Sunday, March 31, 2013
The Studio! TADA!
The studio is finally taking shape. We started construction at the end of February and I'm hoping everything will be done by mid-April. It's a simple sloped roof design with lots of windows for light. I've been wanting a studio for years and have been working from my living room since 2006. A large part of this long delay has been due to our frequent moves and we also had to do some saving-up in order to make it happen. Yes, we make 3, 5 and 10 year goals... things can change, but it gives us a direction to go in. Short and long-term goals are good things to have, they keep you from feeling lost and you get a huge sense of accomplishment when you reach one of those goals. I can't express how excited I am to get a studio! A BIG THANKS to the hubby for all his support in so many ways!
The studio is 16' wide by 12' deep (192sf), the front is 12' high and slopes to about 8' in the back. It's built on pier blocks, the ceiling, walls and floor are fully insulated. There is electricity but no plumbing, we will have heated floors as well. The roof is metal and I think might put in a cistern/rain collection system to save water for the yard. The windows are double pane vinyl from Milgard. We also pulled some cables from the house so I'll have internet in the studio as well.
Seattle weather is pretty pleasant, if we're lucky we'll get a week or 2 of really hot weather (heat in the 90's). There's no need for AC, but there are 3 windows that open for cross breeze. We mostly worried about the cold and insulation.
Q: Did you need permits?
A: Yes, although apparently not a lot of people get permits for smaller structures. Every municipality is different, you'll have to check with your city's building code. I think in rural areas you can build up to a 200sf "shed" without permits. Because we're in Seattle we can only build up to a 120sf (10' x 12') structure without a permit. From our experience they're mainly concerned about safety and structural integrity. Our permit cost us about $500.00, it's a cheap cost for peace-of-mind. If you're going to build I HIGHLY suggest going through the proper channels... You won't have to worry in the future in case you sell the house or a neighbor reports you. In most cases you'll just pay a fine, equal to or more than the cost of the permit. In severe cases they'll make you tear it down, usually that does not happen unless you make someone at the city REALLY mad. I have friends in both scenarios.
Q: How much did it cost?
A: The studio will cost around $15,000-$16,000 when finished. It sounds like a lot, but it's not. We opted to have our contractor build it and most of the cost is probably in labor. He's been great for us, he did our home remodel and we work together well. Jeff has always been on time and on budget.
I will sit down with Jeff and get a cost rundown for those who are interested in just the material costs. If you know a bit of construction and have time you can do much of this yourself. At the moment I'm guessing there's about $4000 worth of material. The permits are another $600-$700 (building and electrical permits). There's also the cost for electricians.
First week of construction.
The pier blocks were set, the floor went down and a few walls went up. You can see Guy (my dog) inspecting the work. This was the first time I got to see how high the front face would go! It's so large compared to what I imaged from the plans. I am happy to get a bit of privacy from my neighbors as well :)
All 4 walls went up, windows were framed in and the roof is starting to take place.
Week 2 (end of week 2)
Roof joists are on and we're ready for paneling.
The studio gets some skin and we're ready for windows and door. There was a little delay, Home Depot had misplaced ordered or door? They gave us a solid door vs. a glass front one. Wiring was installed and we also had our building and electrical inspections this week. Anticipating what the inspectors would say was nerve wracking, but both had approved the job with a few minor changes. The inspectors were surprisingly pleasant... I've heard too many horror stories from other people.
Week 4 (pic from top of post)
Windows are door are installed and trimmed, the house is also wrapped. Next week we start on the siding and interior work.