Opinions on workshop in finished basement

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by Abn101mp posted 03-01-2017 11:03 PM 1276 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Abn101mp's profile


51 posts in 832 days

03-01-2017 11:03 PM

Hi all. I am currently in the market for buying a new home. This will be my first home. I have my woodworking shop upstairs in a garage at a place I have been staying for a few years.
My home shopping has let me to a beautiful place that has a large garage, storage above and good foundation. But it is not insulated and is only one door which would mean I would have to put up a wall and basically build a workshop in the rear.
The home however has a walkout dry basement with plenty of space. It also has a small finished room that would be great for staining and painting my projects.
The question I have is does anyone have their woodworking shop in their basement and if so does dust escape to the living area.
Thanks for any advice.
Cold in Maine.

-- Dan,Mid-Maine

10 replies so far

View Firewood's profile


579 posts in 1874 days

#1 posted 03-02-2017 12:01 AM

My shop is in the basement. Most of the basement is finished. I have no heat runs in the workshop which keeps the majority of the dust in the shop. My wife has not complained either.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View canadianchips's profile


2616 posts in 3237 days

#2 posted 03-02-2017 12:10 AM

I tried that ONCE !
Dust came upstairs.
Noise came upstairs.
Smells from varnish and Paints came upstairs.
“She was not happy”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1160 days

#3 posted 03-02-2017 12:51 AM


My last home featured a walk-out basement workshop. Since the basement was unfinished, I had the opportunity to build out the shop and separate it from the laundry room, a ¾ bath, and rec room, all in the front of the basement (the shop was in the back of the basement). It worked out well for me.

I walled off the work shop and installed an exterior door (with all the weather stripping) as an entrance to the shop from the basement front rec room. Insulation was placed in the ceiling and the partition wall for sound abatement. I also plugged the HVAC ducts in the basement in the shop area. The HVAC equipment was also walled off and sealed. Only when I entered or left the work shop did any dust find its way into the home. It was very minimal.

View jmos's profile


905 posts in 2609 days

#4 posted 03-02-2017 01:12 AM

I’ve got a basement shop (not walk out) in an unfinished basement. I don’t have any connections to the house HVAC, and made sure all the cracks were well sealed. I also put up a wall between the shop and the rest of the basement (where the furnace and hot water heater are located) and sealed any cracks around the wall really well.

After about 8 years, no issues at all with dust. I usually work when no one else is around, so noise isn’t a big issue. Due to the basement location, I avoid using any strong smelling chemicals or finishes, and I feel spraying anything is out of the question.

-- John

View CBAcharlie's profile


2 posts in 744 days

#5 posted 03-02-2017 02:03 AM

Been there, done it, tried it all. Dust can go anywhere the particles can fit and they can fit anywhere. Spare nothing if you do set up in the house or you will be buying pledge by the case. There are lots of clever ways to control the collateral damage starting with dust collection. Sealing things helps but you need fresh air to work. All I do in the basement anymore is the oil bath for my wood and applying hot beeswax. I added a mini split hvac system to my detached shop. Now I’m happy. You can make it work with a good plan….close off, seal off, contain the dust and get fresh air. Nothing stops a woodworker when there is wood to work


View TungOil's profile


1088 posts in 735 days

#6 posted 03-02-2017 02:32 AM

My shop is in the basement. It’s walled off from the rest of the finished basement to keep the mess contained. I have dust collection on my equipment and I also run a small fan in the window when I’m finishing to keep the smell out of the house. I don’t have any heat in my shop so I don’t have any issues with dust getting pulled into the ductwork. I have no issues with dust in the house.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Green_Hornut's profile


153 posts in 2860 days

#7 posted 03-02-2017 03:03 AM

My first shop was in the unfinished basement of a 100 year old house along with everything else including storage and laundry. Like other comments dust and fumes went everywhere, I live in MN and during the winter opening windows and blowing heated air outdoors for hours at a time is not feasible. The biggest problem was the NOISE!!!! Every time I ran the table saw the family would complain they couldn’t hear the TV upstairs. And any power tool after the children went to bed was forbidden. When I wanted to run a really noisy tool such as a surface planner and dust collection the whole family would have to leave the house.

Now I have a home that is actually younger than I am and where my shop is a separate building detached from the house. Now I can make as much noise, finishing, and sawdust (man glitter) as I want. I know that not everyone can have a setup like that but if that is an option. I would point out that no amount of mitigation is going to totally remove the impact of having a woodshop in the basement. My council would be if budget allows to look for a property where a building could be built or exists rather than have your shop in the basement and then spend money to mitigate or isolate it from the rest of the house.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

View oldnovice's profile


7380 posts in 3608 days

#8 posted 03-02-2017 05:44 AM

My shop in Illinois was in the basement therefore I could not use power tools after the kids went to bed.
I did all my finishing, weather permitting, in the garage or outside.

It was not a walk out garage so I also had to be aware of the stairs and doorways for larger projects.
My current “shop” is now in the garage but I still need to be nice to my neighbors running my power tools.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View LittleShaver's profile


455 posts in 859 days

#9 posted 03-02-2017 02:15 PM

I had a shop in a finished basement in MA. When the house was built, they insulated between the basement and the first floor. That helped immensely with noise control. The wife was never happy about having to walk through the shop to get to the laundry, but she did appreciate the projects it provided. I added an exhaust blower to a small window to help with fumes when finishing. Seemed to work quite well, or at least well enough to keep complaints to a minimum. The carpeted stairs to the first floor managed to keep most of the dust and chips from traveling up to the livings spaces (mostly). At that time I only had a shop vac for dust collection, but then again, I only used a table saw occasionally. One additional advantage was that the house had baseboard hot water heating, no big fans to circulate the dust through the house.

-- Sawdust Maker

View BenDupre's profile


690 posts in 728 days

#10 posted 03-02-2017 03:54 PM

I have a basement shop. Not much dust goes upstairs. Goes everywhere downstairs though. I just put in an air cleaner and hoping it helps. The worst thing is carrying the tools down and the furniture up.

My shop

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

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