Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Residential Soundproofing Window ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   10 Comments )
Subject: Residential Soundproofing Window
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: claire1205-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 30 Sep 2005 18:16 PDT
Expires: 30 Oct 2005 17:16 PST
Question ID: 574830
I recently bought a condominium on a busy street.  The noise is
driving me a little nuts.  I am interested in purchasing soundproofing
windows but have gotten stuck trying to figure out the best way to
approach this.  I have tried to surf the web to understand which
vendors are out there, and what methods they use to soundproof.  One
vendor replaces the glass in the window.  I think others replace the
whole window.  What types of soundproofing techniques work best? 
Which vendors provide this service?  How do they price their
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
Answered By: guillermo-ga on 30 Sep 2005 22:09 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Claire,

Thanks for your question. I've compiled for you a handful of
providers. I tried to find different techniques' offers, but actually
one seemed to be the currently dominant, consisting in adding a
laminated glass to the existing windows. However, for each provider I
found, I quoted excerpts from their own explanations, so you can
compare. I also looked for their pricing, but in no case they were
available. Instead, they ask the customer to contact them in order to
prepare an estimate --somehow, it seems to make sense, since it's very
unlikely that prices could be standardized for a service that for its
own nature needs to be tailored. Therefore, contact information has
been included for all of them.

Besides the information on vendors, I included in the end a couple of
informative resources that I believe you'll find quite helpful.

Search strategy: "soundproof windows" and "soundproofing windows"

Vendor: Soundproof Windows =
Technique description:

"Soundproof Windows do not Remove or Replace Your Existing Windows
"Soundproof Windows rehabilitate your existing windows!!! "There is no
need for window replacement.
"Windows and Doors are the Noise Problem
"The noise problems are seldom the walls, but are always the windows.
Only in extreme noise environments or very poor construction
situations do the walls require any special noise abatement
"Our soundproof windows are second windows placed behind your existing
windows. Our windows insulate, stop drafts, soundproof and more. They
open and close just like your existing windows, and offer more
benefits than replacement windows - at a significantly lower cost."
"Double Pane Windows have Poor Noise-Stopping Capabilities
While double pane windows do stop a little more noise than single pane
windows, IGU (dual pane) glass is not very effective.
"In a double pane windows, the two pieces of glass are coupled within
the same frame and vibrate together - like the two tynes of a tuning
fork. The air space does very little to retard the vibrations. (...)
"For more information about double pane windows, and what can be done
about them, please see our Double Pane Windows page
( ).
"Why Our Windows Work to Reduce Noise
"First, we use laminated glass. The inner PVB layer of plastic stops
vibrations - like a finger on a tuning (...)
"Secondly, there is an air space between the two windows (the existing
window and the new Soundproof window), so the frame is isolated from
"Finally, we spring-load the seals in our frame, which puts a constant
squeeze on the glass panels. This constant squeeze prevents sound
leaks and helps stop the noise from vibrating through the glass.(...)
"We have tests that show up to an STC of 53 after installing Soundproof Windows.
"STC stands for Sound Transmission Class.
( )
STC ratings are an established way to average how much sound is
stopped by something. STC ratings are used for windows, doors, walls
and most building materials. For windows, STC ratings range from 18 to
"For single pane windows, the STC Rating is most likely between 20 and 27.

Price: Not available. Estimate request for at or

Other Contact information:
Corporate Headquarters
Soundproof Windows
47630 Kato Road
Fremont, CA 94538

Phone: 877.438.7843
Fax: 877.226.4063

East Coast Office
Phone: 877.800.3850

Vendor: Super Soundproofing Co. ( )
Technique description:

(It's basically a short version of the same technique explained by the
previous vendor, including a copy of the same diagram --logo included)

"If you need REAL sound reduction, interior secondary soundproof
windows may be the solution. An 80% sound reduction and more can be
had over the performance of the prime window!
"These  windows are made to fit inside the frame of your existing
window, inside the living area, providing a large airspace between the
existing window and the new one. This DEAD AIRSPACE increases noise
reduction  dramatically."

