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HELP!!! General Contractor messed up sound proofing on new room!!!
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kstevege
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11th May 2012
Old 11th May 2012
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HELP!!! General Contractor messed up sound proofing on new room!!!

As part of the plans in having my house renovated I contracted to have one room dedicated to music recording/mixing.

I gave specific instructions to my general contractor that the room needed. to be as sound proof as possible. (I did not hire him to do acoustic treatment - I would have that done later) but I made it clear that I wanted to be able to record and mix at any time - day or night. I also advised him if he didn't have experience with building rooms for music production to research locally before doing the job.

The budget for the room was $6,500 (which included 5.1 wiring and internet)

The room is 12' x 15'. Ceiling height @8'. Room is in basement corner so 2 walls started with concrete. Other 2 walls adjoin the basement. There is one door in the room and no windows.

Instead of researching the issue he used his common knowledge and used foam insulation in between studs on walls and ceiling then used regular sheet rock and rope lighting tray ceiling. The door is solid with seams. He also place HVAC output right over where near field monitors will be and there is a bedroom on floor upstairs)

Bad news is when I did a sound proof check (I played a radio at moderate level) the sound leaked out of the room no different than an adjoining room that wasn't treated at all.

I am not happy because me thinks I have to tear down the sheet rock and replace foam insulation and start from scratch

When completed I will be using near field monitors (probably Adam A7s)

Any suggestions??????

Much appreciated

- Steve

P.S Forgot to mention he did instal a floating laminate floor
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11th May 2012
Old 11th May 2012
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Any suggestions??????
You could add a second layer of drywall but sounds like he just built a normal residential room. Hate to say it but there is a reason why sound proofing is not cheap and must be done right.
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kstevege
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11th May 2012
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Originally Posted by Glenn Kuras View Post
You could add a second layer of drywall but sounds like he just built a norm residential room. Hate to say it but there is a reason why sound proofing is not cheap and must be done right.
Hi Glenn

It seems the foam insulation we used is the same cost, if not more expensive then Owen Corning for the size of this room!!!!!

Would it be worth it at this point to remove the sheet rock and replace the foam insulation with Owen Corning 703 (or something equivalent) and move the location of the HVAC outlet or would I better off leaving the room as is and investing in sound proof treatment on the inside of the room?

How effective is insulation like Owen Corning in preventing sound leaking out of the room compared to high grade foam insulation?
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12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
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ok, step one: buy this today Home-Recording-Studio-Build-Like-The-Pros
read and re-read it until you understand it. ask specific questions and post photos. sound isolation is a combination of things which all have to converge to even begin to be effective, and the highest levels require diligence and micro-managing your contractors who likely have no idea of what they need to do. if your contract stipulated a given level of isolation and its not meeting it, then by all means have the contractor come back and redo it while you manage every step.

insulation is only part of the equation. enough mass, decoupling via isolation, and proper sealing are critical to getting isolation high enough that you could be working under a bedroom.
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12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
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There is a huge difference between soundproofing and acoustically treating, just want to put that out there.

I may be wrong, so correct me if I am Glenn. But in a situation like this, would it be beneficial to tear down the existing drywall, then double the insulation, going from what could be 6" of insulation, to 12"? Or to build another room within your room?
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12th May 2012
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The problem is that there was never a "meeting of the minds" in your agreement with the contractor.

You cannot establish a standard for construction based on the premise of "as sound proof as possible."

You really aren't explaining what the construction consists of - so no one here will really be able to tell you what is wrong and what to do to fix it.

You also need to qualify your isolation needs.......

What levels are you going to be using when you are on the mixing side of the equation?

What levels when on the recording side?

What type of music are you working with - and this makes a huge difference in isolation.

If you are a classical violinist then isolation is based on the frequencies involved with that instrument - if you are dealing with RAP and the low frequencies involved with that genre of music - then it is another thing altogether.

I will note that the foam insulation isn't helping - however my bet would be that it is only one small part of one very big problem.

Rod
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12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gullfo View Post
ok, step one: buy this today Home-Recording-Studio-Build-Like-The-Pros
read and re-read it until you understand it. ask specific questions and post photos. sound isolation is a combination of things which all have to converge to even begin to be effective, and the highest levels require diligence and micro-managing your contractors who likely have no idea of what they need to do. if your contract stipulated a given level of isolation and its not meeting it, then by all means have the contractor come back and redo it while you manage every step.

insulation is only part of the equation. enough mass, decoupling via isolation, and proper sealing are critical to getting isolation high enough that you could be working under a bedroom.
+1.
#8
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
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Quote:
I will note that the foam insulation isn't helping - however my bet would be that it is only one small part of one very big problem.

Quote:
]if your contract stipulated a given level of isolation and its not meeting it, then by all means have the contractor come back and redo it while you manage every step.

Hindsight=20/20 is a tough pill to swallow. I'd submit your verbal instructions won't hold water come push to shove...legally speaking(my opinion).
Possible scenario.....
Your attorney..."Your honor, my client verbally specified the
Quote:
to be as sound proof as possible.
"

His attorney....laughs out loud. "Objection our honor, my clients solution defines "as possible"...for him. My opponents client did not. "

Your attorney... , "...but, but, Your honor,my client DID verbally specify...
Quote:
I wanted to be able to record and mix at any time - day or night.
"

Judge....laughs out loud. ." So, what's stopping him?
( laughter ensues in courtroom.)

His attorney..."Your honor, the plaintiffs contributory negligence clearly demonstrates Prima facie evidence that my clients performance satisfied the agreement. I rest my case your honor and request immediate Judgement for the Defendant.
Judge..."Considering the the plaintiffs gross contributory negligence in properly defining the objective goal for the Defendent, the court finds for the Defendant. "
Sound of Judges anvil echoes in the room.
Your attorney...(sighs and rolls eyes while $$$$$ signs disappear in puff of smoke.)

Tongue in cheek smiley...ie..
Quote:
You cannot establish a standard for construction based on the premise of "as sound proof as possible."

Quote:
Any suggestions??????
Move on??

Quote:
I am not happy because me thinks I have to tear down the sheet rock and replace foam insulation and start from scratch
I believe your intuition hindsight =20/20.
Quote:
ok, step one: buy this today Home-Recording-Studio-Build-Like-The-Pros
+1 Rod's book will make it easier to swallow though. And it'll tell you exactly why your contractor was an idiot as well.

