I have some amazing news.

Our church held a capital campaign for this exact project. We have the money. We bought the material. We are doing it this coming Thursday. There will be pictures. And rejoicing. But before that happens, you need to know more of the process that we went through to get this project off the ground.

First, we got professional consultation. It was decided that we should get the pros in our building to both vet the work that I had done as well as provide their own expert opinion. At first I was a little ruffled, having done so much work and research. Luckily that was quelled in short order by my simple desire to get it done. The good news is that the logic and research in the document I had produced was spot on…always good to know your sources aren’t out of whack. The bad (not really) news was that my proposal called for a VERY aggressive treatment, making our big room sound like a coat closet. Not a bad idea for accuracy, but not a good one for natural sounding acoustics.

We hired Pacific Audio Works, who came in, blew some sounds out of a speaker and basically drew up a digital readout of our room and its various problems. They tried out some different treatment options in the digital world to find what would work best, sent us the report, and…voila! We had a working model for what our treatment should look AND sound like.

Before we get to the diagrams they gave us (in the next post, that is), I should make an important announcement. These guys at PAW are amazing. Being in the same room as them makes you smarter. They made it very very clear that building your own panels can be the start of a long and painful road (not to mention expensive). You don’t get support, expert advice or installation when you do it the way we are. That means that A) We are doubly accountable for the money spent on this project and B) We have nobody to cry to when it doesn’t turn out the way we want it. For anyone wanting to do this kind of thing either at your home or at a church…know the risks. Even going the cheap way, we are cruising through nearly $2,000 to do this.

I am not afraid to say that I recommended that we go pro, which would cost about $7,500 for the same level of treatment. It was just one of those moments of disagreement, and it wasn’t a hill that I was willing to die on.

That warning aside, the next two posts will contain some of the documentation they gave us to show you the problems we have and how they can be fixed, as well as some construction pictures. I’ll also include a cost breakdown once it is all up and we can take stock of what we have left over.

Feel free to ask some questions about the process.

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