It’s a process that’s been years in the making. All I had to do to get started was buy a house with space.
Took care of that last summer.
After that, it was on like Donkey Kong!
Many of you have been following along with the new voice over studio build on my Facebook page (click here for pics).
Now that the framing is done and the drywall is up, I thought I’d share a few of the lessons I learned a long the way.
3 Things to Consider Before You Build Your Voice Over Studio
Consider Flowpath / Layout: Once the space was empty, before a single wall was framed, we taped off everything in the room so I could get a more visual concept of layout and flow. We taped off the walls so we knew exact interior dimensions. Then we taped off all the different furniture. I bought about a dozen rolls of green painters tape from the Dollar Store and we put it on the concrete floor. This gave me the ability walk through the space and make sure I was happy with the design. It also helped me decide the best location for outlets and wall boxes for Cat6 cable.
Anticipate ALL Wiring: Yes, we think about where outlets should go or where switches need to be. But what about the rest of it? Are you installing a TV, for example? Where are you running the cable? What about internet? Do you need to run Cat5/6 cable? How are you connecting your office computer to your booth? Do you need to run USB? HDMI? More Cat 5/6? These are things I had given some consideration, but not enough. The result, I had to make a lot of quick decisions so we could move forward with the drywalling. Think about every conceivable device and need and how you’re going to get wire/cabling to it. The other reason this is important to consider ahead of time is because it has a pretty big impact on your overall budget. I’d estimate I spent around $750 in wiring / cabling and the required accessories alone.
Don’t Cheap Out: My office / studio is my business space. This is where I earn my living. This is where I spend the vast majority of my day. The space needs to be amazing. It needs to be inviting. It needs to be comfortable. It needs to have good flow and energy. I need to want to spend time there. For all those reasons, I made a decision with my wife (who nudged me a few times along the way) not to cheap out. This is a big investment in my business. No different than a retailer choosing a store location. It meant we had to save some extra money. It meant we spent a little more than I originally budgeted. But when it’s done, I have no doubt it will be worth every dime. If you’re building a permanent space in your home to work, you want to do it right. You NEED to do it right!
Budgeting For a New Studio
I’ve been asked a number of times about the budget. The build isn’t done yet, and I saved a lot of money by being able to do all the work thus far with myself, my dad and my father-in-law. We did all the framing, wiring and drywalling. I’m hiring a contractor to mud and tape the drywall. I’ll hiring a contractor to lay the carpet. My wife will do the painting. I’ll do all the finish work, such as trim and door installation.
If I took into account only the building of the space, which includes lumber and materials, plus the contractors for drywall finish and carpet install, I’d estimate the final total will be around $10,000 CAD (appox $8,000 USD). I’m so grateful for how much I was able to do on my own and with the help of family, as that no doubt saved a few thousand dollars, which allowed some funds to be directed in other areas.
There’s still a lot of work to do, but I’m getting excited more and more each day as it takes shape. It’s going to be an amazing space to grow my business in!