The garage has always been sacred grounds for musicians. Where no other room in the house will supplement the sheer amount of noise you want to produce, the garage is usually the only alternative.
Garages also work well because they’re a large open space where you can store and play instruments like drums, guitars, and keyboards. If you already use the garage as your personal practice space, why not consider upgrading it to make the garage soundproof? How do you soundproof a garage? Read on to find out!
Soundproof a Garage on a Budget
Neighbors or fellow roommates are likely the biggest critics of your hobby. Unfortunately, musicians have little wiggle room when it comes to where and how to play their instruments so the garage is always a practical solution. The biggest issue is making the room soundproof.
How can you soundproof a garage on a budget? Unless you are the next Led Zeppelin, there is very little in the band’s funds for high quality, music studio-like soundproofing. Regardless, you may be surprised to learn that you can actually soundproof a garage on a reasonable budget.
Step One: Soundproof the Windows
Windows tend to release more noise compared to walls simply because they aren’t as thick or insulated to the same degree. However, in most rooms you want windows for a variety of reasons from getting natural light to fresh air. You don’t need to have visible windows in a garage. In fact, bands are notorious for playing in low-light situations.
So the first step to soundproof your garage on a budget is to close up the windows. We recommend placing brick in the window frame. It will not provide a 100% seal yet enough to essentially “wall off the glass”. Another alternative is to build a custom acoustic plug for your garage windows.
Step Two: Soundproof the Garage Walls
It may sound silly but window blankets and soundproof curtains actually capture noise. It is why you will find most amateur music studios with cheap devices like soundproof curtains to help create a more contained environment.
The curtains actually contain a soundproof material that’s effective at capturing sound in its actual threads. Though it won’t completely soundproof a garage, the more of them you can install around the open space the better for lowering the volume that’s leaving out the exterior.
Acoustic blankets and tile work well as a more finished product for garage walls, however, not everyone can afford them. Acoustic blankets and sheets are advertised to absorb over 50 percent of noise.
Step Three: Soundproof the Garage Door
The garage door is the only moving part of the entire room. It is why bands found a natural liking to the environment, even if they were forced there by their parents. The best solution for a garage door if you want to soundproof the room is acoustic blankets or moving blankets.
Acoustic blankets are produced with fiberglass or a similar type of material. Fiberglass has sound-absorbing properties. As a result, they work well on doors and other movable parts because they still allow the item to function yet also builds a sound barrier.
The problem with acoustic blankets is they are sold in large cuts. You will need some space to cut them to size and install. If that costs too much time or money, the cheaper solution is moving blankets. Moving blankets are much thicker than regular blankets yet also don’t inhibit movement.
Step Four: Soundproof the Ceiling
You got the garage walls covered. You got the door handled. What about the ceiling? In case you forgot to look up at the ceiling of a garage, it also needs soundproofing. Though more sound leaks outward instead of up (unlike heat), you still want to take care of the ceilings in order to make the garage completely soundproof.
Soundproof tiles or foam panels are the best solution for ceilings. The foam panels cut into tiles which you place in generally wedge or pyramid shapes. Foam panels do work and will reduce the amount of noise.
Step Five: Soundproof the Floors
The easiest step of them all is just to make sure you lay something down on your hard cement floors. Cement creates a loud echo in any room and sound really bounces off it. So it doesn’t have to be anything fancy but you will want to install something like cheap old carpet you found at a thrift store or something from a neighbor that will do the trick.
If you’re looking for something hearty and resilient, we recommend finding thicker carpet designed for patios, porches, boat decks, etc.
Step Six: Room Inside a Room (Alternative)
Though not mandatory if you have a really grumpy old neighbor and tired of getting the cops called then we recommend a sixth step to soundproofing a garage. The “room inside a room” technique has been used by musicians for decades. In fact, modern studios continue to utilize this simple technique.
It essentially makes a new room with four walls that is inside the garage already established. The room doesn’t need to be sealed anywhere with the corners closed. All you are basically doing is creating additional sound barriers before the noise reaches the exterior.
It is “the more, the better” solution to cheap ways to soundproof a garage. Drywall is your best source material if you can find it. Fiberglass works as another quality material for its sound absorbing abilities.
A Soundproof Garage Won’t Cost a Fortune
There are many different ways to soundproof a room though some of them used in professional recording studios cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Assuming you are a startup band you’ll want the inexpensive yet effective methods.
Thankfully, there are several different ways to soundproof your garage that won’t cost a fortune so long as you don’t care about the final presentation of the room. Acoustic blankets and curtains may not look good, but they get the job done!