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Old Studio rebuild

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Old Studio rebuild

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:46 am

I've been following Tonyes335's 'New Studio Build' thread since the start and with some envy and considerable admiration so I thought I'd relate my much more modest own studio refurb story.

I've had my basement studio for a good while now and the original tanking job was not a great success. It has been usable but with the render falling off the walls and the de-humidifier occasionally soaking the carpet (with, at least nice clean, water) it is not somewhere I would invite a serious client if I had any. Realistically I'm a live sound guy and guitar player (and now mostly retired from the live sound work) so my studio is only for my own amusement and mostly allows me a convenient, if small, rehearsal space.

Anyway, I have been planning to refurb the room for a while and so when the land drain which has a gully in the floor of the studio backed up last week and flooded the floor with (muddy black, this time but it's the first time in 30 years) water I decided it was time for something to be done.

The room is 3.75 x 3.75 metres with a 2m ceiling and is an odd shape with a door diagonally across one corner and a 'shelf/alcove' about 1m off the floor under a square bay window in the room above.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gsflqtkmgz0jwfp/IMG_1256.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8jhvjjb7nlieyhv/IMG_1247.JPG?dl=0

Can't seem to get dropbox links to display images on the forum so links above.

Currently there is a sturdy shelf over the mixer with the big monitors on it (I know that setup is useless for serious mixing but, given the size of the room I do what little mixing I do on my little Wilmslow Audio/Kef LS3s near fields). I can't bring myself to part with the 104aBs though. In the refurb I plan to try to make them more usable, maybe by putting them in the alcove opposite the current position (where the Aircon unit is in the pic), I also plan to press that alcove into service as bass trapping.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rhp4kiseryw0elv/IMG_1253.JPG?dl=0

Off to finish clearing out and start knocking render off the walls now. Got to try to get a dry floor in by Tuesday so I can use it for a rehearsal :headbang:
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Guest271017 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:45 pm

I'm in a similar boat.

Hey, make sure you wear a dust mask if not respirator. Your lungs will thank you. Oh, and don't forget safety glasses. :ugeek:
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:00 pm

Good luck with the rebuild. I have the advantage of a nice, dry, light room, but the disadvantage that it is the other half's study so no acoustic treatment :\
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Tonyes335 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:26 pm

All the best on your rebuild.
Hopefully you can make quicker progress than me!
My first experience was a damp garage that caused the lug screws inside my shells to corrode!
Similar experience with dehumidifier that didn't turn off despite having a full reservoir. incredible the amount of water they can pull out of the air overnight!
Be careful not to pull out too much moisture in case it damages the guitars!
all the best,
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:08 am

Apart from the occasional flood, the de-humidifier has done a good job for 20 years keeping my studio around 50% humidity and kind to my guitars and electronics.

Progress may well be quicker than yours as I have the shell and a plan (and a much smaller room). I have a couple of projects that can't wait too so need it functioning at least as a basic rehearsal space asap.

I now believe the dodgy drain is connected to the main sewer some 70-80 metres down the road so Initially I'm going to cap it but may add a sump next to it with a submersible pump at a later date if it shows any signs of backing up again (I will leave some kind of inspection panel in the new floor.

I'm going to sacrifice 36mm of my already meagre ceiling height and install a floating plywood floor over a DP membrane lapped a foot or so up the walls and then plasterboard over another DPM on all walls. As long as I can keep any water the right side of the DPM that will do me. The drain has not overflowed in the 37 years I've lived here so I'm hopeful that last week was an isolated incident.

Just slightly OT, does anybody know why dropbox links no longer display pics on the forum (will ask the same question on the 'forum feedback' sub-forum).
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:13 pm

OT: dropbox pics working fine for me.
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:21 pm

Strange, how are you linking them?
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:32 pm

I meant that I can see your dropbox links fine.
I now wonder if you meant that you could no longer embed the images in the body of the message not as a link out?
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby kisboki » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:11 pm

Nice project. Just few thaughts about the damp walls. I don't know if you did or not but an exterior waterproofing would help to keep it dry or most of the times do some landscaping so the soil slants away from the house and make sure that the drain from the roof is not connected to the down spouts that goes under the house in some cases.

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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:15 pm

Yeah, thanks, on top of all that. It's an old (1880) Victorian house with a very casual approach to DPC (i.e. there weren't any when we moved in in 1980). The best way to tank a cellar is undoubtedly to dig down the outside and waterproof that but pragmatism, and two young children at the time meant that was never going to be an option (especially for a non essential 'man cave'). I learned that internal waterproofing is much more hit and miss and a better approach would have been to use a porous render, paint with trade (i.e. non vinyl) emulsion and and accept repainting every couple of years along with the de-humidifier to keep humidity within reasonable bounds for my guitars comfort. There is, however, no soil build up outside and, while we have tarmac around most of the house it was properly laid with run off falling away from the walls.

I suspect the actual water ingress is due to a blockage in the drains somewhere rather than the rise in the water table. The drain in the cellar is almost certainly connected, via several neighbours cellars to the main drain a good distance down the street so I will get the other, higher level drains surveyed and cleaned as necessary.

My approach to tanking the studio is more pragmatic this time, I intend to line the whole room in PVC damp proof membrane, install a plywood floating floor (halfway through that job as I type) and plasterboard walls (the ceiling is already double layer plasterboard to reduce sound transmission into the rest of the house) My neighbour, a fireman and builder has offered to skim the room when I have finished the rest of the work so it should look very presentable.
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Folderol » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:46 pm

A small detail you might not be aware of.
These days, common drains running through your property are not your responsibility, but are supposed to be maintained by the local water company. The law was (quietly) changed to this a few years ago.
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:19 pm

Thanks Folderol, I was discussing just this with my neighbour this arvo. We live in old Victorian houses and the drains (and everything else it seems) is not well documented so there's a lot of guesswork involved. But we are aware that the water company are responsible.
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:01 am

Google "anti flood gully" this could be a good safeguard.
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:07 pm

Already done that but as it would need to be downstream fitting it would involve digging 2 feet below the existing cellar or 6 feet below the driveway, neither of which are attractive propositions. My compromise has been to cap the gully in my cellar and do a proper job of tanking the studio this time round. We've decided that the drains downstream flow well and the ingress must have come from the high level gullies so they will be getting cleaned out

Floor is nearly finished and I will get on to plaster boarding the walls next week. The plaster will come in and skim shortly after that and then I'm onto the final fix, painting and fitting a new carpet.
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Re: Old Studio rebuild

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:37 am

Floor now finished and three of the four walls have DPC to ceiling height. The fourth wall is the one with the alcove and I have a panel of ply cut to fit in there after I tank that out. Away for a few days now so next instalment sometime next week.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qlvajvmd4gi745b/IMG_1257.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wci4jccmte56cfb/IMG_1261.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/27219kw4loc2sxd/IMG_1267.JPG?dl=0

Oh, any suggestions on cable management? I'm thinking of installing a trunking system at a little above desk hight to allow me to run mains (in it's own compartment) and signal cables for mics and to active FB speakers for rehearsals, plus cue mixes from the headphone amp to different parts of the room. I have no need for data cables apart from a single independent connection from the internet hub to the Mac Pro through the adjacent wall. I suspect this may be overkill but I have always fancied doing it to reduce cables strewn around the room and now is my chance. Looking at this stuff

https://electricaldirect-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/product-documentation/technical/295443.pdf

as it will take socket boxes for mains and I guess I can drill the cover for XLR and Jack chassis connectors. I will also mean I can rejig my setup with ease. I plan to fix the trunking to the wall over the DPC and butt the plasterboard above and below it so it doesn't stand too proud.
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