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Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA
Old 6th April 2013
  #1
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Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA

Ok, Just got the keys to our new building that I bought. The building is 2800 sq ft, concrete floor, concrete walls, build in 1918. It sits right next door to a music store on a major street in Tacoma, WA.

The main reason I decided to set up a studio is because my wifes band needs a place to rehearse and the place they have been using is just getting too crowded with drums! (long story...)

Anyhow, I owned a studio that burned down back in 2002 (very bad day) so I ended up working in the insurance industry. I have done well but am still a gear slut at heart and since my wife needs a new place to rehearse and I have a bunch of nice gear, I thought why not go buy a place and build another studio?

Even though the studio will be mostly used for her bands practice space, it will also be available to record in. I don't currently have a blue print and I will be doing most of the work myself. There are so many variables at the beginning of this project right now the only thing is certain is that this restaurant and bar stuff has got to go!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-dscf0012.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-dscf0009.jpg  
Old 6th April 2013
  #2
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So those were pics of a bad day. The guy that owned the restaurant next to our studio torched it for the insurance money. Long story but no body got paid out of that bad deal. I was pretty bitter about that for a long time.

Anyhow, here are some pics of the building I just bought and a bit of the demo progress,
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Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0077.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0078.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0079.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0082.jpg  
Old 6th April 2013
  #3
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This place was a biker bar, a live music bar and who knows what other kind of businesses over the years. Lots of diamond plate, very old ceiling tiles, really bad carpet The little tiny stage is a bit baffling to me. It is so close to the ceiling that someone 6 feet tall would hit their head. It is not very deep either so I have no idea what they were using it for.

There is also a room right behind the wall with the little window cut out that is pretty new. I think I may turn it into an iso booth or drum room.
Attached Thumbnails
Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0081.jpg  
Old 6th April 2013
  #4
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I got started tearing stuff out right away. This little scary trap door goes down to a little cellar that contains two hot water tanks for the kitchen area and and the two bathrooms. I will probably run some cables down there and a couple of guitar cabs and call it "The Guitar Cellar". That would be pretty cool.
Attached Thumbnails
Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0084.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0086.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0087.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0089.jpg  
Old 6th April 2013
  #5
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I have come up with a new phrase that I think will catch on....."Bar Tab Wiring".

You can see from the wiring mess pic above that it looks like someone wired this place for a bar tab.
Old 6th April 2013
  #6
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Last night I got most of the diamond plate pulled down, and the false ceiling tiles. The control room right wall will be where the kitchen area is. There were so many screws in the diamond plate that were stripped out that I had to drill the heads off of them. A few of the sheets were were over 14 feet long. Kind of tough to manhandle those sheets all by myself but I managed to get them down so my buddy can reuse them in his shop.
Attached Thumbnails
Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0096.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0102.jpg  
Old 6th April 2013
  #7
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Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-memo0101.jpg  
Old 6th April 2013
  #8
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I'll bet that you'll have much better insurance this time!
Old 6th April 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
I'll bet that you'll have much better insurance this time!
Lol.

Looking forward to following this build.
Old 6th April 2013
  #10
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So with the drop ceiling pulled, it looks like you may have 12 or 13' of height? You'll have plenty of space to make a killer rehearsal space, CR, storage, office, booth, etc. Awesome!
Old 9th April 2013
  #11
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The drop ceiling is at about 9'5" and then the regular ceiling with the plaster is at about 12'. There are skylights that hints at possibly having a 15 foot ceiling if I can figure out how to look into the crawl space.

One of the problems with tearing out this building is figuring out where to stop and then begin the building process. The sheetrock on the walls looks great but I am fighting the temptation to tear everything down to the bare concrete walls.

I decided last night that I am going to tear out all of the electrical and start over. Someone redid both 200 amp panels in the past 5 years or so but the "beer tab wiring" I have found while demoing the building is quite scary.
Old 9th April 2013
  #12
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The sheetrock on this part of the drop ceiling was 5/8" and had a layer of paneling underneath it. Some of this was pretty sketchy when it came down. One thing I am doing is when I find wiring that I am not sure what it is I tuck it up on the wires that support the false ceiling so I can sort it out later. If something is obviously not used then I am trashing it. My debris pile is getting bigger.

Finally got the kitchen counter out of there. That top on that thing was freaking heavy! It must have weighed about 400lbs!

Next I need to get my plumber in to cut off the copper water lines below the floor level of the concrete. I will also haul out the debris today and then attach the work lights, and the heating ducts to the actual ceiling and pull down the rest of the false ceiling.
Old 9th April 2013
  #13
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Not sure why my pics didn't post but here goes again.
Attached Thumbnails
Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-p1000658.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-p1000662.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-p1000668.jpg  
Old 9th April 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
I'll bet that you'll have much better insurance this time!
Well the bottom line with the insurance is this.....

