Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

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ritzta
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:49 pm

Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by ritzta »

Hello all - first time poster. I live in a Chicago Cottage Home build in 1897, which I love. Like many old homes, they are on (now) busy streets. Mine isn't horrible, but I do get road noise. I have taken window soundproofing measures that have been somewhat effective, but my front porch is acting as a sound trap for road noise! The long porch eave pushes and traps sound towards my door. I have stormed the front door (not shown in photo) with an acoustical product which helps, but I'd like to do more. My thought was to enclose the front porch with a kneewall and windows all around, and a nice glass front door. I think this could look beautiful, but would LOVE some opinions, pictures of your projects, etc. I can handle any non-supportive opinions as well. I think it would help with road noise and make my porch much more liveable and inviting. Please - you thoughts (and ideas, and pictures..)

I attached a photo of the front of the house.
Attachments
House Exterior.jpg
House Exterior.jpg (137.79 KiB) Viewed 5419 times

cadrad
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 8:10 am

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by cadrad »

Welcome to the forum! in regards to your issue, I live on a busy street and my front porch is enclosed and I prefer it that way, but it was done long ago probably in the 20's, and the design has a knee wall from the beginning. If it is a glassed in space instead of enclosed and were done sensitively I think it could look ok. If you do it, make sure to take lots of pictures and save any original parts it is necessary to remove. there is another topic that addresses this same issue recently, and the overwhelming majority of the contributors feel it should stay open. it is in the pre 1900 section and called something like "please vote-enclose or leave open?"
Steven R.
muskegon MI
Charles E. Johnson house
1916 prairie style
Image
visit my new profile at http://www.wavyglass.org

ritzta
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:49 pm

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by ritzta »

Thanks Steve - do you think your enclosure significantly dampens the road noise? Would you use a knee wall or an all-glass design?

I would primarily glass in front 2 foot knee-wall to the ceiling, and use some stone to dress up the columns, and maybe a heavy glass french door in the front, as well.

Tim

angolito
Posts: 3891
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:57 am
Location: st. joseph MO

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by angolito »

is the current porch the original?
Image

cadrad
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 8:10 am

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by cadrad »

It does make a difference in the winter when the glass is back in place on the amount of noise coming in. my windows have lift off hinge pins so I can remove the glass all together in the summer which gives me the best of both worlds. I would hunt around on the internet for pictures of knee walls to get an Idea of what you would like and is appropriate. Your house looks turn of the centuryish? It appears the current railings are replacements? Maybe leave the posts and recess the knee walls slightly with panels created with applied moldings? If others get interested, they will post pictures of historical examples, I'm sure.
Steven R.
muskegon MI
Charles E. Johnson house
1916 prairie style
Image
visit my new profile at http://www.wavyglass.org

ritzta
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:49 pm

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by ritzta »

Hi there -

The house was built in 1897. The porch is definitely not original - so I don't have too much heartburn in replacing / modifying it. My thought was a kneewall all around, with multi-lite paneled glass to the roof, with a matching french door and a transom with custom glass containing my house number. Where I have the lattice covering the space between the ground and the deck floor - well, not sure what to do there. I can't really match the brick, was thinking siding from kneewall down.

I'll hunt around online - good tip - for kneewalls. I have no idea what this little project will cost, I'm thinking 5K - 8K depending on how I want it finished (it's roughly 60 sq. feet).

Thanks for all your great comments - Tim

shizzy
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by shizzy »

Ill take the thread on a hard left turn here...

Have you thought about your landscaping in mitigating some of the noise? Shrubs, walls, Trees, fencing and earthen berms can be effective at absorbing or bouncing some of the road noise away from your house.

ritzta
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:49 pm

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by ritzta »

All fair points, thank you for your reply. I considered a lot of this and basically came to these conclusions (after a lot of research and discussions with acoustic engineers).

Landscaping from a tree / shrub perspective doesn't do much to block sound. Adding hedges would block the sight of sound, if that makes any sense! Trees and plants are not dense enough to block sound.

Here's my favorite article on this: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article ... -4,00.html

To block the traffic noise, any wall or berm would have to be at least the height of my windows, which would me constructing a 13 foot wall in front of my house. That wouldn't be so awesome only a few feet from the road, nor would I be able to get a permit for that. The house is on a very raised foundation about 6 feet above the house, and has 11 foot ceilings.

Adding mass to the structure is really the only way to block sound in my situation.

James
Posts: 1640
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:36 pm
Location: Rural Eastern North Carolina

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by James »

I would definitely suggest a porch enclosure much like Cadrads(love their porch), especially since you are in Yankee territory it would make the porch much more usable year round for you.
A permit for a berm? At least so long as I don't put it on the road right of way thats the sort of thing around here that no one would say anything about. No permit required and no neighbors to say anything about it anyway. Don't need one for a fence either. Thank God I live in the boonies without another house in sight. Altho when they bring a rollback truck into your yard between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and steal your 19 year old parts car that you are keeping for the one that you are still driving and haul it off to the crusher and no one sees anything, it does have its drawbacks.(Note to locals, last person since that who showed up unknown and uninvited in my yard was met by me with a weapon in hand, tho when he heard about the robbery he seemed to understand why. Now I keep a chain across the driveway anytime I am gone, and frequently even when I am home).
Locust Quarter, circa 1770 Georgian Gambrel roofed cottage.

matt8667
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:17 pm
Location: York,PA

Re: Enclose a Front Porch for Noise Reduction

Post by matt8667 »

not sure if it is an option for you but it is one i have been batting around, getting that foam insulation they can put in your walls that they pump in. Would insulate and i would think drastically cut down on road noise. Its pricey but i am about 15' off the road and its getting louder every year, could just do one side of the house.
Image

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