Soundproofing a shed is a common project for people, whether you’re looking for a place to play some instruments or to work with power tools. It’s a project that you can easily spend a thousand dollars on, it can be done for much less than that.
So, how do you soundproof a shed for cheap? Here is everything you’ll need to buy in order to soundproof your shed for under $200:
- Acoustical Caulk: $10
- Rubber Mat: $50
- Window Seal: $10
- Rubber Door Seal: $10
- 4 Pieces of 4×8 Plywood: $60
- Acoustical Dampening Adhesive: $60
While these prices will fluctuate a bit, these are average prices—you’ll more than likely be able to find these items under the prices listed here. We’ll explain what each of these items does and how you can use them together to soundproof your own shed.
The 6 Items You’ll Need to Soundproof Your Shed for Under $200
Soundproofing your shed is a fairly simple task you can do yourself. In most cases, it’ll take you about a day to complete. It’s the perfect solution for a practice area or a quiet space in tight-knit neighbourhoods.
How Soundproofing A Shed Works
Before you get started, it’s essential to realize how soundproofing a shed actually works. While there are plenty of different methods to soundproofing anything, most of them revolve on one thing.
You might think that soundproofing something means blocking out the sound, but that’s not necessarily true. In most cases, you’re actually adding layers that can absorb the sound, which is why you have to get certain materials, listed below, instead of just the thickest pieces of plywood you can find.
Keep in mind that these price points are averages; you can find better deals by waiting to catch sales or by shopping at multiple different stores to see what’s available and at what price wherever you are. Shop smarter, and you can lower the cost of soundproofing your own shed!
Acoustical Caulk: $10
Acoustical caulk is what you’ll use to seal off any loose spots or gaps you have in your shed (with the exception of windows and door frames). It’s not uncommon for various pipes to exist in sheds, so this is what you’ll use around them.
You’ll also want to use acoustical caulk any electrical outlets or any other electrical pieces on your walls (like light switches or light fixtures). The point of the caulk is to not let sound escape through any random orifice in your shed. If your shed is old or has quite a few holes, this may stretch your $200 budget.
This acoustical caulk from ACE Hardware actually doubles as an acoustical dampening adhesive; you’ll probably want to get one tube to act as caulk.
Rubber Mat: $50
You’ll want to lay a rubber mat on the floor of your shed. For $50, you should be able to find a good-sized rubber mat that you can lay in the center of the floor. The goal is to cover as much room on the inside of your shed as possible.
While a $50 rubber mat might not cover your entire shed floor, you should find one that covers the majority of it at that price point. You can also use carpet to do this if you have one on hand. However, the carpet tends to be more expensive, so it’ll cost you more.
Home Depot has a rubber mat that’s three feet by six feet for only $24. You can choose to buy one or double up if you have the room for it in your shed!
Window Seal: $10
You’ll want to seal off any windows that you have in your shed. This is a super easy process, and the seal itself is really easy to use. You can even buy different colors for about the same price as white or black.
You might not have to get this if your shed is brand new. However, over time, your window seals will break and pull apart, which can let sound come through. Unless you’ve just purchased a shed recently, you’ll want to seal the windows to make sure they’re soundproof.
You can buy this window seal from Lowe’s in either white or black for only $7.
Rubber Door Seal: $10
Similar to window seals, you need to get another door seal to ensure that no noise comes through around the doors. This is a pretty important step; most noise actually comes through doors because they’re difficult to soundproof.
So far, each of these items seals off any places where noise could slip through. If you have an older shed, this is going to be where you’ll spend the majority of your time. The next items are really about actually soundproofing the shed as a whole.
Lowe’s also has a pretty cheap door seal that you can buy!
4 Pieces of 4×8 Plywood: $60
This is a rough estimate on the cost of plywood—you’ll probably find cheaper plywood or bigger pieces for the same amount of money. You’ll want to be able to cover as much of your shed walls as possible, going as far down into the corners as possible, too.
However, you don’t necessarily need to cover your entire wall. It’s perfectly fine if you’ve got a few inches or even a foot from the corners that aren’t covered by plywood. It’s also perfectly fine if you’ve got uncovered space above or below the plywood (you’ll definitely have this if you’re buying 4×8 plywood pieces).
The more you cover your wall, the more sound will be absorbed. Depending on how much noise you make will determine how much noise comes through around the plywood, if any noise at all will.
Acoustical Dampening Adhesive: $60
Your acoustical dampening adhesive is what goes between the plywood and your actual shed walls. This is what’s going to actually absorb the sound in your shed, so it’s the most important part of the entire soundproofing process.
Acoustical dampening adhesive can vary in price, so you’ll want to look around and find the best price possible. With that being said, you’ll be able to find enough adhesive to cover four pieces of 4×8 plywood easily.
Remember, this acoustical dampening adhesive from ACE Hardware also works as acoustical caulk for your windows. It shows that each bottle should work for a 4×8 plywood piece, so you’ll probably need four tubes for this area.[Related Article: How To Soundproof Your Expensive Tractor Cab – A DIY Guide]
How to Soundproof Your Shed for Under $200: A Guide
Now that you know what all the items are, it’s time to actually soundproof your shed. Here are the steps you’ll need to take.
Step 1 – Seal Anything and Everything
With the caulk, door sealer, and window sealer, start sealing off any places around your shed. The goal is to make everything as airtight as possible, so don’t skimp out while you’re doing this.
If you want to make sure you’re doing everything as aesthetically pleasing as possible, you can check out the following video.
You can find tips and tricks around the internet for making sure that you’re sealing everything without making it look crazy.
However, if you’re not worried about looks, then have at it! Sealing everything away is pretty simple as long as you’re not worried about some messy seal. Since it’s on the walls of your shed that may or may not be covered up with plywood, it’s not something you always have to pay attention to.