The night of the fire I had told the fire investigator while flames were shooting out of the roof of my building that they would find out it was arson and that it started in the restaurant because the guy that owned the restaurant had hit me up 3 days before asking me for $50K to invest in his restaurant. I did not know this guy at all. I had never talked to him before. He also had told me he needed to pay off his business partner by New Years day. The fire investigator asked me if I would put it into writing and I said "Hell Yeah!"

Well, here it is New Years Day and I am watching flames shoot out of the roof of my building. Because I put it writing that me and the D-Bag that owned the restaurant had talked about money, and everything I said they would find out during the investigation turned out to be true, and I put in writing that we had this conversation, I had implicated myself into a criminal act and now it would have to go through the trial process. I was told that because of all of the circumstances that by law it had to go through this process and that process would be used to exonerate me.

Well the guy split the country and moved to Vietnam. Since they could not go through the trial process without the perpetrator, nothing could get resolved and nobody got paid. Not me, the building owner, or the restaurant owner (duh).

Anyhow, I had a business insurance attorney (who knew there was such a thing?) go over all of this and spend a few months trying to help me sort it out but the bottom line was that the way the laws were written, unless it can go through the trial process and clear my name, nobody got paid.

Not the insurance companies fault. All three insurance companies involved had the same requirements in their policies that they were required to have by law. Nobody gets paid out until the criminal process has been completed.

If I had just kept my mouth shut and let the investigators do their job and not tried to help out, everyone would have got paid out. I thought I was helping my cause, but in the end it screwed everyone. Who knew?
Old 9th April 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
Well the bottom line with the insurance is this.....

The night of the fire I had told the fire investigator while flames were shooting out of the roof of my building that they would find out it was arson and that it started in the restaurant because the guy that owned the restaurant had hit me up 3 days before asking me for $50K to invest in his restaurant. I did not know this guy at all. I had never talked to him before. He also had told me he needed to pay off his business partner by New Years day. The fire investigator asked me if I would put it into writing and I said "Hell Yeah!"

Well, here it is New Years Day and I am watching flames shoot out of the roof of my building. Because I put it writing that me and the D-Bag that owned the restaurant had talked about money, and everything I said they would find out during the investigation turned out to be true, and I put in writing that we had this conversation, I had implicated myself into a criminal act and now it would have to go through the trial process. I was told that because of all of the circumstances that by law it had to go through this process and that process would be used to exonerate me.

Well the guy split the country and moved to Vietnam. Since they could not go through the trial process without the perpetrator, nothing could get resolved and nobody got paid. Not me, the building owner, or the restaurant owner (duh).

Anyhow, I had a business insurance attorney (who knew there was such a thing?) go over all of this and spend a few months trying to help me sort it out but the bottom line was that the way the laws were written, unless it can go through the trial process and clear my name, nobody got paid.

Not the insurance companies fault. All three insurance companies involved had the same requirements in their policies that they were required to have by law. Nobody gets paid out until the criminal process has been completed.

If I had just kept my mouth shut and let the investigators do their job and not tried to help out, everyone would have got paid out. I thought I was helping my cause, but in the end it screwed everyone. Who knew?
Ouch! Thanks for the clarification. Gonna remember that and keep my head down if I ever get in a similar situation.
So glad you kept your passion for recording and started up again. Very interesting thread
Old 10th April 2013
  #16
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That's just another example of laws that don't serve justice.

Looking forward to seeing your build unfold.
Old 10th April 2013
  #17
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Yeah. The laws are actually designed to protect all parties involved. Since the insurance companies (all insurance) is shared risk among the current policy holders, the laws are designed to also protect them against having to get rate increases due to fraud. Well, this was just an area where there was a gap and I fell through the crack. I was pretty bitter for a long time but after coming to terms with the fact that nobody cares because everyone is too busy juggling their own life issues, I put the anger down and decided not to carry it around with me any more. It just does nothing but weigh you down.



Not much progress last night to report on. Mostly tying up lights and heating ducts and making some trips to the dump.

There was actually a band rehearsing last night in the music store right next door to my building. I could hear them pretty well through all of the concrete walls. I have my work cut out for me....
Old 10th April 2013
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
It sits right next door to a music store on a major street...
Certainly good for local word of mouth....

Sorry to hear about your previous loss, the damage photos really brought in a dose of reality. I can't even imagine the frustration you have had to overcome on that one. Outstanding to see how you have let it go.......Bet you were tempted to fly to Vietnam and haul that dude by the throat back to the US for trial.... hey there's a movie plot.....


Best of luck with this new build.
Old 10th April 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
Certainly good for local word of mouth....

