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  • Where do you make your woodworking?

    Hi ,

    My husband has a hobby of woodworking. He has few saws (electrical, of couse), router and other "noisy" machines.
    Now we are moving to LA , probably to family house with garage. The question is if it is possible to use noisy tools in home garage during weekends (sometimes), or it is a right way to lawsuit?
    What does the law says about it?

    Thanks in advance,
    Irene

  • #2
    Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

    I live in CT and I do all my woodworking in the shop, or as my wife calls it, the garage. I definately make a lot noise but as far as I know there are no laws against it. The only way I can see this being an issue is if you live in an extremely upscale neighborhood where poeple will complain if they hear you breathe the wrong way. I have heard that some of the most upscale towns even have laws about no mowing on weekends (are you freaking kidding me). Honestly, if you are going to have a big fancy house where the homes are clusted together (which is getting more and more common) then people shouldnt complain about hearing the neighbors. Take all that money and buy some land with a smaller house for crying out loud!

    There could be an issue if the garage shop was used for commercial purposes but that would depend on the town/city. The way I see it, if you are a good neighbor and keep up with the yard/landscapping and general apperance of the house a weekend warrior doing woodworking in the garage should be the last thing the neighbors worry about.

    I would think you could call city hall/zoning board, or something to that effect which will tell you the local laws.

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    • #3
      Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

      I don't know about California, but around here (and most places I've ever been), the law doesn't tell you what you can or can't do in your garage. The only restriction for this kind of thing would be noise abatement laws that would regulate against making noise past, say, 10pm or so. Depends on the town and the locals, mostly.
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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      • #4
        Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

        8:00am to 10:00pm Monday thru Saturday. 10:00am to 8:00pm on Sundays around here. Though I have broken that rule/law on numerous occasions, and no one ever complained or had the cops visiting me. Whether I was working on job sites or woodworking at home....
        Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

        http://www.contractorspub.com

        A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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        • #5
          Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

          Here it is one level from 9PM-8:30AM and another from 8:30AM-9PM. I don't remember, but unless a neighbor complains it doesn't matter. Also, at least here the dB level would have to be taken by the code enforcement officer from the person who is complainings property line at the point closest to the source.

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          • #6
            Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

            As previously stated, a lot will depend on your particular neighborhood and of course the particular neighbor. Not only do you have to be concerned with noice prohibitions, but also any covenents that may be written into your deed or abstract. "Covenants" are basically contract-like restrictions that define parameters on your ownership of the property.

            These a quite common in many areas of the country and when you have your attorney's review the legalities of the property, they should keep a close eye out for any type of restriction.

            I've seen covenents that range from restricting the colors that may be used on the house (for example, only earth tones or pastels), no antenna's of any type, no lawn ornamentation (like bird baths or pink flamingo's) and yes, even noisey hobbies like woodworking, automobile working, etc.

            Generally speaking, there is very little you can do with covenents, except to avoid purchasing that property.

            Another big concern is neighborhood "organizations" which require membership and are very often highly restrictive. Such organizations basically "manage" a neighborhood. Again, these can be very challenging to overcome legally. Your attorney needs to be careful in reviewing whatever property to keep you from falling into such traps.

            On my abstract, the last line reads, "Enjoy your new home quietly." That leaves a lot to be questioned. My intent is to make sure my garage shop is well insulated and I'll restrict my hours of power tool operation to something like 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. and even then, try not to make a nuisance by operating every day. (Don't have the time for that anyway.)

            On the flip side, I also try to put myself in my neighbor's shoes, so to speak. While I enjoy making my own noises, I can't stand and won't put up with hearing my neighbor's radio blaring or their dog barking incessantly. Point is, we all have our sensibilities and our limits.

            I hope this helps,

            CWS
            Last edited by CWSmith; 07-05-2008, 06:46 PM. Reason: Dumb... used wrong term: "codicil" vs "covenant"; too little sleep I guess!

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            • #7
              Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

              Thank you very much for your answers. The answers are amazing and very helpful. I appreciate it very much

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              • #8
                Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

                Here in KY the laws state no loud noises between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am. I have all my power tools in my garage and have never had a complaint from a neighbor. I normally don't work out there past 8:30 during the week or about 7:00 on weekends when I have all day.
                info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

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                • #9
                  Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

                  Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                  As previously stated, a lot will depend on your particular neighborhood and of course the particular neighbor. Not only do you have to be concerned with noice prohibitions, but also any codicils that may be written into your deed or abstract. "Codicils" are basically contract-like restrictions that define parameters on your ownership of the property.
                  These are also known as CCRs (Covenents, Conditions and Restrictions). There is an interesting book on common interest developments (e.g. condos, homeowners associations, etc.) called Privatopia by a law professor who has spent most of his career looking at these issues.

                  One other thing is that if it is based on dB level, you can reduce it by making sure the garage is insulated (like CWS), but beyond that you can also install some noise dampening products like Quietrock (which is equivalent of something like 8-10 layers of regular drywall).

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                  • #10
                    Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

                    The neighbor behind us has his shop in the garage and the noise is minimal even with the door open (about 100' away). I can usually tell what tool he's using but it's not loud enough to interfere with conversation.
                    Most towns have noise ordinances and the clerk or the building department should be able to help you get a copy. I would try to avoid neighborhood associations and "private" communities as the regulations can be changed.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Where do you make your woodworking?

                      I deal with the anti noise by law in my city all the time. You are not allowed to make construction noise regardless of the db level after 10 pm till 7 am. Monday to Friday. Saturday it runs to 9 am. Sunday not allowed. The funny thing about the anti noise by laws is that before they dispatch the police there has to be a complaint. So if you are going to work then try and keep it down during the hours that your bylaws say you can't make noise. Last Sunday I had to put a jib onour crane. (it was the only time I could get the street use permit had to close 3 lane of a busy 4 lane) 280 foot boom and we were adding a 30 foot jib. Started up the crane at 4:50 am and we were done by 7:00 am before the traffic got out of control. The police did drive by but I guess nobody complained. I met with the whole crew for a couple minutes before we started and implored upon them to keep the noise down to only what was required to do the job. It seemed to work. It really depends on your neighbors.

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