You are here

Loft conversion studio/office

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:20 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:
blinddrew wrote:Where is the desk going and which way is it pointing?

Nothing set in concrete at this point but my feeling both from an acoustic and logistical point of view is that the preferable arrangement is to have the desk and monitors at the party wall end (the one with the brick wall) facing down the length of the room.

That sounds like a good decision to me Eddy - as well as being preferable in most situations to fire down the long dimension of a room, pointing your monitors away from your neighbours is probably also a sensible choice ;)

Phew, I'm glad I remembered it right... and agreed on all fronts!

Fishnish wrote:Looks good!
I notice you have some Velux type windows , (I saw you said you'd upped the spec for the other glazing - not sure if that applies to thes also?), but wonder what your plans are re taming any potential outside noise coming in via this route - I've got Veluxes myself in the studio room and have found they can be awfully noisy when the rain and wind blatters down on to them

Yes, the Velux windows are a known compromise. Unfortunately I didn't know about the existence of acoustic glass until too late, so they are what they are. That said, I don't record acoustically much and it's a serious hobby as opposed to a living so I can work around rain.

I live on a very quiet street so there is no real issue with road noise but in the event the windows are an issue I'll probably make a timber frame stuffed with 100mm Rockwool covered in acoustic fabric to use as a removable internal 'hatch' over them on those occasions I need more baffling.

In the meantime having spent half the day cleaning all the crud out from under what used to be the old loft floor I'm heading back up there to finish installing the RW3 between the floor joists :D
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 5047
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works
The 2nd SOS Forum Album project
 

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:53 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:... Much as carpet is better acoustically I simply can't live with it so the plan is laminate flooring, but largely covered with a big rug at the business end of the room.

I'm not sure carpet is actually better acoustically that laminate. Carpet is, inevitably, too thin to be an effective absorber outside of the HF. If the ceiling surfaces are well treated the reflections from the floor should remain well controlled whether you use laminate or carpet, the carpet would just make the room slightly duller sounding which may or may not be desirable.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13888
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Folderol » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:59 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:In the meantime having spent half the day cleaning all the crud out from under what used to be the old loft floor I'm heading back up there to finish installing the RW3 between the floor joists :D

Some people get all the fun jobs :lol:
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11637
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby blinddrew » Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:02 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:... Much as carpet is better acoustically I simply can't live with it so the plan is laminate flooring, but largely covered with a big rug at the business end of the room.

I'm not sure carpet is actually better acoustically that laminate. Carpet is, inevitably, too thin to be an effective absorber outside of the HF. If the ceiling surfaces are well treated the reflections from the floor should remain well controlled whether you use laminate or carpet, the carpet would just make the room slightly duller sounding which may or may not be desirable.

Also with a laminate floor you get to scoot from one end to the other on your wheely chair with one good push.

You did say you were going to box-off the staircase right?
;)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12003
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:16 pm

blinddrew wrote:Also with a laminate floor you get to scoot from one end to the other on your wheely chair with one good push.

You did say you were going to box-off the staircase right?
;)

I did, but now I can't help but think "BUN-GEEEEEEEEEE" :lol:

Folderol wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:In the meantime having spent half the day cleaning all the crud out from under what used to be the old loft floor I'm heading back up there to finish installing the RW3 between the floor joists :D

Some people get all the fun jobs :lol:

After some hours, I confess that the word 'finish' was somewhat premature. Well progressed definitely, but I'm working full time on weekdays to pay for all this and I think it'll be a good two or three evenings before the floor insulation is done.

That said, I am loving RW3 as an insulation material. It cuts beautifully with a breadknife and behaves extremely well when being installed.
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 5047
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works
The 2nd SOS Forum Album project
 

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Watchmaker » Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:02 am

Good call on the RW3 in the joist spaces. Perhaps extra care to make the party wall air tight and maybe add mass, e.g. another layer of gypsum?

Also, a mistake I made...have you thought about your internet connection?
User avatar
Watchmaker
Frequent Poster
Posts: 867
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:00 am
Location: Upstate NY, USA
Take my advice, I'm not using it.

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:01 pm

Well, quite a day. I had a little pushback from the architect and builders when I said I didn't want to use Celotex as the insulation, so I went direct to the building control company who are responsible for signing it all off and they were far more understanding.