Quote:
It seems the foam insulation we used is the same cost, if not more expensive then Owen Corning for the size of this room!!!!!
Talk about adding insult to insult. Did I mention pill?
Quote:
Would it be worth it at this point to remove the sheet rock and replace the foam insulation with Owen Corning 703 (or something equivalent) and move the location of the HVAC outlet or would I better off leaving the room as is and investing in sound proof treatment on the inside of the room?
Marketing Hype Alert. There is no such thing as "sound proof treatment".
In fact, there's no such animal as "sound proof" period. Only degrees of Transmission Loss. Think...Space Shuttle.

Until I read the "703" thing, I assume by "Owens Corning", you meant fiberglass "batt insulation", I also assume the contractor never heard the term "two leaf system", as when you apply hard dense foam in stud cavities, you essentially create a damped "one leaf" system . At least to my way of thinking. But yea, you'll have to remove all of it. No fun either. However, the "703/soundproof treatment" statement pretty much sums up why you need Rods book. Other than DON"T USE 703, not much to add at this point though..Rod already covered why.

Come on back after you read the book. It'll save you and us a lot of time.
BTW, I've had to swallow a few pills myself over the years.
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12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
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System

Soundproofing is not a defined word. However you did specify playing music day and night. Does the builder haver professional indemnity insurance?
Maybe you can take a case yourself, without a lawyer. This scares people as you can keep coming back, free. However, different countries, ymmv.

The foam insulation may well be a wise move thermally and regarding damp.
The increase of isolation caused by fibre instead is likely to be very small as I suspect your breaches of isolation are in fact holes.
If so find them and seal them.
Rod book is excellent. This UK site has some very clear plans on how to create soundproof boundaries.
DIY Domestic Ceiling Soundproofing

DD
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12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
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Originally Posted by pitchfork View Post
Hindsight=20/20 is a tough pill to swallow. I'd submit your verbal instructions won't hold water come push to shove...legally speaking(my opinion).
Possible scenario.....
Your attorney..."Your honor, my client verbally specified the "

His attorney....laughs out loud. "Objection our honor, my clients solution defines "as possible"...for him. My opponents client did not. "

Your attorney... , "...but, but, Your honor,my client DID verbally specify..."

Judge....laughs out loud. ." So, what's stopping him?
( laughter ensues in courtroom.)

His attorney..."Your honor, the plaintiffs contributory negligence clearly demonstrates Prima facie evidence that my clients performance satisfied the agreement. I rest my case your honor and request immediate Judgement for the Defendant.
Judge..."Considering the the plaintiffs gross contributory negligence in properly defining the objective goal for the Defendent, the court finds for the Defendant. "
Sound of Judges anvil echoes in the room.
Your attorney...(sighs and rolls eyes while $$$$$ signs disappear in puff of smoke.)

Tongue in cheek smiley...ie..


Move on??



I believe your intuition hindsight =20/20.
+1 Rod's book will make it easier to swallow though. And it'll tell you exactly why your contractor was an idiot as well.

Talk about adding insult to insult. Did I mention pill?


Marketing Hype Alert. There is no such thing as "sound proof treatment".
In fact, there's no such animal as "sound proof" period. Only degrees of Transmission Loss. Think...Space Shuttle.

Until I read the "703" thing, I assume by "Owens Corning", you meant fiberglass "batt insulation", I also assume the contractor never heard the term "two leaf system", as when you apply hard dense foam in stud cavities, you essentially create a damped "one leaf" system . At least to my way of thinking. But yea, you'll have to remove all of it. No fun either. However, the "703/soundproof treatment" statement pretty much sums up why you need Rods book. Other than DON"T USE 703, not much to add at this point though..Rod already covered why.

Come on back after you read the book. It'll save you and us a lot of time.
BTW, I've had to swallow a few pills myself over the years.
I made it clear to the general contractor I wanted the room to be built specifically for mixing/recording and to have the sound isolated as "best as possible" given the budget and I made it clear I would be using the room at night as well as during the day. I also advised if he doesn't have the experience for this type of construction to hire a subcontractor who does. The fact that he used foam insulation shows his incompetence and the fact that the drywall has to be removed to change the insulation means he is eating the costs. Regular pink insulation would serve the purpose given the budget of $6,500-$7,000 to cover a 12' x 15' room "best as possible" and surely would have covered staggered stud wall frame, 2 layers of drywall with green glue with medium density fiber to box lighting cams, outlets, HVAC, etc., where necessary.

There was a clear meeting of the minds the scope of the project and intention for the purpose of the room and I have several witnesses so I am not worried about prevailing on any legal claims I may have.

This was the GM's responsibility. He shouldn't have placed me in a position where I now have to take time out of my work to do the research he should have done. And I don't have time to read the book. The GM should have read the book or hire competent subcontractors before he started the job. Thus the "Hindsight 20/20" is the - GM's liability.
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13th May 2012
Old 13th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstevege View Post
I made it clear to the general contractor I wanted the room to be built specifically for mixing/recording and to have the sound isolated as "best as possible" given the budget and I made it clear I would be using the room at night as well as during the day. I also advised if he doesn't have the experience for this type of construction to hire a subcontractor who does. The fact that he used foam insulation shows his incompetence and the fact that the drywall has to be removed to change the insulation means he is eating the costs. Regular pink insulation would serve the purpose given the budget of $6,500-$7,000 to cover a 12' x 15' room "best as possible" and surely would have covered staggered stud wall frame, 2 layers of drywall with green glue with medium density fiber to box lighting cams, outlets, HVAC, etc., where necessary.

There was a clear meeting of the minds the scope of the project and intention for the purpose of the room and I have several witnesses so I am not worried about prevailing on any legal claims I may have.

This was the GM's responsibility. He shouldn't have placed me in a position where I now have to take time out of my work to do the research he should have done. And I don't have time to read the book. The GM should have read the book or hire competent subcontractors before he started the job. Thus the "Hindsight 20/20" is the - GM's liability.
Well I don't know what country you live in - however here in the states it would certainly not be all that simple to prevail in court with this case.

I can see any number of ways the contractor could defend his position - the easiest being to simply justify the budget - proving the hard costs - labor and profit margin.

Then he would be in the position of having provided the "best possible" given the budget he had to work within.

I have some experience in this regard, I have gone after contractors for errors on their part - as well as architects - and when I was young lost more than a few cases due to bad specifications.