Price: While this provider shows prices for other products related to
other areas of soundproofing
( ), for what relates to
windows, they also ask to contact them via form at the same page where
the technique is explained
( )

Contact information:
Phone: 760-752-3030
Walk-in store at 455 EAST CARMEL ST, SAN MARCOS, CA. 92078  

Vendor: West General "Acoustic Solutions and Environmental Control"
( )
Technique description:
(Again, the technique described is the same as for the first provider,
with an identical diagram, save that in this case the explanation is
more extended).

"Noise Mechanics 
"As an acoustical materials supplier, we often hear complaints about
outside noise getting into houses and buildings. (...) The largest
reason for this is due to poorly insulated windows and doors. (...)
While typical code requires an STC (amount of sound that is
transmitted through a medium) rating of at least 50 on walls, most
windows only provide an STC rating of 30 or less. (...)

"Old Methods of Noise Reduction 
"Double Pane Windows
"Until now double pane windows have been the easiest way to handle
noise isolation and energy conservation issues. While excellent at
saving energy, the standard double pane window only has an STC rating
of 30; thus creating a weak point where sound can pass through.
"Clear Vinyl Barrier
"Using a clear vinyl barrier over your current window system is an
effective, yet temporary way of stopping noise from getting inside.
While a useful and cost effective technique for homes, many
applications require a more permanent solution." (This more affordable
technique is described by the same vendor at )

"Introducing Soundproof Windows
"The Soundproof Windows system is placed behind your existing windows.
The system does not require the removal or replacement of your
existing windows. Soundproof Windows operate exactly like your
existing windows, and can open and close as your existing windows do.
The Soundproof Windows system insulates, stops drafts, soundproofs,
and more due to its laminated glass construction.

"Laminated Glass
Using laminated glass, Soundproof Windows block ultraviolet light
which causes sunburn, color fading and deterioration of natural and
synthetic materials. Historically museums have always used laminated
glass to provide color fade protection for their displays."

Price: Again, as it begins to seem the norm, price is not available.

Contact information:
Toll Free: (800) 801 9378
Phone: (408) 255 8644
Fax: (408) 255 8677

Vendor: Milgard Windows ( )
Technique: Not explained. There's a page for "Sound Control Insulated
Windows" ( )
which introduces the Quiet Line (TM) Series Vinyl Windows.
Prices: Not available.

Contact information:

Customer service line: 1-800-MILGARD
Contact form page:

Locations ( )
7406 W Detroit Street
Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 763-6000
2451 Bert Drive
Hollister, CA 95023
(831) 636-0114
6050 88th Street
Sacramento, CA 95828
(916) 387-0700
Simi Valley
355 Easy Street
Simi Valley, CA 93065
(805) 581-6325
26879 Diaz Road
Temecula, CA 92590
(951) 296-1400
17450 E 32nd Place
Aurora, CO 80011
(303) 365-5520
3505 Thayer Ct, Suite 200
Aurora, IL 60504
Las Vegas
7600 Eastgate Road
Henderson, NV 89015
(702) 453-1234
20789 SW 115th Ave
Tualatin, OR 97062
(503) 682-3270
Salt Lake City
1000 South, 500 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 972-0715
10846 Houser Drive
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
(540) 834-0340
965 54th Ave East
Tacoma, WA 98424
(253) 922-6030
3800 136th Street NE
Marysville, WA 98271
(360) 659-0836

I didn't find anything else relevant about providers. But there are
two other resources that I believe you'll find interesting to
orientate your decision.

First, a specific user's forum. This particular thread
) has two pages of customer's recommendation exchange beginning in
2003 up to August 2005.

Also, I believe you will find illustrative the following article that
explains the outlines the basics of windows' noise problems and

I hope that you find my answer helpful. In any case, please do not
hesitate to ask for clarification if you find it necessary.



