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New build - unsure on dimensions

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New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby PTurner » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:02 pm

Hi

I am hoping to build a new recording studio in my garden in a quiet residential area (assuming that I can get planning permission for the project). I am unexperienced in this field but have been gathering info for some time on the subject now.

What I would like to achieve is to be able to monitor with my Mackie near field monitors at sensible levels (80-90dB) and reduce sound leakage to a level which is acceptable to my neighbours at antisocial hours.

Image

I have some questions and was hoping somebody could shed some light for me:

To be able to achieve this sort of isolation, would I definately need a double wall setup like in my picture above or could I get away with a thick single wall with a well built and isolated stud wall setup?

Should the thickness of walls A and B be the same or can I reduce the thickness of one of them? If so which one?

Is it advisable to make my inner room non-rectangular? I know that the dimensions should not be multiples of each other but I was wondering if building the inner room with tapered sides (1&2) and/or roof (X&Y) would help. Should I consider another inner room shape?

I hope this makes sense.

Your advice is much appreciated

Paul
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:07 pm

There are a lot of variables. It depends how physically close you are to your neighbours, how much ambient noise there is, what materials you use (cost) etc etc. I strongly suggest you pay a consultant to come and look at this with you, and come up with a design which you can then follow. There's nothing worse than pressing ahead with a big spend, and then finding that fundamental mistakes in the design have rendered your investment and hard work useless.

I use Max Hodges for this sort of thing. https://sites.google.com/a/maxtech-audio.com/www/

Jack
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby PTurner » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:28 pm

Wow that was a quick reply!

Thanks.

If I were to build in the area that I had in mind then the distance to the nearest neighbours house is approx 11m. If I were wanting to work into the early hours on a project then the ambient noise would be very minimal - perhaps the noise of the pond water trickling would be the loudest noise. My budget for the project is undecided as I havn't done any research into the cost of materials but my MAX budget would be 4K for soundproofing and acoustic treatment. The inner room only has to be small(approx W-2.5m L-3m H-2.1m) as its just a small space where I can make my music without upsetting other family members/neighbours.

I suppose the more pressing question is, what are the chances of getting planning permission for something like this? would I need to say that the building was an 'office' or something?
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:50 pm

Re the planning: You probably don't planning permission to do this. There are various criteria and you should look on your local council website, and possibly call them if you're unsure. But you're usually within your rights to build a structure not more than X size, not more than X height, not between the main building and the road, no toilet and not for someone to live in full time etc etc and you can use that for any purpose that you would use a room in your house for...like your music hobby. If you want to run a recording studio business from your garden, with clients coming and going then you would. But from your posts it doesn't sound like that's the idea at all. Now while you dont need permission that doesn't mean that the neighbours won't complain the second they hear the words music or recording. It's a 'den'. Isn't it.

In terms of your budget of 4k for soundproofing/acoustics. In addition to what? It doesn't work like that. You dont build a structure and then soundproof it. Because the way you build the structure dictates the level of isolation. It's all about the design and attention to detail in the build. You MUST get that right. Equally if you build the acoustic treatement into the design you can make it more cost effective, and easier on the eye.

The good news is that you have a bit of distance between yourself and the neighbours. Distance is the cheapest soundproofing.

The difficulty in all these situations is that to make a space soundproof you need to have robust doors and windows, tightly closed and sealed all the way around to prevent sound leaking out. And when you do that you find that the space gets incredibly hot and short on oxygen after a while. And so you need to find a way to ventilate it and sometimes to cool it. And that's where things get a little bit complicated and more expensive. To make matters trickier, it's the hot days and evenings that are the worst, because not only does the room heat up even more, but the neighbours have their windows open, sit outside and want peace and quiet etc.

But I reiterate, if you get someone who has done this a number of times, understands the physics and has the experience, you can get the best out of the budget and have a pretty good idea in advance what level of isolation you can expect from your design. If you have no real design, and allow local builders to build whatever they think best and then try to acoustically treat it, I can guarantee that it will not perform as well as you hope and money will be wasted. Give Max a ring.

J
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby necromunger » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:26 am

ive got a blue smurf building something like that at the bottom of my garden with no planing permission.

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk37/necromunger666/S1032481.jpg
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby PTurner » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:35 am

Its good to hear that the planning might not be needed. I got the details off the councils planning site and have spent a while looking through but am confused so will need to get in touch with them.

Yes, the room is only for my music making hobby and not for any sort of business. If I didn't end up needing planning permission, would I have to tell the neighbours anything? The thing that worries me is that there are some elderly folks in the street which would be more likely to complain. They will see the project underway and may guess what it is or even ask to see how it is progressing, so this maybe a problem - we don't really want to fall out with them!

