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If you live in California, Texas, Florida, New York and any other populated states, it’s very likely that you’ve had a noisy neighbor. So how can you block noise from neighbor’s yard? I was born and raised in Texas, the second most populated state in the USA and I would hear my parent constantly argue with our next door neighbor who was overly fond of his day time job of drilling, hammering and doing any other loud activity.
There are some sounds we can control such as switching off the stereo or lowering television volume whenever you’re seeking a quiet and peaceful time. But what happens when we can’t control some irritating sounds coming from your neighbor’s yard? It’s not like you’ll walk over to your neighbor’s property and tell them to shut the f@*k up.
Just like you- I was in the same situation a few years back but I found few techniques I implemented to reduce noise from our neighbors yard.
Whether it’s barking dogs, kids playing or neighbor playing bass music, this is a guide that will help you.
#Method1: Talk with your noisy neighbors
One of the quickest methods to fix the noise problem from your neighbor’s yard is having a serious chat with your neighbors.
When I was seventeen, we had a neighbor who fixed his old boats in his backyard. Once my mom and I approached him about the noise problem- he so understood and stopped for good. You could try this approach and see whether it works for you.
After all not all your noisy neighbors are rude folks. In most cases, these folks don’t realize that they’re being loud- or whether noise from their backyards is bothering you. If your neighbors seem to be good people, try and speak with them and see if the noise problem will be fixed.
However, if you’re afraid that your neighbors might react rudely- you can call the cops. But you should stay anonymous as some neighbors might seek revenge if they discover you called cops on them.
#Method2: Block yard noise from entering your home
Soundproof the window
Since yard noise comes from outside and not within your house, it’s important to soundproof all vulnerable areas of your home such as walls, windows and doors especially those facing the yard.
You can reduce yard noise by:
- Install an extra window pane
- Seal all the gaps between the window and the frame
- Install soundproof curtains
- Install a DIY window plug
- Use a sound deadening blanket or hang a fiberglass over the window
The most expensive option in the above list is the installation of an additional window pane and the other methods will cost you between $10-$40 for better results.
However, whichever method you find suitable, you’ll need to seal all the gaps in the window and its frame. It’s a simple fix and you’ll only need a foam tape. Check this foam tape I bought for my Mom’s house.
Additionally, you should also consider using soundproofing curtains on the window. The curtains should extend all the way to the floor and should cover more area. Not only will the insulate sound but they’ll add aesthetic appeal to your home.
My girlfriend got these super long curtains from Amazon for our living room and they did a wonderful job in reducing outside noise since we live in the city.
But to significantly sound proof outside noise in your bedroom or living room, I would recommend you to use a double curtain rod rather than a regular one. A double curtain rod will allow you to hang two sound deadening curtains to cover the same area. So you’ll be getting two curtain layers to give your double noise protection.
Another product I found useful are dense blinds. There are two types of dense blinds- outer and inner dense blends and others can be positioned on either side. They not only sound insulate your house they also give extra security making it almost impossible for an intruder to break in your house.
I would recommend thick wooden blinds over the polyester blinds because they’re heavy and hence will do the job better.
Sound deaden the door
Doors leading to your house could be causing neighbor’s yard noise reach your living room or bedroom. In most cases, the front door is always thin to block mid-level noise frequencies.
If that’s the case in your home, I would advise you to upgrade your front door using the correct sound isolation materials.
How to soundproof your front door
- Seal the gap between the front door and the floor
- Seal the small gaps between the door frame and the door
- Use a sound absorbing blanket on your front door
- Hang noise blocking curtains
- Install extra wooden material on the door
Sealing all the gaps on your front door is something that you should do immediately. You can cover these gaps using a foam tape or attach a silicone door sweep on the gap between the door and the floor. These two products costs about $20 and will not only sound isolate your house but also prevent bugs from crawling inside.
Now that you’ve sealed the small gaps, it’s time to add some mass to your front door. This can be achieved by either hanging a moving blanket or using a sound deadening curtains. Audimute Mover Blanket is one of the best in soundproofing your door. It will also make your house look nice.
If one blanket doesn’t get the job done- you can add another mover blanket to improve thickness and efficiency.
If you’ve got some technical knowledge –some carpentry skills- you can design a wooden panel and screw it on your front door leaving a small hole for the handle. You can use MDF panels or plywood for better soundproofing. However you should make sure that the door hinges can fully support the added weight or else you’ll only end up breaking your door.
Soundproof the wall
You should soundproof your house walls especially one facing the neighbor’s yard to make it resistant to sound.
There are different options you can choose from depending on the amount you’re willing to spend, type of noise and where you want to install the soundproofing material- either on the surface level or from the inside.
Soundproofing the wall from the inside the wall is the most efficient method especially if the noise problem is caused by vibrations. The materials you will need for insulating the walls from the inside are:
- Mineral Wool Batts- these batts are place in between the wall studs and fill all the gaps. Here is a video to help you out. You can use them alongside with Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV).
- Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)- MLV’s are usually heavy and are efficient against sounds of all frequencies. You should screw them directly to the wall studs.
- Green Glue- a green glue is usually applied between two layers of soundproofing materials or drywall. The purpose of the glue is to absorb sound.
