Author Topic: Garage woodworking shop with a party wall  (Read 3129 times)


  • Guest
Garage woodworking shop with a party wall
« on: July 19, 2014, 11:13:28 PM »
I have read and read and read and I am definitely suffering from analysis paralysis. The fact that lots of different sources for soundproofing wisdom contradict each other isn't helping. So here's my soundproofing problem:

I want to start a woodworking shop in my 20'x20' garage with the usual noise-making suspects: table saw, router, occasional hammering, etc. I own an end unit townhouse and 10' of a 20' garage side wall is a party wall with the neighbor's interior. The other half of that wall is just outside air on the other side. I'm hyper-concerned about noise bothering my neighbors. They are retired and partially disabled. Yes, I have talked to them about my plans.

I do not know what the interior construction of that party wall is, but the sound blocking seems to be above average. Insulation is fiberglass. All the garage walls are drywalled, taped and mudded. Half of the ceiling is drywalled, concealing lots of ductwork and wire bundles. That half correlates with the party wall. Above that is my master bath and closet. The other half of the garage ceiling is open joists, no insulation. Above that is attic space with wooden floor.  Since I live alone, I'm not concerned with sound infiltration into my own unit other than as it permits flanking paths to my neighbor's unit.

Right now I am trying to decide between two solutions:

A) Attack the common wall: probably with RC or clip and hat channel and second layer of drywall. I fear just doing the wall won't do enough for flanking noise, and expanding that plan throughout the garage gets exceedingly complex and costly.

B) room-in-a-room: I can build an 8'x12' 3-sided structure under the open joist ceiling with the 4th wall being the existing garage wall opposite my neighbor. This seems to afford much greater control over the noise sources, but the challenge will be this structure must be temporary. I will have to put up and tear down the wall panels as I want to use the workshop. I can live with that inconvenience but I'm sure it adds challenge to the soundproofing techniques.

I have thoughts on details of both plans, but thought I would get advice on plan A or plan B first. And I'm fully prepared to be told I missed plan C floating around out there somewhere unknown to me.

Randy S

  • Guest
Re: Garage woodworking shop with a party wall
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 05:01:30 PM »
There a couple ways to tackle this problem, which would be best to discuss over the phone as writing a novel on here would most likely get you more confused.

Here's the basic principle that you MUST apply.
1) decoupling from the existing structure for the low frequencies, high db levels and impact noise.
2) mass lots and lots of mass.
3) absorption in the cavity and in the finished room.

your flanking concerns are correct, however remember a flank has a lower transmission value in comparison to direct partitions.

The best way to approach this is to find out what the partition is worth today and what would need to be done to make it tolerable for your neighbors. Remember no such thing as 100% soundproof.

Give me a call direct and we can help you get started in the right direction the first time.

Randy S.
760-752-3030 ext 104