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  #1  
Old 10-07-2013, 09:47 AM
Mighty_Joker's Avatar
Mighty_Joker Mighty_Joker is offline
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Default Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

I've just bought a new house which is semi-detached (end of terrace). For the non-Brits, that means one end of the house is attached to next door's house, so we essentially share one wall. This means that acoustic drum practice in the new house is out.

However, thankfully, the house has a disproportionately large garden, so my plan is to build a small practice space in the corner furthest away from the the neighbours to practice in. I'm confident that if I can build a small, relatively soundproofed room, I'll be able to practice and record during the day without complaint.

Looking online, I've been quoted anywhere from 8000 - 18000 for simple 6mx3m, ready made soundproofed pods, which is way out of my budget. I'd be looking to do as much as I can myself, but can probably stretch to an absolute maximum budget of 5000, if I absolutely had to.

My question is, what are my options for doing this myself on a shoe string budget (ie. for as little as possible), while still ending up with a simple, usable, soundproofed room?

I know some of you are engineers and DIY experts, so hit me with your ideas. Do I need brick? Is room-within-a-room the only way?

Bear in mind I have relatively good, but by no means extensive DIY skills.

Thanks,
J
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2013, 10:34 AM
kuren84 kuren84 is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

Hi there this sounds like a fab project and quiet possibly something I will need to do once married next year. My thoughts were to build a fairly heavy duty shed with a heavy door and then do the whole room in a room type thing. I would insulate the shed plaster board it then repeat that and on the inside add acoustic foam and egg box foam. But I am no expert and will be following your post to find out what other suggest.

Good luck
Kevin
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2013, 10:45 AM
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Mighty_Joker Mighty_Joker is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuren84 View Post
Hi there this sounds like a fab project and quiet possibly something I will need to do once married next year. My thoughts were to build a fairly heavy duty shed with a heavy door and then do the whole room in a room type thing. I would insulate the shed plaster board it then repeat that and on the inside add acoustic foam and egg box foam. But I am no expert and will be following your post to find out what other suggest.

Good luck
Kevin

Thanks Kevin. I guess as drummers we're all in the same boat re: practice space. A heavy duty shed sounds fine, I just need to know the soundproofing will be sufficient, and it will be weatherproof and secure.
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2013, 12:23 PM
jornthedrummer jornthedrummer is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

My ideas:

1. Buy a secondhand 20' container - cheap but ugly.
2. Go to Bauhaus, Home Depot or whatever those stores are called in the UK and look at one of those DIY(prefabricated) wooden shed/pavillion/cabin, etc. You could add some internal soundproofing to one of those and it will still look good from outside.

thx

jorn
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2013, 02:31 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

Room within a room is the way to go. You're going to have to stretch your budget to the limit, but I'd go with breeze block or brick exterior and then you can decide between another block wall for the interior or a stud framed wall lined with a couple of sheets of 15mm plasterboard. The real expense for this stuff comes in the labour and once you get into timber and materials for the roof. A flat roof is cheaper than a peaked roof but then you have drainage issues. An angled flat roof might be a good compromise.

The real trouble is getting enough mass into your roof arrangement to match your walls. Your isolation will only be as strong as your weakest wall/ceiling. Roofing felt, etc. are pretty cheap but they don't provide much mass to stop sound. Tiles are best, but costly. Perhaps you could try finding some reclaimed tiles?

Also using materials like Green Glue in between layers of plasterboard on your walls and ceiling can really help with your isolation without greatly increasing cost. It'll get you that last few dB to keep the neighbours happy.

Trying to get a prefab wood shed or somesuch up to spec is a bit of waste of time. It's all about mass and if you have the ability to lay block or brick to save on the labour, they're going to give you much better isolation. That said, a good brickie should be able to get a simple structure like that together in a day or two.
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2013, 07:24 PM
Cymbalise Cymbalise is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

I've completed one of these in the past few months here at Cymbalise HQ in Reading. I went for a brick and block built room, measuring 5mx4m with 100m insulation in the wall cavity. I got a builder to lay the slab and build me four walls and a roof. I then did absolutely everything else.

