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Thread: New studio space...considering my options.

  1. #61
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    Miroslav, re the new house. "Not as private" you say? I cannot help but think that might be a problem down the line?

    You have obviously been making nice but loud noises in the old place for quite some time and I would be fearful that some "NIMBYs" would come out of their woodpiles the first time you had a rock band in!

    In UK this happens a lot but "in reverse". The chattering, well heeled classes move into improved areas then get the live music closed down in the Mucky Duck that has been running bands for decades.
    They also move to their bucolic dream home in the countryside then start a petition to get the pig farm a mile up the road closed which was downwind when they viewed. Fork! They even complain about the effin birds waking them up!

    I am assuming that there is not enough cash in the pot for a full "room in a room" sound proof?

    There is also very tight planning regulation here and I reckon you would fall foul of "change of use" regs over here to build a full blown recording studio, certainly as a business.

    Dave.

  2. #62
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    I was referring to the property in general...my current house is set back a bit further from the street, but the real point is the back yard is pretty surrounded with trees, so in the summer months, no one can really see in.
    This ne house is also pretty private...it's the last house on the street which dead-ends, to a treed section...but the house is only about half the distance to the street of my current house, and the front, side and back yard is wide open grass yard, with trees a lot further back.

    Point is...it's not as private as my current property...but still pretty private compared to how some houses are.
    My current house, while surrounded with a good amount of neighbors, is in a heavily treed area...so there are a good number of houses, but each is well secluded in the summer months due to the trees.
    This other house is closer to a suburbs kind of area...there are trees, in every yard, but more like a couple in front and a couple in back....the more typical suburb thing...though actually the house I'm looking at has probably the most trees. They planted a whole row of what look to be some type of fruit trees along the street side in the front yard (probably for the privacy)...and then because it's the last house on the dead end street there are no neighbors to the one side or the back. So still pretty private, just not as much as my current place.

    AFA what would be the studio space...it's actually well insulated simply because while it's a 2-story house, at the front and one side, the yard rises up, so that the lower level is almost buried...so that from the street side it looks like a one-floor ranch....but to the back and the other side, you see that it's actually a 2-story, and the side that's exposed fully, is the side that face the dead end/treed area.
    So I don't have any concerns about neighbors complaining or the need to do room-in-room thing. The only potential issue would be a couple of windows...but they are bay windows, so it would be easy to create some traps that would simply sit inside the bay window when needed, and taken down when not.
    I like windows and natural light....plus, I would probably add the most treatment on that one wall anyway. The room that I would set up as the live room, that is further inside and completely tucked in...so not much will be heard outside.

    Anyway...I'm hoping that things will get moving with my build once I talk to this contractor...so odds are I will be staying at my current house and then will build the new studio with substantial insulation and multi-layer walls, which is the way I prefer to go rather than moving....but I need an alternative plan, so I will check out this house probably this weekend if I can get an appointment.

  3. #63
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    The build is back on track...which I'm happy about, because the thought of buying a new house and moving, while appealing when just window shopping, would certainly be a much bigger undertaking than this studio build and house remodel.

    I found a 3rd contractor, and for the first time I really felt like I was talking with the right person. He will have an initial proposal in a week, and then from there we'll get an architect involved, and so on...but the thing that hit the mark was when I he said he thought this would be a really fun project and was looking forward to doing it. He's got a lot of local credibility, and plenty of previous projects that showcase his work...and my project was well within his scope of expertise. He's done a lot of additions, along with other types of remodel work.

    Things will get pushed back some, considering I've lost close to 2 months chasing contractors...but he felt that sometime in August we would break ground, and everything would be done NLT Thanksgiving. It will take a month or two by the time we go over a couple of proposal stages, then the architect, and the submit all that to the town and wait for their approval and permits...so he thinks no later than the end of August...but still doable before the cold weather kicks in, which will be OK. I have other things I could be doing before that, and also some other inside remodeling work that I might farm out to another contractor...which this guy said was fine with him....and also with the studio, he was OK with me using someone else any part of it...or he could do it all. down to the interior paint.

    The important thing was that he said this was no big deal...nothing out of the ordinary, and probably the new bathroom would be more of a technical challenge, tying it into the septic and all that...than the actual studio build, which was pretty straightforward.
    Oh...and the guy is also a drummer! So he understood when I said I needed it soundproof with double drywall or possibly using some special drywall he mentioned which was much denser and meant for soundproofing...but from the reading I've done it looks like two thinner layers would be better....but those or minor points that we will get into once this project is locked in.

    So today I feel some relief...and I once again have a specific goal, which allow me to plan and start on some other things.
    I've been walking around in circles the last few weeks trying to figure out which way things would go, but not able to see any clear direction.

    The one thing that was decided was a slight change of the new build layout. My last plan was looking at a 34' x 26' space, but it would have necessitated a complete new roof because the peak would have to move 3' to one side in order to center it and have the symmetry down the long side of the space.
    It was doable, but more involved demolition and construction...and more cost...plus other issues.
    So the room is being reoriented 90 degrees, and now the long side will face my back yard, which I prefer, and the existing roof will stay, so the final shape will be a kind of saltbox structure, with an 8' wall at one long end, and a 10-11' wall at the other, which is the side facing the back yard, which allows for some tall, narrow windows. I will either face the windows or fire the speakers back toward them...which I think is how it will be, firing them back into that taller wall end.