I have also been called on to give expert testimony in cases in this regard.

I suppose if you can prove that the wall has exactly no more isolation than any of the other spaces you might have a chance - however - if it does have netter isolation (my guess would be that it does, small as that might be) then you have a position that is difficult to defend.

What you intend to do with the space is irrelevant - unless you said different things to the contractor than you have to us you said - what this amounts to is this:

You said "this is what I want to do - this is the most I am willing to pay - so give me the best you can within that limit."

The burden of proof is not on him to prove he did - it is on you to prove he did not give you "the best he could within your budget constraints".

It would have been easier for you to approach a professional in the field and explain to them your budget and goals, any one of us could have told you upfront it can't be done.

However - your legal problems don't concern me, the real question before us is how you proceed from here - and I will point out again that we know nothing of what you built - nothing of how it was constructed - nothing of what surrounds it - and I don't see you providing any of that information here - do no one here can help you - we aren't mind readers - we aren't seers - and we certainly are not magicians...........

The book would probably do you little good based on what I've seen - so it would be a further waste of your cash - don't waste it.

Find an acoustician in your area and hire him/her to go down to your house and figure this out for you...... this is what you should have done in the first place and would be your best investment at this point.

Besides which - if you plan to have any sort of case in court - this is your best chance to get someone to explain to a judge/jury exactly what this person did wrong - you certainly are not qualified to do this - and they will not entertain allowing copies of what you've been told here as evidence in a court of law.

Good luck,

Rod
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13th May 2012
Old 13th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Gervais View Post
The problem is that there was never a "meeting of the minds" in your agreement with the contractor.

You cannot establish a standard for construction based on the premise of "as sound proof as possible."

You really aren't explaining what the construction consists of - so no one here will really be able to tell you what is wrong and what to do to fix it.

You also need to qualify your isolation needs.......

What levels are you going to be using when you are on the mixing side of the equation?

What levels when on the recording side?

What type of music are you working with - and this makes a huge difference in isolation.

If you are a classical violinist then isolation is based on the frequencies involved with that instrument - if you are dealing with RAP and the low frequencies involved with that genre of music - then it is another thing altogether.

I will note that the foam insulation isn't helping - however my bet would be that it is only one small part of one very big problem.

Rod
Sorry for your experience but +1 what Rod said. There should have been specifications on the contract.
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13th May 2012
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Small claims court. He said. I said. Complicated construction issue. No expert witness. Judge not happy. Case dismissed.
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13th May 2012
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Having just dealt with a similar problem, I want to get one thing in this thread which is sadly too late for you, kstevege, but important for others who may be reading:

If you have a room where sound isolation is critical, you need to have in the construction spec a field-testable sound isolation rating. The situation I am working on involves something that was built to spec, but due to the spec being poorly worded the construction is far, far below the client's needs. If you need a specific level of isolation, make sure it is in writing and that there is a provision for field testing the finished work.

I will also echo what Rod said and suggest bringing in a professional acoustician. Dealing with post-construction problems gets complicated, and trying to resolve it via this forum is likely to fall short of getting you the information you need.
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14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
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Originally Posted by Rod Gervais View Post

I suppose if you can prove that the wall has exactly no more isolation than any of the other spaces you might have a chance.....

..... we know nothing of what you built - nothing of how it was constructed - nothing of what surrounds it - and I don't see you providing any of that information here - do no one here can help you - we aren't mind readers - we aren't seers .....

Rod
Room size is 15' x 12', corner room of concrete basement. Room and ceiling is normal residential wooden frame 2" x 4" studs. No windows. One doorway, solid door and seamed (GC did one thing right). Immediatelly above is kid's bedroom (biggest problem). There is HVAC tubing in ceiling along with can lights.

For starts, the Can lights and HVAC weren't boxed in so serious air leak right there to upper floor.

I will be doing composing, recording and mixing my work inside DAW Primarily using samples ( eg East/west) (85 percent) and some solo vocals tracks and guitar tracks (direct input) (15 percent)

Initial question I have is how much difference in sound reduction will regular pink insulation have over the foam insulation? If noticeable gain then it would justify starting from scratch on all walls and ceiling. If not, then perhaps only redo ceiling (because can lights and HVAC has to be treated anyway) and just use green glue with extra layer of drywall on 4 walls.

BTW - assuming I started from scratch, using 2" x 4" frame walls with second staggered 2" x 2" staggered frame, pink insulation and double drywall green glue method with same on ceiling (with addition of clips used in ceiling to hold sheet rock) shouldn't exceed $7,000 for this size room, including fiber boxes for outlets, lighting and HVAC and caulking all joints and gaps.

Info much appreciated
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14th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstevege View Post
Room size is 15' x 12', corner room of concrete basement. Room and ceiling is normal residential wooden frame 2" x 4" studs. No windows. One doorway, solid door and seamed (GC did one thing right). Immediatelly above is kid's bedroom (biggest problem). There is HVAC tubing in ceiling along with can lights.

For starts, the Can lights and HVAC weren't boxed in so serious air leak right there to upper floor.

I will be doing composing, recording and mixing my work inside DAW Primarily using samples ( eg East/west) (85 percent) and some solo vocals tracks and guitar tracks (direct input) (15 percent)

Initial question I have is how much difference in sound reduction will regular pink insulation have over the foam insulation? If noticeable gain then it would justify starting from scratch on all walls and ceiling. If not, then perhaps only redo ceiling (because can lights and HVAC has to be treated anyway) and just use green glue with extra layer of drywall on 4 walls.
I still do not have a clear picture of what you mean when you say "foam insulation"

Is this a rigid foam board (like the Dow blueboard products) or an expansive foam insulation? what exactly is the product?

Quote:
BTW - assuming I started from scratch, using 2" x 4" frame walls with second staggered 2" x 2" staggered frame, pink insulation and double drywall green glue method with same on ceiling (with addition of clips used in ceiling to hold sheet rock) shouldn't exceed $7,000 for this size room, including fiber boxes for outlets, lighting and HVAC and caulking all joints and gaps.

Info much appreciated
I don't know what you mean when you refer to a 2nd 2x2 staggered frame? I cannot see how a 2x2 stud is capable of carrying the drywall load.....

The question is not whether what you describe will cost what you estimate - it is whether what you describe will get the job done.

I have small 1 room build-outs in detached garages I've designed where the owners have spent 25 or 30 grand (just on isolation) in order to achieve isolation levels that would allow them to play in the space 24/7.