What you need to know:

- Planning is an issue. Permitted development allows you a maximum of 30m2 surface area (not a problem), provided you don't use up more than 50% of your external garden space. You're allowed a maximum height of 2.5 meters (thats externally, to the max pitch of the roof) This is lower than you might think when you actually really sit down and consider what you need internally and the construction of the roof before you even begin to contemplate soundproofing. If its going to be built on the boundary then you have to pass building control [in practice this basically comes down to ensuring its built out of something that isn't flammable]
You're not allowed any plumbing in the building, no aerial anywhere near it, nothing that could be slept on inside.

Meet these criteria and you can crack on without paying for any planning permission. Otherwise you're looking at between 600-900 for all the planning steps to be paid for.

- I also wanted a room within a room. However practically this is VERY difficult to construct, particularly if you're doing it yourself, unless you're a builder or carpenter by trade. I very quickly realised this sort of construction was beyond my capabilities and went for conventional soundproofing instead. If you're hell bent on room within a room, you want a minimum of 100mm gap in all dimensions. This makes your already small(ish) room even smaller, because as well as the gap you've also got the thick internal walls. These 100mm's all creep up on you - gap, rockwool, studs, 2x4's, plasterboard etc - and before you know it you've lost 1m in all dimensions. Now find somewhere for your drumkit...

- Acoustic rated anything is a) expensive and b) heavy. Very heavy. You'll need a good mate or two to assist.

- Don't buy anything from an acoustic materials supplier. You can get everything you need from a builders merchants at a significant discount.

- The roof. No matter how thick you make your walls if the roof isn't similarly thick then you've just wasted lots of time, money and sweat. I researched the various options thoroughly and they were all WAY too expensive. In the end I went for block and beam (usually used for floors), with a double layer of blocks on top. It works. And it keeps the height of the flat roof down (remember the height restriction...)

- Steer clear of green glue, genie clips, and anything else that claims to reduce noise by significant percentages. They are VERY expensive for what they are and the same money spent on a second layer of acoustic plaster board or resilient bars (from a builders merchant, not an acoustics shop. Exactly the same thing at literally a fraction of the cost) will reap significantly better rewards.

- Home made bass traps are a) incredibly easy to build and b) very cheap. Diaphragmatic ones even more so. I saved 100's doing it this way.

- Don't install a window or a door. Regrettably if you don't have a door you can't get into it, but it'll be a lot more acoustically isolated (there is no such thing as soundproof in the real world). So you may have to have one. but don't install a window. If you absolutely have to have a window and a door, welcome to your biggest headache, bar none. I solved the problem by building an independent stud wall (the only such in the room) with a 100mm gap behind the block and brick wall with the external door in it. This internal stud wall had another door and window (I know, I should have taken my own advice and binned the window...) behind the external door and window. The windows were both second hand triple glazed units (60 each - bargain!), the external door is steel with fireboard inside, and the internal door a firedoor, with slabs of plasterboard screwed on both sides.
They're still the largest source of noise leakage. The door and window frames have been heavily treated and sealed to an inch of their lives.
They're still the largest source of noise leakage. Don't install a door or window.

- Don't get me started on ventilation. A sound isolated room is also a completely sealed one. Letting in fresh air lets out sound. Lots of sound.

- I've had a noise survey done, now that its complete. Approx 105-110dB inside, down to around 55dB about 3m away outside. Two people holding a conversation at a reasonable level 3m away from the room are louder than the noise coming from inside the room.

- It ain't cheap. Total cost came to around 13,000

Customers selecting cymbals do so at all hours of the day, night and weekends, testing countless combinations on the drumkits in there.
My band use it as well at full volume. You would be hard pressed to tell when a customer, my band or just little ol' me was in there.

Job done.

I'm incredibly happy to talk about the build and offer as much help as I can. Like you I found barely any real, practical experience and assistance, and had to learn as I went along.

Any questions just ask! Or pop down to Reading and take a look. The results are unbelievable and worth every second of blood, sweat and tears.
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Last edited by Cymbalise; 10-10-2013 at 07:46 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2013, 07:27 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Posts: 1,858
Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

If you can manage a masonry structure, by all means, start there. It's much stiffer than any frame construction.

