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Converting a summerhouse into a bedroom...

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gazzab

from United Kingdom

Joined: 18 Nov 2010
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Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:02 pm Reply with quote

I won't go into the details about how it came about, but I'm looking into buying this summerhouse: http://www.gardenbuildingsdirect.co.uk/Summerhouses/BillyOh-Composers-Cabin-Summerhouse and converting it into a music studio/bedroom for me to sleep and work in.

There's no need for any plumbing and the electrics will basically be 2 massive multi-plug extension leads running from 2 sockets in the house. What I'm wondering about is insulation. I thought it'd be a simple job of ordering a load of loft insulation and covering all the walls & ceiling then covering it with plywood, but looking around online there are a lot of different approaches people recommend.

The cheapest solution I've come up with is to use 5cm polystyrene to cover the walls, ceiling and floor; then fit draught excluders around the windows and door at a total cost of under £150.00. To add plywood to that would cost a fortune so I'm thinking of maybe leaving them as bare polystyrene and then carpeting the floor icon_razz.gif

I'm gonna be pretty much living in this place so I need it to be warm all year (I'll probably buy an oil-filled heater) but I don't have a huge amount to spend on insulation. Any ideas of the best way to go about it? (floorplans are on the site)
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big-all

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:33 pm Reply with quote

because you want it for sleeping you will need planning permission and need to comply with full building regs on insulation ect with the electrics complying with part p

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/
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mointainwalker

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:17 pm Reply with quote

Your carpeted floor/clothes will very quickly have a good coating of ps particles where you have rubbed against the walls
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Robert9999

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:41 pm Reply with quote

If plywood costs too much then you could use hardboard. You would have to paint it or varnish it to prevent damp getting into it.
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gazzab

from United Kingdom

Joined: 18 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:59 pm Reply with quote

big-all wrote:
because you want it for sleeping you will need planning permission and need to comply with full building regs on insulation ect with the electrics complying with part p

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/


Yeah I'm gonna ignore that icon_lol.gif


mointainwalker wrote:
Your carpeted floor/clothes will very quickly have a good coating of ps particles where you have rubbed against the walls


Very good point, that stuff's a nightmare and probably a fire hazard if left bare come to think of it


Robert9999 wrote:
If plywood costs too much then you could use hardboard. You would have to paint it or varnish it to prevent damp getting into it.


Cheers i'll look into that, I'll probably cut a vent into one of the walls for ventilation to try and prevent damp from high humidity. Do you think the polystyrene would be good enough as an insulator?
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freddymercurystwin

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:11 pm Reply with quote

No it'll be just as sh*te as the rest of the inevitable rubbish you will add to it.

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gday2uk

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:57 am Reply with quote

Coat the walls and ceiling with a good layer of expanding foam (the aerosol type), then just before it sets you can push things into it like sockets, shelves, pictures etc. and they should stay in place so no need to use fixings. Enough should slide down the walls to evenly coat the floor so will kill two birds with one stone. Simples. Wear goggles when applying to the ceiling though as it hurts if you get it in your eye; if it gets in your hair be sure to spread it around so as not to form a lump.
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Robert9999

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:09 am Reply with quote

As to the insulation, you may be interested in what I did to my integral garage a couple of years ago. I wanted to turn it into a hobby room but not do anything that couldn't be easily reversed. I put 50 mm polystyrene inside the garage doors and then 18mm chipboard fixed over that. It has made it quite reasonable in winter with a small heater.

A comment on the buildings regulation thing. As far as I am aware you can erect a tent in your garden and let someone sleep in it. What, legally, is the difference between a tent and a wooden summerhouse?
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The following user says thank you to Robert9999 for this useful post:
gazzab (20 Nov 2010)
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big-all

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:37 pm Reply with quote

Robert9999 wrote:


A comment on the buildings regulation thing. As far as I am aware you can erect a tent in your garden and let someone sleep in it. What, legally, is the difference between a tent and a wooden summerhouse?


quote from building regulations

"Building Regulations

If you want to put up small detached buildings such as a garden shed or summerhouse in your garden, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres and contains NO sleeping accommodation.

