First, though, a quick note on some of the additional supplies we’ve been accumulating. Two of the primary considerations for soundproofing a space are its doors and windows. The latter isn’t an issue as we’re in a basement (don’t worry, the lack of light will be compensated with daylight bulbs), but we needed to find a good, heavy, solid door. Such doors are expensive – something I didn’t realise until I needed to buy one. So I was delighted and somewhat bemused when I acquired not one but two good, heavy, solid and pristine fire doors on eBay for the princely sum of 99 pence. I have funnelled the savings into the gear budget! The other internet acquisition was 30 metres of self-adhesive neoprene foam strips, a photo of which is below as I’m sure you’ve always wondered what such a thing would look like.
So, on to the wall. As I mentioned last time, before continuing to separate the existing wall from the structure we needed to support the ceiling. Cutting one of the joining walls was deemed safe, so the circular saw came out again, but the ceiling was another matter.
The new stud wall will consist of a wooden frame covered with layers of plasterboard. This will sit around 10 inches from the outer wall which is of a similar construction, thus giving us multiple, distinct layers of sound insulation with a decent mass. Loft insulation will fill the cavity. Such walls are easily constructed, but we have to consider how ours is to be attached. Since sound vibrations travel easily through wood, the whole wall needs isolating from the rest of the structure – hence the neoprene foam, a far less sonically conductive material. The top and bottom of our stud wall is therefore built so that no part touches any other part of the room without a neoprene foam barrier in between. Ross’ ingenuity also means that the metal bolts keeping everything together don’t make contact with the wood at any point, either.
Having erected the skeleton of one end of the wall and sufficiently supported the ceiling we could safely cut through the ceiling itself, which consists of layers of plasterboard, polystyrene and wooden joists. The existing wall thus came a step closer to being completely decoupled. The end of the room we’ve been working on consists of an overhang where the ceiling is slightly lower, which required some DIY dexterity, not to mention extra structural support – the space above the overhang is a storage area and will also be the home of the sonically isolated ventilation system that we will build once the new walls are in place.
That brings us more or less up to date, so next time I’ll talk about the continuing mission to construct our new walls.