Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

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BeardMusic
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#1

Postby BeardMusic » Fri, 2022-Sep-02, 05:10

Hi all,

Following up on my thread in the Design forum (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=950) I will be posting my progress here. The ground works (slab) were finally completed in June this year. Excavation of my rear garden began in September 2021 however, so i'll try to get up to current progress quickly here... Important to remember that I have pretty much done everything myself with the help of family/friends in order to keep the spiralling costs down. I'm very grateful to all involved.

Day 1 - 26th September 2021 - Friend had a mini digger so we agreed the date and got started. 6.5m x5m x 400mm deep

Tight fit! (had to cut down a section of fence to get the digger in lol) it was getting dark when we finished the hole.
IMG_20210926_104620.jpg


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Don't worry, got an expert on it ;)
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Day 2 - 27th Sept - Done!
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What followed was weeks (off and on) of barrowing 40+ tonnes of soil to the front of the house, some 60/70 meters away - my wife helped me (bless her) and broke her finger in the process :( those days felt like hell and made me question why I didn't pay someone to do it.

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Day 37 - 1st November 2021 - 1 month later - Eventually got it all up and had 2 Grabbers to take it away.
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I then had to concentrate on the House renovations for a while and didn't do much in the garden...

Fast forward to 20th April 2022 - Day 207 - MOT Type 1 Hardcore, sand, DPM arrive:
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Day 210 - Barrowing down the MOT hardcore - More barrowing, Ahhh!
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All in and levelled (150mm Deep)
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Day 214 - Compactor hired and MOT compacted.
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Day 215 - 28th April - Sand 25mm Deep
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Day 235 - May 21st - Shuttering built and installed
IMG_20220521_165731.jpg


Day 236 - DPM and Insulation installed
IMG_20220522_191731.jpg


...



BeardMusic
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#2

Postby BeardMusic » Fri, 2022-Sep-02, 05:43

...
Day 236 - DPM and Insulation installed
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Day 244 - Mesh in and Cement mixer pump arrives!
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Lots of pipe!
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Pumping! we had to move it all around with rakes - very messy and I learnt that concrete burns! had it on my legs for an hour or so and it got v sore.
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As I said, doing it all myself (help from wife again...) - Tamping/levelling.
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Completed Slab. 220mm deep. Unfortunately, in true UK style, no rain was predicted and concrete was left to dry. We had to go out for a few hours and of course, biblical downpours ensued and I couldn't get home. Eventually got a tarp over it but it had a lot of rain. days after it eventually dried but the surface became very chalky/dusty when dry. I was worried that the concrete was compromised for a long time but had it looked at and was reassured it was fine.

Felt like a huge milestone to get this far, :yahoo: and meant no way back now. Obviously would have been so much easier to get it done, but as I say I am on a tight budget and saved a good amount doing it myself.
IMG_20220530_160430.jpg



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gullfo
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#3

Postby gullfo » Fri, 2022-Sep-02, 12:26

well, at least the easy part is over :-) looks great!



BeardMusic
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#4

Postby BeardMusic » Fri, 2022-Sep-02, 18:12

gullfo wrote:Source of the post well, at least the easy part is over :-) looks great!


Thanks. Yep should be plain sailing from here... :lol:

Now that the concrete was curing, I had to once again focus on the house renovations and squeeze in a family holiday. So fast forward to...
Day 331 - 25th August - Wood arrives for external structure Stud-work! Once again the only day it decides to pour in weeks, was on delivery day. But it's treated timber so I was still smiling.
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Now, originally a friend/carpenter had always said he would help me build the actual wooden studio structure... But he let me down with a week to go, so a handy DIYer friend said he would help me the Bank holiday Monday. However, an old friend said he knew a highly recommended local semi-retired carpenter that might me up for it, and he was. So after a chat in the week, Friday after the timber delivery was agreed so that I could get a head start on the build; I had the following week booked off work to focus on getting as much done as possible.

As I have said, I'm trying to do it all on my own, but I thought it would be worth woking with someone experienced on the start of the build just to get off on the right foot. Some of the technical things I was unsure off would be taken care of.