Request for Answer Clarification by claire1205-ga on 01 Oct 2005 17:29 PDT
Thanks, Guillermo, for your response.  It contained some of the things
I have been able to find on my own, but these are organized very
nicely.  I can proceed in an organized way, at this point.  The
tutorial at the end is very good, and is something that I did not
find.  I have one more thing that I am curious about.  There was an
article in the "Chicago Tribune" that quoted an executive from Jen
Weld Windows.  He said that they made a window with a rating of 35,
but I can't find any specific description of it.  Any thoughts on

Clarification of Answer by guillermo-ga on 02 Oct 2005 13:02 PDT
Hello Claire,

I'm glad that you've found my answer useful.

Due to the typo (Jen Weld instead of Jeld-Wen) I wonder whether you
came across with this website: I navigated
their website and, other than general references to noise reduction
for doors and windows, I couldn't find any specific description for
whatever techniques they apply. In their home-page's center, under the
title "spotlight", there's a brief where they mention the article you
referred me to, and it also includes a link "laminated glass window",
which leads to the page Caradco Collection
), for wood-framed windows and doors, but with no specifications
regarding noise reduction. Even by selecting any option and, once
there, navigating the specs, no clear reference to noise reduction is
found, while there are about other features such as low-E and energy
efficiency. My guess, this company's business is doors and windows in
general, being style their focus rather than any other aspect, so
noise reduction might be an additional feature they are including
among their offers --I didn't find information that shows this is a
particular expertise of them. I hope this helps.



Clarification of Answer by guillermo-ga on 02 Oct 2005 19:51 PDT
Hello Claire,

I thank *you* for your rating and words. I'm glad to have been
helpful. Wish you best of luck with your windows and a quiet home :)


claire1205-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Well-organized answer.  Saved me a ton of time, which is why I tried
this service.  Thank you, Guillermo.

Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: cryptica-ga on 01 Oct 2005 05:35 PDT
Claire -- 

Guillermo gave you a lot of good info.  I live in Manhattan and never
had a good night's sleep until I had sound-proof windows installed. I
got the kind that fits over your regular windows.  What they do is
replicate whatever window you have and put the new window and frame
over your existing one.  If you didn't know, you wouldn't know that
anything was done.  They didn't have to remove the old windows, no
muss, no fuss.   It took about an hour or so to do two windows and now
my apartment is peacefully quiet.

I used a highly-recommended company in NYC called , what else? 
CITI-QUIET.  Even if you don't live in New York, their website is
very, very  informative.     And illuminating.  The opening page has
the sound of ambulance sirens, etc.   So annoying!   But you click the
little button on the page and suddenly you hear what that would sound
like if you had the new windows.    heaven!
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: guillermo-ga on 01 Oct 2005 10:28 PDT
Thanks for your comment, cryptica-ga :)
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: claire1205-ga on 01 Oct 2005 17:34 PDT

Thanks very much for the comment.  I am in downtown Chicago, so it's
the same urban street noise situation.  I will check out citi-quiet
for sure.  I am just astounded that there doesn't seem to be any
company in Chicago-proper that is serving this market.  Somebody with
a good business plan could make a lot of money in Chicago, I think. 
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: cryptica-ga on 02 Oct 2005 21:31 PDT
Claire --
That is strange that you can't find anybody.
They have to exist, though, since think of all the hotels and stuff that
soundproof their windows.  

Maybe CitiQuiet can recommend someone in Chicago.

I just checked, which is the greatest reference book and
website for the top rated home maintenance and renovation people.
They have a Chicago section. . . but nobody listed for doors and windows!
You could click on New York, though, and see if any of the recommended
ones have branches in chicago.   But maybe I'd start with Citiquiet
and see if they have colleagues they like.  Good luck!
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: claire1205-ga on 03 Oct 2005 04:40 PDT

