foam into the window frame for a snug, tight, and secure fit.
If you’re window is extra large, like more than 3 feet wide, you need to make a frame first where the foam can be put on. You will have to take the measurements of your window to ascertain its size. Rough estimates will not work for this project.
Those with smaller windows, you will not need any frames. You can just direct push into the current window frame. Don’t worry because it will not pop out.
If you have to make the frame, fret not for it is super easy. You will just need a wooden board, shell handles, sound proof mat, sound proof foam/ sponge, and weather stripping tape.
Step 1: Measure your windows and measure the wooden boards. You will need to cut these boards to fit the window. Cut this down to size because it must be snug and there must be no gaps for optimal sound proofing.
Step 2: Cut up your soundproofing mat to the right size to ensure that it can fit into the wooden frame you’ve just crafted. Use Green Glue or any other adhesive to attach the mat to the wooden frame.
Step 3: Repeat the process with the acoustic sponge or foam. Once you have the right size, begin sticking it to the mat.
Step 4: Put on the shell handles you’ve purchase to the exterior of frame for easy insertion and removal of your plug.
Step 5: Use the weather stripping tape on any gap to act as a seal so the fit on the window will be really snug.
As you can see, there are many different ways you can sound proof your windows. You can opt for something that totally blocks off the light, if you really want a dark room. But if it is something like your office, you can use an acrylic, curtain, or honeycomb blinds, which will still allow some sunshine to pass through.
Remember, these are tips given are great for minimizing annoying sounds. Some of them may not totally keep out all forms of sound. The only way to do that would be to cover up your whole window completely, but this will also deter you from seeing sunshine or opening the windows to let fresh air in on the days that you feel like it. Clearly, the soundproofing option you pick must fit your lifestyle.