Building a studio part 1

For about a year and a half I’ve been renting an office and although it’s awesome to have somewhere to go all day I’d much rather work from home. With a two year old running around I can’t really work in the house so I turned to the crappy old shed for inspiration. My partner and son went to Tasmania for a long weekend and my father-in-law and myself got busy with the conversion.  All materials were booked up at the awesome Tonks Hardware in Castlemaine which has generous discounts for early payments. They also delivered all the big bits and pieces.

OK. So when I first started to think about using the shed as an office it had a nice(ish) cement floor. I cleaned it out and it all looked pretty good. Then it rained. Lots of moisture seeped up through the floor and although I cleared drainage paths around the outside it still got quite damp. So we decided to cover the cement and put in a new floor.

We splashed out and got heaps of insulation. Turns out it was too thick for the beams, or whatever they’re called, so we had to trim them down a lot. Not that much fun. Oh, I forgot to mention. I’ve never built anything like this before so we cut a lot of corners and made lots of mistakes.

We plastered the walls and roof and discovered a window behind a board. Plastering was a pain in the arse. Definitely learned a lot from this project. The roof taught us not to be stupid next time. My aching back will remind me to be cleverer and probably research or some-such.

My father-in-law was a glazier , so he fixed the old broken window with ease.

Skipping ahead a bit. I bartered with my neighbour to help out with all the trims. Website work in exchange for all the trims and electrics. There was already one power point but we’ve added a heap more so I can have a long desk set up. I’ve added one layer of undercoat here. The aim isn’t to be a show-house type finish, just cover up the grey a bit and bounce the light around.

All painted. The roof has only one layer because it’s a pain and I’ll get around to it later. I honestly don’t notice. The bits of texture in the room from my awesome plaster joins feels much better than boring old perfect walls. Also, I couldn’t make perfect walls if I tried.

Monster desk is the old work bench that was already in the shed. It’s 10 feet long. I removed one board from it and added an extension so I’ve got a nice area for my mouse and to write notes on. I attached it with a few screws and there’s some large brackets underneath in a few spots. I hand-sanded the old wood back so it’s not quite as grimey from the 70 years worth of wood-working.


And here is a beauty shot from when I first set up my work machine.  I wish it still was as neat as this.

Now I’ve got my iMac, PC and MAME machine all set up. The PC is pretty new and runs games pretty. It’s hooked up to a 32″ Panasonic TV (which will end up being mounted on the wall for the consoles). I’ll be getting some basic carpeting to help cover up the work site floor. I don’t really want to sand it back then seal it. I’m a little tired from the project.

I’ve got a little reverse cycle air-con unit that spits the cold air out the window and blasts hot air into the room. Works really well and I don’t have to have it on all the time to keep warm when working late.

My monitor died that used to be in this machine so I have clean the glass and re-spray to hide the monitor and show all the game screen. This cabinet was another project That took a day to put together. It’s just craft wood and is built to hold an X-Arcade tank stick.

So far it’s cost just over a thousand dollars, maybe $1,500. We did all the work ourselves which kept the price down nicely. It’s already paid for itself in the last few months, taking into account what I used to pay for an office and all the outgoings. I do get interrupted every hour or so for hugs but that aint so bad.


Part 2 as soon as I finish setting up over the next few weeks! :)

4 thoughts on “Building a studio part 1

  1. Your office is awesome, Josh! Wish I could work freelance and have my own office like yours. Heck, even just give me the arcade / mame machine and I’ll be happy fellow :)

    Anyway, hugs every hour are awesome, and don’t you forget that. Unless of course homeless people are coming into your office to give you hugs, then that’s just creepy…

  2. Hey Gary! :) Yeah the homeless guys get a bit tiring. Luckily there’s a smaller office joined to this shed that is just the right amount of musty for a homeless man to appreciate. It all ended up going fairly smoothly. I recommend building something like this if you can. Makes all the difference not being joined to the house.

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