How To Reduce Noise In Backyard

Having a noisy backyard can be frustrating and disrupt your ability to relax and enjoy your outdoor space. Whether the noise is coming from nearby traffic, loud neighbors, or barking dogs, there are several steps you can take to reduce unwanted sounds and make your backyard an oasis of peace and quiet.

Invest In Fencing

Installing a solid fence around your yard can help block outside noises from filtering in. A 6-8 feet tall wooden or vinyl privacy fence is ideal for deflecting sound. Make sure there are no cracks or gaps in the fencing that could allow noise to penetrate through. You can also use fence slats or lattice as an added noise barrier along the top portion of the fence. Planting shrubs and bushes along the fence line can further absorb sound.

Build A Sound Barrier

Constructing some type of noise barrier around the perimeter of your yard can help mitigate sound from nearby streets, highways, or neighbors. This could be a masonry wall,Solid Fence and Trellis Combination: A wooden or masonry privacy fence combined with a trellis adds visual interest while blocking noise. Tall bushes and vines planted along the trellis can further dampen sound.earthen berm, row of trees/shrubs, or a combination of these elements. The wider and more dense the barrier, the more effective it will be at reducing noise. Strategically place the noise barrier between the source of the noise and areas of your yard you want to keep quiet.

Install Acoustic Fencing

In addition to standard privacy fencing, you can purchase acoustic fencing designed specifically to absorb rather than reflect noise. Acoustic fences feature sound-dampening materials like absorptive foam and fibrous noises inside the fence slats. This helps prevent sound waves from bouncing off the fence and traveling into your yard. Acoustic fencing can reduce backyard noise by up to 15 decibels.

Add Soft Surfaces

Hard surfaces like concrete, stone, and water features reflect noise rather than absorbing it. Where possible, replace these hard elements with soft landscaping materials like grass, mulch, trees, shrubs, and garden beds. Soft surfaces scatter sound waves and minimize echoes and reverberation that can amplify noise in your yard. Placing potted plants around hard surfaces can also help dampen noise.

Mask Unwanted Sounds

You can disguise undesirable sounds in your backyard by producing more pleasant natural sounds to drown them out. Installing a waterfall or fountain creates ambient water noise. Wind chimes and wind socks produce light tinkling sounds when breezy. And planting rustling trees like bamboo, honeysuckle, reed grasses, and cottonwood helps mask distracting sounds. Position these sound-generating elements close to where you relax in your yard to maximize their noise-blocking effects.

Upgrade Windows and Doors

If nearby noise is still entering your home from the backyard, consider upgrading your windows and doors to block sound transmission. Solid wood or metal doors with weather stripping and door sweeps block more noise than hollow doors. Windows with double or triple panes insulated with argon or xenon gas reduce outside sound more than single pane windows. Sealing any air gaps around windows and doors with caulk or insulation also prevents noise intrusion.

Install White Noise Systems

You can install systems that produce soothing white noise to help drown out unwanted backyard sounds. White noise machines, apps, or speakers keyed to nature sounds like crashing ocean waves or steady rainfall give your brain something more pleasant to focus on. Place white noise emitters near areas where you want to minimize distracting sounds from your yard.

Modify Landscape Design

Carefully positioning various elements and surfaces in your yard can help reduce noise. Place gardens, berms, sheds, gazebos, or pool houses between your house and the noise source to create a sound buffer. Face patio and deck seating away from the noise. Angle walking paths away from the sound. And locate noisy elements like hot tubs and air conditioners away from quiet zones. Smart landscape design can help block and diffuse backyard noise.

Choose Quiet Outdoor Activities

When spending time in your noisy backyard, select quiet activities to avoid competing sounds. Reading, meditating, drawing, gardening, and quietly playing board games allow you to tune out ambient noise. Save noisier backyard fun like parties, yard games, power tools, and kids running around for days when unwanted sounds won’t be as bothersome. Pick times when noise is less likely such as weekday afternoons if the noise is from a nearby highway or school.

Schedule Outdoor Time Strategically

Pay attention to when unwanted backyard sounds are most prevalent, then plan your patio, deck, pool, or garden time accordingly. For example, if neighborhood dogs bark the most in the early morning and evening, avoid using your yard during those high-noise periods. Or if traffic noise picks up after school drop off and before rush hour, retreat indoors during those noisy intervals. Scheduling outdoor living strategically around peak noise times can create some quiet respite.

Use Noise Canceling Headphones

When you want to sit outside and read or relax but there’s too much yard noise, put on noise canceling headphones. These electronically limit or cancel out external sounds using destructive interference technology. Noise canceling headphones allow you to enjoy your outdoor oasis free of distracting sounds. For additional privacy, position your chair out of view from any neighbors whose noises may be bothering you.