Your talking about doing this beneath a bedroom.

I can tell you that clips w/ 2 layers of drywall and green glue on the ceiling, is not going to get you anywhere near the level of isolation you want.

It's going to take you a ton of mass and a totally isolated frame in order to get there - and this assumes that it is possible to get there from where you begin - which is not always possible.

Sometimes there are just existing constraints that make it physically impossible to get it done - and I can't tell you if that is the case while sitting here.....

Really - your best bet would be to get a pro to your house - there must be someone in your area (within a couple of hundred miles or so anyway - which is my daily traveling range for clients).

If you ever want to know if what you wish is possible - and how to get it done with some guarantee that it is going to work - especially with the bedroom above - this is not the place to get information.

I am telling you that I could not do it from here - and I do this for a living......

When it comes to critical designs like you're discussing I have to visit the sites in order to determine proper designs for the conditions.

Good luck,

Rod
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14th May 2012
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I think that at this point it does not really matter what you did or did not say to your contractor - and fighting him in court will take even more of your Time, money and mental resources. With no guarantee that you win anything.

I think your comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by kstevege View Post
There is HVAC tubing in ceiling along with can lights.

For starts, the Can lights and HVAC weren't boxed in so serious air leak right there to upper floor.
Is correct. This is actually where you can start.
It is obvious that any air duct creates a channel for the sound to leak and the Ventillation ducts are notorious for it.

I would start with boxing that HVAC duct.
Frame it, "wrap" with rockwool and Mass Loaded Vinyl, then sheetrock it over.
Make sure to properly seal on every step, if you leave small cracks - the sound will leak.

Then go around the room and see if you have any cracks in the corners or in between the joints. Calk them, if any.

Then see if it made a sufficient difference. If not enough, then you can beef up the walls. ( add some mass)

Without destroying the rest of the room - you can cover the walls with Mass Loaded Vynil, (it weighs about the same as Lead, but not harmful) bend around the corners, overlap at joints.
DO NOT Staple it tight, let it be "limp" - it will work better. Then cover it with another layer of sheetrock. (mass loaded Vinyl is designed to be used as underlayer, not exposed, otherwise it will tear)
What you did so far - you added a lot of mass to your walls and you sealed the room to prevent sound leaking through cracks.
This should work.

Your room will be smaller by about 3-4 inches all around, But you will save yourself a lot of time, money and aggravation, compare to demolition work of the existing walls and doing it all over.
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14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Gervais View Post
I still do not have a clear picture of what you mean when you say "foam insulation"

Is this a rigid foam board (like the Dow blueboard products) or an expansive foam insulation? what exactly is the product?

I don't know what you mean when you refer to a 2nd 2x2 staggered frame? I cannot see how a 2x2 stud is capable of carrying the drywall load.....

Rod
It was expansive foam the Green builders are using, I believe icynene foam. Is it worth it to replace with regular pink foam and caluk all cracks or just leave as is and apply double layer drywall with green glue.

The second 2"x2" frame will be attached to the original 2"x4" frame except the studs would be scattered to serve as decoupling and creating extra path for the sound to travel and then the double layer drywall with green glue attached to that with caukling all joints and seems

Listen, I never expected 100% sound isolation with this budget and I understand what I am up against but my question will I see considerable gain by tearing down all walls and replace the foam insulation with regular pink insulation and go from there. Or just add second layer of drywall with green glue on walls and fix ceiling as I mentioned above.

When I visit websites for icynene foam insulation installers they all advertise as one of the benefits it serves a better sound isolation than regular pink insulation. The info I read on some of the threads in this forum suggests there is false advertising on those icynene foam websites.

Thanks

- Steve
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14th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Morgan View Post
I would start with boxing that HVAC duct.
Frame it, "wrap" with rockwool and Mass Loaded Vinyl, then sheetrock it over.
Make sure to properly seal on every step, if you leave small cracks - the sound will leak.

Then go around the room and see if you have any cracks in the corners or in between the joints. Calk them, if any.

Then see if it made a sufficient difference. If not enough, then you can beef up the walls. ( add some mass)

Without destroying the rest of the room - you can cover the walls with Mass Loaded Vinyl, (it weighs about the same as Lead, but not harmful) bend around the corners, overlap at joints.
DO NOT Staple it tight, let it be "limp" - it will work better. Then cover it with another layer of sheetrock. (mass loaded Vinyl is designed to be used as underlayer, not exposed, otherwise it will tear)
What you did so far - you added a lot of mass to your walls and you sealed the room to prevent sound leaking through cracks.
This should work.

Your room will be smaller by about 3-4 inches all around, But you will save yourself a lot of time, money and aggravation, compare to demolition work of the existing walls and doing it all over.

I don't know what it is you do for a living - but it's obvious it isn't acoustic engineering.

To begin: Making the comment that MLV weighs "about the same as Lead" is sort of funny - MLV that is 2psf weighs exactly the same as lead that is 2psf..... I suppose one could consider that "about the same", just wouldn't be my choice of words,

My conclusion would be that MLV is a total waste of money - especially in this case.

There is no advantage to the use of MLV sandwiched between layers of drywall other than mass - and the cheapest mass you can buy is drywall.

MLV is going to cost somewhere around 3 bucks a sf at 2psf, whereas 5/8" drywall is going to run around 33 cents a square foot - and has more mass than the vinyl......

Next - you state to leave the MLV loose - which is the state it performs best in - a loose floopy condition - however - once you sandwich it between those 2 sheets of drywall it will be neither loose nor floppy - it will be locked into a tight rigid form - at which point it only singular purpose will be it's mass (go back and re-read the cost per sf of mass noted above if you aren't clear on why this doesn't make sense.)

Then - after you finish describing your plan for additional losses from this person's wallet - you make the statement that:

Quote:
This should work.
It's quite possible that he could add 10 layers of drywall to this assembly - along with a layer of 8 psf sheet lead in between each layer - and not have it "work."

Thee are a number of things that come into play when it comes to isolation - key of which is decoupling - and you (nor I, nor anyone else here) have any clue as to whether or not the work done in that space is properly decoupled (properly being the key word here) - you cannot isolate any space beyond that which flanking controls.

So for you to make a statement like that indicates you know not of what you speak.

Either get an education in a subject - or don't waste time giving advice.......

