I'm not a builder but I have re-built our three homes over a thirty year period and to a reasonable standard - ish;-)
A couple of years ago I decided to push my life's dream project to the top of the priority list - I'm not getting any younger. I've always played in bands and had a, spare room, cellar, loft or shed, in which to indulge my hobby of song writing and recording and this is to be my dream studio. Indeed, my retirement home;-) The only professional help I've had is from my 14yr old son and his buddy.(they have learned a lot).
The concept is an open space with a small chapel resemblance. Open to the eaves, white-washed, lavished with the honey glow of a solid pine floor and frames etc and capped-off with Welsh slate.
This was my first attempt at a traditional "cut" roof . Not one that's been delivered on the back of a flat-bed truck. Each piece is cut and joined in situ, comprising an; A-frame (or gable frame), purlins, rafters and battens.
The quaint chapel design is going to prove problematic later on in respect of acoustics, which obviously isn't a good thing, when it comes to recording instruments etc and monitoring the results. So, there will be lots more to do in the acoustic treatment department. This will entail the construction of "bass traps", muffling panels and other such devises with which to sonically condition the environment.
I've tried to photograph the project at each significant stage of the build and I will endeavor to follow it through to fruition and I plan to finish off with a music video to celebrate the fact.
PS. This is in no way intended as a "How To" guide but merely a "How I Did it".
Step 1: Remove the Modern "improvements".
Back in the 1970's the then owner decided to make some "improvements" - raising the front elevation with concrete blocks by some 5ft and covering it with a single pitch Asbestos roof - yuck! I intend to restore it to it's original form - unfortunately, due to funds and a lack of traditional masonry skills I have regrettably used concrete block to close the large opening and (re) erect the gable end.
Step 2: Lowering the Wall to It's Original Height.
Step 3: Aahhhh:-)
That's the boring parts out of the way.
Step 4: Footings.
A 9inch deep trench had to be dug out and back filled with concrete as footings for the new elevation.
Step 5: Closing the Opening.
Step 6: Floor Slab Installation.
Step 7: Gable/Pine End.
Step 8: Tradtional Cut Roof.
The first part of this stage is to fit a wall plate to the top outer edge of both the front and rear walls - these have to be parallel, otherwise, problems will arise when cutting the rafters. A small amount of tolerance can be achieved with the overhang (at gutter level). A consequence of not obeying this premise is that the pitch of the roof will alter over it's length. The front wall, after removing the blocks, had thento be capped with concrete to give a flat, level and strong platform for the wall plate to sit. The wall plates were fixed with 6" proprietary frame fixings.
Step 9: Ridge-board and Rafters.
For the life of me, I couldn't calculate the timber layers, particularly the launch height of the A frame, so I proceeded in reverse order. The one aspect that remains constant is the rafters, so, I started with them and worked backwards, sliding the purlins into place under the rafters and then built-in the A frame last.
Step 10: Rafters.
Step 11: Purlins.
Step 12: "A" Frame.
Step 13: Roofing Membrane and Battens.
Rather than consulting an "expert" on the matter I carried out my own survey by hustling my way into the barns and out-buildings of friends and neighbors armed with a tape measure and camera. This, I felt, gave me a more practical understanding of the subject.
I should mention at this stage that before any of the roofing timber work was undertaken it was necessary to fix a led flashing system to the house wall to which The Barn adjoins. It's impracticable to do this after the fact.
Also, the membrane is of the modern semipermeable type. This allows for ventilation between the slating and internal covering.
Step 14: Internal View.
Step 15: Slating
Step 17: Inside
I modeled the Gothic shaped window to resemble a couple of originals in the main part of the property. I need to add a few more details to complete the illusion but it can wait. This window will be the only source of natural light but it does face South East. The morning is always a good time of the day to notice the dust, coffee mugs and beer bottles.
Step 18: Internal Walls.
The ceiling, which is open to the apex, is a doddle. 70ml of insulation between the rafters and plaster-boarded over. I've used the beveled-edged board so that I don't have to skim the whole room - just skim the joins:-)
The walls. In the interest of heat loss and sound insulation, I made the decision to lose a small amount of area. So the three peninsular walls were studded-out with timbers and filled with insulation boards. This method maintains an air space in the wall cavity which is vented through to the space between the slates and the ceiling boards. In effect, it's a room, within a room, with external ventilation between the two. Healthy:-)
The fourth wall adjoining the house is of a bare stone construction and it's staying that way. It needs a bit of work, some pointing and some disturbance for a log burning stove to be fitted.
Step 19: Solid Pine Floor
Using battens serves many a purpose. Providing the concrete floor slab is fitted with a working damp proof system and has no other planet based issues, it will help in attaining a good level if the surface isn't perfect. it gives an additional healthy air-space beneath the boards. And of course, the important appearance of nails - screws were never a traditional look.
It also provides you with the perfect opportunity and conditions for you to fit under-floor heating. All you need is (in this case) 50 meters of 8mm copper microbore, a box of clips, a couple of radiator valves (one being thermostatic) and a few extra fittings. £200 tops:-)
But! Anyone thinking of fitting under floor heating in a situation like this should seriously consider doing it long before the floorboards are permanently fixed with nails. Even kiln dried timber, in a temperate climate, stored in a merchant's shed will still have a high moisture content and the shrinkage, after being exposed to this kind of heat, will be quite significant, which could result in serious gaps between the boards in no time - 4,5,6,,,7mm! That's a 1/4 of an inch in old money - I kid you, not.
It was for this reason that I have decided not to - I'm in a rush.
Allowing for normal atmospheric conditions, the boards still need pressing together, as they are fitted, to avoid too much shrinkage. The gizmo pictured in this step is a home-made version of a tool that can be bought or hired. It's simply a small portable bench vice inverted and used to clamp to the batten as an anchor. A Quick Clamp turned inside out to make a spreader. An 8 inch piece of floorboard cut from the "groove" edge to protect the board tongue and a rubber mallet to apply encouragement. The spreader is then placed between the anchor and board protector. Wear gloves. And squeeeeeze!!!
I've used modern water based mat varnish. The last thing I want is a gloss finish (not acoustically ideal).
Step 20: Electrics. Mains Power.
Step 21: Breaking Through. the Doorway to the House.
Step 22: Finishing Touches.
Step 23: Door Made From an Old Church Pew Back.
the general construction and proportions were uncannily similar to a standard door. I had to re-profile the upper pew edge which is now the hinge side and I added the braces along with extra pine board to the internal bottom edge.