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The Jook's pastoral NJ barn studio build
Old 22nd May 2018
  #1
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The Jook's pastoral NJ barn studio build

Took me the better part of 15 years to get here, but I'm finally building my own space.

The project:



As part of our residential remodel I insisted on adding a separate building for a studio. We sit on 2 acres, so we have the land, and I figured why fight STC issues when I can just have my own space unconnected to the house?

So I began searching for the most cost effective way of getting a 2nd building that could accommodate a medium sized mix room + tracking space + loft living/working space. That's when I came across BarnPros and the folks over there were amazing in helping me conceptualize the building and customizations that would get me what I needed. We settled on a 24x36' pole barn with 864 sqft on the 1st floor and a 24x24' loft leaving a 12x24' section open to the 25'+ ceiling for a tracking room.

That gave me a 'shell' within which to build a great mixing room and a guitar/drum/vocal booth -- and when budget permits, close up the stud walls with insulation and paneling for a great tracking room with crazy high ceilings.

I'm a bit late in posting my photo diary as we're pretty far along, but I'll post the step-by-step in replies here for anyone who is interested in this stuff!

-Jook
Old 22nd May 2018
  #2
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Photos of the barn buildout so far

basic framing, sheathing, wrapping:











Siding (2" Doug Fir):





And interior 'shell':



Old 22nd May 2018
  #3
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Rough electrical for exterior walls wired up. Doing a 'lite' version of star grounding wherein each outlet is on its own circuit, and each circuit is isolated ground with a home run ground wire running to the main ground (and ultimately to 1 of 2 copper posts buried behind the barn). There will be 2 separate panels, one for tech power one for non-tech power (lights, HVAC, etc.). Once the control room is framed out, we'll run power there. When they poured the slab, we laid some PVC to run at least a couple outlets under the console.

Old 22nd May 2018
  #4
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Animated .gif of the inside:

https://i.imgur.com/A4kbADc.gifv
Old 23rd May 2018
  #5
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Looking good

Thank you for sharing this. So far your build looks great, can't wait to follow your progress.
Old 1st June 2018
  #6
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The design by Jeff Hedback

Here's the plan, as designed by Jeff Hedback of HD Acoustics (Hedback Designed Acoustics! – North America based Acoustical Design and consulting). Jeff's been a dream to work with and was able to take the constraits of the space and budget and design a fantastic control room + booth.

Old 1st June 2018
  #7
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And framing is underway!



Old 1st June 2018
  #8
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Acoustic panels raw materials

And the whole mess of Corning 705 for various absorption panels (backed by regular household Batts of various densities depending on the panel)



Old 1st June 2018
  #9
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I bet you're starting to buzz! LOL Just seeing the framing is exciting!
Michael
Old 1st June 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcintalker View Post
I bet you're starting to buzz! LOL Just seeing the framing is exciting!
Michael
Yep! Though definitely have to stay on top of details as my GC (as nice and honest as he is) doesn't normally do studio build-outs. He had to make some minor "deviations" from the plan to accommodate some realities on the ground, and I had to have an abrupt chat with him about how every single dimension interacts with every other dimension. He gets it now and we're back on track!
Old 1st June 2018
  #11
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I had my "most studio" build done by 2 guitar playing carpenter guys and I had to say "it's a studio not a bedroom" over and over and over..... LOL
Old 2nd June 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcintalker View Post
I had my "most studio" build done by 2 guitar playing carpenter guys and I had to say "it's a studio not a bedroom" over and over and over..... LOL
Yeah I'm gonna have to move in when they're doing drywall aren't I
Old 2nd June 2018
  #13
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Yeah! As soon as my 2 room set up got "done" and painted, carpeted, etc, I basically moved into those rooms! LOL

Michael
Old 7th June 2018
  #14
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More electrical and HVAC starting next week!
Old 17th June 2018
  #15
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Boy this looks great. I’m feeling excitement for you! Having just remodeled as well as completed a studio build, I can appreciate the hard labor and all the fine details that go into the scope of a build like this. It can be mentally exhausting reviewing the details over and over and over to ensure no hiccups occur so hang in there. Can’t wait to see how this turns out. Good luck man!



P.S. Beautiful property you got there. Reminds me a lot of mine. What type of trees are those in the first few pics?
Old 20th June 2018
  #16
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More pics of the loft + open live room. Photo credit: fadeoutfoto.com





Old 20th June 2018
  #17
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Electrical wiring going in today! 20A circuits, each recepticle its own circuit with home run ground wire.