The biggest problem here is that some fool might listen to what you say and actually believe it - at which time they might well be just throwing good money away after bad..........

I'm actually a little surprised you didn't try to sell him any of the "oversized moving blankets for Soundproofing." that the company you provide a link to sells to an unsuspecting public.

Rod
#20
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstevege View Post
It was expansive foam the Green builders are using, I believe icynene foam. Is it worth it to replace with regular pink foam and caluk all cracks or just leave as is and apply double layer drywall with green glue.

The second 2"x2" frame will be attached to the original 2"x4" frame except the studs would be scattered to serve as decoupling and creating extra path for the sound to travel and then the double layer drywall with green glue attached to that with caukling all joints and seems

Listen, I never expected 100% sound isolation with this budget and I understand what I am up against but my question will I see considerable gain by tearing down all walls and replace the foam insulation with regular pink insulation and go from there. Or just add second layer of drywall with green glue on walls and fix ceiling as I mentioned above.

When I visit websites for icynene foam insulation installers they all advertise as one of the benefits it serves a better sound isolation than regular pink insulation. The info I read on some of the threads in this forum suggests there is false advertising on those icynene foam websites.

Thanks

- Steve
Steve,

The closed cell foam they used is not useless if it's installed properly - which means that after application they cut it back so it does not make contact with both surfaces........ if they cut it flush to the face of the stud after spraying it will act as a bridge between the 2 surfaces.

The properties of this material aren't really bad per-Se, it is just that the amount of isolation you get is not worth the cost of the investment when compared with typical fluffy insulation.

As far as the rest of your query goes,

I would never use 2x2's for anything other than furring - no way I would use them as a part of staggered stud construction for a wall - nor would I use 2x3's - they simply cannot take the load.......

Understand that when all is said and done you may never reach the point you want to reach beginning with what you have now - or you might - there is no way for me to answer the question....... nor is there any way for anyone else here to answer the question - we simply do not have enough data.......

There is a point where flanking takes over and regardless of anything you do you will never increase the levels of isolation once you reach that limit - the weakest link will always control - and there is nothing you or I or anyone else can do to overcome that - it is a simple law of physics.......

If you ever hope to get this to the point where you reach the goals you stated - you really do need to get a pro in the space.

This is one I simply cannot help you with at a distance........

Sincerely,

Rod
#21
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Gervais View Post
Thee are a number of things that come into play when it comes to isolation - key of which is decoupling....
Rod
Rod:
This is exactly right that there are a lot of things that can be done and all what you say is perfectly vallid. BUT that is if one has an option to start from scratch and plan it all in advance. You are approaching the situation as if he has an empty room and considering where to start. You are talking about one of your previous jobs for 25 - 30 K for a room.
Yes, you can tell him to build "room in a room", do decoupling and place a floor on springs to separate from the sound transmission - you can suggest all that and it will sound very clever, but what is the chance he can afford doing this now?
Steve is now at a point where he has to correct the situation he is in. So tell him what he CAN do, not what he did not do or cannot do. Tell him what will work and on his budget.

As for allowing the MLV to remain limp - it is easy!. If you read Steve's plan for remaking the room - he was planning to add 2 x2 on top of existing walls - that will create a space between the old wall and the new wall, so he CAN leave the MLV as a limp mass. Another option is to weave the MLV between studs. There are wasy to make things work.
The problem with Sheetrock is that ridig wall will vibrate and transmit the sound, so one of the ways to "decouple" sheetrock walls would be using a resilient mat or MLV. (you are not the only one who wrote a book about the subject). There is more than one way to "skin a cat" so to speak.

Steve needs to start somewhere, preferrably without destroying the room and starting all over.

As for Acoustic Blankets - if you know what are they used for then, i do not understand your sarcasm - it was not called for. The blankets are good, for sound absorption, not for blocking the sound leaks.
#22
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Morgan View Post
Rod:
This is exactly right that there are a lot of things that can be done and all what you say is perfectly vallid. BUT that is if one has an option to start from scratch and plan it all in advance. You are approaching the situation as if he has an empty room and considering where to start. You are talking about one of your previous jobs for 25 - 30 K for a room.
You really don't have a clue - and that's a shame.

I used that example to illustrate that this is not a matter of expecting a project to fit within a budget.

That project - the one in the detached garage - it cost what it cost because that was the only way it could be designed to meet the isolation requirements the client had, and that was using all standard construction materials in order to keep costs down - nothing fancy there.

There have been plenty of clients who have come to me with thoughts of 24/7 in a space - with unrealistic budgets - that I have had to look at and simply say "you can't make it from A to B if that is all you can afford to spend"

Quote:
Yes, you can tell him to build "room in a room", do decoupling and place a floor on springs to separate from the sound transmission - you can suggest all that and it will sound very clever, but what is the chance he can afford doing this now?
LMFAO........ this is pretty funny........

Listen up - he stated he has a goal - which is to have his room (which is under a bedroom) usable 24/7, if he is willing to give up on that then he has no issues and should probably just leave the room the way it is......

If he is NOT willing to give up on that then he has to face the fact that it is the goal that will drive this - and the cost will be whatever it has to be to achieve that goal.

The bottom line here is that you know nothing about the room - nothing about the construction - in short nothing at all about why he has the problem he has - and you can't (therefor) offer any intelligent solutions to "fix" his room - and while you can certainly make the claim that
Quote:
This should work
- the statement is beyond meaningless.

Quote:
Steve is now at a point where he has to correct the situation he is in. So tell him what he CAN do, not what he did not do or cannot do. Tell him what will work and on his budget.
I have (repeatedly) told him not only what he can do - but what he should do - again you simply are not paying attention.

I do this for a living - have done so for way over 30 years...... I have not seen pictures of what was built during the construction process - I have not seen plans of the space - I have seen nothing - and had the OP only offer a shadowy "verbal sketch" of what was built.

I visit sites and spend hours (sometimes days) investigating exactly what is the cause of isolation issues on properties before I can even begin to figure out how to solve those problems......... and sometimes the only answer is to rip down what's already in place and start from scratch.... I keep saying that I cannot solve this from here - and can't even begin to make suggestions unless I have some very exacting information provided to me by the OP.

