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Advice on wall construction
Old 4 weeks ago
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Advice on wall construction

I, with the help of contractors, am turning a 300 sq ft garage/shop into a teaching studio. I'd also like to do some recording in there and want it as quiet as possible. And our situation in the pandemic has made cost more of an issue.

The insulation has been done and it wasn't exactly ideal. I was hoping for roxul or something similar, but because of the wall thicknesses and R values needed, the ceiling is closed cell spray foam, and the walls are 3 inches of closed cell and 2 inches of open cell spray foam. So now I really want to get the drywall done in a way that will help with sound isolation, hopefully without enlarging our budget too much. Here is what I'm told are my options:

Regular ol' drywall and taping: $4000
Quietrock w/ sound caulk and putty: $4800 more
Hat channel and isolation clips: $8400 more

So I guess I'm wondering what is the best bang for my buck is. I don't think we can afford both the isolation clips and quietrock. I've read that the clips are very hard to install and if it's not done perfectly, it's a waste of money and effort. It seems like quietrock is relatively simple to install.

Another option I'm wondering about, but was not given, is two layers of drywall with green glue in between. I'm guessing, though, that it would be about the same price and effectiveness as quietrock.

I've done some drywall construction myself (interior wall construction) and am wondering how hard it would be for me to add the second layer of drywall and green glue myself. Or is that definitely biting off more than I can chew?

Any other options I should ask about? And FYI, this contractor is great at building houses, but he's not a studio builder or acoustician.
Old 4 weeks ago
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Kyle P. Gushue's Avatar
The proper solution requires you to define how much isolation you need, then just select an assembly that meets those specs.

Anyone building a studio should get build it like the pro's by Rod Gervias, the info and diagrams are priceless.

General fyi- Isolation clips and channel can give an additional 9-12db of isolation compared to a standard wall. Green glue equates to about 2x layers of 5/8 drywall for the cost of about a single layer.

A good bang for the buck option would be to use clips and channel for the ceiling, and 2x4 framing for the walls. The walls would have a 1" space off the existing garage walls, and attach to the hat channel/clips, and garage slab. Ideally you would build a ceiling with framing lumber that rests on your new inner walls, for maximum isolation potential. But it depends what you need.

The clips are not hard to install, its just a regular screw, you could easily do it with your experience level. Its just critical that they are spaced and staggered according to the instructions. The spacing is an even increment so its not technical. Its a perfect diy project because its physically easy, but requires attention to detail. You can take your time and triple check your work. This let's the contractor handle the work their used to.

Forget the quietrock. Its not cost effective. Regular 5/8" drywall is generally the best sheathing to use in North America. Its the cheapest isolation (mass) you can get.

Installing additional drywall and green glue shouldn't be difficult for you, as you have experience.

If your teaching on an electric piano, or guitar you can set the volume low enough that just a single layer of dw, mounted directly to the garage should suffice. Drums or trumpet would all be louder and require better isolation and clips/spaced walls to decouple the new drywall.

It all depends how quiet you need it. There is no universal answer.
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