Soundproof windows can change your life by decreasing noise pollution and improving your quality of sleep.
A study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) found that high levels of noise pollution in London are linked to early death and a greater risk of stroke (2015). Issues with health and wellbeing are caused by stress and sleep disruption from night-time traffic noise. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can shorten your life expectancy, and put you at risk of medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So, whilst your traditional Victorian windows might be in keeping with the facade of your house, they could be contributing to your poor health by allowing noise and air pollution to infiltrate your home.
Can I install soundproof windows in my Victorian property?
The simple answer is yes, but let’s break this down as there is always some confusion over what work can, and cannot be carried out to older properties, especially if they are listed.
Listed building status celebrates a building’s special architectural and historical interest by protecting it against development. To be eligible for listed status, buildings usually have to be over thirty years old. Any building built before 1700 that has survived in its original condition is likely to be listed.
Owning a listed property means a beautiful home with character features, but it also requires regular maintenance and following strict procedure. Historic England say, “You will need listed-building consent for all work to a listed building that involves alteration, extension or demolition where it affects its special architectural or historic interest.”
A period property
There is no specific definition for a period property, but the term usually refers to a building constructed before WWI, during a particular historical. For example, Georgian is used to describe during the reign of King George.
Soundproof windows are possible in listed properties, if you choose an expert who understands English Heritage rules and regulations. You will have to apply for planning permission and contact your local authority. You may find this 15 steps to choosing a window, glazing and door specialist checklist when searching for the right company to install your soundproof windows.
Why choose Hugo Carter for your soundproof windows?
Hugo Carter’s technicians are trained to install, repair and replace windows in a range of properties, including listed buildings and conservation areas. They do all the hard work consulting with your local authority to secure planning permission, and as they understand the rules and regulations of what you can and cannot do, they are on hand to advise at every step of the process. The specialised products include full, invisible overhauls of your windows, but retain the bulk of your original windows, making them more efficient whilst complying with regulations. Restore or replace traditional windows in order to improve efficiency, eliminate sound pollution and create a healthy home life.
What are my soundproof window options?
Hugo Carter offer bespoke soundproof solutions, including windows and doors. They work with you to establish what you need, and how their products might fit into your home, complementing your period property. Because everything made by their team of expert craftsmen can be customised in size, shape, colour, and stain, you always get exactly what you want. Soundproof windows and doors are made from sustainable timber and eco glass, ensuring that the planet is well looked after. If during the process you would like to upgrade to modern tilt and turn, that can be arranged. Choose from sash or casement windows, customised to suit your lifestyle.
Read more about the materials used by Hugo Carter here.
Hugo Carter design, build and install, and repair bespoke windows and doors. Because we’re passionate about the environment and your health, all of our products are soundproof, helping to eliminate city noise. Everything we build is made from sustainable material. For a free quote and to see how our soundproof products can transform your home into an oasis of tranquility. Contact us today for a free quote.
Window ironmongery is also known as 'window furniture', though of course it's not the process of attaching a 3 piece suite to your casements, but rather the small little add ons, flushes and flights of fancy that can turn your windows into something uniquely individual.
We often include ironmongery into our bespoke window designs, taking into account the setting and aesthetic of the building in order to ensure a continuity in image across the property, though we often have clients asking for specific fixings, or our advice on how what type to use. So we thought we would give you a little break down of the differences one might expect from different ironmongery for windows available.
The most affordable stuff on the market, uPVC fittings including hinges, handles, window stays and latches. They will certainly do the job, but the simple fact is that you aren't paying for quality, but rather functionality here. With plastic fixings you are losing a degree of strength in the product that will make your windows less secure and look cheaper.
Though plastic can look fairly sleek and modern, you are also pretty much restricted by this design with plastic ironmongery basically reserved for uPVC windows. Leading brands include Mila, Eurosafe and Rola, all of which provide adequate products at affordable prices.
Providing a pricing middle ground in window fixings, brass ironmongery is very popular and commonly found as handle fixings on casement windows. Brass is also used for a range of products including hinges, escutcheons, stays and latches. An alloy of zinc and copper, brass is strengthened by their fusion and is treated to be resistant to any corrosion meaning that they are very strong and durable fixings.
Regarding design, brass is a material that practically exudes class. It forms a mellow infusion with light and varnished timbers and creates a sense of finery when accompanying white-finished wood windows. That said, brass doesn't always suit the aesthetic of stone walled cottages, or unique heritage properties which are still drenched in their history.
The traditional. Ironmongery is an art form that has been in development since 1200BC, so it's no surprise that iron window fixings are still regarded as the upper echelon. This obviously comes with a larger price tag. Though cheaper iron fixings are available, you are losing out on the real richness of hand worked iron when you plump for them.
Sturdy, corrosion resistant and intricately designed, this is a style that will bring refinement to any property of window (save uPVC...). Iron fixings will require regular maintenance to ensure there are no issues with jamming, corrosion or distortion, though a little oiling every now and then ought to suffice.