RC or resilient channel is not as good as iso clips. Especially in the low frequencies where bass drums live and annoy neighbors.

Consider a vestibule. At least point your door away from the neighbors. The door will be the weakest link. I get about 55 dB isolation out of my "shed" but only about 40 out of a double walled door with lead sheet, damped sheetrock and tapered (bank vault like) frame.

Pre-made damped sheetrock like QuietRock is much more expensive than standard high density fire rated material and green glue.

Get Rod Gervais' book and read the studio building threads on GearSlutz. Lots of people have been down these roads and learned expensive lessons.
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2014, 11:01 AM
Marco Van Roth Marco Van Roth is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Rothwell, KETTERING, Northamptonshire, England (or wherever my business takes me!)
Posts: 9
Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cymbalise View Post
I've completed one of these in the past few months here at Cymbalise HQ in Reading. I went for a brick and block built room, measuring 5mx4m with 100m insulation in the wall cavity. I got a builder to lay the slab and build me four walls and a roof. I then did absolutely everything else.

What you need to know:

- Planning is an issue. Permitted development allows you a maximum of 30m2 surface area (not a problem), provided you don't use up more than 50% of your external garden space. You're allowed a maximum height of 2.5 meters (thats externally, to the max pitch of the roof) This is lower than you might think when you actually really sit down and consider what you need internally and the construction of the roof before you even begin to contemplate soundproofing. If its going to be built on the boundary then you have to pass building control [in practice this basically comes down to ensuring its built out of something that isn't flammable]
You're not allowed any plumbing in the building, no aerial anywhere near it, nothing that could be slept on inside.

Meet these criteria and you can crack on without paying for any planning permission. Otherwise you're looking at between 600-900 for all the planning steps to be paid for.

- I also wanted a room within a room. However practically this is VERY difficult to construct, particularly if you're doing it yourself, unless you're a builder or carpenter by trade. I very quickly realised this sort of construction was beyond my capabilities and went for conventional soundproofing instead. If you're hell bent on room within a room, you want a minimum of 100mm gap in all dimensions. This makes your already small(ish) room even smaller, because as well as the gap you've also got the thick internal walls. These 100mm's all creep up on you - gap, rockwool, studs, 2x4's, plasterboard etc - and before you know it you've lost 1m in all dimensions. Now find somewhere for your drumkit...

- Acoustic rated anything is a) expensive and b) heavy. Very heavy. You'll need a good mate or two to assist.

- Don't buy anything from an acoustic materials supplier. You can get everything you need from a builders merchants at a significant discount.

- The roof. No matter how thick you make your walls if the roof isn't similarly thick then you've just wasted lots of time, money and sweat. I researched the various options thoroughly and they were all WAY too expensive. In the end I went for block and beam (usually used for floors), with a double layer of blocks on top. It works. And it keeps the height of the flat roof down (remember the height restriction...)

- Steer clear of green glue, genie clips, and anything else that claims to reduce noise by significant percentages. They are VERY expensive for what they are and the same money spent on a second layer of acoustic plaster board or resilient bars (from a builders merchant, not an acoustics shop. Exactly the same thing at literally a fraction of the cost) will reap significantly better rewards.

- Home made bass traps are a) incredibly easy to build and b) very cheap. Diaphragmatic ones even more so. I saved 100's doing it this way.

- Don't install a window or a door. Regrettably if you don't have a door you can't get into it, but it'll be a lot more acoustically isolated (there is no such thing as soundproof in the real world). So you may have to have one. but don't install a window. If you absolutely have to have a window and a door, welcome to your biggest headache, bar none. I solved the problem by building an independent stud wall (the only such in the room) with a 100mm gap behind the block and brick wall with the external door in it. This internal stud wall had another door and window (I know, I should have taken my own advice and binned the window...) behind the external door and window. The windows were both second hand triple glazed units (60 each - bargain!), the external door is steel with fireboard inside, and the internal door a firedoor, with slabs of plasterboard screwed on both sides.
They're still the largest source of noise leakage. The door and window frames have been heavily treated and sealed to an inch of their lives.
They're still the largest source of noise leakage. Don't install a door or window.