You dont build a structure and then soundproof it


I am aware that the soundproofing ability and acoustic performance of the structure is designed and built into it. My main focus here is to achieve a high degree of sound isolation and a 'reasonable' acoustically treated environment. Music is a hobby and a passion but not a business and I don't really want to spends 1,000's on a perfect acoustically treated environment - reasonable would suffice.

Yes, the ventilation seems the triciest aspect. Would an air cooler in combination with opening the doors every so often be an option or could condensation become a problem? Would I regret not fitting a fresh air system?

If I were to speak to Max would he need to see the intended location or could/would the correspondence be electronically?

I really appreciate your time anyway.


Cheers

Paul
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby Madman_Greg » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:29 am

Personally if I had the money to build a brick/block construction I would consider if an extension to the property could work. This will add much more value than a stand alone structure for the future.

Only threw this is in as another consideration it may not be relevant to your situation for all I know
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby James Perrett » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:47 am

I'm just in the process of building something roughly double the size of your proposal in our back garden. Rather than 2 masonry walls I've gone for one thick masonry wall with a separate stud wall internally. However, the weaker points are the door, windows and roof which need to be thought about very carefully.

I've had some helpful advice from Max but I've also taken ideas from my previous professionally built studios which have been more of a lop sided hexagon shape rather than rectangular. It will be interesting to see how well it all works when the doors and windows are finished in the next few weeks.

I've gone for fan assisted ventilation rather than full air conditioning - it worked fine for my last studio so I'm hoping it will work in the new studio - so far I've only needed to use it to get rid of paint/glue fumes.

Jack has summed up the planning permission requirements fairly well. Most of our neighbours know that it is going to be a music room - although we started off telling people it would be a hobbies room they all know that we play in bands and they've all been fairly happy about that. It possibly helps that we can show them our last studio which was in a semi-detached house in a crowded residential street which had no noise problems.

James.
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby James Perrett » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:50 am

Madman_Greg wrote:Personally if I had the money to build a brick/block construction I would consider if an extension to the property could work. This will add much more value than a stand alone structure for the future.

The drawback is that this would require building regs approval and probably planning permission too unless it was very small. It would also be harder to isolate from the other occupants in the house.

James.
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby PTurner » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:42 pm

Thanks for your replys.

If you had to split your budget between soundproofing and acoutic treatment, what percentage would go on what? or are the majority of the acoustic treatment costs 'built in' to the structure of the building itself?

If I were to get some guidance from an expert on how to build the structure, then source the materials and build it myself what would be a realistic budget bearing in mind that I don't need acoustic perfection? I need to know this before I start to decide if it is financialy viable, and thought that you guys who have done this all before might be able to give me a rough guide. Is 4K realistic?

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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:24 pm

Well, lets consider treatment and soundproofing as separate issues. As you suggested initially you can achieve better results by doing non parallell walls and stuff like that. It does complicate the build somewhat. But lets just think of these things separately.

The acoustic treatment isn't terribly expensive. It's a small room built out of block and as such it's never going to be acoustically perfect. You can get some GIK bass traps for example and then build some rockwool panels to absorb HF at the first reflection points. A few hundred quid or so should help. Again it might pay to get someone to advise on exactly what to put where.

The isolation on the other hand is an expensive business. Are you thinking that you can build the structure for 4k? I'd think that if I hired someone to do this it would cost about 20-30k depending on the size. If you're the kind of guy that could do all the building work yourself then obviously you could save a lot, but I'd think there's still be a pretty big materials bill.

J
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby necromunger » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:04 pm

ive got a blue smurf building something like that at the bottom of my garden with no planing permission.

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk37/necromunger666/S1032481.jpg


the smurf at the end of my garden has finished his all ready,well just needs a door now.

he done that in a week with some help!.

shame the housing inspector came round today and took 1 look at it and said he has not informed us he is building anything and should of given 4 weeks notice to us and the council b4 starting work.

and he has built it up to 2.7m high when the limit is 2.5 for where he has put it.

cant wait till the buildings inspector comes round next week to take a look at it.
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby PTurner » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:26 pm

Ok thanks, i'm going to go off to do some investigation on material costs.
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby Madman_Greg » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:33 pm


You might like to consider buying the following book

The Housebuilder's Bible (Mark Brinkley)

To help you with your estimating
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby James Perrett » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:30 am

PTurner wrote:
Is 4K realistic?

The outside shell of mine cost around £14k to have it built. I've probably spent around £4k on internal materials. A small blockwork building would be much cheaper if you could do everything yourself but I'm not sure whether £4k would cover everything.

James.
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Re: New build - unsure on dimensions

Postby Madman_Greg » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:05 pm


I think you are unlikely to get a response confirming £4K is a sufficient. Cost could be affected by local conditions, for example you could easily blow £4K on foundations in certain areas
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