So there you have it, our small breakdown of ironmongery available for windows. I think perhaps my bias towards true iron fixings may have come out there, but what can I say? In my opinion it looks the best!
Image by Elliott Brown
Local Authorities are very strict on the ways in which you can enhance, or even repair properties in conversation areas. Requiring extensive planning permission, most buildings in these protected zones can get around the need for planning permission when they commission precise like-for-like replacement fittings when their windows are in need of repair, or upgrading.
Protected under Article 4, legislated in 1995, Local Authorities have the right to restrict you painting your house a different colour, changing any distinctive doors or windows, or other architectural details that may be representative of the building’s period or historical importance.
This boils down to even the most minute of details, from the exact size of the frames and its architraves to the mullions and drips. Only replacement frames that will exactly match are deemed acceptable, and there are only a few window fitting companies that are capable of replicating such windows.
Like For Like Windows
At Hugo Carter, we are one of the few; offering timber frame solutions to any of your conservation building needs. Our expert team will come to your property to evaluate the situation and discern what precisely the project will entail.
We will then return with a full team who will be responsible for collating all the measurements of the frames, the window panes, the architraves and sills. The same guys will also make a detailed list of all the small little details, mullions and drips, sashes and pulley systems taking extensive measurements and photographs to ensure that our design and development team have the precise details required to begin manufacturing your new windows.
Then we will set to work, sourcing the exact same materials to create the windows to the exacting measurements and functionality as the originals. It is also very important that the finished aesthetic is an exacting match, meaning that we will also source the precise colour and style of finish for your frames too.
We can, however, improve upon certain elements of the window’s designs, upgrading the glass used to give you more thermal insulation and noise reduction through the installation of our bespoke sash pulley systems.
Upgrading your windows to modern standards with like for like replacements in listed buildings and conservation areas can really add genuine value to a property, futureproofing them from repair and providing better energy efficiency with subsequent savings on your energy bills.
If you’re considering replacing your windows then please get in touch with us and we’d be happy to discuss it with you!
Image by Les Chatfield
More and more properties are being added to the list of conservation areas in the UK, with the cultural heritage of our country’s architecture becoming increasingly important as new cheap build permeate the landscape. As one of the very few manufacturers and installers in London, a lot of our clients approach us looking for bespoke windows that will work as replacements for their properties in conservation areas. It’s become second nature for us to now recreate window frames like-for-like, with some of our work even surpassing the unique hardwood windows that we manufacture ourselves.
In order to comply with the LPA, we need to take exact measurements of the frames and procure materials and finishes that will exactly match the architectural and aesthetic qualities of previous windows. This can be a long process, but one that, in the end, is extremely rewarding, especially as a lot of our clients come to us worried that they will never be able to upgrade their windows in a conservation area due to the council’s restrictions.
We’ve recently partnered with a property development company who were finding it a massive headache having to consistently get a company which would be able to replace windows in conservation areas. It’s now our privilege to get involved in all of these projects, with our design and tech staff enthusiastic to have the challenges of bringing the ornate and impressive window designs of the past into the modern age.
From installing brand spanking new vacuum insulated windows, which can offer the same depth as some single glazed sash and casement frames, to the simple repair of hardwood window frames which have been damaged through years of use, it’s an exciting and rewarding task to rejuvenate part of history.
It’s also a great benefit for our clients to update windows in conservation area buildings as a lot of past designs didn’t really take into consideration eco-friendliness or efficiency. What we can do now with advances in design, treatments of the wood and the glass is truly remarkable and not only helps with insulation and noise reduction, but from a property development and resellers standpoint, it adds a great deal of value to the property too.
If you’d like to know more about replacing windows in a conservation area, check out our window replacement page for conservation areas.
Image by David Hawgood
Our line of bespoke soundproof windows is one of our most popular especially with our London based clients who are often kept awake by overhead planes, traffic or nightlife. Whilst it’s great to live as close to the city as possible, the reality of noise pollution is a genuine struggle and we’re delighted we can help by installing a total solution.
However, we do get a lot of inquiries from people asking just how much of a difference soundproof windows make. The fact is that noise and sound levels are a complicated science based on a logarithmic scale which can be really quite confusing if you’re not mathematically minded. So the question is, what difference can you expect from installing soundproof windows?
Measured in decibels, sound is a pressure wave that propagates through the air. Don’t worry, this is as scientific as we’re going. The more power in the wave, the louder the sound.
The decibel scale, like the richter scale, increases as a multiple ten. If you say a sound of 10 dB has a power value of 10, a sound of 20 dB has a power value of a 100 - it follows that a noise of 30 dB has a power value of 1,000.
Still a little confused? Our noise reduction explanation below should help:
As you can see from our soundproof windows infographic, installing our total solution guarantees a whopping reduction in noise pollution of at least 1000%, often offering far greater reduction based upon the bespoke system installed for your property.
There’s not really any better way to demonstrate the effectiveness of noise reduction windows than to show them in action, so have a quick look at the video below in order to truly understand the effects of soundproof windows on a busy London street.