- Drywall- adding drywall to your existing walls means that you’ll be adding more mass- and more mass helps in blocking sound.
Alternative methods of soundproofing walls:
If reconstructing the walls is not your thing, you can alternatively install sound dampening materials on the wall surface. For this case, you can use soundproofing blankets such as Audimute Mover Blanket, Mass Loaded Vinyl and sound deadening panels.
You will only need nails or screws to hang the heavy moving blanket or the MLV on the wall –an activity that will take less than 30 minutes of your time. For soundproofing panels, you will need to use hanging strips even though nails or screws work just fine.
You’ll find many artist using hanging strips to hang their paintings and some barbers use to hang mirrors. A friend of mine recommended these Command Strips and they worked just fine.
There are plenty of soundproofing panels on Amazon- but it’s important to note that most of these will only block echo and won’t block noise. So to make sure you get panels that work best- try the Uber Dense Acoustic Panels- I’ve had firsthand experience with them and worked super fine.
Have you heard about the Scandia Moss Panels?
I’ve heard some social media debates about Scandia Moss Panels– have you?
These panels are designed for use indoor and are placed on wall surface using hanging strips. But to be honest, I’m not sure how efficient these Moss panels are but their design makes me want to try them out.
While the manufacturer claims it does well in noise reduction- I can’t recommend the product because I’ve personally never tried it and no of my friends have either. If you’re willing to try it out- please do so and share your experiences in the comment section below.
#Method3: Block the noise from neighbor’s yard
If possible try to block noise from neighbors yard as close to the source as possible. There are different ways in which achieve this:
- Install a wood fence, preferably 6ft high
- Create berms and plant trees or shrubs on these berms
- build a stone wall
- upgrade your existing fence using a sound deadening material
- Plant trees to act as sound barrier
You probably have an existing wooden fence with small gaps that let sound in- in this case, you should use weather-stripping tape to conceal all the gaps. Additionally, if the fence is not high enough, you should replace it immediately with a higher one.
Building a stone a soundproof stone wall
A thick and high stone wall is the most effective method of blocking unwanted noises from your neighbor’s backyard. However a stone wall requires money- so you should be prepared to invest- but the amount in this case can’t break the bank.
Depending on size of your land, building a stone wall can be quite expensive. You will need to hire a professional if you’ve got no technical skills.
Soundproof your perimeter wall
If your perimeter wall is high enough but still lets in noise from the neighbor, installing a sound isolating material on the fence is the best idea. I recommend using this MIV to soundproof the fence. You should cut the Mass Loaded Vinyl into desired sizes and screw or nail them to the fence.
Mask the unwanted sounds
Did you know that noises overlap? Did you know that listening to noise outlet closer to you can drown one that’s louder but further away?
Now you know.
For this reason, you can make a small fountain or stream in your yard or alternatively buy a white noise machine or a white noise fan. The noise from the white noise machine or fountain will not only sooth you but also mask out the unwanted sounds your neighbors make.
The concept is that- whatever outlet you find desirable, it should be close to you or your house as possible. If the option is loud enough, it should mask that noise the neighbors make.
Try Brushwood Fencing
I’m not sure whether this method can work best here in the USA- but who knows it might. During my last trip to Australia to visit my uncle last year, I learnt about one effective method of blocking noises from neighbor’s yard using brushwood. Brushwood fencing is one of the most popular fencing options in Australia and it’s a good alternative to steel, timber and brick and can last up to 25 years.
The fencing is good for sound insulation and it’s also impervious to termites. Brushwood fencing are good in noise reduction for they muffle and trap noise unlike concrete or brick fences that only bounce noise around and it’s more affordable compared to solid wall.
The only disadvantage with brushwood fencing is that it’s not ideal for bush fire prone regions and may not work with architectural design.
#Method3: Plant Noise Blockers
One of the most visually appealing method to block noise from neighbors yard is use plant dense growth of plants.
Noise blocking trees or shrubs are good especially in the urban areas where refracted sounds from hard surfaces such as pavements and buildings are problematic.
One advantage of planting noise blockers is the fact that they absorb noise in the high frequencies that we find most annoying.
How to Plant Soundproofing Trees
You should plant sound deadening trees as you would do a hedge. Make sure you space them rightly to ensure that there won’t be any gaps between the shrubs when they reach maturity. You can even plant dense layers of trees for maximum noise protection.
You should first plant a row of shrubs nearest to the noise source and then plant a row of taller trees or shrubs behind them and then finish with a row of conspicuous shrubs facing your garden or home.
The inside shrubs should be chosen such that they complement the overall landscape design of your home, for their fragrance, visual impact, and other desirable characteristics.
Trees versus Shrubs as for Sound Isolation
Evergreen trees and shrubs are the best plants for sound isolation because they offer all year-round soundproofing. Broad-leaf trees are more effective than narrow-leaf tress and conifers. You should pick trees with dense branches that extend all the way to the ground for maximum sound reduction. Some good examples include junipers and hollies that have branches that extend to the ground level.
There you have it guys, my guide on how to block noise from neighbors yard using simple do it yourself techniques with materials available for cheap. Is there any method you’ve tried so far?
Which DIY method do you think will work best in your home and why?
Please let me know in the comment section below.