Day 332 - 26th August - Build begins!
Very excited today - Carpenter arrives at 8am (he's 70+ but seems very agile still!) we go over the plans and get tools down to site, we agreed that he can cut the frames and I'll build them.
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On the phone he says we'll get 2 or 3 walls done. I'm working as fast as I physically can - we get all frames built by mid day :lol:
We agreed he work to 4pm but he's packing up by 2:30 saying I've got a good day out of him; All walls up and connected on Day 1 of structure build! I was very excited :)
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...



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gullfo
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#5

Postby gullfo » Sat, 2022-Sep-03, 17:38

berry berry nice!



BeardMusic
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#6

Postby BeardMusic » Sun, 2022-Sep-04, 18:46

Day 333 - Noggins go in along with 150mm concrete screws in between all studs through sole plate. these things clamp the sole plate to the slab like a vice but drain the drills fast. 6mm Pilot holes with hammer drill first; really hard getting these in. the frame is 'going nowhere' now, haha.
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Now, I haven't yet mentioned that I did have an issue (well a few actually) with the carpenter when building the walls. Partly my fault, partly his. Basically I isolated all the stud wall measurements and printed on separate pages to try to make it easier for him. However, my design had the side stud walls coming to the front edge of slab. so the front stud wall should have been 6.3m wide. As the slab is 6.5m wide and the print outs did not show the walls connecting, the carpenter decided to make the front and back walls 200mm wider to meet the slab, WITHOUT me! I was so busy trying to build the walls as fast as possible I didn't realise until he had already cut them all up and informed me there was a 'problem' with the side walls being too long. Whoops. Anyway, as he made the middle sections wider, he also made the window 1.6m wide instead of 1.4m as on the plan (another part he decided to change with asking) - However, I actually prefer the larger window now, so just decided to stick with it and update my plans and inner room stud walls to match. As I am having a solid door, the extra light from the main window will be very welcome. I also assumed, as he was very experienced, that everything would be plumb and square, but unfortunately I found out, a bit too late that some things are a bit off. Just been fixing as best I can but generally all is good.

...



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endorka
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#7

Postby endorka » Mon, 2022-Sep-05, 06:43

I've found a mains powered electric drill to be a godsend when drilling into masonry!

It doesn't surprise me that the carpentry is a bit off square. I believe carpentry is done to lower tolerances than joinery, and is one of the reasons a door frame is an added structure with the stud wall. The door frame is done to much higher tolerances than the studwork.

Speaking of door frames, depending on the weight of your door, it might be worth considering beefing up the studwork around the door even more than you have. Here's a post from Stuart with some examples;

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8&p=1359#p1359

Cheers!
Jennifer



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gullfo
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#8

Postby gullfo » Mon, 2022-Sep-05, 14:11

yeah the construction works with "rough" measures (e.g. a "rough opening for a door") and the the measures and "squareness" improve with each level towards the finish. so foundation "may be" level and "square" (or not), rough framing is somewhat "shimmed" etc to be more level and more square, drywall may have shimming on the frame to square it up and level it, doors and windows are shimmed into the rough framing (leaving air gaps as a note), same for floors and trim etc.

my first house as a 1928 balloon framed plaster and lathe finish with hand cut windows and doors. during renovation we found the frame to be 2" x 4" rather than the 2x4 we know today, and aged into near iron-like solidness (read broken drill bits, bent nails, snapped screws) and the room which measured within 1/2" squared all around, when the plaster and lathe was removed, our dining room was off by 2-1/2" - 3" (so we decided to leave the majority of walls intact after that... windows which measured square were in frames equally off... so a lot of shimming was needed in order to restore the "square". the workers in those days were miracle workers. and of course water quality being what it was, you could tell what work was done before lunch, versus after lunch (our neighborhood built with mostly Italian immigrants who partook of wine with their meals)...



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endorka
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#9

Postby endorka » Thu, 2022-Sep-08, 12:19

I love hearing stories like that Glenn. I got my own rude introduction to the lack of squareness in the built world when renovating a flat we had in Glasgow. It was a modern (ish) flat in a converted old building from the 1800s or so. The world has never looked the same to me since :D



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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#10

Postby BeardMusic » Sun, 2022-Sep-11, 16:34

endorka wrote:Source of the post I've found a mains powered electric drill to be a godsend when drilling into masonry!