Sorry to hear about your previous loss, the damage photos really brought in a dose of reality. I can't even imagine the frustration you have had to overcome on that one. Outstanding to see how you have let it go.......Bet you were tempted to fly to Vietnam and haul that dude by the throat back to the US for trial.... hey there's a movie plot.....


Best of luck with this new build.
Yeah, that desire still creeps in if I stop and let it sink in.

Reality can some times slap you in the head when you least expect it.

Upward and onward!!!
Old 10th April 2013
  #20
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Subscribed. I'm up in Seattle. Best of luck.
Old 12th April 2013
  #21
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Pretty tired right now. 5 trips to the dump today loading and unloading. Sorting out "bar tab wiring" just keeps getting more and more entertaining. Not a lot to look at but demolition progress continues.
Old 12th April 2013
  #22
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Not sure what happened to the pics but I will try again....
Attached Thumbnails
Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-p1000681.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-p1000678.jpg  
Old 12th April 2013
  #23
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You can see in the last pic that I had to tie up the lights and the duct work into the old plaster ceiling. Not a hard job by any means but trying to find old hooks and moving them into new places to hold up the duct work and the lights since I pulled the false ceiling down. It all just takes time.
Old 16th April 2013
  #24
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OK All of the false ceiling is sorted out, and then after hearing the band rehearsing in the music store next door I decided to tear out the 1/2 sheetrock and do a new free standing wall that will be at least two layers of 5/8" sheetrock. If I can spare the room I may go to three layers.

Now it is time to get serious about the back wall and the ceiling....
Old 16th April 2013
  #25
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Trying pics again. I got a message saying a security cert was missing...Not sure what that means but trying to upload them again.
Attached Thumbnails
Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-p1000689.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-p1000697.jpg   Decade Sound studio build - Tacoma, WA-p1000701.jpg  
Old 16th April 2013
  #26
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Maybe I missed it somewhere but I sure hope you have some help in this demolition. That looks like a ****load of work.
Old 16th April 2013
  #27
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I have been doing all of the work myself.

I work in the mornings running my internet based insurance business and day trading stocks then after the stock market closes I haul ass into town (I live out in the woods) and work from about 2:00pm until I can't hold my arms up any more.

Thanks for noticing how much work this is. I think it is funny sometimes how much people think things magically appear. When I was a touring engineer I overheard a fan of a band tell someone that "all of this sound and light stuff is here all the time so the bands can play on short notice"....with no regard or understanding that 50 people worked 16 hours to set that up. There was no work involved at all....It just appears by magic!
Old 16th April 2013
  #28
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moar updates!!!
Old 16th April 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
I have been doing all of the work myself.

I work in the mornings running my internet based insurance business and day trading stocks then after the stock market closes I haul ass into town (I live out in the woods) and work from about 2:00pm until I can't hold my arms up any more.

Thanks for noticing how much work this is. I think it is funny sometimes how much people think things magically appear. When I was a touring engineer I overheard a fan of a band tell someone that "all of this sound and light stuff is here all the time so the bands can play on short notice"....with no regard or understanding that 50 people worked 16 hours to set that up. There was no work involved at all....It just appears by magic!
Brother, I feel your pain and applaud your efforts!
Many decades ago my band decided to upgrade our little chicken coop studio into an "all weather" establishment. Only problem was we had no money. When we heard through a friend that an old house was in need of demolition we took the job. Hardest work of my life! Took that house apart piece by piece and transported all the lumber, windows, roofing materials etc 20 miles to our ranch and built a studio from the ground up with the reclaimed materials. We were young, strong and really didn't understand just how crazy the idea was.
I can only imagine how difficult your job is without help.........be careful, you don't want to hurt yourself. I'd be looking for a young band that wants to trade grunt labor for future session time.

Best,
Rick
Old 17th April 2013
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
Brother, I feel your pain and applaud your efforts!
Many decades ago my band decided to upgrade our little chicken coop studio into an "all weather" establishment. Only problem was we had no money. When we heard through a friend that an old house was in need of demolition we took the job. Hardest work of my life! Took that house apart piece by piece and transported all the lumber, windows, roofing materials etc 20 miles to our ranch and built a studio from the ground up with the reclaimed materials. We were young, strong and really didn't understand just how crazy the idea was.
I can only imagine how difficult your job is without help.........be careful, you don't want to hurt yourself. I'd be looking for a young band that wants to trade grunt labor for future session time.

Best,
Rick
Rick that is crazy!!! WOW but at least now you can say you did it! I actually will be getting some help with the build from my neighbor who did the framing and finish work on my shop last year and one of my closest friends is a commercial electrician so I get his help for beer. After today most of the grunt work will be done for a bit...I think...
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