Thanks once more for the suggestion.  I will call citi-quiet for a
suggestion.  Also, thanks for the website reference.  I'll bookmark it
for future use.  I am sure that it will come in handy.  It is good to
validate the finding that there is currently nobody in Chicago doing
this.  I had a hard time believing there wasn't anybody, which is why
I tried Google Answer.  Now I can proceed confidently and waste no
more time trying to find somebody within the city limits!
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: spud51-ga on 26 Jan 2006 07:26 PST
Hi Claire - I too live in Chicago and have been having the same
problems as you.  I'm wondering whether you've made any more progress
locally with your search and have had any success in finding a dealer
in the Chicago area who provides soundproof or sound-reducing windows.
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: claire1205-ga on 26 Jan 2006 13:42 PST
Well, "spud", let me give you an update.  Citiquiet wouldn't service
Chicago and had no recommendations of other vendors.  I contacted and they seemed to have a product that really
worked and some favorable references.  I decided to do business with
them.  When the windows were being measured, however, I realized that
some of my sills were too shallow to place a "double window" within
the sill.  The solution to that was to frame the outside of the window
frame to create the second layer........Uh, no.  Not for me,
especially since I have installed all these window treatments that I
can't afford to replace.  So I am back to square one.

I now know that my only solution is to get a single window with
laminated glass.  Won't be as good as double-windows, but should be
better than what I have now.  I have not found a Chicago vendor that
installs that yet, but I haven't put a lot of effort into this lately.
 I spoke to some salesperson in Tinley Park (doesn't do Chicago) who
says that they can take an existing window and replace the GLASS only.
 Sounds too good to be true, but I will pursue this.

What have you tried and learned?  Misery loves company!
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: spud51-ga on 02 Mar 2006 08:12 PST
Thanks for the update Claire.  I talked to a local company called
Add-On Glass.  They basically add a third pane of glass to your
existing windows, mounting the pane directly onto the existing frames.
 But they said that option wouldn't work for me because my windows are
too big such that adding a third pane of glass would make them too
heavy, and as a result, they wouldn't stay open if I wanted to open
them - the weight of the glass would just cause them to fall shut.

I also talked to a local window company that did installation work for
Soundproof Windows.  They came out and took measurements and
everything, and that option seemed feasible, since I have very large
sills.  However, the local dealer later told me he was having too many
logistical problems with Soundproof Windows (ie, it took too long for
orders to be fulfilled), so he was going to stop installing for
Soundproof and therefore wouldn't be able to do much for me.  Seems
kind of strange.  So, I may see if anyone else in the area deals with
and installs Soundproof Windows.

That's all I know at this point.  I think you're right about getting
the laminated glass.  I may see if there are other companies around
that can just custom manufacture the same kind of thing that
Soundproof Windows makes.  It doesn't seem like it would be that
difficult to put a frame around a piece of laminated glass and install

I hadn't heard of the option of switching out an existing glass pane
for a laminated glass pane though.  That too sounds like it could
work.  Have you gone any further with that idea?

Thanks again for all of your info!
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: claire1205-ga on 20 Mar 2006 16:36 PST

Sorry it has taken so long to comment.  I have been swamped!  I
haven't had a chance to follow up on the "swap-out" option, but I will
within the next month.  I will put in a call to the Add On people. 
Thanks very much for the tip!
Subject: Re: Residential Soundproofing Window
From: postulate-ga on 28 Mar 2006 19:47 PST
Replacing the glass in your window with laminated glass will not help
much.  Your existing window likely has an STC rating of maybe 29-31. 
With laminated glass it would be about 35.  That is not much more at
all and the cost is very high.

I am the owner of Soundproof Windows at 
Please do your research.  The more you learn the more you will see the
advantages of our product.  In response to other's questions: We all
over the country and even overseas. We will arrange installation of
our windows in ANY city or town in the US.  We do have installers in
Chicago, too!

In contrast to the 35 STC of changing to laminated glass - our windows
will give you an STC value of 41 to over 50 depending on your windows
and the air spaces.  That is substantial reduction.
Refer to our website for more information.  We have worked hard to
make our website honest, accurate, not misleading, and as easy to
understand this complicated subject as possible.  We strive to solve
your noise problem, whatever they may be and whatever the solution may
Trying to keep you well informed.
Randy Brown

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy