This blog documents my studio build started back in 2009. I'm keeping this live for reference as it may help others who are thinking of taking on such a project.
Didn't get started until Saturday afternoon and as usual I had a bit of a clear up first then carried on with the drywall.
I just had a couple of small pieces remaining on the left-hand wall which were completed pretty easily. I then lined the opposing wall (right-hand) which went up really well. In fact I've noticed that the right-hand side wall is a lot squarer than the left. Just shows how you improve as you go - the left wall was the first to go up. No big deal as we're not talking about huge amounts, certainly not in terms of household wall construction.
All fairly straight forward stuff and completed in about an hour or so. The front wall wasn't quite so straightforward as I had to make provision for the electric lighting cable and the multi-core. The 1mm T&E lighting cable required a small slot cut at the top of the wall sheet and I drilled a hole and threaded the multi-core through before screwing it to the wall - tidy job (I'll need to do the same for the other layers).
Although the layer is not complete - I still have the doorway area to line, I thought I would caulk and fill the walls I had completed so far. This takes a little time as I filled all the gaps in the corners, joints and above the screw heads. >>photos<<
That was pretty much it apart from a quick tidy up ready for next weekend when I'll line the doorway and and door frame area. This will be a bit fiddly with lots of small pieces. Though before I start that my father-in-law is coming up Fri/Sat with his circuit test gear so that we can check out the ring/lighting electrics before I finally seal the room with drywall - just in case there are any problems with the electrics I need to deal with.
Acoustics: I'm going to start mentioning the acoustics in the room now as it will start to become relevant. With maybe a short comment when something changes. At earlier stages, although interesting, the acoustics were slightly irrelevant as it had little or no real impact on the final room. As you can imagine the room went from being very live with the brick exposed (it actually sounded quite nice) to completely dead with the stud-work filled with mineral wool. Now with effectively three walls and the ceiling dry-lined I'm getting the feel for the space and its sound. Although I'm still not going to be carrying out any detailed tests yet I'm able to comment on the general audible changes. I think I commented on the changes when I attached the first two ceiling layers. With the two side walls lined the echo chamber effect was multiplied and with the front wall lined...well you get the picture. It sounds awful!!! It is now obvious how small rooms are tricky to control but I'm confident that once the room is treated I'll get it under control - though I'll probably not have space to move ;-).
I spent a fair bit of time clearing up the mess I had made last weekend - there was a lot of plasterboard dust around.
First job was to fill in all of the remaining gaps and edges of the recessed layers. I started by completing the corner alcoves layers. A bit tricky near in this area as I had to slide pieces over the top of the stud top plates. I did these in short lengths and shaved off some paper from the underside of the pieces to allow them to slide into the stud-work gaps easily. The joins were well filled with caulk to ensure there were no gaps. The back right-hand alcove pieces required 115mm circular holes to be cut to allow the ducting to come through. I marked these carefully then used the jigsaw to cut the holes. The two layers lined up well once in place.
There were strips that needed to be inserted into the front and back wall to ceiling corners. I cut full length strips about 50mm wide and these were inserted pretty easily into the gap, pushed up and screwed. Same staggered arrangement as the large strips here and all-in-all went well. This completes the two recessed ceiling layers.
I am going to add at least one wall layer before applying the covering ceiling layer. I made a start on this and managed to get a couple of sheets up on the left-hand wall. Not completely straightforward as I have to cut the 7 degree angle at the top. I am attaching the first layer horizontally and will alternate subsequent layer direction. Anyway the first sheet (lower) went up well it just took a little time to get the angled piece to rest on top. These were screwed onto the stud-work at 200mm pitch. That was it I'm afraid for the weekend - I'm sure I'll get a better run at the drywall next weekend.