Old 20th June 2018
  #18
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It's almost as if the drum kit can't wait to get in there either! LOL
Looks great and I envy you!
Michael
Old 9th July 2018
  #19
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We have a door! Although, as was pointed out to me by a colleague, its STC properties are that of a door that can keep goats out (or in, depending on its use), and we're gonna need to frame out an inside door. It sure is purdy though!

Also, more progress on electrical inside, but slow going as my electrician is quite busy elsewhere.





Old 6th October 2018
  #20
How is the build coming along?
Old 25th October 2018
  #21
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Slow going! My GC had some work to finish up in the main house, but now that's all done and it's back to the barn!

Today insulation got delivered. Hope to have more pics soon!
Old 13th November 2018
  #22
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Insulation done, rubber isolation strips then drywall next





Old 20th November 2018
  #23
This is lookin beautiful man ! whats the budget on this if you dont mind me askin ?
Old 20th November 2018
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romemusica View Post
This is lookin beautiful man ! whats the budget on this if you dont mind me askin ?
On the whole building or just the control room / booth part?
Old 6th December 2018
  #25
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Aaand we're sheetrocked!

Lesson learned here: residential sheetrockers, no matter how experienced and diligent, are NOT going to do things the way an acoustical designer is going to require them to. I don't know how many times I told everyone involved that they must follow the method outlined in the spec (butt joints: hang 1 sheet, apply acoustical sealant to the joint, slide new sheet up to joint). The way they did it instead was to hold back all joints a bit to apply acoustical sealant. Given the STC rating of these walls isn't going to be *that* high, it's a minor bummer but not worth having them redo the job -- they sealed all joints less than 1/4" directly with acoustical sealant and any larger than that applied backer rod and then sealed. Comparable STC performance in the end.

I will say that I'm glad I didn't go with 2x6 full double-leaf (triple leaf??) design because there's just no way it could have been done properly without hiring a highly specialized builder that builds studios. And for my budget, that wasn't an option (and an optimization that wasn't going to get me much in the long run anyway). But if you DO get plans from a designer for a full-on high STC build, either do it yourself or hire a crew who's built studios. And I get it-- the sheetockers my GC hired are really good at sheetrocking but they're just not going to change their methods and feel confident in the result they're delivering. This is how they know how to deliver a good product, and asking them to learn something new and risk the outcome of the job is understandably problematic for these guys.

Another make-sure-you-do item: wrap those electrical boxes in acoustical putty before insulation & sheetrock. I forgot to do this. Luckily there's an option that will seal them up after the fact enough to match the STC rating of the walls (again, not having a crazy high STC rated build is helping me here): Air and Sound Seal for Electrical & Light Switch Outlet Boxes | Trademark Soundproofing

Tomorrow they're framing out the extensive acoustical panel network that's going on the ceiling and walls. That way the track lighting can be directly attached to 2x4s inside the panels. Once paint is done we'll fill the frames with the required insulation (2" Corning 705 backed by various batt insulation depending on the location) and cover with fabric. Next week is final electric and HVAC, and week after that should be flooring. Then glass & doors. Then, move in and wire everything up!





Old 6th December 2018
  #26
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I can relate to that! The two carpenters who built my last studio build (2001-2006) were musicians and knew it was a studio, but ignored my "requirements" over and over. They got fired after I realized they just weren't going to follow my instructions. Live and learn, eh?

Steady on!
Michael
Old 7th December 2018
  #27
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Yeah I’ve been doing a fairly major buildout. Doing the isolation right took me and two guys 6 weeks straight. Just to hang it all. And I know what I’m doing. But it’s very tedious to do it right and be meticulous.
Old 7th December 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoggin View Post
Yeah I’ve been doing a fairly major buildout. Doing the isolation right took me and two guys 6 weeks straight. Just to hang it all. And I know what I’m doing. But it’s very tedious to do it right and be meticulous.
Nice! Got a build diary?
Old 7th December 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejook View Post
Nice! Got a build diary?
Yeah my thread is a couple threads down. New studio in Sausalito. This is a good way to document things for me as I’m not much of a picture taker otherwise lol
Old 7th December 2018
  #30
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Paul meet Tim...Tim meet Paul. You are both greatly appreciated client's and super people! Carry on with the great work guys!!
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