Long story short, they are very sympathetic to my needs and have experience with acoustic-sensitive builds. They like RW3 very much, are fully behind the use of resilience bars and have sent me written specifications for the RW3 which is 100mm in the walls, 125mm + 50mm airgap above on the ceiling and 100mm + 50mm airgap behind on the skeiling.

Other than padding out the rafters in places with an additional 25mm or so of baton (and I've got loads here spare now that I'm using resilience bars anyway) it's all fairly straightforward so I shall shortly be ordering a hefty load of RW3 to be delivered in the latter half of this week, as it'll take me at least 2 more days to finish the floor.

Watchmaker wrote:Good call on the RW3 in the joist spaces. Perhaps extra care to make the party wall air tight and maybe add mass, e.g. another layer of gypsum?

Also, a mistake I made...have you thought about your internet connection?

The party wall currently has an air gap behind the bricks for isolation, but I'll be putting 100mm of RW3 (on spacers to leave a 50mm gap at the rear for ventilation) behind the non-bricked section. As the room is so long (about 8m), I'll almost certainly be adding a second layer of 2x4 framing stuffed with 100mm RW3 across the entire surface, and may well go the extra mile and do two layers of acoustic plasterboard with green glue in between them as well (need to check if that requires extra strong resilience bars).

This should result in a solid foot of RW3 on the framed section, and 100mm on the bricked section, both with a 50mm airgap behind them.

For Internet I should be OK for wifi as the access point is in the hall directly below, but I'm making no assumptions and am going to ask the electrician to run a couple of cat-7 cables up as well.
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 5047
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works
The 2nd SOS Forum Album project
 

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby al_diablo » Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:52 pm

Thanks for sharing the details your project, I might be in a position to spec out a loft studio in the next 6 months or so, so this is very useful research for me!
al_diablo
Regular
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Folderol » Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:16 pm

Glad you're running the network cable. It's relatively cheap for what it is, and the best wi-fi doesn't get near for performance or reliability (and people seldom have 'best'). I prolly don't need to say this, but no tight bends 'kay :lol:
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11637
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby billc2 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:11 pm

I learned the hard way about tight bends in cat5. Don't do it.
billc2
Regular
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 12:00 am

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:03 pm

al_diablo wrote:Thanks for sharing the details your project, I might be in a position to spec out a loft studio in the next 6 months or so, so this is very useful research for me!

Good stuff - hopefully this thread will help you avoid some of the headscratching I've been doing!

Today I've agonised over various options for the joist isolation but eventually came back to the Green Glue joist tape, and have ordered 180 metres of it which should arrive on Thursday.

I'll be installing that between the top of the floor joists and the 22mm flooring boards. My plan is to glue the boards together when I re-lay them but to put no screws or nails in the floor anywhere as they would transmit vibration and noise through the isolation tape.

That said, if the new floor seems overly 'dynamic' when walking on it I may put a few in to deaden the movement in those spots because ...

... the joists of the new floor are separate from the joists of the old floor, and are arranged such that they interlace vertically in the underfloor void. This is good for me insofar as there is no contact between any part of the new floor structure and the old joists to which the plasterboard ceilings below are attached.

Once the new floor is completed, the next step will be to insulate the walls with more RW3 (are you spotting a theme yet?!) and in the meantime I'll be ordering some 5mm rubber isolation strips to install on the periphery of the floor to separate it from the acoustic plasterboard which I'll install 'lightly touching' that rubber, hopefully next week.

The other jobs for today are to measure up the walls, ceiling and skeiling so that tonight I can order the reslience bars for the acoustic plasterboard as well as the second load of RW3 with a view to it turning up about the same time the floor is finished.

As a bonus, while clearing out the old floor insulation I have found:

  • The 1979 diary of a young male teenager
  • A receipt for a money transfer to the USA from the same person when they were in their early 20s
  • A usefully high number of dropped nails, screws, washers and other fixings from the guys that did the loft conversion
  • A vintage, but almost unused and completely rust-free, solid steel crowbar which was under the paper base of the old insulation and must have been there since about 1980. This made my day!
  • A model footballer
  • The plastic badge from a toy policeman's helmet
  • A bunch of to-do lists in exquisite handwriting on a notepad belonging to the sister of the young man mentioned above

