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Finishing a Garage Attic Studio (Isolation)
Old 10th February 2021
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Finishing a Garage Attic Studio (Isolation)

Above Garage Studio Build (Isolation)

Hi all! We’re under contract on a new home and I have the opportunity to finish out a bonus room space above a 2 car garage to become my home office / “studio” / practice room. I’ve posted on TheGearPage so I’m taking those learnings and summarizing here - would love some advice for my personal application. This looks like the place for this type of thing!

Primary Objectives: play electric guitar, acoustic drums, and other instruments without disturbing (I.e., they can’t hear at all) family or neighbors.

Secondary: high quality sound for hobby recording and listening. Room will double as a hangout space (sofa, chairs, day job office). Blend “studio” feel with a finished, designer worthy room to match rest of home (read: Acoustic panels and such will have to be custom and tasteful, walling off windows is not an option, etc.)

Room Details: 20x14 with 10 foot ceiling. Door on one end with bathroom, double windows on far end. Eves create storage space behind the long walls. Window dormer punch out splits right side. High quality construction of luxury home. Exterior walls are spray insulated, awaiting Sheetrock and flooring. Electrical and plumbing exist, inner walls are framed (see picture). Two windows and one door. Accessed via interior stairwell in detached garage.


Garage is detached from main house. Arial view below. Temporarily Vacant house ~50’ to West (window side), permanently vacant lot north (dormer side), main house to east (two interior and two exterior walls separate), nothing South.


Budget: $15k or so to finish out as a normal office, really whatever the cost is as this is my home office plus $3k of incremental or so for additional cost of soundproofing.

Start Date: Mid-April, contractor TBD bud have to assume no prior soundproofing experience. So I’ll have to inform and supervise.

Current thoughts:

Walls: Auralex Resilient channel, double 5/8” drywall separated with Green Glue. Rock wool Safe N Sound behind interior walls.

Ceiling: pine wood plank ceiling for looks, hung on Resilient channel (?). Do I add insulation above?

Floors: remove existing subfloor, stuff with Rockwool Safe N Sound, and either:

1. use U-Boats on top of joists and lay subfloor on top? Does this work, what would the subfloor secure to? I’ve only seen the u-boats underneath joists that sit on a concrete floor so not sure how to think about it on a 2nd floor with existing joists.

2. No U-Boats, re-lay subfloor, add a layer of QuietWalk acoustic underlayment.

3. No u-Boat, two layers of underlayment and two layers of subfloor. green glue between?

4. Some other option not listed

Finished with Natural hardwood floors or Vinyl Plank hardwoods on top, with large oriental rugs covering most of the room

Windows: will have to stay, extra heavy fabric curtains to be supplied by interior designer and able to pull shut (cost not included)

Door: TBD. At minimum a solid core exterior door with weather stripping.

Other: Ductless Mini Split. Acoustic sealant on all windows, outlets, etc.

I’m not married to any of the above, just looking for advice! Thanks so much in advance for your time! I understand that optimizing the acoustics within is a totally different ballgame, but for now I’m focused on getting the construction aspects worked out as I really only get one shot to get it right.

Old 10th February 2021
Lives for gear
Starlight's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Have a read of this topic from 2 months ago covering lots of issues and cost estimates on the same topic: Studio Above Garage anyone?
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