How to Soundproof a Garden Shed: No Building Required
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There are a few reasons to why to soundproof a garden shed.
You might have a generator there, and do not know how to soundproof it, like to listen to the music loudly, or your drill has an annoying buzz.
Or your kid is starting to learn how to play an instrument. Let’s be honest, no matter how much we love them, their playing is sometimes impossible to listen to.
If they have a band, of course, a garden shed could hardly be enough, and you might need to soundproof the whole garage.
My wife and I have first started looking for a solution when our teenage son wanted to learn how to play drums, and our toddler was having a lot of trouble listening to the ruckus.
We are very proud to say that he is amazing now, and we have insulated the garage as well, but for those of you who still need to have their garden shed soundproofed, here are some steps that you would want to take.
Of course, you have to keep in mind that insulating only one part of the shed would not be enough. You would have to insulate everything. Walls, ceiling, windows, and door, so for the sound not to leak.
There is yet another thing that you have to keep in mind. It is impossible to completely soundproof the wooden garden shed. Some of the noise will still keep leaking.
But one thing is for sure; you can reduce the sound output at a very high level.
How to Soundproof a Garden Shed
1. Soundproofing the walls
I am sure that you have already heard several very wise advises on what you should do. And that you have seen some ideas in the movies as well.
Let’s say, egg cartons or styrofoam.
I know that this sounds tempting and that it is very cheap; but if you want to make this work, it will not be as effective as you would want it to be.
Instead of filling your shed with egg cartons from the bottom to the top, I would suggest trying out some of the better materials when it comes to insulating a room.
For example, here are some acoustic foam panels.
You might have noticed that I have been mentioning these quite often. And that is for a good reason, let me tell you that.
These acoustic foam panels are made of a material that is very soft and sponge-like, so it would be hard for the sound to start bouncing off of it, as it is very suitable for the sound to bounce off of flat and hard surfaces.
Another thing that is important about these sponge-like foams is that these can collect dust very easily, so you might want to take good care of them and vacuum them regularly.
Not much good in breathing in the dust.
And not only that you can place them on your walls, but you can easily put them on your roof, and on the door.
Windows are also fine, but, let’s be honest, who wants to be left in the dark, right?
You would also need to use a special adhesive agent for it to stick on that wall and door properly and stay there where you left it.
Yet another thing you have to keep in mind; and that is that those panes will not block the sound completely.
If you are using them on a wall that is made of solid materials, like bricks and so, then they might work marvels, even if you want to insulate a music studio.
But for a garden shed they can be perfectly well also. You just have to keep in mind that it is not possible to make a deaf room out of it.
2. Soundproofing the windows
One thing that most of the people forget about is windows.
They often have some cracks and gaps around them that need to be sealed, so that they do not leak the sound from them.
Another difficulty with windows is that their glass is very thin, so it also releases the sound easily.
For those reasons exactly, windows can be the biggest challenge when soundproofing.
They both work on the same principle. They have a layer of soundproof material in them that capture sound in its threads, and not let it get in or out of the room.
They can also reduce the echo very effectively.
And here you can find the guide on How to Use Blankets for Soundproofing.
Another thing that you can try when soundproofing a window is placing some plastic or even better, glass window plugs.
And for further information, check this guide of ours on How to Soundproof a Window. The principles remain the same.
3. Soundproofing the roof
Soundproofing the roof is something that is often overlooked when thinking about soundproofing a shed.
If you want good effects, though, you will have to pay some attention to soundproofing the roof as well.
Soundproofing a roof can be done well by using the same methods that you would normally use for soundproofing your walls.
The best way is to place some acoustic panels on the roof as well.
And, again, keep in mind that you need to take good care of it and vacuum it regularly to prevent dust from getting deep into the panels.
You could also try with layers. I have been mentioned the importance of layers in some other soundproofing guides.
A layer that you can try on the roof is placing some plywood up there, and maybe even covering it with additional acoustic foam panels.
4. Soundproofing the floor
Soundproofing the floor is very important too.
There are vibrations coming from the floor that can make unwanted sounds, and that will make additional noise.
For this reason, it is important that you give some energy to soundproofing the floor as well, and reduce the amount of these vibrations.
The easiest and cheapest way to soundproof your floor is by placing some carpet there.
You probably have some old carpet that you do not use anymore; and probably in the very shed that you are trying to insulate.
Take that carpet and just place it on the floor as you would with any carpet.
The thicker the carpet, the better the insulation.
However, if you are very determined to soundproof your garden shed well, and if you have a few extra bucks to spend on it, I would recommend using some soundproofing mats.
Most of these mats are made to be used in cars, but you can use them in your garden sheds as well.
They can do a very good job if you use them together with the carpet.
You would get the best results if you placed the soundproofing mat and then the carpet just over it.
Another thing that you can try if you have time and willingness is to place a false floor.
That would be the best if you placed plates of plywood on the floor.
One thing that I really like to do is the combination of these three.
Place the soundproofing mat onto the existing floor. Then place plates of plywood over the mat, and in the end cover that with a carpet.
That should do the trick!
5. Soundproofing the door
Same as with windows, doors can have some holes and cracks around them.
The easiest way to seal the cracks is by applying some silicone or plastic weather strip.
As I said previously, not only that those can help with sealing the holes, and in that way help in soundproofing the room, but they can be a fantastic help in heat loss, water protection, and keeping the bugs out.
Moving soundproof blankets can also be a good defense against unwanted noise.
Just cut them to the size that you need, and place them over your door.
The good thing about these blankets is that they can easily be taken off once you are done with using them and you don’t need them anymore.
I mentioned at the very beginning of the article that acoustic foam panels can easily be used in soundproofing the doors as well.
The same rules apply. Just keep good care of them, and clean them regularly, and they will serve you well for long.
6. Where is the noise coming from?
Now when you have done everything that you were supposed to, you will have to test out your new shed.
The sound that you will be getting should be much calmer now, but you might notice that there is some noise that is coming out of certain place.
If you manage to find where it is leaking from, you can try and insulate that part of your wooden garden shed a little bit more.
On Soundproofing the Garden Shed
When I started soundproofing my shed, I started feeling a little bit claustrophobic, I must say. I was closed with soundproof materials from all sides and felt like I was captured in a box.
But when I tried the results, it was just amazing.
As I mentioned previously, it did not insulate the sound completely; something of it was still leaking. But the sound that was coming out was very reduced and dampened.
And those are the results that we were looking for. I hope that you will find these steps helpful and that you will be happy with your results, as much as I was with mine.
Are you curious if soundproof fences work?