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Noise issues from sash windows


Standard Member
Hello all!

Having recently moved into a new apartment overlooking a main street, I have pretty serious problems with noise from the three (lovely looking) single glazed sash windows in our front room, each being 100 x 185 cm to the frame edge.

Currently covering them are some wooden blinds that the landlord put there, so removing them is not an option. I suspect these may be adding to the problem by resonating in line with the noise coming from outside.

So my question is the best solution to this problem.. Obviously I'm not going to get silence, but at the moment my hi-fi sounds dreadful from the pollution. Having done some research, my options are:

- Put a heavy material curtain behind the blinds. My research seems to suggest that velvet will have the best sound deadening effect; any thoughts on this?

- Put heavy velvet curtains in front of the blinds.. (More expensive and also not likely as good aesthetically)

- Put a double/triple layer of thinner (cotton?) curtains in front of the blinds using a double poled hook from Ikea.

- Back the curtains with some ultra lightweight sound deadening (Thinking of Dynamat extreme)

In addition to this, the windows seem to rattle quite a bit on low frequency sounds. I thought of putting draught proofing around the opening part; any thoughts on this?


Established Member
can you use secondary glazing? It would be the most useful.


Prominent Member
If this is the Original VICTORIAN sash window design, following from Georgian Sash Windows, then you are going to have serious problems with Acoustic glazing. Sash Windows were never intended to ward of the ambient Noise from modern entertainment systems and the closest that they came to warding off external sounds was for the House Holder to have his servants spread straw on the cobbled streets outside to damp down the noise of passing carts when, Indoors, some poor soul was Dying of The Dreaded Lurgy.

The Modern equivalent would be secondary glazing with as much air space between the outside world and the Inside as would be possible .

Note that this would NOT be modern thermal glazing .. I have the latest and the best and I can still just about hear the noise of one of my young neighbors across the street ... in my 1930s Semi Detached Housing om an average width street .. practicing with his Drum Kit. Thank Ghods I don't live next door to the junior musician.

I once worked in a building that had nearly a foot of airspace between two glazing panels of the window in my office in a 1930s office block type building and this was surprisingly effective in shielding us from the very busy main road that passed outside ... you could scarcely hear the lorrys and busses going by unless you opened both of the metal framed, and un-sealed window panels.

I don't know the details but I believe that there was at one time a government scheme in the UK that subsidized acoustic window insulation for the poor sods who'd had a New road scheme planted next to their homes.

The Victorian solution was VERY heavy Curtains ... and having your servants spread straw.

I do sympathize and suggest that you move house as soon as possible.



Standard Member
Thanks for the advice, Arnold :)

As it is a rented property, secondary glazing is not really appropriate, especially getting a professionally installed solution with metal frames etc. We plan on being in the property for 2 years whilst we save for a deposit for our own place.

Having said this, I have seen examples of very basic DIY solutions online where magnectic tape etc is used to secure a perspex panel over the window frame.. not sure how much effect this would have though.

I threw some straw on the street outside this morning, but tbh it didn't seem to make all that much difference. Infact the noise from the locals seemed to increase markedly at first ;)

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