Oh, it turns out I may well be able to get the glazing in the velux windows replaced with acoustic laminated glass as well. This I've put on the back burner for now but will come back to later.
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 5047
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works
The 2nd SOS Forum Album project
 

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Blott » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:11 pm

That looks like a quality build Eddy, very high spec indeed and it'll be an excellent office/studio when completed.
I can't wait to see the finished article. :)
I've recently embarked upon a similar project (studio/office) too that's now nearing completion.
Building though is similar to songwriting it seems in that the last 10% (those little finishing touches), seem to take as long as the other 90% of the build did!!!
I thought I'd be in mine by now and although all the building finished a couple of weeks or so ago, I'm still making tweaks to the interior and am awaiting some acoustic treatments before all my gear goes in.
So all I'd say is be patient.
With all the thought and effort you've put into it, I'm sure it'll be worth the wait. :)
User avatar
Blott
Regular
Posts: 463
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Nottingham UK
http://soundcloud.com/blottuk
http://blottuk.bandcamp.com

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:38 am

Blott wrote:I've recently embarked upon a similar project (studio/office) too that's now nearing completion.
Building though is similar to songwriting it seems in that the last 10% (those little finishing touches), seem to take as long as the other 90% of the build did!!!
I thought I'd be in mine by now and although all the building finished a couple of weeks or so ago, I'm still making tweaks to the interior and am awaiting some acoustic treatments before all my gear goes in.
So all I'd say is be patient.
With all the thought and effort you've put into it, I'm sure it'll be worth the wait. :)

Thanks ... and right back at you :thumbup:

As of this weekend, the floor is now fully insulated, I've made a start on the walls and the basic wiring is in place (fittings to be added later after plasterboard):

Image

Image

Image

In addition to a mains-powered fire alarm (linked to the others in the house) and couple of lights up and at the top of the stairs there will be two rows of five LED lights, set flush in the ceiling. The six (three on each side) nearest the party wall end will be switched in two independent banks of three and the rear collective four will be switched as a whole.

Two cat-7 ethernet cables are now installed and run down through the floor to the router in the hall below. I've also got 180 metres of Green Glue joist isolation tape ready to start applying:

Image

Next step is to lay a two-by-four along the base of the party wall as I've decided to double-up the existing stud wall and cover the brickwork with the second one.

Then trim a little off the flooring boards to compensate, apply the joist tape and lay the floor over it, glueing the boards together.

Unfortunately I wrenched my lower back quite badly while completing the floor insulation and I've been pretty much out of action for the last 24 hours, hobbling round like a crooked old man and moaning about it like same. It's a very old injury that I've aggravated but if past experience is anything to go by it should figure itself out.

It's already much improved and I should be (carefully!) back on the job either tomorrow or Wednesday evening :)

After the above is done, the next little set of objectives are:

  • Finish insulating the walls (100mm RW3)
  • Complete framing the inner stud wall on the party wall
  • Complete framing the enclosure over the stairs
  • Frame the doorway/enclosed entrance area at the top of the stairs
  • Counter-batten the sloping rafters to add 50mm depth and install 100mm RW3 with a 50mm air gap behind it (building regs requirement)
  • Counter-batten the roof joists to add 25mm depth, ready to install 125mm of RW3 with a 50mm air gap above it (building regs requirement)
  • Order and install over the insulation (on walls and ceiling) the internal skin of Alumi-flex (foil-backed thin thermal insulation which also acts as a vapour barrier)
  • Settle on which acoustic plasterboard to order and order it (enough for all surfaces)
  • Work out how many resilience bars are needed to mount it on and order them
  • Order correct length screws for the two above

In the meantime I've contacted another plumber (not massively happy with the last one's quotes) to move a radiator in the bedroom below so that I can frame the doorway at the bottom of the stairs, but that's something for another post later.

Phew.
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 5047
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works
The 2nd SOS Forum Album project
 

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Folderol » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:58 am

When boarding the ceiling, poke a small hole where the lighting cables are so you can find them later.
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11637
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Loft conversion studio/office

Postby Luke W » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:20 am

Some great progress there, taking shape very nicely. Hope the back gets better quickly as well, I feel your pain on that one!
User avatar
Luke W
Regular
Posts: 430
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:00 am
Location: Northamptonshire, UK
Studio - Techical Audio Services - Bespoke Construction

PreviousNext