Building projects can take a long time to complete and be expensive. If you have a special birthday or event which you would like host within your house but the building project is taking longer than expected or you want to take a breather from builders and costs for your own health, and if your project is up to the watertight shell stage, you could host your party within the building site by making a few cheap improvements to the current status of the space and by upcycling some typical building site junk such as pallets and wood offcuts. This will save you precious money on venue hire that you could put towards the building project. If you were planning on hosting the party in your garden, this will alleviate the stress of keeping everything crossed for good weather.
Criteria for making sure it is safe to turn your site into a warehouse party venue
This only works where you have one large room with a solid floor surface that can be turned in a venue
A warehouse party is much better suited to spring and summer weather than winter weather where the building site will be cold if it is not yet insulated
You need to make sure the floor surface is poured concrete or screed with no pipes, underfloor heating, wiring or other trip hazards. If there are heating connections, wiring and pipes entering the room, you can box them in temporarily under hardboard platforms to protect them from damage and to prevent people from tripping over them. These platforms need to be strong, stable and fixed to the floor and walls and be in a corner or at the side of the room, not extending to any great degree into the room.
Creating a warehouse party venue will only work if the building is watertight with a finished roof including felt, batten and tiles and the walls are watertight with lockable windows and doors fitted.
Make sure you have working toilet facilities that your party guests can reach easily without entering hazardous half built areas
Make sure the room is not in very close proximity to your neighbour – due to it’s unfinished state and the fact that it’s missing elements like plaster, insulation, curtains etc, the sound proofing will not be as robust as in a finished room.
You need to ensure that you have power in the room, whether using extension leads from the main supply or from another power source.
What are the essential elements to create a warehouse style party?
To ensure that your building site looks like a party venue, you need to spend a bit of time on the decor. The theme that we used was a warehouse style nightclub so we painted all of the walls black with cheap emulsion paint. The walls were formed from fairly rough blockwork and brickwork that will eventually be plasterboarded and plastered. If you paint your unfinished walls in a dark colour and have very low level lighting in your party room, all of it’s imperfections will be hard to spot
Painting this uneven surface used up a lot more paint than a smooth plastered or rendered wall. Budget for double the amount of paint you would normally use.
To cover up our unfinished ceiling rafters, we used black cotton sheeting in a 2.4 metre width. This was stapled to the rafters to create a sumptuous upholstered effect. The power cables for the lighting were hidden between the rafters and above the black sheeting. Ideally you would use a fireproof fabric for this purpose.
To seal and bond our dusty concrete floor, after a thorough vacuum of all areas especially corners, we painted the floor in a dark grey floor paint.
We suspended a mirror ball with a mirror ball rotation device in the centre of the room.
Our party had a nautical theme and we used fishing nets, fishing floats and lifebuoys to decorate walls and most guests arrived in nautical related attire.
We used spotlights suspended from the ceiling which were shone at particular spots around the room especially the DJ booth and bar, and several of them were pointed at our mirror ball which created dancing lights all around the room adding to the nightclub feel.
We hung strings of fairy lights which are usually used only at Christmas time down a wall and over the centre of the ceiling to create a central dancefloor area in front of the DJ booth. The central ring was created from an old trampoline frame that we were about to dispose of.
Setting the scene
We created a DJ booth made out of pallets we had kept after brick and tile deliveries – this is an area where you can store your DJ and stereo equipment, and your smoke machine if you buy one. And you can add theming elements to decorate it
You can easily create a bar out of wood offcuts or pallets – this is an area where you can store your glasses, drinks and serve drinks. We also put dishes of bar snacks on the bar to make it feel authentic.
Of course there's no point having a rave themed party if your guests are the cocoa and slippers type. Warn your guests to have a quiet week and an early night the day before your party.
For a rave themed party, the main event should be the dancing, so make sure there is lots of clear space with nothing to trip over on your dancefloor.
As your floor surface will be hard and unforgiving, we recommend the use of plastic reusable glasses – this avoids broken glass and a lot of clearing up.
If you put ice boxes around the room, people can put drinks in it when they arrive and help themselves throughout the eveningAfter the party
The room can be used for a variety of activities after the raved themed party such as a games room, yoga or dance studio or improptu disco/karaoke room until you are ready to complete your project.