Step 2 – Layout Your Rubber Mat
The next best thing to do is layout whatever is covering your shed floor. One thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your entire shed doesn’t need to be covered by a mat, but the larger the mat, the more sound it’ll absorb. It’s up to you to find a balance between your budget, the size of the mat, and the volume of noise coming from your shed.
If your mat isn’t as big as your shed, then you have two options for placing it. Either one works, and it really depends on your plans for the shed.
The first option is to center the rubber mat. This will absorb as much sound as possible, and it’s a good idea if you don’t have a major plan for your shed. This is also a good option if you want the shed to look as good as possible.
The second option is to place the mat wherever you plan on making a lot of noise. If you’re using your shed as an area for music, then this is a great option for absorbing as much sound as possible. For example, setting the rubber mat under a drum set is going to absorb more sound than if the drum set is halfway on the mat.
Rubber mats are pretty durable and easy to clean, so you don’t really have to worry about where you place it. It should hold up anywhere in your shed on top of any kind of surface.
Step 3 – Plan your Plywood Pieces
This can be a strenuous step—you’ll have to create a plan for each of your plywood pieces. This requires you to get the plywood set up and in the place where you’ll have it on the wall. If you don’t have much in your shed, then this won’t take too long.
Measure out space for any windows or outlets if they’ll be covered in your shed. It’s frustrating to get this far in the process only to realize that you’re one inch off from the window fitting into the plywood. Save yourself the trouble and measure twice before cutting and placing the plywood.
Assemble the plywood pieces so that they’re covering as much of the walls as possible. They should also be centered along the length of your wall if they don’t cover the whole wall; this will keep everything evenly distanced.
Determine how high up you want the plywood. You’ll want them all to be raised the same amount if they’re not sitting on the floor. Either way works, but it’s your preference. Keep in mind that having suspended plywood can be a little dangerous…it’s heavy, and certain adhesives might not hold for as long with all the weight.
Step 4 – Apply the Adhesive Dampening Solution
The next step is to actually apply the dampening solution. This is what connects the plywood to the walls of your shed. There are two important things to keep in mind here: where you’re placing the plywood and how thick you apply the dampening adhesive.
Since your plywood pieces have already been planned for in step three, you need to make sure that you’re placing them in the correct place. Do this by marking the wall while you’re planning where your plywood pieces go so that you know you’re putting them in the same exact place every time.
You’ll also want to pay attention to how thick you’re applying the dampening adhesive. There are several different brands you can choose from, and each one is going to have a different set of instructions. In most cases, you won’t want to apply it too thick, but make sure to check before just applying it.
Step 5 – Place the Plywood on the Wall
Now you just have to put the plywood on the wall! You’ll probably need a helper for this step, especially if you’re working around multiple windows or problem areas in your shed. However, if your space is fairly simple and you’re not trying to suspend the plywood, then you can easily do this step alone.
Using the acoustical dampening adhesive and the pieces of plywood is a technique known as sandwiching or creating a room within a room.
After you’ve finished everything, you just have to clean up and set everything back up in your shed. Congratulations, you’ve soundproofed your shed for under $200—that’s pretty impressive! While this guide is pretty thorough, we’ve included a couple of tips down below in case you have any questions.[Related Article: How To Soundproof Your Garage For Under $1000]
Things to Pay Attention to While You’re Soundproofing Your Shed
There are plenty of steps to soundproofing your shed, and you’re not always focusing on the little things when you’re trying to place massive pieces of plywood on the wall. Here are a couple of things you’ll need to watch out for.
While you’re planning for the plywood and even using the acoustical caulk, you’ll need to keep an eye out for outlets around your shed. You’ll want to leave access to them open, or run something like a drop cord at each outlet.
You’ll also want to think about how you can soundproof around the outlets. While caulk works for most outlets, it’s not always going to help around holes for drop cords. Make sure to seal up any remaining areas you have at the end of your soundproofing process.
Since soundproofing is similar to making things airtight, it’s important that your shed has a good ventilation system in place. In fact, it can be dangerous if you ignore this step.
You’ll want to make sure that your shed has both inlet and outlet vents or fans to make sure that you can actually breathe. It’s also important if you’re using instruments to have good airflow—you don’t want to ruin anything just because a fan wasn’t running well.
Ways to Upgrade Your Soundproof Shed
There are plenty of places where you can start upgrading your shed to make it more soundproof with higher volumes of sound. Some of these even work below $200!
Let’s start with an example. If you already have a nice rug in your shed, then you don’t have to worry about spending money on a rug or rubber mat. Where else can you put that money?
You can invest in getting plywood for every inch of your shed, which will make a huge difference in how soundproof your shed is. This is the first place you’ll want to start if you’re going to be using the shed for very loud activities, and your neighbors are close by.
Acoustical mats are similar to acoustical dampening adhesive; while they aren’t the same thing, they serve the same function. However, you can use acoustical mats without plywood, and you can actually use them on your ceiling!
If you find that your shed isn’t soundproof enough for your purposes, then you can try soundproofing the ceiling. This is an easy step for anyone looking to take soundproofing a step further.
Make Sure You Plan Before You Start Soundproofing Your Shed
When it comes to big projects, the most important thing you need to do is have a plan in place first. You’ll want to make sure that you have all the materials you need before you start doing anything.
While this project doesn’t take weeks to do, it might require you to find someone who can help you, and you might even have to borrow some tools. Without a plan, it can be frustrating and difficult if you have to stop in the middle just to find the appropriate tools.
It also helps keep you safe. If you have a plan, then you don’t have to worry about doing anything wrong or missing out on any important steps—you also won’t be tempted to make quick decisions that could ruin the entire project.
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