- Don't get me started on ventilation. A sound isolated room is also a completely sealed one. Letting in fresh air lets out sound. Lots of sound.

- I've had a noise survey done, now that its complete. Approx 105-110dB inside, down to around 55dB about 3m away outside. Two people holding a conversation at a reasonable level 3m away from the room are louder than the noise coming from inside the room.

- It ain't cheap. Total cost came to around 13,000

Customers selecting cymbals do so at all hours of the day, night and weekends, testing countless combinations on the drumkits in there.
My band use it as well at full volume. You would be hard pressed to tell when a customer, my band or just little ol' me was in there.

Job done.

I'm incredibly happy to talk about the build and offer as much help as I can. Like you I found barely any real, practical experience and assistance, and had to learn as I went along.

Any questions just ask! Or pop down to Reading and take a look. The results are unbelievable and worth every second of blood, sweat and tears.
I would be glad to hear more about this. I have a fabulous custom drum kit and have been unable to play it for 18 months(!). Anyway, I have now moved home and have a garage measuring 9.5m x 2.75m so would like to do something inside this. I have a good budget of around 10k to 20k. Can you advise, particularly where I can see the sound-proofing goods in some kind of showroom where I can witness? I am based in Rothwell, 5 miles west of Kettering. (but presently working/living in Seoul, South Korea!).
Appreciate any assistance to get this project right first time.
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2014, 07:29 PM
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JimFiore JimFiore is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cymbalise View Post
What you need to know:
...
Sorry, but I have to disagree with some of this. For example, Green Glue is considered to be an extremely cost effective solution (two layers of sheet rock w/ GG is comparable to 4 layers of plain sheet rock). No, you will not be able to get everything you need at a builder's supply company. Some of the items are rather specialized. You might find a few things that look like the requisite stuff but aren't.

I second buying Rod Gervais' book. It is pretty much the go-to source for DIY studio builders. I followed his book and got a few tips from him on one of the forums. Windows and doors can be tricky but they are possible (in fact, where I live you can't build a habitable structure without a certain amount of window area). I have three fairly good sized windows in my studio with high quality double glazed windows on the outside and thick slabs of plexiglass on the inside (with about a 1 foot spacing between them, due to the double wall construction). I tested the studio with pink noise generator. Inside it was 95 dB SPL, a few meters outside it was at the ambient noise level of 40 dB SPL.
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2014, 09:32 PM
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picodon picodon is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

Is there really no suitable room in the house? If you build a new structure in the garden and your budget is limited, you might end up with a less sound proof solution than if you threw the same budget into soundproofing an existing room. The main question is, do you have the space for it. You obviously want to avoid a room that shares a wall with the neighbours.

If you have a spare room not directly next to the neighbours, I bet it will be cheaper to sound proof that very well (box in a box, double door, double window panes for low noise transmission i.e. one pane much thicker than the other) than spend a fortune first to build a shed and sound proof it with the money that's left. Another consideration is whether there are any neighbours on the other side(s) close to the shed, which may be exposed to your noise in summer when they are outside.

FYI I'm in a semi detached house and my drum room is in the basement and does share a wall with the neighbour's basement, but I did my very best on the sound proofing (did it all myself so cost less than the drum kit) and nobody complains. I avoid early morning and late evening.
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  #11  
Old Yesterday, 03:38 AM
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konaboy konaboy is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

Some excellent advice here.

Let me start by saying egg crates, acoustic foam, blankets and such are NOT sound proofing materials. They will not stop sound from getting out it will only help control internal reflections off the walls. Mass and air is what's needed for sound control (like was said before nothing is sound proof)

Keep in mind if you build an out building you will need some way to heat it in the winter and cool it in the winter, you'll also need a way to get electric out there as well which takes the expense up as well as possible fees for permits.
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  #12  
Old Today, 12:46 AM
Grolubao Grolubao is offline
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Default Re: Soundproof Practice Room in Garden

Cheap and good isolation just doesn't exist, really forget about it, otherwise you'll spend your 5k only to see that it doesn't do the job so might as well do it properly or don't do it at all
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