Sep 112021

At the beginning of the week, we finished off preparing the Utility Room by concluding the task of putting up OSB wall boards around the door and then trimmed the window .. well we eventually managed it .. slowly! The router bit we had is getting rather blunt so we ordered some more replacement cutters, nice and sharp! Afterwards we extended the height of this wall board layer inside the window area so it goes up to the level of the worktop by using a whole series of biscuit joints around the three edges and sliding in the new piece from above and then fixed in with PU construction glue.
Next, we proceeded to cover all this OSB material with Fermacell boards which was a simple process of spraying lines of PU glue foam all over the surface and then staple each piece up with 25mm long staples fired from our compressed air stapling tool. The joints between pieces were stuck together using the thicker PU construction glue instead, to achieve a tougher and stronger joint.

Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


That pretty much concluded the preparation work in getting the basic room done enough so we could start constructing the next object, namely an equipment come machine cupboard to hide away all the various devices, gadgets, mechanisms and storage that will provide the Utilities for the whole house and garage. It is essentially is a room within a room and we are constructing it using thick/heavy materials to try and reduce the noise levels as much as possible and not disturb the rest of the household. So we decided that we would have a cupboard the complete width of the room, from floor to ceiling, along the “E” wall and it will be 600mm overall deep including the wall thicknesses. Part of this design criteria was that we did not want to encroach too closely to the window, to give the window a better look and also we selected 600mm because we didn’t want to have a pile of waste pieces left over when we built the roof out of our 1200mm width sheets. Joining to this basic rectangular shell will be the cupboard region that will hold the clothes drying and vacuum machines, coming along the entertainment wall side of the room and stopping just short of the entrance way to the hall, allowing for the door to open fully and back against the wall. This section is going to be 700mm deep and it turns out to be about 1900mm long, which can be sub-divided into separate modules for each of the machines and other functions like shelving units. This is the extent of what we wanted in creating a noise reducing box like cabinet so we laid down a footprint of treated CLS 63mm timber pieces down on the concrete floor, glued and bolted that defines the outline shape. We also put down extra pieces in front of the window too, to define what would be our worktop and sink section, again being 700mm deep and also being about 1900mm long too.
Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


One of the minor tasks we completed before we continued with the cupboard, was to fill in the joints and corners around the fermacell walls with Polyfilla and smooth it all off so it is sealed. After that, we started building the cupboard using 18mm OSB boards but just before that, we stapled up little squares of foam material that is 8mm thick so that we can maintain a air gap between our new cupboard and the room’s walls, to disconnect any direct transmission of any sounds being generated by motors etc. inside the cupboard.

We brought a dozen sheets of 18mm OSB inside from our pile outdoors and got them ready. One thing we wanted to do was to use a tongue and groove joints so they formed a solid structure, a backbone for the rest of the cupboard to be built from. Also, we needed room at the top of these walls to fit a “lid” on top and still be separated from the ceiling, this meant that we needed a full height board (2440mm high) plus a narrow strip of 270mm wide to start at the bottom line sitting on the newly installed CLS footplates. So sliced up two board into eight narrow strips and then cut a set of tongue edging on four of them plus groove edging on the other four.
We proceeded with the narrow strip first, right around outer sides of the cupboard and then put a row of horizontally mounted full sized sheets, again with a set of tongue and groove edging. The long side of the cupboard (against the “E” wall) is 3740mm long so we put in a full sheet in the middle and filled in the left and right ends with 650mm pieces. We were making sure that no joints lined up with each other and creating a stronger monolithic backbone. The top line of OSB board had to have a large section cut out to make way for the air ducting sticking through the wall. Oh yes, the same for the five other sticking out conduits and pipes at various places and also we had unscrewed and lifted the air duct that is coming down through the ceiling.
we ended up with the first layer all done, starting about 300mm from the window, coming along the “E” wall some 3.7metres and turning along the entertainment wall another 2.5metres before finally turning right angled from the main wall to form the end of the cupboard which is a further 750mm wide.
Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


That took a while to do because of all the tongue and groove edges we needed to cut and fit everything together with glue etc. but once we have done that first layer, we could mount on the second layer much faster because we didn’t need to do any further tongues or grooves again as we had the backbone layer to press against, keeping the joints neat and tidy. We proceeded to spray a zigzag line of PU glue foam all over the surface and screwed this second layer straight on to the first layer. We had drilled clearance holes all over the sheet, we did a grid of four rows by six columns, giving us a total of 24 screws to tighten the two sheet together squeezing the glue out thinly. We used about 200 screws by the time we done all the second layer!
Next, we put up a solid CLS 89mm piece of timber right across to form a lintel for the front of the cupboard to help support the heavy “lid” which will be made of three layers of fermacell sheets.
Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


