Introduction: How to Build an Artists Studio for Less Than $100
For all you artists out there who would love to have your own tiny space in which to work on your creations free from distractions!
Okay. Find a small piece of land or clear out a corner in your back yard. Level the ground, or in my case spend a few weeks digging out a hole in a hillside. I like to build stuff mostly underground. Mainly because it is easier to heat and cool, but also because i like to have things hidden and meshing in with nature. But this Instructables will be brief, so as to allow you the builder to create your own idea of what a small studio would be.
Next, locate and haul in a bunch of scrap wood that nobody wants, or in my case the local High School was going to burn. Don't buy new lumber. It is too expensive and there is so much out there that people will just let you have if you haul it away. The wood i got was 4X4 and 6X6 fir, so i just layed down a layer of plastic, built a simple floor and then started the log house style walls going up by nailing them one on top of the other with ring shank nails. If you only have 2X4 wood then go on You-Tube and learn how to build walls.
As you can see in the photo, i added a large skylight to the roof since there were no other windows. I would not advise building a flat roof as it was near impossible to seal from the rain. Even a slight angle would be better. The most expensive part of the project was buying the roof sealer! A door was then built into the north facing wall and i then covered all the exterior in liquid tar. This was to prevent rotting and to keep the carpenter ants from eating the wood.
Then i covered all the walls and roof with several layers of heavy black plastic, then layed river rocks, gathered from around the property, up the sides. I did not use any mortar to hold the rocks. By angling them a bit and packing dirt between the wall and the rocks they secure themselves.
Finally i built the skylight from steel and thick plexiglass, a heavy wooden door and an overhang so that snow would not jam up the door from opening. On the top i shoveled about 20 inches of soil from the original dig and planted grass seed. Each year since i have covered the roof with a thatch of meadow grass that i scythe down every summer.
This 2 month project gave me a warm, dry and safe place in which to create and store my art projects in. For other projects i have made see www.moonlightchronicles.com