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By Simon_M
#1305298
I have two neighbours nearby and live in the countryside.

One thinks it's "cool" to make stuff and is far enough away that the noise isn't a problem.

The other is a "little concerned" about the noise I make. We agreed that I would keep the noise down by closing the door. He uses his equipment with the doors open but my noise "trumps" his.

A few weeks ago I had a project which needed T&G boards. I should have bought some, but decided to make them with the table saw and thicknesser. It was for an extended period and they did come round to tell me that they would be away on holiday, and some...

I've always thought that the majority of sound is from my table saw. It's a DW745 and it's not quiet. However, I don't use it all the time and each cut (sometimes two at a time) always have a purpose. I understand that this type of "universal" saw isn't as quiet as induction motor equivalents, however all saws increase their sound output when they cut - and we don't run the motors just for fun. So do induction motors (in use) make for a much quieter existence?

Logically, a project requires a lot of time to "finish" and some time with a table saw however, there is lot of time with a thicknesser too. I think these are the sound "culprits" because they need to be used for longer than many other tools to get through the "cutting list" so they might become open to critism. My Makita thicknesser is supposed to be quiet (compared to the rest) but I'm not so sure. FWIW, I probably think 50x times and then 1x make a noise. But the silence is imeasurable of course.

I've considered what is the noise source compared to what my neighbours make and I've concluded that when they cut the grass for 45 minutes, they too make a lot of noise. I've compare my table saw and concluded that it's about equal to their mowers. The only difference to me seems to be that they have grass (that needs to be cut) and I have a hobby (that's optional) so my noise source is more of a problem than theirs.

Reducing noise: my garage/workshop is only a few years old. so the construction is adequate but also minimal and there are vents in the soffits which act (to me) like speaker grill. The double glazed window and door seem only to transmit more rather than less. The space above the garage is open to the ceiling.

So what to do? I could put a ceiling over my brick/tiles garage e.g. a plaster board ceiling. I could cover up the windows e.g MDF or I could seal up the garage door (plywood) with a second barrier. I could reduce the flow of air e.g. block the vents (aka loudspeaker grill) Or I could replace equipment with something quieter? The latter isn't something that appeals). What's the cheapest/best solution going forward?

Currently, I don't have complaints because I operate 10am to 5pm Mon-Fri and try not to make too much noise at the weekend. What should I do?
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By Marineboy
#1305324
From what you’ve said it seems that your neighbour is less reasonable than you. So b*gger him. My neighbour complains about my bbq (the smell), my woodburner (ditto), and my ivy hedge (too tall). But he mows his lawn for hours and then gets his strimmer going, sounding like a demented mosquito. So my rationale is b*gger him.
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By Trainee neophyte
#1305329
I have the world's cheapest, nastiest planer, and I would put the sound as being worse than the chainsaw. The table saw is whisper quiet, so I am completely the opposite to you. Not any help you, obviously, but interesting to me.

That being said, if you are not getting complaints at the moment, why worry? Unless you have a woodwork dependency problem, and NEED to make noise at the weekend and evenings, too. I would quite understand if you do.

One other way to fix the problem, and really annoy the neighbour, would be leylandii. #-o
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By RichardG
#1305331
Marineboy wrote:From what you’ve said it seems that your neighbour is less reasonable than you. So b*gger him. My neighbour complains about my bbq (the smell), my woodburner (ditto), and my ivy hedge (too tall). But he mows his lawn for hours and then gets his strimmer going, sounding like a demented mosquito. So my rationale is b*gger him.


Depends on the type of person you are. I've always enjoyed living in locations where I had a great relationship with the neighbours, sharing the odd beer, giving a hand lifting heavy objects, keeping an eye on the house whilst they're away, taking in parcels, the list goes on. Nice neighbours really makes a place home.

However, I take your point, there is no pleasing some people!! In this case you either sound insulate your workshop, reduce your hours of use or ignore them and take the consequences.

Richard
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By RichardG
#1305333
Simon_M wrote:So what to do? I could put a ceiling over my brick/tiles garage e.g. a plaster board ceiling. I could cover up the windows e.g MDF or I could seal up the garage door (plywood) with a second barrier. I could reduce the flow of air e.g. block the vents (aka loudspeaker grill) Or I could replace equipment with something quieter? The latter isn't something that appeals). What's the cheapest/best solution going forward?


I would recommend a ceiling, makes a big difference to sound escape and will also keep the workshop warmer. Seal all cracks, add draft excluder round the windows and doors. If you have an up and over type door these are hard to seal but is doable, also add some celotex type insulation to the single skin, will make it warmer and stop the door acting as a drum.


Richard
By Woody2Shoes
#1305339
Being on reasonably good terms with your neighbours is worth a lot - especially if you're relatively remote in a rural situation. You never know when you might be glad of their goodwill.

Induction motors are quieter than brushed motors (brushed motors are probably the noisiest) - but you've still got noise created by the rotating 'business end' (tips of extractor fans, tips of saw blades, tips of planer blades etc. - noise levels highly dependent on speed).

My noisiest tools are: extractor, router, P/T (even with an induction motor), sliding mitre saw (brush motor) - I'll ignore the outdoor tools like chainsaw (although my new battery strimmer is brilliant)!