On our last day, we went around fitting in a third layer of material, this time our fermacell “plasterboard” sheets, again, just went straight up onto the wall surface with the PU foam glue and this time, was stapled on with 25mm staples. It didn’t take very long and we finished off the day by putting four vertical CLS posts, two 63mm ones up against the walls under the lintel, and the other two being 89mm pieces, again fitted under the lintel but this time 800mm out from the walls. All four will help support the lintel and in turn, the roof of the cupboard. The last piece of CLS, another shorter 89mm piece, went along the front of the side arm of the cupboard, also to support the heavy “lid” over this side section of cupboard.
Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


Equipment / Machine Sound Absorbing Cupboard Half Constructed


Next week, we will start building the lower sections of the front parts of the cupboard, up to the floor levels and getting ready for the flooring supports for the room and starting to lay out the pipework and ducting etc. going across the room and out into the hallway.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Sep 042021

We arrived for this new week to resume our work on preparing the Utility Room, to get it ready for installing the vast collection of equipment, tanks, switches, pipes and many other bits and pieces that will provide the services like water, air, electricity, vacuum and other utilities.
We got going on dealing with the black plastic that is pinned up on the wall, covering the window so that got sliced and wrapped down the sides. We also inserted the plastic liners for both the bottom and top cavities that sits below and above the window too. We are just repeating the same procedure as we had done for Bedroom Three windows and these cavities are designed to provide space for the mechanism to control the automatic window blinds. As part of dealing with the window, we put in the extra pieces of CLS timber to frame on all four sides and then put up two vertical 11mm OSB boards on the left and right sides but only after we remembered to install several lengths of 20mm black conduits. We nearly forgot to put one conduit in to allow us access and the ability to feed through whatever electric wires we would need for the mechanism. It was a tight squeeze to slip the conduit behind the plastic already up on the wall but we made it. As part of putting up the plastic and wrapping it into place, we used our malleable white tape to seal tight all the conduits poking through the plastic but also did the large air duct boxing too.

Next we did the doorway. We had to take off the door again plus all its equipment like electronic lock and sensors etc. so we could wrap the plastic up and onto the door framework, to ensure that we are creating a good vapour barrier. We also put on three extra CLS 63mm timber pieces around the frame that will form the inner surface wall and door entrance. We remounted the door, changing the hinge position slightly and put back all the door furniture and reapplied the door hook too.

Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


Looking at the order of things, we then got on with installing the ceiling covering. We needed to do the ceiling next because we are planning to build the equipment cupboard and that will go from floor to ceiling almost and we wanted to put up one layer of the fermacell (this is like a plasterboard material but highly accurate and engineered gypsum mixed with recycled newspaper and no paper liners) to improve the sound proofing levels to stop the machinery and equipment we are planning to employ from disturbing the rest of the household, especially the living spaces up on the First Floor. So towards that goal, we built a second air ducting but this time, it is coming down through the First floor joist structure. We used more of our 18mm floorboards chipboard material to create an oblong shape measuring 600mm long and 240mm wide, narrow enough to fit between two joists and also enters cleanly into our equipment cupboard too. We made it 370mm tall, enough to traverse through the first floor floorboard and joist space. Next, we lined up the box against the floorboard to mark where we want our hole and sliced our way through. This will allow the exhaust air that is being all collected upstairs and being routed around to this spot, to be diverted downwards into our equipment cupboard, to be processed and then rejected outside. We only screwed in this air ducting for now because we can see that we will need to move it out of the way when we come to build the cupboard later on.
Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


Before we can mount our fermacell boards up on to the ceiling, we need to cut a set of tongue and groove into selected edges. We discovered way back when we built the Garage that we couldn’t keep all the sheets of fermacell dead level to each other, even though we put on PU glue and fixed little screws in the joints to hold them steady while the glue dried, it came out very slightly wobbly and it took a great deal of sanding to get it smooth again. So back then, we tried cutting a tongue and groove into the fermacell and it worked like a treat. So today, we took that experience and set up our two router machines with new cutters, both are identical shaped cutters, that does both a series of tongues and groove within the thickness of the material. These cutters can do up to 25mm thickness but we are only wanting to do either 10mm for the fermacell boards and 18mm for our OSB boards.

We also adapted the two router machines by extending their bases to a much larger supportive area so the heavy machines won’t tilt off the edge and we can pull it along against the surface and the fence, to get a smooth, regular and neat cut. The only different between the two routers is to the exact position of the cutters, one will do the grooves and the other one does the tongues.

Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


It took a little while to do these modifications and testing sessions but it is well worth the time, in order to get good quality results in the long run. So with these new tools, we proceeded to put up a set of fermacell 10mm thick boards up on the ceiling, using our very handy and strong board lifting contraption (It’s a bit rusty from being stored in a shed for 10 years). It runs on highly adjustable wheels so it can squeeze into corners and go around obstacles. But before we did that, we loaded the joist space with a load more of 200mm thick glass wool material to provide more sound proofing.
Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


We, and our lifter (each full size board weighs 25kg each!), did a row of boards, some 1200mm wide strip next to the “E” wall and then did a wider 1600mm strip along towards the door entrance into the hallway. We did this much of the ceiling because our equipment cupboard will go along the “E” wall and also along the Entertainment wall and stop about a meter before the hall door. We put spray PU glue on the joist flange itself and construction PU glue into the groove to joint two sheets together and plenty of 35mm long staples to fix the board up for the long term. The roof will be inaccessible after we have built the cupboard.
Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


After dismantling the board lifter, we then tackled the “E” wall and covered the entire surface with more fermacell, from concrete floor and right up to the ceiling. We had to put up three and a bit sheets along the upper wall plus a narrow strip along the bottom to cover up the plastic.
Before we put up the last piece at the bottom we had to remove the very old ‘chimney’ which protected the entrance tunnel for the air from the earth tubes. This just pulled out of the hole in the floor and we had a peek down the tunnel because we didn’t actually know if the tunnel was OK.
Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


This layer, and the one on the ceiling too, will provide additional fire protection too, making our wooden house that much harder to catch alight if we ever had a fire as the Utility room is the most likely place to catch fire in the first place. We will put in extra measures when we build the equipment cupboard and there would be active fire suppression devices installed inside, plus plenty of alarms so we are fully aware when there is a problem.
Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


Now we moved around to tackle the Entertainment wall which is a stud wall made of 89mm thick CLS posts, we only wanted full board of OSB beside the hall entrance so we nailed up narrow strips of OSB pieces on the rest of the legs. We did have to pull off that full sized board because we forgot to put in the glass wool material first! So we duly put in more 400mm wide strip of the 200mm thick glass wool and stuffed them into the 89mm space, yes 200mm into 89mm! This will obviously compress the wool down when we put the series of board on the wall and this is great because it will reduce much of the sound and noises coming from the Utility Room and entering into our Entertainment room where you may be watching and listening to a movie and the last thing you want is, to hear the washing machine spinning or the vacuum system whirling away!!
So this wall had a layer of fermacell put on, compressing the wool down and this finishes off this wall completely too. Again, we did this now because of our equipment cupboard which will be built slightly removed from these walls to provide another air gap for sound insulation.
Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


You may have noticed that we are putting these boards directly onto the wall posts and not on any horizontal rails. This is deliberate as there is hardly any needs for having electrical sockets or switches. Most of the Utility Room will have cupboards, cabinets and shelves and they will have their own electrical sockets inside these regions and nothing will be visible. The only exception is the little length of worktop in front of the window for a sink and we might put up a socket on the side of the cupboard at the end of the worktop.
The last bit of work for this week is putting up the first layer of OSB board along the “F” wall, to cover up the plastic and provide a strong screwable surface for mounting anything up on the wall, like a worktop! We got as far as the door, again each piece was cut to give a tongue and groove edging to bring together each piece in a nice smooth finish, ready for the layer of fermacell to go on too.
Preparing Utility Room so Ready to Build Equipment Cupboards


Next week, we will finish the OSB around the door, trim the edges and then put up the fermacell to get that finish. After that, we will start building the equipment cupboard which will be fun!

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Aug 282021

One of the first jobs was to move the existing electricity control board from over beside the window and position it out of the way on the dividing wall between this room and Bedroom Three and reconnect some of the electric cables so they were all out of the way before we could fill in […]

 Posted by at 7:00 pm
Aug 242021

With the days drawing in and as each room is completed, less and less daylight is reaching the inner hallways and they are getting gloomier and gloomier plus also part of moving everything out of the Utility Room, sorting out the wiring, we decided that the hallways on the ground floor needed additional temporary lighting […]

 Posted by at 12:00 pm
Aug 062021

Continuing with Bedroom 3, this week we installed more various elements into the wall and floor structure to provide additional functionality to the operation within the room like, for example, a control box that will contain the electronic controller, a display module and local circuit breakers for the power lines. This was constructed from sheet […]

 Posted by at 6:30 pm
Jul 312021

We continued with the work on Bedroom 3 and getting the floor, walls and windows ready. Whilst we are waiting for the deliveries, we got on with finishing the windows by putting the plastic¬†vapour barrier around the bottoms and tops of the two windows. The first task we did was to insert small pieces of […]

 Posted by at 6:03 pm