I have a white noise machine that drowns out the gunfire from the shooting range across the street and the barking dog from next door. Most aren’t loud enough to be useful, but this one is.
Thanks again, everyone.
kayT: I own my home, as do they. They have three kids aged six and under.
Before they moved in…my house was exceptionally quiet. I’m a senior who’d planned to be here forever.
Beck: No break. Actually, the pattern of them going outside at 7 am for basketball, screaming, and fighting
just started a week ago.
Pohjonen: I have that exact one! I’ve been afraid to turn it up very loud, though, since I nearly blew out my eardrums one time from
turning another machine up too high. My ears felt the effects of it for weeks after.
I just wonder if there’s a specific type of window glass made to block specific kinds of sounds.
I have nothing to offer except empathy for the OP. I am in the same situation except that I don’t work nights (although the basketballing can and has gone on past midnight).
Bouncing basketballs that close to a bedroom window is much louder than one might imagine. I’ve had fantasies of me walking out there, motioning for a pass, than flinging the ball into someone’s yard a few houses away.
I guess I can give you this: much of my basketball grief is in the past. The kids are older teens now and for the most part seem to have found other things to occupy their time. In other words, it will get better one day.
Yes, there does exist a type of window (not window glass) that blocks noise.
Unfortunately, I no longer have access to the details.
About 15 years ago, I had a minor involvement with a real estate deal for a newly built residential apartment building on a very busy and noisy street.
There was a constant flow of buses and heavy trucks driving right past the windows, with only a narrow sidewalk between the building and the traffic.
The noise was so loud that you could not have a normal conversation inside the apartment, with the windows open.
But when I closed the window—Wow!–total silence.
The windows were heavy. Closing them was almost like slamming a door shut. They had very wide metal rims, and of course,with thick glass, or layers of glass.
They latched by twisting a long handle, about 4-6 inches long, which you turned through a 90 degree angle.
I have no idea who the manufacturer was or what that type of window is called.
But they do exist, and I have seen how effective they were in a real-life situation.
Keep looking, and good luck.
Sorry if already addressed, but do you need the window? I ended up filling my bedroom window with sound-dampening foam panels. Then I put up a heavy curtain. Then I put a fan on. I did measure the noise abatement with a crude sound meter app on my phone but I forget how well I did. It was significant.
You can also buy “White Noise” machines that have a variety of different white noise sounds that can do a lot to cover up outside noise.
If the bedroom only has one window, then yes the window is required by code as a second means of egress in case of fire. There are some very good soundproofing windows out there, but the wall construction matters too. Solid masonry is good, 2x4 studs with no insulation (which could very well be the case if the house is from before the mid 1970s) is bad. Fiberglass helps some, spray foam is better, but cellulose is generally best for sound. To be really effective though you need isolated double walls on top of the proper insulation. This means building a new wall inside the old wall while also re-insulating the old wall. That’s a lot of intervention, and it may not even work if the ceiling, roof, or floor act as a bypass, and then you’d need the high-end window(s).
So all this ruckus is for kids that are barely through kindergarten, and they have/had a personal trainer? That sounds like an Eastern Bloc gymnastics type of training regimen to me. Are these kids supposed to be the parents’ retirement fund or something? I’d check on your city’s or township’s noise ordinances as a preface for talking with the parents. Regardless of working nights, 6-7am is damn early for that sort of thing, but considering the intensive training plan they appear to have set up then my guess is they won’t be too receptive to complaints without some clear law to back it up. That may only get you an hour or two of peace anyway.
How about installing closable shutters? Perhaps also you can cut a piece of foam to fit the window just pushed into place also. Maybe change your bedroom to another room in the house.
I meant more does he need it as a means of letting light in. A foam panel will block the light.
Try playing classical music aimed toward the kids. It seems to work for loitering in many places. Search Google and find it appears to be legal in many places… https://www.bsomusic.org/stories/vivaldi-on-duty/
Play opera out your window. I prefer Wagner for this sort of thing.
Thanks, everyone, for your sympathy and suggestions.
The personal trainer was for the parents! Jjakucyk, that’s what worries me: I could pay for new windows but also need a new wall. And have to rebuild that whole side of my house, since the noise is disruptive when I’m up, too.
The classical music idea is very creative!
Really, you have no other option than taking it up with the parents. Unless…
I was visiting my sister in Texas. She lives in a housing addition with large yards. Her nearest neighbors ne’er-do-well adult son bounced the basketball and shot hoops everynight from about 10pm til he got tired. It was maddening. My sister did everything short of shooting the man from her bedroom window. She was talking to another neighbor and she suggested talking to the HOA. That stopped it. Apparently there were other complaints. OP, do you have a HOA?
Soundproofing and windows is a complicated question. Becuse of the wide range of frequencies involved there are a range of effects to consider, and there is no one answer.
A large sheet of thing glass is close to transparent to low frequency sound. As the frequency rises it tends to reflect more and more. So you find it easy to cut out high frequency sounds. Thicker glass helps, as with increased mass and stiffness it reflects lower frequencies better. Laminating glass helps greatly, as it creates a constrained layer damping system, where the thin layer of laminating plastic is placed in shear by the vibrations and dissipates the energy. The answer then becomes a thick pane of laminated glass.
Double glazed glass units (IGU) are usually designed for heat insulation. The problem here is that the needs of avoiding heat transfer are counter to the needs of sound insulation. To stop heat transfer the two panes are placed close together - to stop convention cells forming. However for sound insulation you want to place the panes as far apart as possible to lower coupling between the panes.
One thing to be very aware of is that even the smallest air leak in a window will allow a huge amount of noise through - enough to undo all the good work a reglazing of the window with sound deadening glass.
There are specific makes of laminated glass devised for best sound insulation. eg Pilkington.
Beware that the claimed reduction in sound level is going to be a best case, and is not necessarily going to be the reduction you get for the particular kinds of noise you want to address. Commonly noise reduction glass is accessed in terms of traffic noise, not kids with a basketball.
But reglazing, or probably replacing the entire window, with a properly engineered window unit fitted with the highest spec laminated glass will be as good as you can get short of bricking the window up.
Beck, there’s no HOA. It boggles my mind how your sister’s neighbor (and mine!) can be so clueless.
Francis, thank you for so much information! I hadn’t heard of Pilkington. It looks like their noise control
glass is LowE – and I’ve heard that that diminishes the sound blocking effectiveness. (?) But I’ll
check out the company! I really appreciate your post.
I have to say, Newtosite, how much I admire your ability to be calm in seeking a fix for this. I have had experience with loud neighbors and I always (always!) lost my cool. Your approach is much more productive and I admire you a lot. I hope you find a good resolution.
How well insulated is the outside wall in your house? It’s no good if you eliminate the sound transmission through the windows but it still comes in through the walls.
LowE glass has a special coating that reflects in the IR. This means it has low emissivity (hence the name) in the infra red - where the heat is. Given it is a few microns thick coating, it will have zero effect on noise performance.
LowE works pretty well, and gets you about half way to the thermal performance of double glazing. It is a no-brainer to use it. (Maybe there is a garbled confusion about the relative effect of double glazing, sound blocking and thermal performance that leads to some urban legend about LowE being poor with sound - dunno.)
Thanks for explaining that, Francis.
kayT, I appreciate your kind words! I’m too tired from sleep deprivation to get upset.
Dewey, the walls are paper thin. Minimal insulation.
I just looked over the fence – they have TWO basketball hoops in their yard.
How many houses are adjacent to the basketball area? Is it just yours or are there others? If there are several, I’d recommend calling the police if it violates the hours covered by noise ordinances.