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.
It's really now a matter of finishing off some jobs before commencing the mineral wool filling and drylining of the room. The jobs for this weekend were to make the hole for the fresh air inlet and to remove the existing outer door frame and build its replacement.
For the fresh air inlet I bought an air-brick which I can simply put in the place of an existing brick. This was fairly easy to do drilling round the brick with an 8mm masonry bit removing the mortar. I could certainly tell where I had re-pointed the brickwork as it was tougher to drill than the old mortar - which is like powder. I thought I'd better add: the old mortar is now mostly on the external side of the brickwork as, so far, I've re-pointed only on the inside. I will eventually re-point the outside as well. Once all cleaned out I mixed up sufficient mortar and set the air-brick in place packing it well around. The air-brick was only about a 3/4 brick deep so from the inside I packed more mortar and created chamfered leading edges to the internal surface which created quite a neat finish and will help achieve a good seal between my duct.
Next I set about replacing the existing outer door frame. This was reasonably easily achieved by making some horizontal cuts into the frame and with the help of the claw hammer I was able to pry it away and once loose it came away with little effort leaving the raw brick doorway exposed. I then removed any loose material and cut some protruding nails flush using the angle grinder leaving a clean surface. Upon measuring the gap I found that there was a good 3-4cm difference so I would have to make the new frame to the lower (88.5cm) and pack out the surrounding gaps.
I chose to make the frame in the same way that I had made the internal one which seemed to produce a good square solid frame. This would mean a complete 4-sided frame instead of the 3-sided of the original, this allows the door to jam all round. This was a much quicker process than the first frame obviously - maybe I should go into production...anybody need a door frame? All went well and with a few tweaks in height the frame fitted into the gap quite well...well considering the inconsistent shape of the brickwork anyway!! This was jigged glued and screwed and left overnight. I then roughly secured the frame in situ and held in place with a few screws. I need to decide on the best method of securing the frame in place. I have a few ideas but for now I'm happy with the result. Anyway I think the photos will tell a better story:
Just to add - my five sheets of 18mm MDF arrived today. 2.4x1.2m sheets and quite heavy. These will serve a number of purposes: Internal Door, Duct Silencers, Floor and other miscellaneous jobs. I'll probably need some more but this will give me some stock for the time being.
I ordered five sheets of 18mm MDF on Wednesday but unfortunately TP couldn't deliver until the following Tuesday :-( I was thinking that I would be making a start on the silencers for the ventilation system. As it turned out I had enough jobs to do so it was probably for the best anyway and it gave me time to think a bit more about the layout of the ducting.
In the end I finished off the cabling and added some more timber to the stud work - read on...
I changed the installation boxes for the 2-gang sockets in the 'airlock' - the originals were way to shallow and with two lots of 2.5mm T&E it was way too difficult to screw back. Anyway these were replaced with 47mm deep boxes and all good now! I then added an installation box for the fan controller so that it is now recess mounted into the wall as with the isolator switch. Next job: run the CAT5e cable through the stud work to where the PC is to be located; along a joist and down the stud timbers. This was fed into a 1-gang installation box and terminated into a recess mounted socket panel. I added another length of CAT5e which was connected to the second socket on the panel. This was fed to to floor level where it will eventually run in floor providing a socket near the desk for laptop or for a spare if I need it.
The stud work required a few additional uprights in corners within the bass trap alcoves and where the internal stud-wall reaches the side walls. This ensures that I have a good solid edge to screw the plasterboard in the corners. The corner pieces were made from full size 4x2" rotated 90 degrees and for the rest I cut length ways the 4x2" to 2x2" using the circular saw. I used off-cuts from the main build for this, simply cutting each length to fit tightly between the noggings. These were then screwed to both the uprights and the noggings. I can officially say that the stud-work is now complete!!
No studio building this weekend. It was my son's first birthday :-) so we spent time with family and friends and apart from showing off my work to a few friends I didn't set foot in there! So all that leaves me to say is:
>> HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMUEL <<
After sorting out the wiring layout, all that was needed was to connect the system up. I double checked the basic cable routing first to make sure that everything can be concealed nicely. The light switch cable was altered but generally the rest stayed as originally fed. The fan spur circuit was connected first. The supply was fed directly from the back of an existing socket, the closest one to the joining conduit in the garage. This then fed the isolator switch on the left and then to the speed controller on the right, both on the left hand side inside the 'airlock'. You'll notice from the photos that I currently have the speed controller attached (temporarily) within its supplied surface mount box but this will be recess mounted eventually - I didn't have a back box deep enough so I need to get down to ScrewFix again.
The studio lighting circuit was then fed directly from the garage consumer unit along with the two 2.5mm T&E cables for the studio ring. I attached some timber to the garage wall to run the three cables into the top of the consumer unit (this helped to ensure the cable clips were held tight against the cables - breeze block is a bit soft and prone to small nails pulling out). Once attached, the cables were easily tacked down and fed through the top of the consumer unit...obviously completely isolating it from the supply first!! I connected up the ring first with a temporary single socket in the studio where the main studio sockets will live. This completes the ring circuit for now though this will be replaced by my dado trunking reused from my old setup. This also gives me a handy supply along with the two 2-gangs in the 'airlock' to continue the build. I had to take a feed from the garage up until now. All checked and worked.
To get the lighting circuit up and running I cut a hole in two lengths of timber and attached a halogen to each. These were slotted between joists, above the drywall recess timbers (photo describes this better). Only temporary but at least gives me some light and allows me to connect the lighting circuit up safely.
Last thing: Got up into the house lower loft. Identified where the existing outbuilding supply is fed (conveniently via a junction box). Isolated the household supply, removed this single T&E from the junction box. Attached my length of CAT5 inside the studio and pulled the T&E through into the loft and along with it my CAT5. Not exactly sure how I'm going to be connecting this but I have the cable link now so I can deal with that later. I've now completely removed the last of the original wiring that was in there when I first started!! >>photos<<