Having a dedicated space to play instruments and listen to loud music is something that a garden shed can offer, offering the right place to drum kit, guitars, and massive sound systems.
However, an open shed sided with loud music translates into backyard noise, which is something that your neighbours may not be pleased with. So our team did some research on how to reduce noise from garden sheds, and we found out that just like in any homes, soundproofing is by far the best solution.
The Magic of Soundproofing Your Shed
There is no need to dampen the sound of your speaker or easing the pleasure of listening to your all time favourite playlist at full volume just to spare your neighbour’s ears. With a little bit of handiwork and soundproofing basic knowledge, you can easily be as loud as you want!
If you have the money, you could always go out and pay someone to soundproof your shed for you, but if you want to save a few bucks, you can tackle the project DIY style. Doing it yourself is fairly easy when you really get into the swing of things. Plus, it’ll give you a fun project to work on.
Soundproofing your shed is absolutely feasible however it does require a few challenges. Depending on the design of your outbuilding, there are several techniques you can choose to soundproof and eliminate the noise.
Things to Consider Before Soundproofing Your Shed
Keep in mind that shed comes in different sizes. To ensure that you are getting the right amount of soundproofing materials for your outbuilding, take measurements and calculate the space you will occupy with the process. Otherwise, you might end up regretting buying all the supplies you thought would work, only to find out that your shed cannot afford you the space for your needs.
Your existing windows might be an issue as well and you might have to cover them up to achieve quality soundproofing. This means that your garden building will receive less source of light. If so, consider adding a budget for lighting fixtures.
Common Tools You Will Need
It is always a great move to have all the necessary equipment on hand even before you get started. A complete tool means there is no stopping you, so make sure to prepare the following:
- Tape measure
- Caulk gun
- Utility knife
- Dust mask
- Screw gun
- Taping knife
The Essential Materials
Of course, if you have equipped yourself with the needed tools, you also need to have all the essential materials. Unless you want to experience some project delays or frustration when you find yourself looking for a specific tool that is not in your handyman bag.
Here is an example of the materials. The supplies you will need and use depend on what soundproofing method you plan to do with your shed.
- 5/8-in. drywall
- 1/2” plywood
- Carpeting or floor mats
- Acoustical caulk or silicone caulk
- Acoustical dampening adhesive
- Rubber Seals
- Window material
- Drywall screws
- Fiberglass insulation
- Acoustic joint compound
- Work gloves
Apart from the tools and materials, ensuring your shed has a good airflow is vital in making the soundproofed room airtight. Bear in mind that it is not only the people that need to breathe, but also the equipment used in the shed.
What you can do is to account for the size of the area and install enough inlet and outlet vents and fans. When purchasing a fan, we suggest opting for one that operates peak efficiency—at their quietest.
Soundproofing Your Garden Shed
While you’ll never be able to 100% soundproof your shed you’ll most certainly reduce noise levels by leaps and bounds. Let’s get started!
1. Shut All the Gaps
Sealing the gaps should be your first step and often the one as well. You want to make sure your structure to be as airtight as possible to achieve effective soundproofing. Skipping this step might put your effort in vain.
Garden sheds, in particular, tend to have lots of gaps, including crack or hole problems. So we suggest inspecting the entire outdoor building and see if you can spot any gaps around the door frames, windows and anywhere pipes or cables go through the wall.
A good quality acoustic caulk can solve your problem. Specifically designed for closing gaps, what makes the acoustic caulk ideal is that it is quick and easy to use and its purpose can be seized for many years—thanks to its soft and flexible features.
2. Soundproofing Your Floors
It is advisable to soundproof your shed’s floor as sound can easily escape through wooden floors unlike concrete floors in a basement or garage. Before thinking of what material you will use for the flooring, see to it that the timber floor doesn’t have any left gaps and cracks.
You then have two options: you could either go for rubber matting or you can tackle this issue with a carpet. Both are fairly effective but the rubber mats is an ideal choice if you want a low maintenance and more durable flooring.
For a cheaper alternative, any old carpet will do. A carpet can reduce the vibrations made inside the shed and thus trap in escaping sound.
Another option are the rubber gym mats. Although they may require you some cutting work, this soundproofing floor selection is guaranteed to cover the entire length of the floor, serving as a far better insulator of sound than old rugs.
3. Soundproofing the Walls
Here the real soundproofing begins. Are you ready? Is your shoulder and muscles up for this quest?
Walls will be your greatest challenge, and the extent to which you can soundproof them will be largely contingent on your budget. Damping is an effective method you can go for. The process may sound a bit complicated but the overall work is fairly simple.
All you need to do is create a sandwich effect with two firm panels and a filling of damping compound. You can buy readymade panels (more expensive and less effective) of soundproof drywall that have been constructed in a similar way as the Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound—a cheap alternative.
Additional preference that you may like is acoustic foam. You can visit your local music store and purchase acoustic foam to stick to your walls. Opt for big squares of insulate that have adhesive on the back.
Although this method will cost you a bit, it guarantees to benefit you in the long run nonetheless. It is okay to go for ordinary insulation to soundproof your shed, but keep in mind that it won’t work as effectively as the above-mentioned insulation options.
Another soundproofing trick is to use as few screws as possible. Sound can often escape through screw fittings, therefore reducing the number of screws you use—while still maintaining the integrity of the shed walls—will help with your soundproofing efforts.
4. Soundproofing Your Shed Windows
Windows can be a huge culprit of sound bleeding out of your shed. This is especially the case with older sheds which often have windows with fairly thin glass.
First, you want to make sure that the existing shed windows are equipped with good rubber seals. There are plastic sheets that you can purchase at your local DIY store and glue directly onto the pane of glass. This method will essentially double-up the glass, making it thicker and much harder for the sound to escape.
Acrylic windows also make a great alternative as they provide more soundproofing compared to thin glass. Inexpensive soundproofing curtains or blankets to cover your existing windows are also okay, however, this will only have minimal impact.
5. Soundproofing Your Shed Roof
For a more effective soundproofing process, insulating the roof is essential. This time, we recommend using plywood instead of plasterboard. Plywoods are much lighter and can do a fantastic job of keeping the insulation in place.
But before you even begin, it is important to inspect the nature of your roof first. Some roofs amplify the garden noise. Metallic roofs, for instance, vibrates when sound bounces off them.
If your roof faces the same issue, using sound deadening materials is your best bet. You may also use soundproofing foam tiles. Pinning soundproofing blankets on the roof also works just fine.
6. Soundproofing Your Shed Door
Another culprit of escaping sound from your shed is the door. With this, it is also crucial to reduce sound leakage through doors. Skipping this step will only reduce the overall soundproofed impact.
Most shed doors are not equipped with rubber seals, while some only use weather stripping. Shed doors tend to be poorly fitting as well, so the sound can easily bleed out from the tiny gap between the door and frame.
Fixing this problem won’t be as expensive as some of the others we have had to deal with thus far. You can soundproof your shed doors by attaching plastic sheeting around the door itself. So when it shuts, it will cover the gap between the door and frame.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more money, you can add a rubber seal which will trap and prevent any sound from escaping out to your neighbours. Don’t forget about your key locks – noise can escape through these as well. Purchase covers to trap in as much sound as possible.
Budget can play a big role in how effectively you soundproof your shed, so price out the materials you’ll need before making a purchase. There you have it! We hope this guide will help you soundproof your shed and will allow you to work on your projects without your worrying about disturbing the neighbours.