This week, Jason raised an important—and very unfortunate—point about many newly constructed homes and how they just don’t perform the way they should (See “Why does my new home have such high energy bills?”). I know he’ll be diving into this topic more deeply, but let me point out a situation we run into recently in some newer housing developments. Even though these were high-end homes, the builder used inferior windows—simple dual pane, and didn’t pay as much attention to air-sealing as we’d have liked while the house was under construction and it was easy to address. In the tightly packed neighborhood, this results in a lot of noise from outside making its way inside.
While there are solutions to this that involve interior storm windows, we’ve found most people don’t like the aesthetics or the need to open and shut (and clean) two sets of windows. And to enjoy peace and quiet, we’ve had several customers invest in brand new replacements windows. This isn’t a cheap fix—but it delivers great results. We take out the inferior windows, frame and all, back to the studs. And rebuild with high quality windows that not only do a great job reducing sound transmission, but also improve comfort (you don’t bake sitting next to the windows in the summer nor freeze next to them in the winter), add UV resistance to protect your furniture, and save energy. During the installation, we also improve the air-sealing around the window frame for further noise, comfort, and energy benefits. (BTW—we see very similar impacts when retrofits walls with improved insulation and air-sealing—quiet, comfortable, and lower energy bills.)
Our customers love it! The sad thing is, this could have easily been accomplished while the home was being built. But at least there’s a way out. If you’re thinking about buying a new home, follow Jason’s musings over the coming weeks.
And if you’re dealing with a noisy home, we likely have a fix for you.