Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Adapting a workshop/garage when considering the neighbours

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Simon_M

Established Member
Joined
14 Mar 2019
Messages
212
Reaction score
1
Location
Awbridge, Hampshire
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?
 

Marineboy

Established Member
Joined
11 Mar 2016
Messages
553
Reaction score
7
Location
Northumberland
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.
 

Trainee neophyte

[Insert witty and amusing title here]
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
2,271
Reaction score
133
Location
Greece
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
 

RichardG

Established Member
Joined
29 Mar 2018
Messages
271
Reaction score
30
Location
South Norfolk
Marineboy":9g128ns4 said:
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
 

RichardG

Established Member
Joined
29 Mar 2018
Messages
271
Reaction score
30
Location
South Norfolk
Simon_M":2cqxwmdx said:
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
 

Rorschach

Agent Provocateur
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
3,903
Reaction score
154
Location
Devon
He won't be pleased whatever you do so don't worry about it.
 

Woody2Shoes

Impressive Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
1,572
Reaction score
70
Location
Sussex UK
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
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,176
Reaction score
666
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
I suggest you start learning to play the bagpipes. That will give you a great bargaining position.
 

Nelsun

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2015
Messages
803
Reaction score
28
Location
Shetland
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.
 

dzj

Established Member
Joined
29 Jan 2013
Messages
1,030
Reaction score
2
Location
Serbia
Measure your noise levels and see if it complies with local regulations.
You can't please everyone and 10-5pm isn't unreasonable.
 

Bigbadmarky

Member
Joined
6 Feb 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
2
Location
Yate
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
 

kevinlightfoot

Established Member
Joined
11 Aug 2016
Messages
462
Reaction score
1
Location
Mansfield
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.
 

RobinBHM

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2011
Messages
4,076
Reaction score
108
Location
Wst Sussex
I find ear defenders are the complete solution.

They drown out the noise of machinery and the neighbours shouting simultaneously.
:D
 

Simon_M

Established Member
Joined
14 Mar 2019
Messages
212
Reaction score
1
Location
Awbridge, Hampshire
Bigbadmarky":8e4rnmtt said:
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":8e4rnmtt said:
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":8e4rnmtt said:
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.
 

Simon_M

Established Member
Joined
14 Mar 2019
Messages
212
Reaction score
1
Location
Awbridge, Hampshire
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?
 

bp122

Established Member
Joined
20 Aug 2019
Messages
330
Reaction score
62
Location
Haddenham
Having recently moved to a nice village and to a house with a garage for the first time, I know what you mean. However, I haven't had any complaints from the neighbour who shares a wall with my garage, she is a 88 year old woman who lives with her cat. I keep asking her if I cause too much noise but she says she can't hear a thing, but instead apologises for putting the tele too loud (which we can't hear). It also helps that I found her missing cat and returned to her last week and she was very thankful.

Right, coming to your issues, I may suggest a couple of things or more based on my limited experience as a woodworker but my reasonable experience as a people pleaser (it is a serious issue with me :oops: )

1. Maybe follow some of the large scale solutions mentioned by others here regarding the ceiling and the windows, they know more about it than I do.

2. Also, with power tools and machines. vibration is also an issue which, depending on the type of floor you have (my garage is hard concrete) transmits to nearby rooms / buildings etc. Maybe use thick / dense rubber pads under the legs of tables on which your machines rest.

3. Some people do this as a noise dampening, but I think it is to only minimize echoes - Not sure as I'm not an NVH expert - use egg cartons or wavy foam bits on the sharing wall (to mimic an anecohic chamber). However, you can use thin rubber sheets (clear / opaque - depending on your light requirements), spaced out by half an inch or more from the wall. The bigger this sheet is, the more the amplitude of the sound waves it can diminish (within reason and maintaining reasonable tension in the middle)

4. Since you have a thicknesser, just try and make a set of coasters or a couple of chopping boards and gift it to your neighbour - That might just about buy their acceptance to your hobby!

5. I have NEVER used this, but heard a lot about it on people from youtube - some specialist blades are designed to be less noisy while cutting. Not sure about the validity of their claims, but this could be a compromise compared to buying a different table saw!

If all else fails, follow everyone else's advise and just not worry about him!

Hope this helps.
 

mbartlett99

Established Member
Joined
10 Aug 2010
Messages
877
Reaction score
0
Location
Hitchin, Hertfordshire
I'm in the same situation as the OP; village, garage, machinery. Although absolutely no expert at all on sound/vibration I do work in an industrial environment where noise is a major concern and I know what steps we take on superyachts.

The double skin plaastetrboard ceiling is a good, cheap and effective step - all that noise will be travelling straight through that thin roof. You can buy sound attenuating plaster board but its not cheap.

Presuming you work with the door closed cladding that with sound insulating foam panels - usually have a 'lead'layer in them - but again its not a cheap solution.

Next any air gaps around doors etc - the noise you're making is air borne not structure borne (if your machinery is vibrating that much its knackered). You mentioned concern that with a ceiling there would be no ventilation in the garage - I've never seen a garage door that came close to an effective seal, mine certainly doesn't.

Cladding walls would help but you're talking serious money now; we use compressed rockwool covered with a steel perforated sheet in machinery spaces (its really for fire insulation legally) which is very effective but it'll cost a bomb.

Air gaps and flat hard surfaces are the enemy essentially. My other workshop has brilliant sealing throughout, is wooden with 100mm celotex roof/floor, mostly glass on one wall - can hardly hear a thing outside because its all sealed up.

Yes tooling can make a bit of difference; spiral planer heads, induction motors and maybe tuned blades but its relatively minor in comparison.
 

Latest posts

Top