It doesn't surprise me that the carpentry is a bit off square. I believe carpentry is done to lower tolerances than joinery, and is one of the reasons a door frame is an added structure with the stud wall. The door frame is done to much higher tolerances than the studwork.

Speaking of door frames, depending on the weight of your door, it might be worth considering beefing up the studwork around the door even more than you have. Here's a post from Stuart with some examples;

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8&p=1359#p1359

Cheers!
Jennifer


Thanks Jennifer and Glenn! Yes, I did assume that there were lower tolerances for general walls. Main issue was when putting the roof OSB on, I realised that the front & back walls were not completely straight, which meant for some jiggery pokery when cutting/fitting.

I figured that I can learn from mistakes when building the inner room and get that more precise.

Thanks also for the thoughts on the door. This diary is a bit retrospective, so the OSB has gone on already around the door. I could beef it up still, I guess but I will decide once I have chosen a door. I was going to just go PVC as it's easy and will offer ok soundproofing, but as it will have no glass, I am also considering a solid timber door. Depends on costing to be honest, and wood is super expensive at present. I would imagine solid wood would offer better sound reduction but will depend how good the frame is...



BeardMusic
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#11

Postby BeardMusic » Sun, 2022-Sep-11, 16:39

Day 334 - Roof joists and Truss Clips go on.

This was quite a straight-forward process, although the joists were heavy. My 12 year old son helped out; who said child labour was over ;)

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BeardMusic
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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#12

Postby BeardMusic » Sun, 2022-Sep-11, 19:28

Day 336 - OSB arrives for the roof and outer skin. A whole week of sunshine predicted; excited to see what I could get done.

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Spent most of the day tidying up a few bits and stapling the DPM round the foundation slab up onto the studwork.


Day 337 - Roof OSB goes on - My Dad, a retired engineer (70!) who is very handy arrives to help me with the roof and walls.

Slithers for the back... As I mentioned before, the front and back walls were not completely straight, and meant some adjusting/thicker gaps between the boards. Also had to trim off excess with the skill saw.
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Ist layer of OSB on the roof complete.
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Inference fit of a custom furring strip I created for each side which I was particularly proud of, especially as I used the skill saw for it. The right side did not go as well, so I have no picture of it. :lol: I will be filling all the gaps inside and out anyway.

You can also see the side noggins for the roof edges here. I see that some folks don't bother with them but I thought it would make standing on the edges safer.
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Day 338 - 1st September - Roof screwed down properly with better pics. Onto the first layer of OSB walls today.
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Walls start going on. These OSB boards are really heavy, eh? Also realised that the lack of consistent 400mm ctrs (as I had on the plan) by the carpenter, meant that we had to cut alot of the boards to line up with the studs. Now I understand how important 400 ctrs are! Oh well, simply more problems to solve :)
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#13

Postby endorka » Mon, 2022-Sep-12, 10:33

Nice work. I like the side noggins too!

The roof is of course at a slight angle, will you be building the inner room with a flat ceiling? It would make certain aspects of the acoustics simpler.

BeardMusic wrote:Source of the postThanks also for the thoughts on the door. This diary is a bit retrospective, so the OSB has gone on already around the door. I could beef it up still, I guess but I will decide once I have chosen a door. I was going to just go PVC as it's easy and will offer ok soundproofing, but as it will have no glass, I am also considering a solid timber door. Depends on costing to be honest, and wood is super expensive at present. I would imagine solid wood would offer better sound reduction but will depend how good the frame is...

If you're doing room within a room construction, the door is likely going to be a weak point. In your shoes I definitely wouldn't cut corners here. There are tried and tested examples of solid wood door builds on this site, and also in Rod Gervais book. You can beef up fairly cheap off the shelf solid core doors with plywood etc. to add mass.

One thing I've noticed with standard doors and windows is the difficulty of getting an airtight seal. A seal good enough for weatherproofing is not necessarily airtight. With fan based ventilation you'll get high pitched whistling noises from the little gaps. Hunting those down and plugging the leaks is no fun at all. I speak from experience :ahh:

Will you be doing two doors, one for the inner and another for the outer leaf?

