Unusual work for a gardener. Building a photography studio / gym. Part1

in hive-174578 •  last month  (edited)

BBF81A37-237E-4D74-9C0B-95983B514F8B.jpeg

So, I’m now going into week 6 of UK lockdown, so apologies for the lack of posts. But here was a project I did with my girlfriend and a couple of her friends. She has been a vintage stylist and studio photographer for a number of years now, and she managed to do all of this from our home, with some alterations. Last year she decided to make the leap of having her own studio, which coincided with her friend Kate, who was looking for a new location for her gym, as circumstances out of her control forced a change of location. After a short few months of looking at different venues, we found this small unit very local to us in the Forest of Dean.

1633E50F-273A-45F4-A20F-E86F77FCFA64.jpeg

F359D0F3-B67F-4378-A48D-14F41AD5AF90.jpeg

C970EDBB-D57B-496F-8233-B95F67A0584A.jpeg

Surrounded by mechanics and tyre fitters, this was an unusual location, but the space and price was too good to refuse. The first thing that came to mind was that this wasn’t enough floor space as it was. So we needed to install a mezzanine floor. This is not the sort of work I usually do, but with a structural engineer, carpenter, plumber and a few builders on my friends list, the method was in place and away we went.

59AA9341-2909-441C-B974-6C037C78B065.jpeg

CE58A729-9A4D-433A-9DD8-03C2B9796BAF.jpeg

E610F6E8-1406-4A90-9632-75EF1BFACC8C.jpeg

93B7F4D8-C85D-4889-8F6E-B019E88D529F.jpeg

A91B07F1-2D8C-4242-9159-41CF655C3CC9.jpeg

A60A6C23-4EFE-4BEF-98F2-7616E5A0B2D4.jpeg

We infilled the 6” steels with 7” timbers. This gave us a 1” gap above the steels for reasons that would be explained later. Whilst the mezzanine was up, we needed to get the small “beauty room” finished to start bringing in some kind of income whilst the building was being fitted. My girlfriend @bettynoir did a fantastic job designing the area. The room has a lot of uses for such a small area, including a nail bar that folds down off the wall. The finished outcome was fantastic. It was a lot of fun working on this room, and it was a nice, quick, and easy build.

575E19F5-8A1B-461B-AD75-311DAC7F62C9.jpeg

94B9A5CE-3502-4A8E-9A15-CB8788B16655.jpeg

E23E1EF4-244A-45C8-9A45-6E186B2EC4F2.jpeg

3AFB5FE8-CE2D-42AE-A867-E1835B9FE640.jpeg

FE3EFB04-136D-46E3-A4CE-8D9F8D8C9440.jpeg

0BD1ADB2-603A-42E0-A9BC-46B02A307B1A.jpeg

FC381811-9C2E-4C9F-9871-A92316BBE453.jpeg

The surrounds were simply made from 10mm MDF, rear lit with some cheap LED lights off eBay. It gave us a really good atmosphere when lit. We also installed 2 small ceiling chandeliers, which we had to fit with very low wattage bulbs as there were 8 bulbs in this very small space. So as we managed to start to bring in some much needed small amounts of money, we continued with the upstairs which will eventually become the photography studio. Once the steelwork, timber joists, and 1.5 tones of chipboard floor boards were installed (which I had to carry up a ladder) it was time for the stairs and railings. It was at this point I found out just how many regulations are in place for things like this. I thought the mezzanine had enough building and fire regulations to adhere to. But with the railings, there is a hight regulation for handrails on staircases, which is different to the hight on the railings which is mounted on the flat, with a minimum sized gap in the uprights, and the list goes on and on. We managed to buy a staircase and handrail combo, and also managed to get some second hand iron-work railings that ticked all of the boxes. So with some minor adjustments, we made it all work.

CF29A4FA-5E0A-4CC1-A16E-E64A5BEDDD2E.jpeg

30C6230A-4DF2-4DD3-8A33-AAB2C073761C.jpeg

74C454C5-C977-437C-876A-768A675FB631.jpeg

A735635C-A7CE-4915-8E51-CD2CFD2604E8.jpeg

9026552A-34AE-4715-B8BB-185300BE5103.jpeg

Once that was up, I left Betty doing most of the flooring by herself, and I fitted the shop front. The front was a bit of a brain ache, but we decided to fit a new shop front, outside of the original roller shutter door. Some simple studwork, fronted with closeboard horizontal strips, and plastered on the inside. This was simple, quick, and effective. The roller shutter door now acts as a security door behind the shop front. All of the flooring was a simple clip together laminate flooring. Both of the levels were laid with the flooring that we removed from the original gymnasium that kate had laid years before. We managed to save just enough. The upstairs had less than 1% spare once finished.

37458341-60FF-439D-BDEC-C610286F163B.jpeg

9B9748F1-6138-4E1C-9013-991BC07B7267.jpeg

E78FC6AE-8327-4133-92D4-92BF986B6865.jpeg

0BA7320B-BFAA-41B9-9811-62DA6AC5DFF0.jpeg

FCF20E66-354D-426E-918F-98D2659DF30E.jpeg

We fitted a small kitchen down stairs, and we fitted the combi boiler, which was also removed from the old gym, heating the domestic water and 6 large radiators. A friend of mine is a plumber, so I got him to do the technical stuff, and I got to have a play with soldering copper joints, which not only did I enjoy, but I got quite good at.

5DE3A791-80EC-4B13-9D8E-400FCACAD280.jpeg

DA0076E4-630D-4A44-9167-05C9BD1E1DE0.jpeg

I would also add that this whole project took us over 12 weeks, whilst fulfilling my full time job as a landscape gardener. I was landscaping from 7:00-17:00, and then shop fitting from 18:00 - sometimes to 02:00. During the entire project I only had 1 day off work, to help the plumber. It shows that with a little hard graft, and you can get things done. It also came in very cheap as we called in every favour we could regarding the help that we desperately needed, and are eternally grateful for. We spent less than £500 on labour, and a huge majority of the materials were recycled. I will dig out the good pictures of all of the photography sets for tomorrow, and will write about that all in part 2

Any questions feel free to ask.
Thank you for your interest.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

I have picked your post for my daily hive voting initiative, Keep it up and Hive On!!

This is amazing!

Thank you.

Congratulations @leighscotford!

Your post was featured on our daily build newsletter. We've sent 250 liquid BUILD tokens from our @build-it.funds account to your wallet upon which you can sell, trade or buy on Hive engine.

Build-it is a DIY (do it yourself) platform where you can find tons of how-to's, ideas, and advice to create or build something all by yourself. The platform leverages a robust digital token, called the BUILD. The recommended tags required when creating a DIY article are #diy, #build-it. #how-to, or #doityourself. Please subscribe to our HIVE community here and earn extra 'HIVE' tokens.

Chat with us on our discord and telegram channels Discord, Telegram.

Follow @build-it.daily for more updates!