You are here

Garage conversion - ceiling question

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby RobinC » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:43 pm

I'm in the process of converting garage into a music room. Type of music being made in there is largely electronic with some vocals and occasional guitar

The garage is a double garage. It is attached to the house. It was built some years after the house was built

Half of the garage has previously been converted into a dual purpose craft / film watching room (it has a projector).

The remaining part of the garage which will become my music room is the front of the garage and has two sets of garage doors. Part of the agreed brief with the family is that the room could later be converted into something else if needed. So the two sets of garage doors are going to be replaced with bi-fold doors. Which means one wall of the studio is predominately glass

I'm looking to partially build a room within a room. The exception being firstly all the glass along the front wall

We live in a rural location and in terms of sound proofing I'm primarily interested in reducing sound ingress into the main house (rather than bothering the neighbours)

My question is regarding the ceiling. Because of building regs are the time the ceiling in the garage was two layers of plasterboard on it. We're having to create a floating floor. So the height of the room whilst usable wouldn't lend itself to having a second ceiling that is decoupled from the existing ceiling

There is nothing above the garage. So in terms of sound proofing to reduce noise leakage into the main house will it matter that my room within a room won't have a secondary ceiling. The new studs will basically do up to the existing ceiling. Or does this compromise effectively render the room within a room approach as meaningless ?
RobinC
Poster
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:11 am

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:03 pm

First a couple of questions :-

How much ambient noise is there at present?

Will you be recording acoustic instruments in this room?

Now a couple of observations :-

Building a room within room structure with two surfaces being part of the existing construction mostly defeats the object of R in R construction. So, could you leave the garage doors in place (to be replaced with glass bi-fold doors when the room is later repurposed)? Can the existing ceiling be removed and replaced with something higher? this migh allow a fully decoupled room in room construction in the space.

If the answer is no to the above then concentrate in getting some additional mass into the ceiling and walls and making sure all openings are well sealed as most noise leakage is through gaps in the construction.

I'm sure there's lots I missed but those would be the first things I asked myself.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13581
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby RobinC » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:31 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:First a couple of questions :-
How much ambient noise is there at present?

We're near a major A road about 100ms way behind some trees. That being said we have similar glazing elsewhere in the property that reduces the ambient noise so the traffic sounds like a gentle wash

Will you be recording acoustic instruments in this room?

No just vocals

So, could you leave the garage doors in place (to be replaced with glass bi-fold doors when the room is later repurposed)? Can the existing ceiling be removed and replaced with something higher? this migh allow a fully decoupled room in room construction in the space.

The existing garage doors are literally falling off the building. From a personal point of view there is no natural daylight where I work and I don't really really want to spend my free time in a room without some natural daylight. I accept this is a big compromise. Whilst the existing ceiling plasterboard could be removed there isn't a higher place to move it to

If the answer is no to the above then concentrate in getting some additional mass into the ceiling and walls and making sure all openings are well sealed as most noise leakage is through gaps in the construction.

The 'attic' above the garage ceiling whilst very low in height (you have to crawl around in there) has nothing else in it and won't be used for storage so can be filled with whatever we want

Building regs people have asked us to put a floating floor in within insulation. We also have to put in two stud walls (the shorter ends of the room rectangle) again with insulation. There is an existing stud wall into the other garage room so the idea was to build another stud wall in front of that (with a air gap between them) with insulation and double plasterboard. The two new stud walls mentioned earlier were also going to have an air gap between them and the existing block and brick external walls. We were also intending to have double doors between the two garage rooms (there is no door from the house directly into the proposed music room).

So I suppose my question now is whether there is any point in having the air gaps between the existing stud wall + block and brick walls and the new stud work ?
RobinC
Poster
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:11 am

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby James Perrett » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:51 pm

I would say that you absolutely need a secondary ceiling and window if you are going to all this effort. Otherwise you might as well fit the bifold doors and just paint the existing ceiling and wall and be done with it.

As you aren't using the attic space, my suggestion would be to remove the existing plasterboard (or whatever it is) on the ceiling which would then allow the joists of the inner ceiling to interleave with the joists of the existing ceiling and gain you some height. If you want, you could put some flooring down in the attic above. Put some Rockwool between the joists (RWA 45 or equivalent would be fine here in my experience).
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 9780
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby RobinC » Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:12 pm

Thanks I like the idea of interleaving of the joists. I think that is doable. There is already some flooring down in the attic. The bifold door situation is something I'm going to have to live with

As said there's a certain amount of work we have to do anyway to pass building regs. The additional effort above and beyond that amounts to building one more stud wall infront of the existing stud wall and installing a second door between craft room and music room rather than living with just one door. So not that much really.