Quote:
As for allowing the MLV to remain limp - it is easy!. If you read Steve's plan for remaking the room - he was planning to add 2 x2 on top of existing walls - that will create a space between the old wall and the new wall, so he CAN leave the MLV as a limp mass. Another option is to weave the MLV between studs. There are wasy to make things work.
Sorry - but in the first instance you mention - he is talking about using 2x2 studs to create a staggered stud frame - that's what he said - and if he doesn't remove the drywall that would create a 3 leaf system with a small air pocket between the existing and new leafs - might as well not do anything at that point.

In the 2nd option you mention he would be removing the existing drywall and creating a new staggered stud wall system.......

In either case he would not be doing what you suggested he should do - which was:

Quote:
you can cover the walls with Mass Loaded Vinyl, Then cover it with another layer of sheetrock.
If he does that the MLV is now sandwiched between 2 sheets of drywall - not floating -

Quote:
The problem with Sheetrock is that ridig wall will vibrate and transmit the sound, so one of the ways to "decouple" sheetrock walls would be using a resilient mat or MLV. (you are not the only one who wrote a book about the subject). There is more than one way to "skin a cat" so to speak.
Nope - you're absolutely correct - I am not the only one who wrote a book - a lot of people have written books - but anyone who wrote a book, in which they stated that MLV was an effective way to decouple walls would not be an author whose book I would waste money on (and I own a ton of books on acoustics written by other authors.)

MLV does not work on the principle of decoupling - it works on the principle of loose mass......... You cannot decouple walls with this materials...... however - my guess would be that you misread something - not that anyone who's published actually wrote that..........

There are plenty of companies out there who sell products that don't have a clue how they work - it's possible you read something at one of those sites. Regardless of how you got the idea - you are simply wrong.

Quote:
Steve needs to start somewhere, preferrably without destroying the room and starting all over.
What Steve needs to do is to decide what he really wants/needs when all is said and done...... that's the only start that makes sense - he then needs to do whatever it takes to reach that goal...... if that involves tearing down everything he has already built then so be it.

What he doesn't need to do is begin by making foolish decisions based on a bunch of advice from people who can't possibly know answers because they don't have a clue what the real issues are.

What Steve really needs to do is create a set of defining parameters that establish tangible goals that one can use to work towards.......

Quote:
As for Acoustic Blankets - if you know what are they used for then, i do not understand your sarcasm - it was not called for. The blankets are good, for sound absorption, not for blocking the sound leaks.
LOL..... hey I am not the one who calls them "soundproofing" blankets, which is something they are not............

Rod
#23
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
  #23
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Oh my ROD!
Did i strike a nerve there? Did not mean to.
All i am saying is that with all your knowledge and experience you sent the guy back to square one: "Ask someone who knows".
Meanwhile all your questions were pretty much irrelevant:
Steve did not ask WHY his room is not working - he asked WHAT TO DO?

And instead of getting some kind of advice he was first ridiculed for making vague contract with the Contractor and then given lectures for what he SHOULD HAVE DONE.
Everyone has a 20/20 vision in a hindsight.

I am sure that General Contractor sang a good song and told Steve that everything will be tip-top and he was doing it for 100 years or so.
As for your reference to 30K job - it is totally irrelevant. He was not discussing the budget, he was asking for a practical advice. What is done is done, this is a new starting piont.

So whatever is in the walls - is in there, foam or gold. Unless you want to demolish everything -you have to accept this as a new Starting point. Yes it is helpful to know what is in there - may be he could gently remove teh sheetrock with minimal damage and replace the foam with rockwool or whatever, but you did not suggest that. You were simply drilling him with no practical outcome.

Would not you agree that Isolating HVAC duct is the first thing he should do before proceeding to anything else? = This is what i suggested. If this works ( enough for him not to hear his radio) - then he is done. if it does not, then he should look at doing something about the walls, ceiling, floor. Is there something wrong with that approach?

As for your insinuations about the blankets, if you think that defamation of others adds respect to your personality, that sounds like a kindergarden name calling.

The blankets are the best on the market with NRC 0.8, tested by two independent Acoustic labs, they are larger than any other competitive blankets and priced far less.
So on the price and Value they are the best buy.
What they called does not matter - what matter is that they work.
They were designed to match the needs of the actual producers and recording professionals untill they said "Do not change anything, they are perfect".

I am not making fun of your "2psf" blabbery. "psf" if what you meant was "pound per Square foot" is a unit to measure pressure, not the weight, density or mass. When i said that MLV weight is comparable to lead i was talking about mass, weight, density. These are the factors that stop sound. "Pressure" is what sound waves exerts on a barrier.

So i suggest you stay on topic. I did not see that you have any special education in Acoustic engineering, but it seems that you have experience (which is important) so use that constructively to help people, not to show off.

I wish you well.
And Steve, Just start with the HVAC duct. See what happens. Any kindergardener knows that if you speak in one end of a pipe you will be heard everywhere that pipe leads to. Make the easy and obvious fix first.
#24
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
  #24
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kstevege
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#25
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Morgan View Post
Oh my ROD!
Did i strike a nerve there? Did not mean to.
All i am saying is that with all your knowledge and experience you sent the guy back to square one: "Ask someone who knows".
Meanwhile all your questions were pretty much irrelevant:
Steve did not ask WHY his room is not working - he asked WHAT TO DO?

And instead of getting some kind of advice he was first ridiculed for making vague contract with the Contractor and then given lectures for what he SHOULD HAVE DONE.
Everyone has a 20/20 vision in a hindsight.

I am sure that General Contractor sang a good song and told Steve that everything will be tip-top and he was doing it for 100 years or so.
As for your reference to 30K job - it is totally irrelevant. He was not discussing the budget, he was asking for a practical advice. What is done is done, this is a new starting piont.

So whatever is in the walls - is in there, foam or gold. Unless you want to demolish everything -you have to accept this as a new Starting point. Yes it is helpful to know what is in there - may be he could gently remove teh sheetrock with minimal damage and replace the foam with rockwool or whatever, but you did not suggest that. You were simply drilling him with no practical outcome.

Would not you agree that Isolating HVAC duct is the first thing he should do before proceeding to anything else? = This is what i suggested. If this works ( enough for him not to hear his radio) - then he is done. if it does not, then he should look at doing something about the walls, ceiling, floor. Is there something wrong with that approach?

As for your insinuations about the blankets, if you think that defamation of others adds respect to your personality, that sounds like a kindergarden name calling.

The blankets are the best on the market with NRC 0.8, tested by two independent Acoustic labs, they are larger than any other competitive blankets and priced far less.
So on the price and Value they are the best buy.
What they called does not matter - what matter is that they work.
They were designed to match the needs of the actual producers and recording professionals untill they said "Do not change anything, they are perfect".

