Last year I drew up rough plans for a new Studio / Sun Room addition on the east side of our home. The previous year my wife had her dream kitchen remodel completed and now it was finally my turn to have a real studio space. I sent the rough plans to my brother's step-daughter and she put them in Cad in a three dimensional format. I used that concept to get bids from contractors so I would have an idea what I was looking at in costs. The first contractor almost scared me out of the idea because of his bid. It was way more than I could envision spending and I did not have the reserved funds to cover it.
I eventually found an excellent experienced contractor whom I trusted who had excellent references and I called six of them to determine the type of work they had done. Everyone of them praised his work ethic, the workmanship and their happiness with the finished product. Once satisfied, I asked Paul Bestelmeyer if he would agree to have me work on the project with him as his second guy. He said definitely, he would enjoy that and would not have to hire someone. This would take my time but save me a lot of money. I also said I would do all the demo on the existing deck.
We worked well as a team and I worked the project from laying out the foundation to digging it and jack hammering the rock so we could set footings. I helped finish the concrete footings, and building the studio from the ground up. There were many long tiring days as we erected the structure.
We also had to have inspections along the way, and the wonderful thing was, we were building it above code, a lot stronger than the plans I had an architect complete called for. We always passed each phase of the inspection. The building inspector told us he wished more contractors built as responsibly. I also purchased the windows and doors to match those in the existing house and found a roofing contractor to do the Concrete tile roof once we were at that point. We managed to match the siding on the front as well as the brickwork to the rest of the house. I found a terrific brick mason who did the brick work on the east side and the front and also built the outside front entry stairs.
As we got closer to finishing the building, I would continue to work painting the inside or outside after the contractor went home. I pre-finished all of the boards for the knotty pine ceiling so that did not have to be stained once it was up. Once we had the knotty pine ceiling installed we could spend time on the finish work. The finish work inside took quite a while to complete with all of the trim moldings around doors and the fancy trim on the east side windows.
The finished studio is a very comfortable well lit place to read, drink coffee, and most importantly to create new paintings. It is our favorite room in the house.
I love to put classical piano music on while painting and relax and enjoy the beauty I am hearing. That comfortable space translates to brighter more balanced work as I create new paintings.
Now that I have my own studio, I applied to be on the fall Auburn Artist's Studio Tour in November of this year. A few weeks ago I was told I was accepted and will enjoy the opportunity to show my work in this wonderful room.