In part one of my series on building a home studio I talked about the importance of vision and making sure you build the studio you need to fit your needs.
Once you have settled on the grand idea then there's a part of the process that many creatives would perhaps rather avoid and that's dealing with the issues of planning and regulations. This is an area where I can't underline enough the need for professional advice.
Planning Regulations And Consent
Planning regulations cover such issues as size of the development and the impact of a building development on the locality. Planning tends to consider the following issues;
- Traffic and parking
- Impact on other neighbours with light and access
- Environmental factors
This is not an exhaustive list and will vary from location to location. You may not need planning permission depending on your particular development but it pays to find out if you do or not.
I took the advice of an architect on these matters who gave me some helpful advice, which is that in the UK, local planning officers are happy to talk about a proposed development without needing to know the specific address of the property. They will need to know the general location but other than that are happy to discuss the local planning laws with you without you having to speak about the actual address - you may feel more comfortable taking on this basis whilst you are in the exploratory stage.
Each area around the world will have different rules and regulations about planning, so get the advice from an architect and local planning officer. In the early stages I tried to avoid this and tried to Google answers, but this route produced more questions than answers.
Even if you don't need planning permission it is almost certainly the case that you will need to comply with your local building regulations.
Building regulations cover a vast array of areas including safety and the environmental factors of your building. In the UK there are some exemptions for buildings under 30m2, but again you need to take the advice of a professional architect or local government officer not me.
As audio professionals we often bemoan those who ignore our advice to save money, the same applies to getting professional advice when building a studio. It's going to mean spending money on fees, and it may delay your project, but for peace of mind I would advise taking that route every time.
Not doing it, may affect things like you insurance cover so trying to save a few hundred pounds at this stage may cost you thousands of pounds later on.