“I should have expected this,” you probably think when your teenager suggests turning the garage into a home for their new rock and roll band.
“It’s just practice,” you think to yourself, “and it won’t be forever”. Then you picture the neighbours when the first grinding guitar, thrumming drums and pound bass kick in. You feel like you shouldn’t discourage this creativity, but what about the police? Well, set aside your fears because there is a lot you can do to keep everyone happy.
First things first
Consider that some of the world’s best bands started their careers in garages, including The Who and Nirvana. So, the brightest side is you might be helping to cultivate a future icon…Lennon or McCartney? Maybe. Worst case scenario is that you’ve supported your child’s ambitions and creativity.
Now, about all of that “noise” as they master their sound.
Do you realize that a lot of recording studios and sound stages have insulation that hold out sounds from outside as well as keeping all of the sound locked inside of the room? Your garage is also insulated. Hopefully it is adequately insulated if it is attached. If it is free-standing, it may not be as well-insulated as it should. Either way, step one is consider insulation.
Now, regular wall and ceiling insulation is not necessarily sound insulation. However, if your home was insulated within the last twenty years it is likely that it already has the appropriate energy-efficient insulation. There is also probably a layer of what is known as mineral wool, which is ideal for thermal insulating but also prevents air flow, meaning it probably prevents a lot of noise from escaping. If your home is insulated with polystyrene, that may mean new insulation is required to stop the neighbours from picketing your garage band.
Of course, you shouldn’t count on the insulation to keep the neighbours, or yourself, contented. You’ll also have to obey noise curfews and perhaps even cut it a bit earlier to prevent anyone in the area from becoming frustrated.
Acoustics is a very complex science, so we are not going to even attempt to explain the various ins and outs of acoustics in the garage or your home. What we can tell you is this:
- Any instrument placed on the floor (think booming speakers and drums) will easily transmit their sound outside. Thus, a rubber mat or thick floor pad is your best friend. There are noise absorbing carpets and pads just for this.
- Creating a “room within the room” is the ideal way to control the sounds escaping outdoors. This is exactly the same as a home studio with sound insulating panels used to frame out an actual space within the interior of the garage. If you can afford it, it is the ideal acoustic solution.
A Fourth Wall
If you must rely on dense insulation for the garage to cut down on sound, don’t forget that the garage is another wall, and one often better insulated than the walls. In fact, a garage door has insulation and weather seals that will control sound by up to 50%. At 1 ¾″ thick, with an injected polyurethane foam filling, and powerful weather stripping framing the perimeter, the garage door can be a strong ally for your kid’s garage band and neighbours’ peace and tranquility.
If you are facing the garage band dilemma, contact us at 705-721-7909. We have garage doors ideal for this issue and can even email you a detailed quotation. Alternately, you can head to our where our team will be happy to explain the complete range of doors available, or you can stay home and use our Design Center before asking for the online quotation.