I am in the process of building a small backyard studio from a 12 X 24 portable building. This project has been in the planning stages for a long time. Living in a small town with older buildings and bad or inadequate wiring has it’s problems concerning digital production.This project will hopefully address those needs.
The basic ideas of the studio are:
- Audio/Video Recording area in back.
- Digital Audio/Video Editing and Animation area in front.
- Live Studio Monitors (audio) and large screen TV for reviewing work.
- Man Cave anywhere it can be crammed in (the large screen TV is STRICTLY for work… ahem).
Different types of buildings were inspected for construction quality. The outside of portable buildings can look great… even alike… but the inside is another story. I found buildings that looked identical varied from 24 inch centers to 16 inch centers with various (sometimes questionable) quality of materials used.
In the end I decided upon a Graceland Lofted Barn building because of its solid construction. Now I’m not going to say it wasn’t thrown together with various flaws that could have made it much better than it is but overall still one of the best built I’ve looked at.
There were no structural flaws and the contractors I’m using… tongue and groove woodworking specialist Cruz Management (Cass Cruz & Ron Maldonado) from La Veta, Colorado are having no problems in coping with upgrading the building to a better level of construction with little added cost.
The construction consists of 2 X 4 wall studs on 16″ centers and 2X6 rafters on 24″ centers.
Everywhere a wall meets a rafter there is a double stud for the rafter to rest on.
The windows barely qualified as windows which is common to all the buildings I looked at so they were replaced with double pane vinyl windows. The West Texas dust is bad enough outside… really don’t need it inside.
Wiring and electrical work was completed by McArthur Electric which included installing a double box outlet on every other stud and a few in the loft. Number of outlets per breaker was limited so load would not be a problem and including the outlets on the underside of the loft ceiling a person should be able to stand anywhere in the room and plug into a wall outlet with solid, steady power. There are more breakers in the box of this 288 square foot building than in my entire house it sits behind.
My stepson Zac, his friend Fern and I insulated most of the interior of the building getting it ready for the contractors. This was fairly straight forward as all we had to do was cut for length and staple to the wall studs.
The guys at Cruz Management with help from Zac got started with the task of adding the Mass Loaded Vinyl (soundproofing) to the walls. This turned out to be quite a job as the material weighs 1 pound per square foot (the mass in mass loaded) making each roll around 100 pounds.
After a lot of research in soundproofing it seems the only sure way to stop sound is by mass. I will have drums and guitar amplifiers wailing away in here and don’t want to upset the neighbors.
At this point the tongue and groove pine work is started and this is where these contractors really shine in terms of quality and speed. The back wall was knocked out in no time. Starter boards were added to the long sides and the front interior wall is being completed as of this writing.
I will be back with more info on the project as it unfolds.