How to DIY a Home Studio


Perpetual Practicer
Feb 27, 2019
First off, if this is inappropriate, I apologize to the mods and everyone. I received a lot of messages offering advice and asking about what my plans were, so I'm making a thread to document the build. I'm also a huge Home Theater geek, so I have practice doing this in another area in THIS build thread.

I have a room in the basement that's mine, and recently decided to remodel it to be my guitar/music recording space. Having been through this in the thread above, I know that one of the most important steps is to scope my plans for the room. Here's my intent:
- Currently, my guitars and gear is spread between three rooms. I play in two of them, and store some in the third. I want a single place for all of my gear, including a comfy location to play by myself and for up to 2 others
- I work on my guitars and audio in the current room on a small workbench, I want to keep that space
- Recently I've been interested in recording in my own studio. I want to set up the capability to do it, as well as limited ability to create proper acoustics in the room
- The space in that part of the basement is somewhat broken up and not really optimized. My design plan includes combining then into a contiguous usable space

So, here's a look at where we started. We're looking down the hallway to the double doors leading into the main room. The last door on the right before them is a closet that I'll be combining into that room, so I've included a couple of shots of that room.




Through those double doors is the current room. Looking in the double entry doors, and around the room clockwise. The first thing on the left is a set of double doors into a (second) laundry space, that will be eliminated to make a nook for the recording gear. The last as we go around is the metal rack of stuff. Behind that wall is the small closet above.




Next up, DEMO DAY!
So, in order to pull off the plan, I need to do a few things:
- Demo out half of the closet, take down the wall behind that metal rack. Remove the door to the hallway and seal it up.
- Demo out the main double doors that enter the room, and that wall. Move the wall 2' up into the hallway, making the room 2' deeper, replace double door with single.
- Demo out the double doors to the laundry area, take down the wall to that closet, make recording nook

Since nothing matters without pics, here's what it looks like as of this morning. A few shots of entry from hallway, demo'd closet, interior wall coming down:




Next post: The plan! had me at Cases and Safes!!!!!

Those were actually the most annoying parts of the design!! I'm already running out of room to store cases safely, which is why they were in this room in the first place. Safes.... Ugh, just take up so much space! If you look at the new design, they're tucked back against the wall, blocking the secondary access door to the mechanicals room!

There has to be something satisfying about productive destruction right now.

#truth. Annoying part: I don't know if my local dump is actually open...
Not a whole lot done lately, but some noticeable progress last night. The wall for entry doorway came down, as did the old hallway wall portion that isn't staying. You can still see the old doorway to the closet, but it will be framed in to become a wall now.

Also, all of the old walls that partitioned out the closet are gone.

As you can see, the electrical was pulled out, and new plans are being finalized for it.

On an unrelated note, according to the Mrs, I can no longer say "I don't have to flip the breaker, I've never shorted a wire while using a Wonderbar to pop electrical staples out before". :D

The plan for today is to take down the last wall in the room, where the closet doorway and partition wall is. After that, some general cleanup (pulling old nails, the carpet in the old closet, some last baseboard trim, old cut tiles that will need to be replaced, etc.)

I'm hoping to get the final demo done by the end of the weekend, and get all of the waste out. The trash pile is growing...
Got a good bit more done during a mid-day break. First off, got the power tied back in, and lighting on again.

Today's focus was taking down the doorway and surrounding wall to the closet, so there's somewhere to tuck the desk for the studio.

The pile continues to grow, but should be almost complete. For the record, those bags are full of only sheetrock...

Next up: taking out flooring that has to change, and "prep for new". That's mostly pulling old screws & nails, popping tiles that will have to be replaced as walls moved, preparing for new sheetrock, and preparing new electrical routes.
Decent work yesterday, if nothing flashy. i focused on removing any old build (2x4s, nails, etc) that was left, and prepping the room to build. You can see that I laid out the room as it should be at "complete", and started double-checking proposed layouts and where everything will fit. I used blue tape to show the new wall locations, and verify things like door swing, fitting the built in shelving, does the desk sit well, and the feel of layout and flow.



The plan for the remainder of today and tomorrow is "floor homework". As you can see, there are several spots where I'll have to cut and remove tiles to add walls. There are also a bunch of places where there will need to be tile added, from old wall locations and prior carpeted areas. The question I hope to answer soon is "Can I get this tile still, and fill in the missing places OR am I looking at pulling the entire floor and replacing with new tile?". The first would obviously be easier, but I actually prefer the second. (I'm the only one in the house that does)

I've laid tile before, but never on a poured basement slab. For any that are more knowledgable: Can I just put down a liquid leveler and lay on top, or do I really need to put down a decoupling membrane like Schluter Ditra?