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.
A day out to the coast on Saturday so no studio building. This left only Sunday but I did manage to complete some key jobs. I popped down to ScrewFix on Friday to pick up a few items - some more thru anchor bolts, some 100mm flexible ducting, 100mm duct connectors and some duct tape.
As a result in the change of design I needed to re-do the duct between the two buildings and add an additional conduit to house the power cables. In the end I pretty much redid the whole job. I had cut the rectangular duct flush with the inside walls so I couldn't easily attach duct adaptors etc. to them so this had to come out. Chiselled out all of my original mortar work and drilled out the additional hole through both buildings. This took a little while but once new duct/conduit were in place, mortar filled all around - now protruding inside each side I was a lot happier with the job.
Another obstacle...Where my internal stud-wall is located I didn't have anywhere to secure the 3rd layer of ceiling drywall without attaching timber to the inside of the wall. So I came up with the cunning plan of creating a step in the top plate 12.5mm high to allow the sheet to slide over. Only problem, the top plate is well and truly secured to the joist and I didn't fancy dismantling the wall. So it was a matter of routing the step in situ whilst standing on the steps!! In fact it worked out pretty well and with a lot of care I completed the job quite easily. The only bit I had to do by hand was the edges nearest the walls where the router couldn't reach (about 100mm) - so out came the chisel and mallet. It did create a lot of sawdust though so spent the next hour or so cleaning up the mess I had made from this and the masonry drilling.
After the clean up I set about continuing the build of the internal wall/door frame assembly. Time was getting on so I only managed to get the two short sole plates in situ with 2 thru-anchor bolts on each. These holes proved quite tough to drill but I got there in the end. I also routed channels underneath each of the sole plates to allow for any cables I might need to run.
I spent this weekend making a start on the internal wall and door frame. This creates the structure to support the sound door separate to the external door. You'll need to refer to the drawings but you'll see that it creates two alcoves in the back corners which will be filled with mineral wool.
I firstly cut the sole plate to length, marked up the position of the stud-work uprights for the wall and drilled two holes for the through anchor bolts. I then routed out four grooves on the underside to feed the various cables under the floor. This was then placed in situ and drilled through into the concrete floor ensuring at least 2" of depth into the concrete. The through anchors were driven in and nuts tightened up. I'll be adding a couple more of these later but these two keep the sole plate in position very well.
I had to do a bit of thinking as to how the ceiling drywall would be secured at the point of the wall as I couldn't get to the area where the screws would need to go. In the end I attached the top plate to the joist at this point and the rest of the wall will be constructed between the sole and top plate. This created a ledge one side where the drywall would sit and screwed the other side to retain it. I will then screw through the top plate into the plasterboard to further secure it in place. I had to cut the inside edge of the top plate to the 7 degree angle to make it square with the sole plate and the stud-work uprights, this was achieved easily using the circular saw set at the required angle. I made sure that the top plate was perpendicular to the sole plate using a long, reasonably straight piece of timber, between the two and offering up the spirit level while the top plate was clamped to the joist. With a few taps with the hammer working along I achieved a good upright relationship between the two. The top plate was then drilled and screwed to the joist.
I then cut two side stud-work uprights and fixed them into place and two additional uprights which will form the two external corners where the alcoves start. These areas will eventually be filled with mineral wool floor to ceiling to form the rear corner absorbers. I need to finalise the size and layout of the doorway frame before completing this wall but it will almost certainly require at least two more studwork uprights.
Since last weekend and further to some discussions on cubase.net I have decided that I will most likely have the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), or PC if you like, located in the space between the external wall and the internal wall. This will provide excellent isolation of computer fans and free up some valuable space inside the room itself. You'll see as the build progresses that space is going to be at a premium in this room and the more space I can save the better. It isn't a done deal yet as the space in this doorway area is very limited and the computer box is quite big. There are other considerations here as I'll need to run the break-out box for my sound card (Edirol DA 2496) from the DAW to the desk and I'll need to make sure it will be OK with the additional length cable. I'll also need to run two monitor leads and mouse & keyboard cables. Though looking at it the length is not likely to need to be any more than 5 metres - so it should be OK. I have allowed for this in the cable routing under the internal wall so all being well that's where it will live.
First thing Saturday I took a trip to the builders merchant to get the timber for the recessed plasterboard in the ceiling. I needed basically 18 lengths at 2.7m long to complete the job. I had to cut these to length myself using a hand saw. They had various lengths but I had to select lengths that when cut to 2.7m left a minimum of 1.8m as an off-cut. This ensured that I only paid for the lengths required. It took me about 45 minutes in the end as I had to sort through lots of bundles of timber to find suitable lengths. I also picked up a 2.5 litre bottle of PVA.
I got to work as soon as I got home. Firstly, I drilled holes along the timber lengths - 162 in total! I then prepared the first joist for attaching. To ensure that the timbers were set back at exactly at 25mm (2x12.5mm thick plasterboard) I cut several spacer blocks and clamped them in position onto the side of the joist. This also acted as a rest to support it when being secured. I then glued the length and screwed it in position. Only another 17 to go and it took the rest of day and a couple of hours on Sunday to complete the job.
I managed to do a bit of work this evening. I wanted to put something behind the stud-work to help keep the mineral wool in place once installed. I came up with another one of my bright ideas!! Basically I attach some strapping (the type used for packaging) around the outside of the framework, secure one end then pull the other tight and secure that. Well, I did this tonight and it seems to have worked out quite well and should at least keep the mineral wool in position, though I doubt that it would move much if cut tight to the stud-work. Oh well it's done now so another job off the list.
I have also been doing some thinking with regard the ventilation of the room and I've made the decision to install the extractor fan in the garage instead of in the studio room itself. The garage is totally disconnected from the studio room so this will provide better isolation of the fan noise. The fact that I'd already used the rectangular ducting between the two room means I can utilise that for the extractor, though it does mean I'll have to make an additional hole for the electrical ducting.
I was only able to work today as I was busy doing other things. I did take a trip to the builders merchant yesterday (Saturday) though to get a bag of mortar and a couple of truss clips for the remaining joist. I was a couple of truss clips short because I changed the studwork pitch from 600mm to 400m before starting the job. This resulted in two more joists being added. I finished off the trunking between the two buildings which just needed a bit of mortar filling the gaps around the outside. I also had a brick to reset on the garden BBQ.
I did another couple of small jobs on the framework that needed finishing.
Over the last few weeks I've also been doing a bit of thinking with regards the ceiling height, or lack of it!! I've decided to inset the first two layers of plasterboard in-between the joists. I'll then put the final layer over the top in the standard way. I'd like to thank Paul Woodlock for the idea as he did the same on the ceiling of his studio build...so Paul if you do happen to read this at any stage - cheers. This will involve attaching two square section timbers each side of the joists. So I need to get down to the builders yard and get hold of 18 lengths.