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Outbuilding - Block or Timber for Sound Insulation/Warmth?

Discussion in 'Building' started by ILikeDIYS, 7 Jul 2019.

  1. ILikeDIYS


    4 May 2016
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    I will be building a "summer house" in the back garden and am undecided on whether to use grey aerated blocks or insulated timber?

    I want it to be warm as well as pretty sound-proof since I might consider using it for music mixing/mastering.

    The grey blocks would be single skin 100mm thick + 50mm thick studwall/celotex insulation + 12mm plasterboard and skim coat.

    If timber it will be 18mm exterior plywood + 100mm studwall with 100mm celotex unsulation + 12mm plasterboard and skim coat.

    Which one of these 2 would be better for sound and heat insulation?

    The timber is on order already so need to make up my mind soon on whether to cancel and order grey blocks instead. Quote for materials came back much higher than I originally though (£1300+) so I'm thinking at this point is it even worth going for a timber build :unsure:

    Add to that the plastic cladding which will push the price much higher for the timber build... but am planning to do that at a later date.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Notch7


    15 Sep 2017
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    A single skin masonry wall needs some way of dealing with damp -difficult to do without a cavity.

    With timber frame, the construction needs breatheable membrane and 50 x 25mm battens for a cavity before the cladding.

    Id say masonry would be more soundproof, but prob not much better if comparing lightweight blocks v timber.

    Personally if you want a single skin size wall, Id go for timber frame. Im just finishing a garden office with 100mm studwork, 100mm celetex, 18mm mdf internal, 18mm osb external. Inside it feels just like a room in the house, dry and warm. I havent put on cladding yet.

    I suppose you could go for concrete blocks with battens outside and cladding -so you still have a cavity, but Im not sure if that is an approved construction method, I dont see why not.

    Just dont do a masonry single skin -you have to gave a cavity of some sort
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  3. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

    26 Aug 2016
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    yes just to add to notches detailed reply you would need to factor in some kind of external cladding to the single skin blockwork too, if you don't want a tratitional cavity. If you want to use aerated blocks you would have to either batten out and add cladding with a drained/ventilated cavity behind, or you can attach cement boards and render over them. Or you could hang tiles if you want the old fashioned look but that would be an extravagance!
    If you use concrete blocks I believe you can then put fibreglass mesh on and then render it, and that would give reasonable weather protection for less exposed conditions.
    Regarding sound performance, you really need mass and isolation. You can get sound deadening wool which is good for isolation, and you ciold build an independent frame for the internal plasterboard, and you could use one or two layers of soundblock plasterboard which is heavier and thicker than the standard. Look at the knauf details for the techniques you'd use, they are used for stud walls in hotels and cinemas so they have a good performance.
    And have fun building it, good luck!
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

    3 Sep 2019
    United Kingdom

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