If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building contains NO sleeping accommodation and is either at least one metre from any boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials."

tents as such are not a problem sleeping in a tent for a day or two is not a problem but as a normal practice is not allowed
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Richard C

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:38 pm Reply with quote

gazzab wrote:
big-all wrote:
because you want it for sleeping you will need planning permission and need to comply with full building regs on insulation ect with the electrics complying with part p

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/


Yeah I'm gonna ignore that icon_lol.gif

With an attitude like that I truly hope your neighbours grass you up, I would. icon_rolleyes.gif
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gazzab

from United Kingdom

Joined: 18 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:32 pm Reply with quote

gday2uk wrote:
Coat the walls and ceiling with a good layer of expanding foam (the aerosol type), then just before it sets you can push things into it like sockets, shelves, pictures etc. and they should stay in place so no need to use fixings. Enough should slide down the walls to evenly coat the floor so will kill two birds with one stone. Simples. Wear goggles when applying to the ceiling though as it hurts if you get it in your eye; if it gets in your hair be sure to spread it around so as not to form a lump.


This sounds like a nice and easy fix, but it also sounds like it could be a complete disaster if it went wrong icon_biggrin.gif

Richard C wrote:
With an attitude like that I truly hope your neighbours grass you up, I would. icon_rolleyes.gif


Well I'm glad you're not my neighbour then... there's never any need for people to 'grass eachother up'. What exactly do you gain from it? A feeling of self satisfaction in knowing you've spoiled something for someone else? Nice.

Anyway, the point is it's by no means going to be a permanent residence, I just need somewhere to stay whilst I'm not at Uni and given the time and budget restraints, this turned out to be the best option (plus it'll be excellent acoustically)

Robert9999 wrote:
As to the insulation, you may be interested in what I did to my integral garage a couple of years ago. I wanted to turn it into a hobby room but not do anything that couldn't be easily reversed. I put 50 mm polystyrene inside the garage doors and then 18mm chipboard fixed over that. It has made it quite reasonable in winter with a small heater.


Cheers that's exactly the answer I was looking for. What did you do for the floor? Was it just bare concrete or did you insulate that as well?
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mointainwalker

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:41 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
this turned out to be the best option (plus it'll be excellent acoustically)


My bold


Oh no it won't . Try looking at some of the many threads on acoustic insulation on here and you will see that you have nothing.
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gazzab

from United Kingdom

Joined: 18 Nov 2010
Posts: 11
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:45 pm Reply with quote

mointainwalker wrote:
Oh no it won't . Try looking at some of the many threads on acoustic insulation on here and you will see that you have nothing.


Pitched roof above where the monitors will be to prevent vertical standing waves, walls that can vibrate freely preventing bass buildup... the mids and highs I'll treat with foam & the sofabed will be a good absorber & diffuser, but it'll already be a massive improvement over the room I'm in currently which is impossible to mix in.

Obviously polystyrene is less than ideal, I wanted to go with loft insulation but it'd work out too expensive and would need additional framing around the walls so as not to compress it when fitting the boards on top.
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Richard C

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:17 pm Reply with quote

gazzab wrote:

Well I'm glad you're not my neighbour then... there's never any need for people to 'grass eachother up'. What exactly do you gain from it? A feeling of self satisfaction in knowing you've spoiled something for someone else? Nice.
Anyway, the point is it's by no means going to be a permanent residence, I just need somewhere to stay whilst I'm not at Uni and given the time and budget restraints, this turned out to be the best option (plus it'll be excellent acoustically).

A very similar & well intended conversion for “teenage/student summerhouse residence” resulted in tragic death just recently, that’s why we have regulation. But if your intent on ignoring it, at least be careful how you heat it & understand other potential risks.








To reiterate a previous post;

[/quote]

But I wouldn’t wish you dead icon_exclaim.gif icon_wink.gif
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gazzab

from United Kingdom

Joined: 18 Nov 2010
Posts: 11
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:36 pm Reply with quote

icon_lol.gif I understand where you're coming from, but the electrics will be 2 4 plug extension leads just like I'm using in my room now and as for heating, I'll be using an oil filled radiator rather than an air blowing heater for that reason.

If I was building a permanent studio I'd probably abide by the building regs and planning permission, but as it's only a short term thing I'm gonna do what I can... I don't really have the time to jump through hoops.
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