How To Easily Soundproof Your Shed Like A Pro.

For many the shed is a place for escape, a place to relax and also a place to work on a project.

You may just use your shed for storage, but if you use it as a workshop or man cave then there is a good chance that you will want to soundproof it.

This is especially the case if you love using noisey tools in there or practice your guitar or drums. It doesn’t take much noise to annoy the neighbours or even worse your partner.

For me personally when I set out on this project I wanted to create the perfect man cave in my shed.

Dart board, bar fridge, flat screen and Play Station. Taking this into account, this project took all the skills I had already learned while soundproofing our home. Insulation, electrical considerations, the layout, cladding – everything. This shed would prove that I had conquered DIY soundproofing. 

The excitement was pallable as I happily slaved away over Easter. A good break to make something outstanding and outstanding it is, even if I say so myself.  

So without further ado, let me breakdown the exact steps I took in order to build this soundproofed shed so that you can make your own.

Planning Beforehand

Needless to say, putting together a proper well thought out plan before you begin will ultimately ensure the success of your shed. There are a few things to be clear on from the onset that will play much bigger roles as you start kitting out and soundproofing. Let’s break it down:

  • Exact Measurements & Working Plan: Be sure to measure out what sized shed you will need and take into account that soundproofing will automatically take away from the floor space as you will be building a box within a box essentially. Make sure that the structure is big enough to cater for the right floor space at the end. The best way I found, was to draw up a working plan of the shed and work out the exact dimensions of the things I would be adding in. This include furniture.
  • Windows & Lighting: Take into account the windows in the shed. They will need to also be soundproofed which may take away from the natural light inside. Keep this in mind from the onset and budget extra for lighting if needed. 
  • Tools: Having the right tools beforehand is a great help. Getting half way and not having what you need can waste time and cause unnecessary delays.
  •  What you will need: 

Tape measure

Caulk gun

Utility knife

Dust mask

Screw gun

Taping knife 

  • Materials: It is better to be prepared with the correct materials to ensure a smoother process. 
  • What you will need:

    5/8-in. Drywall

    1/2” Plywood

    Carpeting or floor mats

    Acoustic caulk or silicone caulk

    Acoustic dampening adhesive

    Rubber seals

    Window material

    Drywall screws

    Fiberglass insulation

    Acoustic joint compound

    Work gloves

8 Steps to Kitting out Your Shed Like a Pro

  1. Fill All Gaps

Something to keep in mind is that wherever there is a gap or space for air to pass through, sound will travel just as easily through that same space too. This is why the first thing I did was take some Green Glue accoustic caulk and start plugging up every single gap, space, nook or cranny that would allow any vibration or soundwave to escape. Shed’s in particular are famous for having all sorts of gaps, cracks and holes. Be sure to check around the door frames, windows, pipes and cable holes.

Seal any gaps in the shed with a good quality accoustic sealant

Install Flooring

Just to mention, before I started laying the flooring I plugged up all holes with the acoustic sealant as the floor boards had a lot of gaps. 

I opted to go for this rubber flooring because it looked good and will be more durable over the course of time. You can also use carpeting if you would prefer. Although rubber is ideal as it is very hard wearing and durable, plus it is the perfect material to absorb up the soundwaves and vibrations from within the shed.

Installing a good floor in your shed with really help to effectively soundproof it, this is a really important step.

Soundproof Walls & Ceiling

This is where it got interesting and the real work began. I decided to decouple my walls by using two layers of drywall and putting insulation between them to buffer. This is the best way to dampen your walls, as the insulation captures the soundwaves from inside the shed and traps them before they can escape.

The way decoupling works is, by attaching the inner wall to a decoupler which is connected to the wall studs, the vibration is absorbed by the insulation in between the two wall boards. This means the sound will have been absorbed in between the boards before it will ever reach the outer wall.  

I used green glue again as the insulation buffer during the whole installation as it is well priced and works very well. For a more detailed guide on how you can do this to your walls, take a quick look at my article on about soundproofing a home theater. In the article you will also find step-by-step instructions on how you can insulate your ceiling.

Overall my walls and ceiling worked out so well that even when I have a movie playing at full volume, it is barely audible from outside. 

If you choose to de-couple the walls make sure to add insulation between.

The Windows

The best way I found to do this was to add in extra windows on the inside that perfectly aligned with the outside windows. The trick was to put a good rubber seal around the window frame to ensure that there was a snug fit between the two. 

I used double-pane glass as an extra measure for maximum soundproofing. Something worth mentioning is, make sure that you have sealed your windows properly as this will pay an important role during this particular step. 

There are other methods you can use if you don’t want to go this route. Such as soundproofing curtains and a thick plastic sheeting which you can glue onto the panes to make them thicker. 

The other method is to hang soundproofing blankets over the windows, but those are not the most attractive.

To get a better idea of what to do with your windows, take a read over my How to soundproof windows post.

Seal The Door

Doors in general are the biggest culprits in sound escaping from any room. Sealing your door is one of the most important steps in the installation. What I did in this case was place green glue acoustic sealant around the frame and door itself into any gaps and cracks. To finish it off properly, make sure to add a rubber sealant.

Double Check for Gaps

Nearing towards the end of the installation, I went back again with the acoustic caulking gun and double checked ever inch of the shed. I made sure to fill any gaps and holes that I missed the first time. This step is very important because wherever air can travel through, so can sound. Make sure you plug every gap that you find to maximize the soundproofing quality of your room.

Airflow

Nearing the end of my shed project, I found that it was quite difficult to breathe freely inside the room as it was airtight. Saying this, I installed a silent fan and made sure to have entry and exit vents to make sure that there would be a constant supply of fresh air. 

Remember that your electrical gadgets will need cool air to make sure that they don’t overheat. 

Electrics

This is where my initial planning and sketch of the shed came in super handy. I followed the map throughout the installation and made the necessary cut outs for the electric supply well in advance. This helped me to avoid cutting up my masterpiece by forgetting about them. The final touch was insulting around all the plug points, switches and light fittings with the acoustic caulk.

Final Thoughts

With a bit of careful planning and a lot of forethought, my shed project worked out beautifully. I could not be happier. Basing the installation on the ‘room within a room’ concept, the final outcome worked out so much better than I was anticipating.

It’s better to go the extra mile for really good end results. If there is one tip I can give you, it’s make sure that your caulk is of a pretty good quality as this is one of the things that can drastically alter the outcome of your shed project. 

Hope you found this post helpful. Please feel free to share, like and leave me a comment. I would love to hear how your project worked out and if you have any extra handy hints that worked for you that was not mentioned in here.

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