How To Soundproof Windows And Doors

If you find yourself in a position where you can’t tolerate the sound of road traffic, rail noise, noisy neighbours, or other sounds associated with a busy and lively street, and moving is not an option at the moment, then soundproofing your doors and windows may be the only way to find some peace and quiet.

 Soundproof Windows And Doors

Most window and door manufacturers today offer custom products with enhanced sound insulation for new and replacement applications. All windows and framed doors offer a certain degree of soundproofing, but whether the level of sound control is adequate or not depends on various factors including:

  • Glazing,

  • Volume of gas between glass panes,

  • Rubber seals,

  • Frame construction,

  • Proper installation.

Unfortunately, any failure in one of these design factors automatically results in the failure of the soundproof barrier to deliver sound control to the desired specification.

  1. Glazing

    Glazing used in windows is quite thin and ineffective as a soundproof barrier. But for improved thermal efficiency, insulation, and sound reduction, manufacturers offer glazing with two or more sheets of glass.

    For custom-made windows, the thickness and amount of glazing used depends on the extent of noise reduction desired, as well as the origin of the sound. In addition, each glass pane in a soundproof window or door features a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) coating that forms a strong hydrocarbon bond with the glazing unit.

    The lamination helps to improve noise reduction by decreasing the elasticity of the glass and providing another layer of noise dampening. It also dramatically increases the strength of the glazing for extra security.

  2. Volume of Gas Between the Panes

    Double and triple glazed windows usually contain gas sealed in between them for improved thermal efficiency and noise reduction. If a glass pane vibrates due to sound, it causes the gas within the volume to compress and transmit the vibration to the other pane. The smaller the volume of gas, the greater the compression applied to the gas and the vibration transmitted to the second glass pane.

    Increasing the gap means more gas volume, less compression, and less transmission of sound between the panes. Ideally, air leakage through a soundproof window or framed door should be zero for optimal thermal efficiency and sound attenuation. However, most designs specify 0.1% to 0.3% air leakage, which though negligible, is necessary for minimal air exchange, to allay health concerns.

  3. Final Note

    The amount of window glazing and volume of gas between the panes are two of the most important factors for noise reduction in window and door installations. But it is just as important to use the right seals to reduce gas leakage, choose the right frame material, and ensure proper installation, for optimal performance.

Blinds Or Curtains: Which Is Best For Bay Windows?

Bay windows add a touch of style and character to a home, owing to their unique design. By projecting outward from the main walls, they give a room a spacious effect. However, the resulting angular spaces pose a bit of a challenge when it comes to finding the right window covering. While the choice between blinds and curtains for bay windows can be a difficult one, the choice is often directed by the location of this interior feature and the intended use of the room.

Bay Windows

Curtains

The key consideration when choosing curtains for your bay windows is ensuring that the covering doesn’t overshadow your windows. Some curtain styles to consider include:

  • Single track: This is a simple design intended to cover the window area without cluttering the space. Just draw them across the front of the bay when you need some privacy.

  • Curved or bent tracks – One shortcoming with single track curtains is that they create light gaps in the bay window when drawn. Curved curtains are fitted inside the bay space, with each section having a separate section for complete cover. Alternatively, you can install curved tracks with a single curtain that extends across all the sections, or use a conventional pair of curtains designed to meet at the centre of the bay.

Blinds

If you don’t want to use long and heavy curtains as your covering, then you should consider using blinds. Great options for bay windows include:

  • Roller blinds: These are great for accentuating the lovely character of your bay windows, especially if they have a built in nook, seat, or other window furniture. To create a clean look, consider using a single roller blind for each window.

  • Roman blinds: Simple and elegant, Roman blinds are ideal for controlling the privacy and light provided by your bay windows. They are usually designed to fit precisely above a window seat to fill the required window space. As with roller blinds, you should use three or four separate blinds to give your window a uniform look. Keep in mind that Roman blinds reach over the top part of the window when raised, so they may not be right if there’s a feature you wish to accentuate.

Roller blinds are recommended for bay windows that feature mullions between each section to minimise the amount of light gaps when you draw the blind. Roman blinds, on the other hand, are great insulators, as they can be customized to include thermal and blackout lining.

Verdict

There are several types of bay windows, including multifaceted bay, angled bay, and even bow windows, each of which has a unique shape. Since no single design can be right for all of them, you should consider getting a custom window covering that will provide a neat and tidy look. That said, you should consider using long curtains for each window if you have large bay windows that extend to the ceiling.

How To Determine Window And Door Height

The placement of your doors and windows is one of the most important aspects of your home’s design. They affect how your home appears to the outside world, form the connection between the indoors and the outdoors, and ensure comfort by protecting against the elements.

Planning Door And Window Placement

The power of door and window placement becomes most evident when the size, location, and type of these openings is miscalculated. This may cause your house to appear to be out of shape, and even influence the amount of lighting and ventilation in the rooms. But if planned right by a professional windows and doors company, doors and windows can give your home a pleasant ambiance both inside and out.