With your idea of interleaving the joists that would leave us decoupled on 5 of the 6 surfaces of the room. The uncoupled surface is facing away from the house towards the road. But if like you say that won't reduce the amount of singing that someone could hear in the lounge then its a waste of additional effort.
RobinC
Poster
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:11 am

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:20 pm

As James says, either do the whole job or keep to the minimum requirements of the BC guys*. Do some more reading about how a room within room system works, isolation is the key and if it's attached to even one wall much of that will be compromised.

Recording vocals doesn't require much (or anything really for ordinary mortals) below 100 Hz so a LPF should take care of the main road. It's relatively easy to keep mid and high frequencies in/out of a room but the LF is a good bit harder.

WRT singing being audible in the lounge (which I assume is adjacent to the music room?), is an additional stud wall required by the BC guys anyway? It will make a difference but whether it will be enough it's impossible to say.

* An extra stud wall and a double door into the screening room might be a good idea if that room might get used at the same time as the music room but attention will have to be paid to the attic void or sound will just transmit from one to the other by that route.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13581
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby James Perrett » Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:23 pm

My thought would be that it would be worth doing the ceiling and maybe think about constructing the wall with the bifold door in such a way that it could be upgraded if needed. If you use substantial doors then you will probably get enough attenuation anyway.

One thought - if you are employing builders to do this, make sure that they don't try to take any short cuts. Most builders don't understand soundproofing at all (although they think they do).
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 9780
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby RobinC » Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:32 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:WRT singing being audible in the lounge (which I assume is adjacent to the music room?), is an additional stud wall required by the BC guys anyway? It will make a difference but whether it will be enough it's impossible to say.

* An extra stud wall and a double door into the screening room might be a good idea if that room might get used at the same time as the music room but attention will have to be paid to the attic void or sound will just transmit from one to the other by that route.

Yes the lounge is adjacent to both the craft room and the music room. We have to increase the thermal insulation in what remains of the garage so have to add a studded partition on some walls anyway. There are also some pipes on that wall that we would like to hide as well anyway so the best solution is to stud that wall and the thought was to use two layers of plasterboard on the front of that stud
RobinC
Poster
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:11 am

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby RobinC » Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:34 pm

James Perrett wrote:My thought would be that it would be worth doing the ceiling and maybe think about constructing the wall with the bifold door in such a way that it could be upgraded if needed. If you use substantial doors then you will probably get enough attenuation anyway.

One thought - if you are employing builders to do this, make sure that they don't try to take any short cuts. Most builders don't understand soundproofing at all (although they think they do).

thanks
RobinC
Poster
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:11 am

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:03 pm

RobinC wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:WRT singing being audible in the lounge (which I assume is adjacent to the music room?), is an additional stud wall required by the BC guys anyway? It will make a difference but whether it will be enough it's impossible to say.

* An extra stud wall and a double door into the screening room might be a good idea if that room might get used at the same time as the music room but attention will have to be paid to the attic void or sound will just transmit from one to the other by that route.

Yes the lounge is adjacent to both the craft room and the music room. We have to increase the thermal insulation in what remains of the garage so have to add a studded partition on some walls anyway. There are also some pipes on that wall that we would like to hide as well anyway so the best solution is to stud that wall and the thought was to use two layers of plasterboard on the front of that stud

Yes that's certainly going to help. I've heard a lot of talk about 'Green Glue' for acoustic installation, no experience but it appears to be made for the job.

One last thing from personal experience, pay attention to resonances in the floor...
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13581
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby RobinC » Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:05 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Yes that's certainly going to help. I've heard a lot of talk about 'Green Glue' for acoustic installation, no experience but it appears to be made for the job.

One last thing from personal experience, pay attention to resonances in the floor...

Thankyou. I am probably going to go the green glue route as well.
RobinC
Poster
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:11 am

Re: Garage conversion - ceiling question

Postby James Perrett » Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:14 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I've heard a lot of talk about 'Green Glue' for acoustic installation, no experience but it appears to be made for the job.

One last thing from personal experience, pay attention to resonances in the floor...

I used Green Glue between a layer of 19mm plasterboard plank and 12mm acoustic plasterboard. For the ultimate in soundproofing you could add another layer of 15mm acoustic plasterboard but it didn't seem to be needed in my case.

The floor resonances are a weak point in my room - I should have put some rockwool in there but didn't think of it until it was too late.

Wherever the inner structure comes into contact with the floor I've used rubber crumb underlay (made from recycled car tyres) to decouple the structure.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 9780
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page