Debby Allmon on bedroom soundproofing

Q. In 2010, I bought a home built in 1956. I love the house, however, there are noisy people who live nearby. They play their music loudly with the bass thumping late at night.

I have been out so many times in the evening searching but have been unable to locate the source of the noise. Plus, the person next door has an outside dog that barks incessantly.

I would like to soundproof my bedroom, but am unsure how to do that. Will new windows help block out the noise? Are triple-pane windows better than double-pane? Would new insulation help keep the noise out?

I’m even thinking of taking down the drywall and putting the spray insulation on, then putting in new drywall. The house has steel siding and the original windows. I am at my wit’s end and just want to get some sleep.

A. To soundproof your bedroom from noise on the outside, I would start with the windows. The majority of outside noise is transferred though doors and windows.

If you are keeping your windows, you could weatherize, caulk and add storm windows. You could also consider Soundproof Windows, a product placed behind your existing window. They open and close but are acoustically engineered to reduce noise.

If you plan to replace your window, many window companies offer “acoustical” options to address sound transmission.

Windows are measured for sound with an STC (sound transmission class) rating that measures acoustical performance. Triple-pane windows should provide less noise transfer than double-pane.

If that doesn’t work, I would tackle the insulation next. Contact a professional to install the insulation with the drywall intact. Companies offer noise-reducing insulations that can be blown into the wall cavity.

Then I would move to the drywall. I don’t think you need to remove it to improve the sound situation. There is a product called Green Glue that leaves a gap between the old drywall and the new drywall. Install new drywall over the existing walls and ceiling. The glue will remain flexible and act as a sound barrier.

If you prefer to remove and replace the drywall, I would recommend using a drywall designed to reduce sound transmission such as QuietRock.

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