I am not making fun of your "2psf" blabbery. "psf" if what you meant was "pound per Square foot" is a unit to measure pressure, not the weight, density or mass. When i said that MLV weight is comparable to lead i was talking about mass, weight, density. These are the factors that stop sound. "Pressure" is what sound waves exerts on a barrier.

So i suggest you stay on topic. I did not see that you have any special education in Acoustic engineering, but it seems that you have experience (which is important) so use that constructively to help people, not to show off.

I wish you well.
And Steve, Just start with the HVAC duct. See what happens. Any kindergardener knows that if you speak in one end of a pipe you will be heard everywhere that pipe leads to. Make the easy and obvious fix first.
Jeff

Thanks for your support. Although I do appreciate the responses I received here, I do have to agree with you Jeff that a good portion of the info I received was not necessary and irrelevant as you pointed out and, quite frankly, there was a serious undertone of a condescending attitude, so much so that I felt I needed psychological bass traps to absorb the unwanted negativity. (rim shot)

As follow-up I just wanted to let you know I eventually did find someone local to meet with me at the house with the general contractor. (The search was not easy). I paid $300 for the consultation. The general contractor is a respectable company with history of doing high end custom housing and both he and his assistant acknowledged the issue with the music room. They both listened attentively to what the sound expert said.

Believe it or not, upon analysis, the GM did a pretty good good job installing the icynene foam insulation and he had knowledge to make sure it would not touch the drywall. In fact the foam insulation was so good we discovered we could not hear the sound when standing next to the other side of the wall in the adjoining room - thus the foam insulation ending up doing VERY well here because it was installed correctly and did a good job sealing holes.

Thus, no issue with the 4 walls!!!

The weak parts of the room were the door and ceiling as follows:

DOOR: Although the door was solid, the design of the door and how it was constructed caused loss of the integrity to its "solidness".

PROPOSED FIX: Replace the door with a better one ( I think a solid steel door?) and re-install the other door in the hallway leading up to the music room. Replace the doorway seal with better materials.

CEILING: Although the ceiling was filled with icynene foam insulation the Lighting cans and HVAC duct were the most obvious problems.

PROPOSED FIX: Remove drywall in ceiling. Make sure HVAC had insulated tubing and create a loop in the duct work. Reinstall drywall using clip method to decouple it attachment to the ceiling studs and leave at least 1/4" gap to the perimeter. Use green glue for second layer of staggered drywall. Replace can lights with track lighting. Create looped exhaust hole to fix pressure in room from HVAC.

The GM agreed to pay for most of the labor and I will pay for the new materials.

I'll let you know the results and final costs within the next few weeks when the job is completed.

I'm feeling better already

- Steve
#26
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Morgan View Post
Oh my ROD!
Did i strike a nerve there? Did not mean to.
Jeff -you have no where near the talent or knowledge to strike a nerve here...

Quote:
All i am saying is that with all your knowledge and experience you sent the guy back to square one: "Ask someone who knows".
Meanwhile all your questions were pretty much irrelevant:
Steve did not ask WHY his room is not working - he asked WHAT TO DO?
I really hope you keep posting here - because I could probably write a whole book just about everything you get wrong.,....

Before you can advise anyone on how to fix a problem -first you have to determine what is wrong - if you can't do that you can not offer any assistance that would be considered intelligent......

Quote:
And instead of getting some kind of advice he was first ridiculed for making vague contract with the Contractor and then given lectures for what he SHOULD HAVE DONE. Everyone has a 20/20 vision in a hindsight.
Hey - he came in attacking the contractor - we simply explained to him that if the info he gave us was an accurate representation of what he told the contractor - then he was just as much to blame as the contractor was.

Quote:
I am sure that General Contractor sang a good song and told Steve that everything will be tip-top and he was doing it for 100 years or so.
As for your reference to 30K job - it is totally irrelevant. He was not discussing the budget, he was asking for a practical advice. What is done is done, this is a new starting piont.
Perhaps - perhaps not.

First off - the budget is always germane, if it is not realistic then it is meaningless - and it is always more expensive to fix it when things go wrong then to do it right the first time

Perhaps there is work worth salvaging - (which is indeed the case here) and sometimes there is no work worth saving - in which case the "starting point" becomes the expense to remove all of the existing work - it is not always possible to add onto something and improve it to the point that it will be acceptable.

Quote:
So whatever is in the walls - is in there, foam or gold. Unless you want to demolish everything -you have to accept this as a new Starting point. Yes it is helpful to know what is in there - may be he could gently remove teh sheetrock with minimal damage and replace the foam with rockwool or whatever, but you did not suggest that. You were simply drilling him with no practical outcome.
LOL - bullshit - it is not just helpful to know what exists - it is critical information without which no one can offer the least amount of assistance.

Apparently I was "drilling him" with a very practical outcome - he now knows exactly what needs to be done - and also what does not need to be done.....

BTW - just for the record - I was not drilling him at all - I was attempting to get him to do one of 2 things - either provide us with some very detailed useful data so we might have enough information to actually assist him - or (and this was much more my intent) convince him to hire a local pro to assess his situation.

Quote:
Would not you agree that Isolating HVAC duct is the first thing he should do before proceeding to anything else? = This is what i suggested. If this works ( enough for him not to hear his radio) - then he is done. if it does not, then he should look at doing something about the walls, ceiling, floor. Is there something wrong with that approach?
There is something wrong with any approach that does not first physically identify the problem.

What you are suggesting is an ad-hoc approach to this - not a systematic scientific examination of the root cause of the problem - which is why I keep repeating that he needs to get an expert there - anyone can suggest a bunch of approaches - all of which will cost him cash - none of which is guaranteed to solve the problem - however each step will cost him money.

Quote:
As for your insinuations about the blankets, if you think that defamation of others adds respect to your personality, that sounds like a kindergarden name calling.
LMFAO - I insinuated nothing - I never spoke about the quality of your product - neither positive or negative comments in that regard.

Nor did I defame you or the firm you are representing - defamation is a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone's reputation, and published "with fault," meaning as a result of negligence or malice.

I did not make a single false statement regarding your product - the characteristics you are speaking about in regard to your product are those related to an acoustic absorber - acoustic absorbers are not sound proofing products.

