Garage Workshops

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by stefang posted 06-04-2012 08:18 PM 3684 views 1 time favorited 52 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View stefang's profile (online now)


16723 posts in 3841 days

06-04-2012 08:18 PM

A few years ago I saw a video made by a well know router work expert in California. It looked like his shop was in his garage. The video was taken in front of the open garage door on the driveway where he had his router table set up. It was very noisy. I can imagine that most folks would leave their garage doors open while working during the warmer months.

I know a huge number of our members have their shops in their garages and I can’t help wondering if this causes any issues with their neighbors. I’m not trying to stir up trouble, but ever since seeing that video I have been thinking about this. I sure would appreciate anyone sharing their personal experience just to satisfy my natural curiosity.


-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

52 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3373 days

#1 posted 06-04-2012 08:31 PM

Mike, I don’t mind your asking this because it’s a perfectly logical question. I don’t have garage doors even though it used to be the carport. However, I often leave my doors and windows open and it’s about the same thing. I just don’t worry about it too much. I have neighbors that are fanatics about cutting their yards. They cut them at least a couple of times a week and use the weed eater and leaf blower as well. These machines are a genuine nuisance when it comes to noise. Now, the way I look at it I’m an easy going guy and I live and let live. Now I don’t mind my neighbors making all of that noise but when it comes time for me to make my noise I expect for them to show me the same courtesy. :-|


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ParksArt's profile


26 posts in 2748 days

#2 posted 06-04-2012 08:39 PM

My shop is in my garage as well. I tend to work with the door open.. and I too have wondered if I’m disturbing anyone. To add to it, I like to step out in the shop late at night to mess around. My neighbor that lives on that side of my house asked me in the driveway one day “What are you building in there?” hehe.. I asked if he could hear me but he said he only heard me when he was taking his trash out and was just curious. So, I don’t think the noise is traveling that far past my house. At least I hope not! ha.

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4084 days

#3 posted 06-04-2012 08:40 PM

I can’t stand inconsiderate neighbors so I sure don’t want to be one, so I usually close my door if I’m going to be doing something that makes a lot of noise for any length of time.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5227 posts in 4467 days

#4 posted 06-04-2012 08:45 PM

My shop is attached to the home, and on the “end” of the garage. All walls (including garage) are insulated, and the garage doors are the insulated models.
That being said, I’ve never had an issue from neighbors though I rarely work in the shop at night.
Now if I made horseshoes in the evening….......

-- [email protected]

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3373 days

#5 posted 06-04-2012 08:47 PM

I reckon they see it the same way I do since I’ve had the same neighbors for years and we get along quite fine and they’ve never ever said a word to me about my noise and I haven’t ever said a word to them about theirs.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Charlie's profile


1101 posts in 2793 days

#6 posted 06-04-2012 08:49 PM

I’m more conscious of WHEN I’m making noise. Hand tools and/or quiet prep work before 9am (10am on weekends) and then I run pretty much anything I want with doors or windows open. I don’t run a planer constantly for more than half an hour or so. Takes my neighbors longer than that to cut their lawn. I may run the table saw for a while and then shut it off and do quiet work, but the thing about lawn mowing and blowers and weed whackers is legitimate. All summer, SOMEONE in the immediate area is cutting the grass of weed whackin’ or some such noisy endeavor. It’s called livin’ in the country. :)

If something I’m doing is obnoxiously loud I’ll be mindful of who is where and what they’re doing. I won’t do noisey stuff, for example, if the neighbor next door has family over for a cookout or something. Common courtesy.

View Mosquito's profile


9849 posts in 2799 days

#7 posted 06-04-2012 08:50 PM

Where I work is either in the garage if it’s cold or raining, or it’s out on the back patio. For the most part, the noisiest tools I use are circular saws and routers, using the router more often, probably. I have yet to have any issues that caused the neighbors to complain, and they’re not too far away (probably around 20-30ft from outside walls to outside walls). I also typically try to wait until around 10-11am or so before I start working, and quit around 7-8, just to try to be courteous, just in case… It probably helps that I have to drive a little over 30 minutes to get there, and back so I don’t generally feel a need to desperately get started much earlier

I worry more about the little stuff I do in my second bedroom in my apartment… practicing dovetails, using handplanes, etc more than when at my parents’ place (the above work area)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3616 days

#8 posted 06-04-2012 09:01 PM

I don’t work in a garage but, being a third shifter, I have a tendency to want to do things at night in the basement. The planer and the dust collection can be a bit noisy. I try not to run them in the late evening but do run into times where I need to do a little bit of milling before I can continue. I made it a point to visit my neighbors on both sides of me and explain the situation and inquire if any of my work would disturb their sleep. Both let me know they wear hearing aids and don’t hear a thing at night so I am golden there :)

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3510 days

#9 posted 06-04-2012 09:02 PM

My garage door is usually down, not for noise but for privacy as I live in an above average crime area. No sense in advertising and it keeps the noise down. 8am to 6pm for power tools and make shift spray booth in my side yard so I dont get overspray on anything. One night I had the police heli light up my driveway, instant day time. I also do home/car repairs for some neighbors and that always helps, mostly just talk to them before any problems start. Common courtesy goes a long way.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3311 days

#10 posted 06-04-2012 09:35 PM

My shop is in my garage also. My neighbors are over 300 feet away, so, I’m in good shape. It’s a beautiful thing to have space. I luv the country!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View stefang's profile (online now)


16723 posts in 3841 days

#11 posted 06-04-2012 09:36 PM

Thanks guys for satisfying my inquisitiveness. It sounds like everyone is aware and being considerate. About what I figured considering the kind of members on LJ. My shop is all insulated top, bottom and sides so I can be out there all year around, The lack of noise is a byproduct, so no problems at my place either, and it’s true that yard work is pretty noisy anyway what with all the motorized gardening gadgets we use nowadays. Now I can think about more important things, like what’s for dinner or how long can I stay in the shop without the wife coming after me, lol.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bondogaposis's profile


5539 posts in 2858 days

#12 posted 06-04-2012 09:39 PM

If your neighbors mow their lawn w/ a power mower, what can they say?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3739 days

#13 posted 06-04-2012 09:41 PM

I keep the shop door closed, and the air conditioner on. I have several neighbors with small, nap prone children. One of which decided to mow his lawn this morning at 6:00… I need to have a calm discussion about appropriate hours to make noise…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3575 days

#14 posted 06-04-2012 10:08 PM

We’ve been in this house since ‘79, and I’ve been doing woodwork from the beginning. The garage became a full time shop in ‘85. When I retired from engineering in ‘04 and started my woodworking business, my shop time went from a few hours every couple of weeks to full time.

Even during what we call winter here I have the door open unless it’s really raining. My one cardinal rule as far as the neighbors is that I NEVER start anything noisy before 8:00 am, and I rarely make much noise after supper time. On a couple of occasions, I’ve changed my schedule or shut down for the day if a neighbor has a sick kid who needs to rest.

It’s worked well for 32 years and I have every reason to think that it will work for a few more.

ETA: Some of the neighbors like to stop by to see what I’m building, and I’ve sold quite a bit of work to people who walk or drive by and see what I’m doing.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 3501 days

#15 posted 06-04-2012 10:22 PM

In warmer weather I tend to leave my garage door open and sometimes work just outside the door to keep the dust level down in my garage. It depends on the tool. I still attach my shop vac. I don’t worry about the noise. I’m not out there too often and we all have to put up with each other to some degree. If I were busier I would have to close the door. Then again, perhaps I will try to be more considerate.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

showing 1 through 15 of 52 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics