Hi all, plenty of threads on listening rooms recently and I would appreciate a little gentle counsel from the learned folk of this forum.
I have an integrated garage (5m long, 3.6m wide & 2.25m high (20cm between current ceiling and room above)) and plan to turn it into a dedicated listening room.
My teenage daughters room is above so I want to achieve 2 things:
a level of sound proofing - the more the better to maintain family harmony
the best acoustic design I can achieve in the room
Brick up doors at one end (it has garage doors front and back)
Part brick up the other end but have a large set of French doors
Brick up the three windows on the side (they will be right where the first and second reflection points are. (I’ll sacrifice a little light for acoustic purposes and hope I get enough light from the large French doors.
Phase 2 - the walls
I will loose some space with building regs and insulation as the garage is only single brick skin
in- between the outer brick and the final fit plaster board I will need insulation. I could just use standard materials but what are my options
use a product like acoustiblok to sound proof - any other thoughts or experiences would be appreciated .
Phase 3 - the ceiling
again use a product like acoustiblok or something similar - thoughts welcome
Phase 4 - the floor
Current floor is concrete
should I ignore budding regs and just give it a decent screed so floor is solid
follow building regs and put insulation down that would have to be boarded over - is this a bad option acoustically?
Phase 4 electrics
I have dedicated spur on a separate mains for my hi fi but it’s a long way from the new planned room. I would need to go outside via a c15m run and dig it into the ground - anything I need to know when doing this? (An electrician not me!)
Phase 5 - wired connection
Internet socket is a good distance from new room - is it as simple as a longer internet cable from my router via a ciso switch ( I have a Phoenix net do I need that close to my hifi or the internet end? Or any other considerations (not sure if it’s possible sensible to have a second internet entry point to my house)
Which way do you plan to listen, please? Speakers are 5 metres apart or 3.6 metres.
Before in insulation or soundproofing I would do Phase 4 and 5 first once you have a plan in mind. It is easier to have cables run without anything in the walls. I assume you will install studded walls with soundproofing in the wall cavities.
I will bow out regarding soundproofing materials as this is not my area of expertise. Hopefully, someone else can jump in here with knowledgeable recommendations.
First cautionary question before touching that ceiling is, is it asbestos? From superficial appearance, and given the current function, that would seem to be a distinct possibility. If you don’t know then nest contact a local asbestos testing service to check. Absolutely vital if you might cut, break or drill it at all. Some forms of asbestos are particularly hazardous if dust is inhaled, even in very small amounts. But this seems familiar - was it you who started a similar thread a few months ago?
Garages are notorious for making cold living spaces. I would regard building regs requirements as a minimum level of insulation and get as much PIR foam insulation into walls, floor and ceiling as you possibly can. The room will be more comfortable, cheaper to heat and have lower carbon emissions. Besides, flouting building regs or planning permission can come back to bite you when you want to sell. Chances are you’ll be asked for evidence so you’ll risk losing a sale or having to retrofit to meet the required standards.
Don’t guess when it comes to soundproofing. You can throw a lot of money at it for little or no benefit. A lot if vibrations can be transmitted through the structure, bypassing any materials you use to cover the ceiling, so if you get the design wrong it might achieve very little.
As long as it’s under 100 metres it should be fine. Again you can get exterior grade cable. Probably worth using shielded cable if it runs parallel to the power cable, and try to keep them a little away from each other if you can.
Aluminium faced polyurethane foam board (e.g. “Kingspan”, but there are several cheaper brands just as good) is the most cost effective thermal insulating where space is a consideration. I’m not sure what Building Regs currently require (and for use in winter I wouldn’t want lesser insulation than that), but likely at least 100mm. It has minimal acoustic insulation properties, for that mineral wool is better, and the higher the density the better (slab type, 45kg/m3 upwards). For same thermal insulation you’d need of the order of 30-50% thicker than Kingspan type (depending on the specific mineral wool product).
You won’t be wanting to lower the ceiling height at all, as room is already quite low and you likely need to insulate the floor, raising it. Replacing the ceiling boarding with a staggered double layer of acoustic plasterboard would be helpful if the joists are good enough fir the weight, and with a thick layer of high density mineral wool 45kg/m3 or even 60 lying close-fitting on top, the thicker the better but with an air gap above as well. Adding an Acoustiblok membrane above would be good - though as that can be done above current bedroom floor it could be added as an extra if the mineral wool approach proves inadequate. I don’t have comparative info as to the effectiveness if one used as an alternative to the other.
Not a good idea to not insulate, if you want to use in winter and be comfortable in there without high heating cost, nor a good idea to ignore building regs unless you will never sell tge house and are not concerned about anyone inheriting wanting to sell.
You can of course put a conrete floor over insulation, but I a board floor of some sort on insulation sheets shouldn’t be a problem in
Please don’t take this badly, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. Garages never really feel right. It makes the house harder to sell and you lose the storage space. Then there’s the cost of getting HVAC installed, electrical, insulation, flooring etc. it might not be that much more to put an addition on the house. Of course I don’t know what your house looks like or it’s layout.
I agree about the comments regarding garage space. When we extended the house we looked at using our garage space and the architect said bad idea from the start for many of the reasons mentioned by opus.
So we added an extension but extended the basement with the intention to use it as a room later, where it was carefully thought out in terms of drainage, protection and insulation, although it only has one small window. After 10 years of doing nothing with it apart from use as storage, we have finally turned it into a separate room for music and cinema.
I would extend the house, which will add value rather than subtract and you will (if done properly) enjoy much more the final result
Thats what i had thought about doing for my dedicated room. But after weighing up the pros and cons i decided starting from scratch with a blank canvas was the best way forward.
So i built a separate room detached from the house. For now and for ,hopefully , my lifetime its my listening room. But in the future it could very easily be transformed into a art studio , games room , granny flat , gym room , etc etc.
Something worth thinking about , as you look to have a large garden.
Yes another good idea. After clearing out our storage room, the garage is getting a bit cluttered. Next summer we are having a nice garden chalet (shed) built to house some of the garden stuff and at the same time provide some shelter for the wood and a nice terrace with extended roof so that we have a place to have lunch in the summer time
Thanks for comments so far, gives me food for thought.
Whilst I have plenty of room on the plot I don’t really need any more rooms and repurposing the garage makes sense property wise.
I have no desire to make it a cold room so I will take all the insulation properties seriously.
My current room has plasterboard with large gaps (bordered up fire place and one wall that is no solid wall .e. just plasterboard with a 70cm gap to another internal plasterboard wall - the whole think is like a giant drum skin and bass just gets sucked out….hence the repurposing of my garage.
Whilst the garage isn’t perfect it’s better than any other room I can use but want to sound proof and not design in anything that has negative impact on sound.
Regarding insulation, what sort of construction is it? With cavity walls you can usually apply internal insulation boards or just plasterboard directly to the wall if required. If solid, you can’t do that as any future damp would be trapped inside the wall, causing problems. So you would normally build a timber frame to hold the insulation with a void behind it, which loses more space.
Looking at your photos the ceiling looks low, although there may or may not be some space above those boards. It’s hard to see how you could add acoustic and thermal insulation without reducing the ceiling height too much. You may have no choice but to dig out the floor, and lay insulation with a new concrete screed on top. Building regs usually require about 100mm of floor insulation, although they may allow less where that would be impractical.