Soundproof Window Costs
Soundproof window costs will run anywhere from $25 for box plugs (these do not require professional installation) all the way to $1500 plus for high end replacement windows (this includes professional installation). In between these two extremes are soundproofing inserts that work with the existing window to help reduce outside noises.
Soundproof Window Basics
Soundproof windows help deaden as much exterior noise as possible through a number of methods. The most important of which is by increasing the amount of space between the two panes of glass. Normal double pane windows will have an 1" to 1.75" space between the panes. Soundproof window options will have between 2" and 3" between the two glass panes. This increase in space works to kill much more sound that penetrates the exterior pane. Another way to kill sound is to use two panes of glass that have different thicknesses. And finally, well made seals and high end glazing also help in the soundproofing process. Well made soundproof windows will have an STC rating of 35 or higher (sound studios typically have a 50 to 55 STC rating).
Window Foam Plugs
The simplest and least expensive option is foam plugs that are simply pushed into the window frame. The dense foam blocks out both sound and light (so it's helpful at night, but a huge hinderance during the day). Foam plugs range in price from $25 to $75 depending on the size and thickness of the foam box. These require no professional installation of any kind and they are pretty effective in blocking out sound. However, they are not very attractive and are must be taken out each day and inserted each night - they are really more of a temporary solution for most homeowners.
Soundproof inserts are a cost effective solution that work with your existing windows to greatly reduce exterior noise. The key here is having windows that are in workable shape. The inserts are placed on the inside of the existing window and they create that dead airspace that is so key for killing noise. There are a range of options, from rather flimsy vinyl inserts to high end aluminum frames with a low-e glass. Inserts range anywhere from $75 to $300 fully installed (installation shouldn't exceed $50 to $75 per insert). The downside on inserts is the lack of custom sizes and colors, which don't always fit all frames and may not match well with your interior color scheme. White, off white and grey frame colors are the most popular options. One company that has an interesting new insert is Indow Windows out of Portland, Oregon.
Replacement Soundproof Windows
Replacement soundproof windows ratchet up the cost into a whole different realm. If your existing windows need to be replaced (i.e. you really need to replace the entire unit) soundproofing replacements can cost anywhere from $600 to $1500 plus fully installed. Soundproof windows use a thicker box frame than other replacement windows to accomodate the deeper space needed for the airspace between the panes.These units also typically use two thicknesses for the two panes of glass (0.50" and 0.75" for example), high end glazing and seals, as well as quality spacers and gas fills. The result is a bulky and well made replacement window that is expensive to make and install. On the plus side, these should be very effective in blocking out sound for a long time to come.
Recommended Manufacturers And Prices
The Serenity Series is a sound control window and gets solid reviews from contractors. A pretty good budget option for a sound control window, which can be very expensive.
Simonton StormBreaker Plus
The Simonton StormBreaker is really more of a hurricane window, but is a well made unit that can be upgraded to serve as a sound control window as well.
CitiQuiet Soundproof Windows
A somewhat expensive window that seems to get some nice reviews from consumers (but we really have very little information on). Refer to their website to learn more about their sound proofing window options.
Milgard Quiet Line
The Milgard Quiet Line is a high end soundproof window that is built and marketed to greatly reduce exterior noise. Some contractors equate this purchase to buying two windows, which is basically reflected in the price.