Matching the Window and Door Height to the Space

Window placement is typically determined when designing the exterior of a house, with the height set to the standard door height of 6 feet and 8 inches. With a standard 8-foot wall height, this placement leaves a margin of 16-inches between the top of the window and the ceiling. This is the ideal size for standard headers and plates, and ensures that even the biggest cornice moldings and window trims are accommodated.

But for rooms that go deeper than 12 feet, the band of wall is likely to obstruct the view. Moreover, it doesn’t make any sense to keep the top of the window at 6 feet 8 inches when you have 9 or 10-foot ceilings. To get the design right regardless of the ceiling height, you should be willing to set the top of the window clear up to the cornice trim, and possibly use it as the window’s head trim.

Other Structural Issues to Consider

Designing the door and window height when planning the exterior of the house can cause visual alignment problems from the inside if the heights do not match up around corners or in individual rooms. To avoid this, you should work both from the outside and from the inside simultaneously while applying these rules:

  • Ensure that the height or top of the window is the same in any room or visual field. This translates to 6-foot 8-inches off the floor when you have an 8-foot high ceiling, or 8 feet off the floor for a 9 or 10-foot ceiling. The bottom height or sill of the window can vary within a room without affecting its visual appeal, but the head heights must be uniform, especially in the corners.

  • When looking to align a window and an adjacent door, measure the entire height of the door within the frame, because the frame height will naturally be higher than the slab size. Set the window head heights to match the top of the door frame to align the interior trim.

These rules are particularly important during the placement of folding or French doors because they vary in size, and tend to be a few inches taller than the height of operable sections.

7 Reasons Your Doors Should Be Watertight

Do You Really Need A Watertight Entry Door?

Watertight doors are specially designed for commercial buildings and residences that are prone to water penetration, flooding, or damage caused by extreme precipitation. Many window and door manufacturers operating in flood-prone markets offer custom watertight doors, in addition to some standard sizes for customers who want them installed sooner rather than later. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting a watertight door.

  1. Flood Protection Barrier

    Watertight doors can be used as normal entry doors for commercial and residential property to deliver the basic needs of any door—security, comfort, energy efficiency, and shielding from precipitation. But owing to their unique construction, these doors completely inhibit water penetration, providing the best watertight solutions for flood defence and offshore/marine/civil industries. This means that you can enjoy warm and dry interiors during harsh storms.

  2. Prevent Moisture Problems

    Watertight doors are typically made from aluminium, steel, or stainless steel, which are impervious to moisture. But with proper sealing, you can effectively make doors made from other materials waterproof, including glass panel and wood interior doors. This essentially eliminates any risk of leaks and dampness in the sensitive areas you need to safeguard from damage and degradation due to the growth of mould and mildew.

  3. Can Be Fit with Standard Panic Hardware

    Watertight doors come with a range of hardware and accessory options to ensure that they fulfill all the needs of an entry door. Your door can be fit with standard panic hardware, a card reader, or an electronic keypad for improved access control.

  4. Easy Installation and Retrofit

    It can be hard to keep a newly finished basement dry if you have leaking hatchway doors. Fortunately, you can easily install waterproof doors that are watertight when properly locked. Moisture proof doors are particularly great for kitchens, windowless bathrooms, toilet and washroom blocks, hotel saunas, and other wet rooms.

  5. Hygienic Waterproofing

    Areas of high moisture content such as swimming pools, saunas, and wet room areas require hygienic watertight solutions.

  6. High Pressure Tolerance

    Waterproof doors are designed to withstand high pressures of up to 7 mWK to deliver security and permanent flood protection in a single entry point.

  7. Availability of Standard and Custom Options

    There are different types of watertight doors, including residential and commercial doors, spray-tight doors, power-operated doors, and manhole covers, among others. These doors are usually available in stock for quick order fulfilment, but you can also order custom doors to fit different sized openings or to address other unique concerns.

Final Note

Some window and door manufacturers include hydraulic gears with watertight doors, but they can also be purchased separately. Keep in mind that proper door pan installation is essential for overall waterproofing of your door.

The Difference Between Double Paned Windows And Window Inserts

Many homeowners replace their windows and doors in order to improve the comfort of their homes and save energy. When you start shopping for replacement windows, you will likely have to choose between one of two options: window inserts and full-framed windows.

Window Inserts Versus Full-Frame Replacements

Window Inserts

The vast majority of window replacement projects require the removal of an old and damaged window frame with its sashes, and replacing it with a new window. Many homeowners prefer window inserts because they are user-friendly, are relatively easy for DIYers, and leave the exterior and interior trim undisturbed.

Window inserts are essentially full-operational windows that are placed within the existing window trim and sill. You can personalise your replacement window inserts with regard to their design and energy efficiency so the colour, style, and design match your room decor. The window inserts are also virtually maintenance free after installation.

Double Paned Full-Frame Replacement

If you are looking to upgrade your old windows to more energy efficient double paned windows, you should consider a full-frame replacement. To accommodate the window design, you need to replace the windowsills and the interior and exterior trim.

During the installation, you need to remove the complete window, including the sills and trim, so the opening resembles that of a new construction. This option presents a great opportunity for owners to upgrade very old windows with a damaged or severely deteriorated wooden window frame. Post-installation, you will need to paint or stain the interior trim to complete the look and styling, so it complements your interior decor.