Cheers,
Jennifer



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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#14

Postby BeardMusic » Mon, 2022-Sep-12, 16:18

endorka wrote:Source of the post Nice work. I like the side noggins too!

The roof is of course at a slight angle, will you be building the inner room with a flat ceiling? It would make certain aspects of the acoustics simpler.

BeardMusic wrote:Source of the postThanks also for the thoughts on the door. This diary is a bit retrospective, so the OSB has gone on already around the door. I could beef it up still, I guess but I will decide once I have chosen a door. I was going to just go PVC as it's easy and will offer ok soundproofing, but as it will have no glass, I am also considering a solid timber door. Depends on costing to be honest, and wood is super expensive at present. I would imagine solid wood would offer better sound reduction but will depend how good the frame is...

If you're doing room within a room construction, the door is likely going to be a weak point. In your shoes I definitely wouldn't cut corners here. There are tried and tested examples of solid wood door builds on this site, and also in Rod Gervais book. You can beef up fairly cheap off the shelf solid core doors with plywood etc. to add mass.

One thing I've noticed with standard doors and windows is the difficulty of getting an airtight seal. A seal good enough for weatherproofing is not necessarily airtight. With fan based ventilation you'll get high pitched whistling noises from the little gaps. Hunting those down and plugging the leaks is no fun at all. I speak from experience :ahh:

Will you be doing two doors, one for the inner and another for the outer leaf?

Cheers,
Jennifer



Hey Jennifer,

Thanks! yes, flat roof is 100mm higher at the front. inner room has the flat roof, which will be easier. Planning inside out ceilings (same as Gareth) for ease of installation and slightly higher ceilings. I like the look of the exposed rafter beams too!

OK. Noted, thanks for the advice, I will look into a thick, solid external door, or one that I can beef up with extra wood. Makes sense that the seal is adequate for sound leakage. more research. I have Rod's book so will check now.

And yes, 2 doors; inner outer.



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Garden Recording/Mixing Room in Surrey, UK - Build Diary

#15

Postby BeardMusic » Mon, 2022-Sep-12, 16:47

Evening of Day 338 - First proper disaster :(

Rain still predicted for Saturday/Sunday when we got into bed. I was writing a forum post, around 11pm, when my wife informed me that it was raining...hard!

Suddenly realised that there was no cover on the roof or wood piles (OSB) So I flew out of bed, grabbed waterproofs and went out to access the damage. covered the wood piles with what tarp I could find and got down to the studio. Water was cascading into it via the gaps in the OSB roof. felt like crying LOL.

So, in the pouring rain, I got the large DPC roll that had been protecting the slab before the timber build, behind the back of studio, got it up on the ladder and climbed up on the roof and did my best to cover it asap. When getting down off the roof onto the ladder, in my haste, I managed to slip and fall... the ladder and my wife broke my fall and somehow nothing was broken. Unfortunately, I didn't realise that she was holding a paving slab to give to me on the roof, which she then dropped on her shin in the fall...

We came in soaking wet, around midnight, and in pain. her leg was really bad actually; lot's of swelling and a big gash. anyway, we patched it up and went to bed. She's much better now but it was pretty bad. Not a great night.



Day 339 - September 2nd
Woke up at 6am to sort this mess out. 1st job: up on roof, take off the tarp and dry everything out. Thankfully no sign of the rain predicted as yet. (feels like I'm starting to write a novel here :lol: ) Needed to take my 3-year-old to his first nursery today (1:30pm), so I made my goal for the morning to dry out the roof (sun was peeping!) and then seal it and get the new DPC layer on. that way at least the rain would not be coming back in.

Sealed
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DPC/Moisture layer - checking orientation.
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Complete
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Once the moisture barrier was done I move attention to getting the last few bits of OSB around windows etc to complete the 1st layer of walls. Felt good to get it done before we had to do nursery time! Rain held off all day, and I acknowledged the weather gods for allowing me to return and complete the day's tasks.

Window makes a great support/horse. ;)
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Worked till it was getting dark - some dusk shots:
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