I think that there are things you could do to cut the noise - a lot of it will go through the roof space and the door - so besides trying to reduce noise levels at source, I'd start with those areas.

I think also that the time and day of week are very relevant - 10am on a Sunday morning is not good but 10am on a Saturday morning is probably much less bad.

Cheers, W2S
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By MikeG.
#1305340
I suggest you start learning to play the bagpipes. That will give you a great bargaining position.
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By Nelsun
#1305360
Get some noisier neighbours to move in. Seriously! We have a builder with a massive metal clad barn in amongst several houses in a rural setting. He's a fine fellow but his two sons treat the road like a rally track and are in said barn revving engines and banging away on their cars no end.
By Bigbadmarky
#1305391
I presume this is hobby use and not your side hussle / commercial venture? In which case, if your neighbour complains to the local authority they are unlikely to do much about it. If the LPA were to investigate they would look to see if you were causing a nuisance. This isn't as straight forward as comparing noise levels and would need to strike a balance between you using your property and the neighbours enjoying theirs. If you are being reasonable i.e. sticking to daytime hours, power down machines when not in use etc, it would be hard to prove nuisance. If you take further steps to reduce noise (and keep a nice little log of pictures etc as a record), the LPA are likely to view it as you taking reasonable steps to be a good neighbour.

In terms of mitigating the noise generated I would take an iterative approach. It may be cheaper and easier to mitigate noise at the source rather than making extensive modifications to your workshop. Could you move the table saw / thicknesser to a different part of the work shop? Could you enclose any noise generating plant (without unreasonably restricting its use or making it dangerous)?

If you do make changes to your workshop, a ceiling is a great place to start. Think about some nice dense plaster board (15mm), ideally 2 layers, with no gaps between the boards etc. You could also consider some absorption in the the workshop. Its not always the most practical thing and is likely to get clogged with man glitter but absorptive panels would reduce the internal reverberant noise level within the workshop and reduce break out.

What are the existing seals around your doors and windows like? Do they form good seals or can you see daylight through them? Do any windows, doors or vent point towards the neighbours house?

Hope this helps,
BBM
By kevinlightfoot
#1306268
I had a similar problem last year.neihbour came over said his wife was upset because my router was noisy,I contacted local council and they came out to investigate.I told them I did not run any machines before 11am or after 4pm and I was told I was causing no problems.The chap used to get all my offcuts for his wood burner needless to say he doesn't get a matchstick now.Oh I forgot to say he is an ex police officer so should have known better! It's his loss for being a right so and so.I say ignore them and get on with it the authorities won't want to know.
By Simon_M
#1308070
Bigbadmarky wrote:I presume this is hobby use and not your side hussle / commercial venture? In which case, if your neighbour complains to the local authority they are unlikely to do much about it.

Just for fun. If I had to do this for a living (I'm retired) we wouldn't get rich anytime soon!
Bigbadmarky wrote:What are the existing seals around your doors and windows like? Do they form good seals or can you see daylight through them? Do any windows, doors or vent point towards the neighbours house?

Thanks for the comments. The garage door is an up and over with a plywood/cedar panel - it doesn't do much to seal or block the noise (towards my "good" neighbour). The garage is single skinned brick with the addition of a breeze block rear wall (towards my "bad" neighbour). The window and door are double glazed but don't do much to block the noise.

There are vents in the soffits that (to my ears and eyes) are like speaker grill. The same soffit material (with vents) is used for the vertical eaves above the rear wall - it probably serves no purpose to have these extra apertures - the builder was perhaps to lazy to order an alternative type. I could block the vents (for the eaves only) with either tape on the outside or some insulation wadding on the inside?

The idea of adding two layers of plasterboard for a ceiling would be a low cost solution. Adding insulation above would be a much more expensive option. So, adding plaster board would increase sound insulation but also inhibit the airflow as all the vents would be above in the ceiling void? Perhaps making a change would solve one problem and introduce another?

I was apprehensive when the garage was rebuilt - I've always considered the lack of secondary walls a limitation however the place is very dry e.g. I have absolutely no problems with rust on cast iron tops etc. I have an excellent Inside/outside thermometer/hydrometer which shows the house, outside and garage statistics. They mostly (temperature aside) follow each other.
RobinBHM wrote:I find ear defenders are the complete solution.

Absolutely, I recommend 3M Peltor Optime III Ear Defenders especially the version with a neckband support - it means they don't clash with a face shield as the strap over the head is like a ribbon. I can't hear the cat, neighbours or the odd passing car. They are perhaps too good as you loose your awareness e.g. when using the bandsaw it's all too quiet to get a sense of what's going on. Table saw and P/T (and extractor) are also managed by the Ear Defenders perfectly.
By Simon_M
#1310433
Is there a downside to putting up plasterboard under the A frame of the garage? The construction is single brick with a tiles roof over a concrete floor. At the moment it's "dry" but there are vents in the soffits and up into the eaves. I'm worried that all the ventilation will now be only in the "new" loft space if I put up the plaster board ceiling. I don't have any issues with dampness on the walls but perhaps the airflow keeps this OK and the sealing of the garage will change things?