Which One Is Right for You?

Both options face similar shortcomings in terms of window quality and installation that may reduce or negate the desired energy savings. For instance, replacing individual windows using inserts or complete removal as opposed to upgrading all the windows in your home may not deliver the intended energy savings and comfort level.

Old frames may still let in cold drafts, while poorly spaced glass or failed seales can lead to new problems such as condensation. So, quality is key when looking to replace windows and doors.

That said, a full-frame installation is usually recommended for very old and drafty windows. The replacement windows may cost between 20 and 25 percent more than window inserts because of the additional materials and work required. On the other hand, window inserts are custom designed to match your home’s trim and colour, and fitted in the existing frame, allowing you to preserve the original architectural styling while improving its efficiency.

5 Tips To Prevent Birds From Flying Into Your Windows

Many homeowners knowingly or unknowingly attract birds to their home. Some people love having them in their yards and feeding them. But this simple pleasure can be life threatening to birds that often fly into glass windows.

How To Stop Birds From Hitting Your Windows

Glass windows are invisible to birds, and birds may fly into them as they try to reach potted plants on the other side. The glass may also reflect the sky or vegetation, causing birds to fly into them. One study suggests that these types of accidents are so common that over one billion birds die each year in North America from hitting glass windows, walls, and similar structures.

Fortunately, you can help save the bird population by reducing the threat your home windows pose to birds. First, you should identify your hazardous windows, which may include large picture windows, windows with feeders, or windows that join at 90-degrees. Look at the windows from outside your home, if you see any reflection of the sky or foliage, those windows are a risk to birds. Follow these tips to make your windows safer for birds.

  1. Mark Your Windows

    Use tempera paint or soap markings to deter birds. These markings should be spaced apart 4-inches vertically and 2-inches horizontally on the outside of the window. You can also use other paint patterns to make the glass visible to birds.

  2. Apply Stickers to Windows

    Apply stickers, decals, masking tape, mylar strips, sun catchers, or other sticky objects to the exterior surface of the window. Use close spacing and cover as much of the glass surface as possible, so the transparent areas appear too small for the birds to fly through. You could also apply long-lasting bird tape.

  3. Hang Bird Savers

    Consider hanging Acopian Bird Savers or Zen curtains, which are closely spaced ropes that function in a similar manner to tape or decals. They come in great designs that also help to beautify your windows.

  4. Apply Netting

    Consider placing mosquito screens or netting on the outside of the window so it’s tight enough to cause birds to bounce off before hitting the glass surface. The mesh should be small so birds don’t get their heads, legs, or wings entangled.

  5. Use Window Covers

    Consider installing exterior shutters or interior vertical blinds that remain closed when the rooms are not in use, or awnings/sunshades to prevent reflections that may attract birds.

Final Tip

If you are remodelling your home, you should consider working with your window and door company to employ strategies that prevent birds from flying into windows. For instance, you may use one-way transparent film that makes the window opaque from outside but offers a clear view from inside.

What Glass Is The Best Fit For Your Windows?

Choosing the best glass for your windows requires careful consideration of multiple factors, including light penetration, appearance, and energy efficiency. While the aesthetic appearance of your windows is largely a personal choice, determining the best choice for energy efficiency and light penetration requires that you consider the climate in your region, the orientation of your house, the window’s proximity to obstacles that provide shade, and many other factors. So, which glass is right for your windows?

3 Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Window Panes

  1. Function

    Many areas have standards and building codes that govern the different requirements for glass type, depending on where it will be used, its height above the ground, and other factors. For instance, the type of glass used in the bathroom should prioritize safety and privacy. For rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, you may need to consider etching, labelling, or other markings to prevent people from walking into the glass.

  2. Obscurity

    When you need to strike a balance between privacy and natural lighting, in spaces such as the bathroom and the laundry room, you should consider using a type of obscure glass, such as Satinlite.

  3. Energy Efficiency

    If you are certain that you want to control the opacity of your windows before they are installed, you can purchase glass tinted with metal oxides. To control the transparency of your glass after installation, you may need to apply an adhesive film. Alternatively, you can purchase laminated glass with interlayers between the sheets of glass for added sun protection or privacy.

For most homes and office buildings, you should consider using glass with the manufacturer’s base level of tint for the windows. This improves the solar performance of the glass and helps with glare and privacy during the day.

There are two key energy ratings to consider:

  • The U-factor, which measures the ability of the glass to prevent heat inside your home from escaping.

  • The solar heat gain coefficient, which measures the ability of the glass to block heat from the sun.

For rooms with large windows facing west, you should consider using higher performance glass, such as laminated low E glass with a high solar heat gain coefficient. However, this option may reduce the amount of visible light penetrating your home, affecting the appearance of your interior.

Final Note

New glass technology allows you to keep your interior warm during cold weather and cool during hot weather, without compromising on light penetration or transparency. For windows that open outside the frame, such as fixed casement windows, you may need to choose a suitable type of screening to maintain a suitable level of privacy and security.