Staggering, isn’t it? The hum drum of inner city life becomes inaudible and a stillness permeates through the property. If you suffer from the nuisance of noise pollution we can genuinely say that there isn’t a better product around to deal with the problem.
If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch with us and we’ll arrange a free consultation!
Also, why not download a FREE copy of our catalogue by simply clicking on the link below!
Image by Arpingstone
What Are Soundproof Windows?
A revelation in noise reduction, soundproof windows are the total solution to the problem of noise pollution in London. Tackling every aspect of intrusive noise, soundproof windows utilise the following in order to make your property peaceful and serene:
laminated glass to dull sound waves
the space between panes is optimised to reduce noise
timber frames are specifically designed in order to prevent noise pollution
secure fittings ensure there are no gaps in the frames/no reverberations
With a totally scientific approach to preventing unwanted noise in your property from the very beginnings of design, their sole purpose is to ensure that there is no sound penetrating from the outside world.
How Does Secondary Glazing Work?
A solution for noise reduction, secondary glazing is a system that can be put in place in almost all properties and most window designs. Fitting into the original frame design, secondary glazing solutions effectively just place a secondary window frame unit within the property in order to create another barrier between the sounds of the world outside.
Creating another barrier helps to dampen the sound waves, especially when the thickness of the secondary glazing unit is different to that of the original units, secondary glazing basically just adds a layer of sound insulation.
Soundproof Windows Vs Secondary Glazing
In order to give you the best overview of the products, we’ve laid out the most important factors to consider and how each solution fares in regards to not only sound proofing but other factors too.
The most important factor first. Soundproof windows provide better sound reduction. Hands down. Designed from the ground up to reduce sound, and tailored to the individual property’s specific noise problem and providing a holistic solution, quite frankly there isn’t a better solution for reducing intrusive sound.
That said, secondary glazing does provide noise reduction. It will absolutely noticeably make your property quieter, just not to the same degree that soundproof windows can.
Installation Of Noise Reduction Windows
Soundproof windows are a bit messy in this regard. You will need to entirely replace your original window frames which is a fairly long process. That said, employing a proper soundproof windows company will mean that the job can be completed in only a few hours (depending upon the size of the project, of course).
On the other hand, secondary glazing units can often be put in place on your own. This will take as long as you take over it, but alternatively there are a wealth of companies which will come and install their own secondary glazing units at your property. This means you get to keep your original windows in; no mess, no crew required if you don’t want them.
Of course, installing yourself does mean that you can get things wrong and nullify their effects, and the benefits of hiring an established firm will outweigh the few pounds you will save. And so we come onto…
The Cost of Soundproof Windows Vs The Cost Of Secondary Glazing Units
No prizes for guessing what wins out here. Well, ‘wins’ is perhaps the wrong word. Secondary glazing units are far cheaper than the former, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
If you’re on a shoestring budget and have a heinous problem with noise pollution which is keeping you awake at night, then secondary glazing will most certainly help and will most certainly reduce noise. Even more so if you decide to install the secondary panes yourself.
Soundproof windows are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They are expensive solutions, but that’s clearly not a bad thing. They are expensive because they provide the best solution possible; they are tailor made for your property. In fact, they will actually add value to your house because it means that those who you may sell it on to will not have to install the windows themselves!
Thankfully both soundproof windows and secondary glazing units will offer you a degree of thermal insulation. Hooray!
Creating an additional barrier between your inner sanctum and the world outside, secondary glazing creates another buffer between cold air, reducing heat loss through the window panes themselves.
Soundproof windows, due to their very nature; the fact that every single element of the frames are insulated from any possible gaps in their frames, offer far greater thermal insulation than secondary glazing.
In fact, soundproof windows offer double the thermal efficiency of second glazed units. Double… which means double the savings on your bill too!
Issues With Soundproof Windows
The main issue with soundproof windows is that quite often they will require planning permission due to the radical nature of the transition. In conservation areas this can be even more of a headache due to the need for like for like replacement windows, though expert manufacturers can create solutions which will pass even the strictest of local councils.
Issues With Secondary Glazing
Cleaning secondary glazing units is rather a pain. You effectively have to clean two separate window units and this can be kind of awkward depending upon the space you have.
Due to their design, secondary glazing often caused a great deal of condensation on the primary glazing unit. This is another pain to wipe down due to the fact that you have a sheet of glass in the way.
DIY units are often not sealed very well which means that they become pretty much redundant.
The Conclusion. Which Is Best?
Well, quite frankly it depends upon your circumstances. If you don’t have the budget to replace the windows in your property then secondary glazing will go some of the way to reduce noise pollution as well as improve thermal efficiency.
If you do have the budget, you simply have to install soundproof windows. They add value to your property and provide a total, lasting and holistic solution to the problem. They will reduce noise pollution far more than secondary glazing and look far more elegant. Secondary glazing encroaches into your room whereas soundproof window frames will fit snugly within the aesthetic of your property and look gorgeous.
Download Free Noise Reduction Brochure
Image by Smabs Sputzer