A very productive weekend. :-)
On Saturday I pushed on with the recessed ceiling and filled in the gaps at the edge of the first recessed layer. These were pieces about 26cm long to fill in the remaining areas open to the ceiling mineral wool. It is so much easier working with small pieces like this and achieving a good fit is a breeze. These layers take a long time because they are cut into strips between the joists. A lot of cuts and effort, whereas large sheets are less time consuming. I've got that to look forward to for the walls and the final ceiling covering layer. I finished off by caulking all of the joints and gaps and smoothing everyone off ready the second layer.
Second layer: This time I fixed the full length pieces at the opposite side to ensure that the joints were staggered. This went pretty well and I managed to get all but two lengths in place before the end on the day.
I continued on Sunday with the final full lengths of the second layer in the main area and filling in the 26cm gaps at the ends. All that remains with this layer is to fill the small areas in the left and right alcoves at the back and the airlock area. I am leaving a ceiling access panel in the airlock because the lighting junction box is above here. This allows access just in case. I managed to start these areas which you'll see from the photos.
I had a reasonably good weekend building and made a start on drywalling the ceiling. Firstly, I wanted to get a job done to complete any work required on the stud work. Because I need to allow ventilation of the doorway area, where the DAW is, I need to link this between the air inlet and the air outlet. These were basically a couple of square holes where some ducting would run. I made a couple of square shapes of stud work from four short lengths. These were then screwed in the stud walls into the alcoves. >>photos<<
I then started work on the drywall, though not before having a reorganise of the garage (store room/workshop ATM). The drywall was underneath the rest of the RockSilk and four sheets of MDF so I spent some time putting the MDF in its own pile with the RockSilk on top and having a general sort out to make cutting the drywall easier. I'll be cutting the sheets in here as there is plenty of space. I decided to attach the first two ceiling layers first before doing a wall layer. These will effectively bring the ceiling level with the bottom edge of the joists. This went pretty well at first and a managed to get a few pieces up quite quickly with the aid of my drywall lift and the electric drywall driver. I had got 5 lengths up and secured in place by the end of the day. So quite positive and ready to crack on on Sunday...
OK, things didn't go quite as well on Sunday. Because of the width and position of the doorway wall there was no joist above where I needed to screw the drywall in the corner. To overcome this I had created a ledge 25mm high above the top plate to accommodate the recessed layers and a step to allow the covering layer to lock above the step into place before screwing to the remaining joists. My first attempt I tried to put one recessed length up then push the second underneath but this was never going to work. The layer already in place was able to drop down onto the ledge and all my efforts to put the second layer on the ledge below the first were in vain!!!!!!
I had spent ages trying to get this to work but I had to give up and have a rethink. I had to take a breather here and re-evaluate this job so I took down the lengths and had clear up, as I had made a bit of a mess trying to get this to work. It was obvious that I would not get the two layers in place one at a time and the only way would be to insert the two layers together. I was able to use one of the original lengths underneath but I cut a new outer piece as the other had got too damaged. Having cut the new piece I sandwiched them together with a small amount of caulk in between. I put a couple of screws through the two to ensure they wouldn't slide off line. I also cut the pieces slightly narrower than before and chamfered the edges that were to locate on the ledge (groove).
The job was still not easy and with a bit of bashing along the edge with a mallet against a wooden block I somehow got the pieces in place. This was then pushed into the recess and screwed up!!!!! What a relief to see this up there - I thought I was never going to get this done!
I knew I was going to get the odd day like this when things didn't go the way I had planned but, to be honest, this is the first time during the build when things were well and truly stacked up against me. This was always going to a tricky part of the ceiling but the rest of the drywall should be plain sailing from here. I called it a day after finishing this - it's sometimes better to cut your losses and start afresh on another day. A whole morning and the best part of the afternoon to get two 36cm strips of ceiling drywall in place!!!!!
We were entertaining friends this weekend and I didn't get a chance to do the couple of jobs I was hoping to. I'll have to wait to next weekend but at least then I should be able to make a start on the drywall as well, so no great loss.
I'll be starting my Open University course on the 6th of February so I'm making a start on this to try and get ahead before then. In case you are interested the course is:
We'll have to see how things progress but I'll probably struggle to get much building done once fully into the swing of the course.