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Thread: Studio in garden cabin (Temperature)

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    Studio in garden cabin (Temperature)

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    What are your thoughts on keeping a laptop, interface, headphones + speaker in a garden cabin? The roof is insulated but it still gets very cold in the winter (I'm in the UK). I have an oil heater that I leave on all day and night sometimes, but that is not always feasible. Could my equipment experience problems with humidity and condensation in the long run; if so would it be enough to just cover it all up when not in use, or buy myself a dehumidifier like this one? https://www.amazon.co.uk/iTvanila-De...gateway&sr=8-7 Tbh it's so fun to work in; I've gotten so many songs done here compared to my bedroom studio, which is a little cramped.

    1-faa048-e-6119-4-e62-8-ee5-284-c260-c96-e0-jpg

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    nice little shed. What's the issue with the oil heater? Supply? Expense? Are you trying to keep it human friendly i.e. comfortable for you at all times or just minimally temperate? If you can keep it 10C (50F) when you're not in there, your equipment should be find. The act of heating should also help to dry the air a bit. Definitely buy a thermometer/hygrometer to keep an eye on that. If it stays above 50% all the time then I'd go with the dehumidifier.

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    I built my studio in a log cabin type building but went nuts with insulation so basically need very little heat.

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    Consider ventilation issues. How about sound? Lots of acoustic treatment.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    We've got a couple of those cabins in our garden. We use electric convector heaters connected to a plug-in thermostat to keep the temperature above 10 degrees and haven't had any condensation problems. In fact my first studio was in a more lightweight shed than that with no permanent heating and I didn't find condensation to be a problem - provided I warmed it up before starting to use it.
    JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration
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    You only ever get condensation when warmer air hits a cold surface. This happens in every building somewhere unless it is prevented somehow. In concrete/brick buildings the moisture is absorbed by the material and released when the temperature changes but this thermal reaction still causes mold growth. In timber buildings the condensation rots the wood. Usually unseen until it is too late.

    If you opened the door and allowed the temperature to normalise with outside temperature then most condensation will stop. But not great to work in or for a studio.

    You put moisture producing elements in your cabin (people) and warm the building on the inside. You are just keeping the ever growing moisture content vapourised until it finds that cold spot where it turns to water. This happens usually unseen inside the framework of the building. Or you remove the water vapour somehow.

    People breath out lots of water in their breath daily and also from their skin. Non of this good for sound or any other equipment. Water vapour is always present in air normally. It is part of the make-up of air. Keeping air warm just keeps the water vapour invisible and does not remove it or solve in this case your problem.

    All timber framed buildings for humans now require a sealed internal membrane which stops any moisture getting to the frame of the building. This is usually installed behind the plasterboard/sheetrock. Joints and plug sockets are taped up so you are in effect inside a waterproof plastic bubble. All this is done for very good reason which has been discovered on returning to modern timber framed buildings. Ventilation or dehumidifiers remove the moisture from the air.

    Your building will require a complete refit if to be used as a studio. To be honest it looks like a summer house? If so it was never meant to be either inhabited 24/7 365 days of the year.... or .....a music/sound studio. In either case you aren't going to turn into such with an electric heater and a dehumidifier.

    What you are doing from your description is .... wasting money on heat which is just hiding the water vapour in warm air. But this air will find a cold spot and condense. It may feel ok to work in for a while but your problem still remains and is possibly getting worse.

    It is just making you feel better and giving you a warm environment to work in. Leaving the heating on when the building is not in use. Could possibly make the condensation worse as the outside temperature cools further at night. The dehumidifier will work to take out your produced day time moisture through the night but will also require the temp to be up for it to work efficiently. So it is playing catch-up and could even be taking in moisture from outside air which may be drawn in through droughts?

    Lots of air gaps and droughts will be better for your condensation just as you open your car window when it steams up. Of course putting the car heater/blower on removes the mist from the window. This is because it evaporates becoming invisible again. But if you look behind you it is on your rear windows and other hidden places until you ....... 'let it out'. A van is a perfect example of this with water running down the inside of the body panels as it is also doing but hidden in your car.

    Sorry but the facts are basically expensive and labour intensive. Your heating money is best spent on sealing, insulation and ventilation.

    Do you want to know how to do this or are you just interested in your cheap methods are the way to go?
    Last edited by Orson; 09-08-2019 at 07:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orson View Post
    All timber framed buildings for humans now require a sealed internal membrane which stops any moisture getting to the frame of the building. This is usually installed behind the plasterboard/sheetrock. Joints and plug sockets are taped up so you are in effect inside a waterproof plastic bubble. All this is done for very good reason which has been discovered on returning to modern timber framed buildings. Ventilation or dehumidifiers remove the moisture from the air.
    In the UK these types of buildings rarely have anything on the timber walls. The wall timbers are normally 28 or 44mm thick but sometimes go as high as 70mm on larger cabins. The inside of the wall should be painted or varnished and the exterior treated but there are no membranes or extra layers of plasterboard. They aren't usually classed as habitable buildings. Ours tend to be used for a few hours every week so putting the heating on when needed in the winter isn't an issue. However the contents of one of them mustn't go below freezing so we spend a bit of money on background heating from a convector heater for that one. Outside temperatures in the UK rarely go more than one or two degrees below freezing.
    JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesperrett View Post
    In the UK these types of buildings rarely have anything on the timber walls. The wall timbers are normally 28 or 44mm thick but sometimes go as high as 70mm on larger cabins. The inside of the wall should be painted or varnished and the exterior treated but there are no membranes or extra layers of plasterboard. They aren't usually classed as habitable buildings. Ours tend to be used for a few hours every week so putting the heating on when needed in the winter isn't an issue. However the contents of one of them mustn't go below freezing so we spend a bit of money on background heating from a convector heater for that one. Outside temperatures in the UK rarely go more than one or two degrees below freezing.
    Then to leave expensive pc and musical equipment inside a place like that can only invite problems. To turn that into a dry comfortable workplace or studio will require quite a bit of work and expense.

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