As most of you know my studio is a wooden out-building at the bottom of the garden in my sunny corner of South East London. What many of you do not know is that I built this place from the ground up. In fact one of the main reasons my wife and I bought the house we live in is because of the space for my studio. But it didn't always look so pretty.
But, this is not an application for a medal for my services to gardening. What you are interested in is what happened next and most importantly why.
Having done much reading and online research I decided a wooden structure would be sufficient to not only keep outside world sounds out but also the sounds of me drumming in. After all I am a drummer first and foremost and to be able to play drums at home and still be on good terms with the neighbours was my main priority. This article is about the ground work that went into the building of the base for the "Shed".
The building itself is 5m x 4m so I dug a hole 5.2m x 4.2m to give me a little "wiggle" room and built a wooden frame to hold in the concrete.
In the above image you can see the wooden frame and one half (just over half) of the concrete slab. The way I planned to divide up the internals of the studio was roughly 3m x 4m for the control room and 2m x 3m for the drum room and a 1m by 2m storage space. Now as we know from basic acoustics sound actually travels much better in a sold mass than in air so I decided to de-couple the slab under the drum room from that of the control room. In this was I could limit any ground vibration traveling from the drum room into the control room.
This picture shows the drum room side of the slab lined with a waterproofing membrane and half filled with hardcore. The hardcore is used to bulk out the slab so I didn't have to mix by hand 24 tonnes of concrete. In the end I only had to mix 9 tonnes. I was very fit that particular summer.
I cannot stress enough how important is it that the concrete base was made level. The last thing I wanted to happen is for any rain to get onto the base, seep under the timber members and sit in puddles on the base under the shed, start to smell and then cause the members to rot.
In the next part of this article we will look at the build of the main shed.