Ignore Unavoidable Noise

Sometimes there’s little you can do to reduce noise from sources like traffic and neighborhood kids. In these cases, cultivating an attitude of acceptance and making a conscious decision not to let it bother you can help. Remind yourself the noise is out of your control. Focus your attention elsewhere, like on your surroundings or an engaging task. Listening to music you love can also distract you from annoying sounds that are beyond your ability to mitigate.

With some strategic planning, landscaping, fencing, and sound masking, you can transform an annoyingly noisy backyard into a peaceful personal sanctuary. Stop letting bothersome sounds ruin your ability to relax and entertain outdoors. Follow these tips to reduce noise so you can fully enjoy your yard.

Common Backyard Noise Issues and Solutions

Here are some common external noise issues and tactics to reduce their impact:

Traffic Sounds

  • Construct dense barriers between yard and road using berms, walls, trees, shrubs
  • Install acoustic fencing to absorb rather than reflect noise
  • Mask traffic sounds with fountains, wind chimes, music
  • Schedule outdoor living during off-peak traffic times

Barking Dogs

  • Build fence high enough that dogs can’t see into your yard and trigger barking
  • Plant bamboo or trees to visually obstruct dogs’ lines of sight
  • Mask barks with white noise from fountain or noise machine
  • Talk to neighbors about reducing dog barking

Nearby Parties/Music

  • Plant fast-growing tall trees and hedges to visually separate properties
  • Install solid wood fence and acoustic barriers to contain sound
  • Politely ask neighbors to turn music down during late night hours
  • Counter with your own ambient music to blur party noises

Kids Playing/Shouting

  • Construct a sound barrier to deflect and absorb noise
  • Plant trees and shrubs to scatter and diffuse sounds
  • Politely explain noise concerns and work out compromises
  • Remove mutual fence sections to create more yard separation

Construction Projects

  • Play white noise or relaxing music to mask power tools
  • Take a day trip to a quiet park to temporarily escape
  • For long projects, ask contractor about acoustic sound curtains
  • For short projects, wait it out by scheduling quiet indoor activities

Early Morning Gardeners

  • Install acoustic fencing to contain equipment sounds
  • Play natural background noise like gentle rain showers
  • Wake up earlier so you’re active when noises begin
  • Ask neighbors to hold off until a bit later in the morning

With persistence and creativity, you can effectively minimize common backyard noise issues. Experiment with different remedies until you transform your yard into a peaceful sanctuary.

FAQs About Reducing Backyard Noise

How much does it cost to soundproof a backyard?

The cost to soundproof a backyard depends on the size of your yard and which noise-blocking methods you use. Acoustic fencing costs $25-$50 per linear foot. Sound barrier walls are $20-$60 per square foot. Noise cancelling headphones cost $100-$400. Basic landscaping upgrades like trees, shrubs and patio pavers can run $5,000-$10,000. Advanced soundproofing with solid fencing, barriers and professional landscaping could cost $15,000-$25,000 for a medium sized yard.

How can I reduce noise without a fence?

Some ways to reduce backyard noise without a fence include building a freestanding sound barrier wall, mound or berm, installing noise cancelling windows/doors, adding absorbing soft landscaping, positioning noisy elements away from quiet areas, using masking sounds like water features, and scheduling outdoor time strategically based on noise patterns.

What kind of trees block sound?

Evergreen trees with dense, leafy foliage year-round do the best job absorbing and blocking noise. Good sound dampening options include pine, spruce, fir, arborvitae, hemlock, cypress, cedar and privet. Broadleaf evergreens like holly, cherry laurel, olive, magnolia, live oak and rubber plants also effectively absorb sound. Plant them densely for maximum noise reduction.

Should a sound barrier wall be solid or porous?

Solid wall surfaces better reflect noise away while porous walls with gaps absorb more sound through diffusion. Absorptive porous materials like concrete blocks, acoustical tiles and panels with air spaces work best for sound barrier walls unless noise reflection is preferred. Porous walls allow some airflow while reducing noise and are less imposing.

How high should a fence be to block noise?

To effectively block noise, a fence should be 6-8 feet tall. Fence height depends partly on the source of the noise. For traffic noise, a 6 foot high fence is generally sufficient if combined with vegetation barriers. For blocking noise from nearby tall buildings, an 8 foot fence may work better. Improve noise reduction by filling fence gaps and topping with sound absorbing materials.

Blocking unwanted noise doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With some creative solutions and strategic landscaping, you can turn even the loudest backyard into a peaceful oasis. What matters most is deterring sounds from entering zones where you want to relax, play and entertain. Follow these tips to reduce noise so you can fully enjoy your outdoor living space.

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