ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The City of Inglewood’s popular Residential Sound Insulation Program is making great strides in its campaign to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on homes under the flight path of Los Angeles International Airport.
This voluntary program is funded by grants from Los Angeles World Airports and the Federal Aviation Administration.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The City offers sound insulation at no cost to residents living in neighborhoods with a recorded Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) of 65 decibels (dB) and higher. We want to provide relief to residents who live in the most noise impacted blocks first, so these homes – on both the east and west sides of the city – have top priority. As these residences are completed, work will progress to the least impacted blocks.
WHAT IS SOUND INSULATION?
Sound insulation will make a dramatic difference in your home. It has proven to significantly reduce interior noise levels. Once the work is completed you will notice a marked improvement in your family’s quality of life.
There are many steps that we will take to make your home quieter. First, we replace all your doors and windows with the attractive solid-core doors and dual-pane windows that you have personally selected. In some cases, central air and heating will be added to your home.
Essentially, all these measures are taken together help to insulate your house from exterior noise.
If you are eligible to participate, you will be invited to a meeting where the staff of the Residential Sound Insulation Division will explain how sound insulation works and thoroughly review the process for participation. This is your opportunity to have your questions answered so you can decide whether or not to join the program.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Once you decide to sign up for the program, these are the steps leading up to and including construction:
Program Outreach & Orientation
When your property area is available for funding a mailer will be sent to the property owner inviting the owner to participate in the program.
RSI staff will perform a pre-qualification assessment of the property. This will consist of gathering important information pertaining to pre-existing architectural conditions/and potential pre-existing deficiencies that may or may not impact participation for the RSI benefits.
An acoustical testing will be done on each habitable room using loudspeakers as part of the testing equipment. The individual homes that have interior noise levels equal to or greater than 45 decibels (dB) will qualify for the program. Testing time is usually three (3) to four (4) hours depending on the number of habitable rooms.
An architectural team will perform a survey of your home. This survey involves drawing a floor plan and measuring the windows, doors and other important features. We will also record your choices for new doors and windows, such as color and styles. These measurements will eventually result in construction plans.
Hazardous Materials Inspection
We will inspect your house for lead paint and asbestos so that our construction crews can take the necessary precautions in disposing of these hazardous materials. Small samples will be taken from inconspicuous locations in the ceilings and around window and door frames.
At a design review meeting we will carefully go over all final paperwork, plans and specifications with you. You will have the opportunity to visit our showroom to see sample products and make your final selections. If the plans are satisfactory and you approve of the proposed work, you will be asked to sign a design review approval form. The plans and specifications will then be submitted to the Building Division for approval.
Selection of Contractor
Once the plans and specifications are approved, the city will advertise a group of residences for construction bids. Contractors who bid on the project must meet the city’s requirements for quality workmanship. They also must be licensed and bonded. We will contract with the lowest responsive bidder to perform the work.
In the first step in the construction schedule, the contractor will visit your home or building to verify the measurements of the items to be installed or improved. The products (doors, windows, etc.) will then be ordered.
Total construction time varies depending on many factors, including building size, type of structure, number of doors, windows, etc. On average, construction takes no more than two weeks to complete. All work is done between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents may continue to live in the home during construction. Windows and doors will be replaced on the same day they are removed to ensure that each dwelling is comfortable and secure.
As with any type of remodeling, there will be disruptions to daily household activities. Please be prepared and have patience. The end result should make the whole process worthwhile!
OWNER/TENANT RESPONSIBILITIES DURING CONSTRUCTION
A successful project depends on a partnership between the owner, the contractor and the city. We are fully aware of the disruption construction activity can cause and all work will be scheduled, whenever possible, to minimize inconvenience to the owner and building occupants.
As the property owner, you (or your representative 18 years or older) must be present to provide access to the contractor and city inspectors. Please be aware that no work will be done unless the owner, tenant, or a designated representative is present.
Some of the items that the property owner will be responsible for include:
1. Notifying tenants, if any, of the construction schedule and arranging for access to the property,
2. Removing or covering dust-sensitive equipment in the area of work (computers, stereo equipment, cameras, etc.),
3. Removing window coverings before the start of construction,
4. Removing breakables, valuables and irreplaceable items from the area of work,
5. Ensuring that children and pets stay clear of the construction area.
After construction is completed, we will take noise measurements on those properties that were measured before construction to make sure that we have achieved the maximum possible noise reduction inside the home. There will be a final inspection of the contractor’s work to ensure that insulation and finish work meet the city’s standards for top quality workmanship. The contractor will be responsible for correcting any outstanding problems.
COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT
Finally, the contractor will submit a performance bond to the city. This bond assures the city and the owner that if any defects in the material or the workmanship occur within one year of the project’s completion, the contractor is responsible for correcting the defects. After the one-year period, the owner is responsible for obtaining repairs under the materials warranties. You will be supplied with copies of all warranties.
Note: There is also a five-year contractor warranty for mechanical defects.
For various reasons, a structure may not be eligible for this program. These include:
1. Structural deficiencies: If a site inspection reveals that the building is not structurally capable of supporting or justifying the sound insulation improvements, the building will be made temporarily ineligible until the owner corrects the deficiencies.
2. Building or zoning violations: Outstanding Building and Zoning Code violations may render a structure temporarily ineligible until all required permits have been obtained and clearance from the Building and Safety Division has been given.
3. Outside Program boundary: The program boundary is defined by the 2020 Noise Exposure Map (NEM) contour line, as shown on the map produced by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Properties outside this boundary are not eligible for this program.
4. New construction, and all housing built after 1989 is considered to be land-use compatible. Therefore, these properties are not currently eligible for sound insulation grant funds.
5. Currently meets interior noise standards: Any property for which conformance to the current standards (interior level of 45 dB CNEL) is shown to exist may not be eligible for this program. Interior noise level will be determined by the acoustical noise testing.
6. Prior Settlement or Judgment: Properties where the current or prior owner received monetary compensation for land use incompatibility may not be eligible for sound insulation as per the terms of the judgment or agreement.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to phone our staff at (310) 412-5289 or visit our office Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:30 AM and 5:30 PM.
Please send all written correspondence to the following address:
RESIDENTIAL SOUND INSULATION PROGRAM
City of Inglewood
One Manchester Boulevard, 5th Floor
Inglewood, California 90301
(City Hall Offices are closed every other Friday.)