As I stated - I did not choose the name - I simply observed it.......

Quote:
The blankets are the best on the market with NRC 0.8, tested by two independent Acoustic labs, they are larger than any other competitive blankets and priced far less.
So on the price and Value they are the best buy.
Best is always in the eye of the beholder - trust me when I tell you that your competitors will not agree with you that yours are the best - in fact I am quite certain they will claim that theirs are the best on the market - so your claim is pretty meaningless to me - especially since I have no use for them - nor can I ever imagine a point in time where I WILL have any use for them.

Quote:
What they called does not matter - what matter is that they work.
They were designed to match the needs of the actual producers and recording professionals untill they said "Do not change anything, they are perfect".
Ah - sorry but I have to disagree here..........

It most certainly does matter what they are called........ that's one of the way that things end up on the voodoo list...... (and yes there really is a voodoo list)

An unsuspecting person doing a general web search for soundproofing materials will certainly turn up your product......

Now, any reasonably intelligent person who has even a small amount of acoustic knowledge will immediately recognize that your product serves no real purpose in soundproofing - BUT - a person without a clue may well think this is just the ticket to provide the soundproofing they need - and buy a product that will not actually provide what it's name would suggest it is made to do.

That comes real close to deceptive advertising....... perhaps I will have a friend take a look at that and see what he thinks.

Quote:
I am not making fun of your "2psf" blabbery. "psf" if what you meant was "pound per Square foot" is a unit to measure pressure, not the weight, density or mass. When i said that MLV weight is comparable to lead i was talking about mass, weight, density. These are the factors that stop sound. "Pressure" is what sound waves exerts on a barrier.
Any isolation product is discussed relating to the density of the material's mass - whether it's drywall, lead, MLV, etc., etc., etc., the weight is defined in pounds per square foot (that is psf.) here in the States.

When you deal with absorbent products you define density in at pcf (pounds per cubic foot) here in the States

When you look at the physical intensity of sound it would be SPL (Sound Pressure Level)

Quote:
So i suggest you stay on topic.
I was very on topic - in fact I am quite happy to see that the OP followed my advice - and is finally getting back on track.....

I also find it interesting that my comments to him regarding the insulation was spot on - and that none of what you suggested as a starting point were anything the consultant considered.

Had he followed your advice rather than mine his cost would have exceeded (by far) the $300 the consultant cost him, and he would have touched walls that don't need to be touched.

Quote:
I did not see that you have any special education in Acoustic engineering, but it seems that you have experience (which is important) so use that constructively to help people, not to show off.
Nor did you see that I don't have an education in acoustic engineering - in fact you know nothing whatsoever about my educational background...... a lack of information on your part does not equate to you having knowledge of a thing.

Quote:
And Steve, Just start with the HVAC duct. See what happens. Any kindergardener knows that if you speak in one end of a pipe you will be heard everywhere that pipe leads to. Make the easy and obvious fix first.
BTW - just for the record - every child in kindergarten might believe that - however it is not necessarily true - and anyone with even a simple understanding of mechanics would know that.

All in all it's nice to see an expert has advised him what to do with the duct - his recommendations will actually work - but then again - in your defense - he (the expert) has knowledge of what the real issues are here.

Rod
#27
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstevege View Post
The GM agreed to pay for most of the labor and I will pay for the new materials.

I'll let you know the results and final costs within the next few weeks when the job is completed.

I'm feeling better already

- Steve

Steve,

happy to see this working out for the - really - hiring the consultant was the best investment you could have made.......

Rod
#28
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstevege View Post
Jso much so that I felt I needed psychological bass traps to absorb the unwanted negativity.
ZING!

Glad the GC was able to provide the cost of labor to hopefully increase your isolation. A lot of contractors aren't so honest.

To Jeff, Rod has proposed the only solution that Steve could honestly do to guaranteed improve the quality of STC loss - hire a local acoustician. While simple things like "add more mass", etc is a general statement that would probably help most areas, it doesn't always help, and Rod - nor any of the other professionals on this board - EVER recommend doing anything unless they are absolutely sure it will work. His career is somewhat on the line here - if he suggests something to Steve, and it doesn't improve anything and wastes his money; well, you can imagine the he said she said that could evolve from that, and detract from Rod's possible future clients. This is also why all the professionals here are skeptical about everything, and why they are so careful about the way they type their posts. There is hardly a way to evaluate this over the internet accurately, and its only if both parties involved have a ton of time to talk back and forth. I don't think you or Rod particularly want to insult each other, and there are simple things like PM to resolve issues. You can simply message him, show him the facts that prove your point (that are scientifically tested and verified) and I'm certain he would edit his post so that anyone reading would know. Just my $.02
kstevege
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#29
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Gervais View Post
Steve,

happy to see this working out for the - really - hiring the consultant was the best investment you could have made.......

Rod
Should have done that from the start. It would have saved a lot of headache.

- Steve
#30
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstevege View Post
Should have done that from the start. It would have saved a lot of headache.

- Steve
Steve,

That's always the truth of things..........

One has a few different roads one might take with these sorts of things:

One way is to invest a heck of a lot of time - (along with a and small amount of money) buy some books on the subject, come to places like this to investigate the best possible ways of achieving one's goal prior to beginning construction, develop a plan with a solid understanding of the principles involved. All of that will protect a person from either a contractor who is sincere but not experienced (which seems to be the case here) or from a contractor who is just unscrupulous.

The other path would be to hire a consultant in the field that has a proven track record - let that person develop the design - then carefully implement the plan they put into place for you.

Either way will yield great results.

However - what I often refer to as the "helter skelter" approach to this - no knowledge of the subject - and then assume that any good contractor (and it really does sound like your contractor is a good one) can achieve the goals one has in their mind, is generally a recipe for disaster.

I do a lot of consulting for sound issues with large firms as well as home owners in this field - and what I find in all of the cases where there are "after the fact" acoustic issues, is that the basic problem always boils down to a lack of proper planning going into the project.

In all cases this ends up costing (the client) more to fix the problem than it would of had they hired me in the first place to coordinate things in the initial design phases.

I apologize if it seemed I was giving you a hard time here - certainly not my intent - it's just that there really is a point where "it can't be done from here" is true - and the only intelligent answer that anyone well versed in the field can give.

Again - happy to see you getting this fixed... when it's all said and done - you'll be able to make your music and be happy - and that's what it's all about in the end.

Rod
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