    That change from the 34' x 26' plan will shorten my dimensions to a 29' x 26' space with this new plan...and after the storage and iso-booths are added on the one side, which will come out 6' ...my finished open studio space will be 25' by 22'...which is still pretty darn nice and will accommodate my gear and still plenty of comfortable open space too....plus the 14' cathedral ceiling...so still quite a substantial volume to the total space, which should(?) make the acoustic treatment inside a much easier and more minimal requirement. I haven't even begun to think about the final finished surface...but it will be a mix of wood, stone, drywall, and of course, broadband traps. Probably the most broadband traps will end up on the ceiling, since that will remain drywall. I already have a bunch, plus the 6 mega-bass traps I made a couple of years ago, which will all end up at the two back corners and wall.

    So knock on wood...I think things are now in motion, pretty sure this time...but I'll be 100% sure when I get the proposals, and throw down some deposit money.

  4. #64
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    very cool.

    I forget (and won't go back to re-read) will this have a basement or is it going on a slab? A basement would be very nice.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    very cool.

    I forget (and won't go back to re-read) will this have a basement or is it going on a slab? A basement would be very nice.
    I don't blame you for not re-reading...I don't want to either.

    Why do you think a basement would be nice?
    Are you thinking there should be a wine cellar underneath the studio?

    Nope...the house has no basement, and the new studio space (what's already there) is on a slab, so the expansion to it will simply add more slab.
    I like that it's going on a slab. My current studio space is also on a slab floor. It's very solid, there's no sound transmission (well, none to speak of) with the slab.

    TBH...if the house had a basement, I would have already made use of it for a studio space...but most basements in older house tend to be with low ceiling, and then often you have pipes and wiring that isn't always tucked in-between the floor beams...not to mention most end up with some kind of water leak or dampness when it rains a lot, unless the house was built up on a mound/hill.

    That said, I've seen some that were quite perfect for studio spaces, and the more current houses often have them with higher ceilings in some cases....usually thought it's the McMansions that will have them like that. My sister's/brother in-laws last house before she passed away was one of those and man...WHAT A BASEMENT! The place had 10' high ceilings and was nice and dry. First thing I thought of when I walked in was what a perfect place to have a studio.
    He sold it after she passed away.

  6. #66
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    I miss my basements. All my houses north of the James River had basements. Can't get a basement in Texas. I had to build my studio in the 3rd car garage. Basements add so much utility to a house, with added storage, rooms, a space away from the living spaces. My last house in Virginia had my studio in the basement and the bedrooms on the 2nd floor. I could get loud without waking the family.

    I'm surprised your house doesn't have a basement. Most houses up there do.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    I miss my basements. All my houses north of the James River had basements. Can't get a basement in Texas. I had to build my studio in the 3rd car garage. Basements add so much utility to a house, with added storage, rooms, a space away from the living spaces. My last house in Virginia had my studio in the basement and the bedrooms on the 2nd floor. I could get loud without waking the family.

    I'm surprised your house doesn't have a basement. Most houses up there do.
    Why no basements in Texas...? Is that most of Texas or just where the land is below sea level...?

    On my street, to the best of my knowledge, no one has a basement. It's what they built here...not sure why.
    Otherwise yes, a lot of house have them...but TBH, only some are really useable with the older houses. The new construction, it seems many are finished like another floor, all living space...so there's not much storage anyway.
    We have sheds for storage.

  8. #68
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    Over here we call them "cellars" and every house from Victorian times had one because the houses were heated by coal fires. I grew up in terraced house in Northampton with such a cellar and we had a coal delivery about once a year. There still is a hatch at pavement level front of house about 36" by 10" where the coal was shot down.
    Before I was ten or so we went over to gas fires and as central heating has taken over the cellar is no more. This bungalow I now live in does not have one.

    Public Houses of course have cellars, nice stable temperature for the beer!

    Dave.

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    a friend of mine built a house about 20 years ago, the basement has 11 foot ceilings and it's huge. Could very easily put a studio down there and his neighbors are not close at all. Wouldn't hardly have to soundproof it except to keep the peace in the house.

    Another friend bought a house some doctor started to build, but the guy came down with dementia or alzhiemers before he finished. My friend was able to buy the house basically unfinished. It has a 50 by 45 great room with a sloped 25 foot high ceiling. And he plays guitar. When he retires from flying I'm going to talk him into building a studio The place is ginormous. 9,000 sf of living space and 3,000 feet of basement, a three car garage under the great room, a second 2 car garage around the corner and a third single garage under the massive outdoor deck. This was the first house I've ever seen with full windows in the basement and a freaking view out those windows over a valley with rolling hills in the distance.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesfordan View Post
    This was the first house I've ever seen with full windows in the basement and a freaking view out those windows over a valley with rolling hills in the distance.
    Is that still considered a basement...or more like a what you get with bi/split level houses?
    Mine is a bi-level house. One side, the windows are smaller and up higher, because a good portion is below ground...but then on the other side, I have full windows, and the room floor as pretty much at ground level. This is because there is a slop in the yard from front to back.

    Anyway...the new studio space will be all above ground...on a big slab that's about 12" thick, so no basement.
    Oh...and after some more reevaluation of the plans...we might end up still doing the original 34' x 26' space, but don't know for sure yet if it will be that or the 29' x 26'. Who knows, it might end up something in between, because there's always some "preferred" dimension when it comes to wood beams and all that stuff. Not saying you can't do oddball dimensions...but the builders always like things in more specific, common lengths/widths...it tends to be easier and less costly than some oddball measurements where you need to special order a beam or what have you.

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