I was born and raised in California, one of the most populated states in America. Our family has been a victim of “noisy neighbors” stomping from the above floor, shooting target in the neighborhood, dogs barking, loud generators- the list is endless.
If you’re trying to enjoy your own yard, but noise from your neighbors is making it difficult, there are a few things you can do to minimize the sound. By taking some simple steps to block the noise, you can make your outdoor space more enjoyable.
The best way to block noise from your neighbor’s yard is to install a solid wood fence that it at least 6ft tall or higher. You can also use sound distraction like water fountain or plant evergreen trees around your property fence for noise reduction. Alternatively, you can upgrade your fence by adding some soundproofing materials.
1. Talk to your noisy neighbor
One of the best ways to deal with noisy neighbors is to talk to them directly. It can be difficult to approach your neighbor about noise, but it’s often the most effective way to resolve the issue.
Talk to your neighbor in a friendly way and let them know that the noise is bothering you. If they are reasonable, they should be willing to make some changes to reduce the noise.
This trick worked when I was 15 years old. My dad and I approached a neighbor who’d use his old noisy air compressor in the backyard.
We never confronted him, but my dad made sure that the neighbor was aware that his old compressor was a nightmare to us.
Guess what he did?
He had to sell the old compressor and replaced it with a quieter air compressor.
If you’re faced with the same problem, I’d recommend you to have a chat with your neighbor.
If talking to your neighbor doesn’t work, you can try contacting their landlord or homeowners association. Let them know that there is a problem with noise and see if they can take any action.
2. Soundproof the door
Soundproofing your house means you’ll have to deal with every aspect of your home. You need to deal with the windows, doors, walls, ceiling and the floor.
The biggest culprit that could be leaking noise from the neighbor’s yard is the door that leads outside your house.
While the door can block some medium sound frequencies, it won’t block low frequency and high-frequency noises.
Here’s how you can help reduce noise coming through the door.
- Seal all the gaps and cracks
- Close the gap between the door and the floor
- Use noise reducing blankets
Use a green glue sealant to seal all the cracks on the door. Alternatively, you can use this foam tape; it’ll do the same job.
You’ll need a door sweep to close the gap between the door and the floor. The best part about door sweeps is that you’ll be able to prevent bugs and insects from crawling inside. I’d recommend the Suptikes Door Stopper for this job.
The next step involves adding more mass to the door. This will help block more noise. You’ll need something that can soundproof the door.
3. Soundproof the Window
There are a few ways that you can soundproof your window, depending on your needs. If you live in an apartment building and are trying to block out street noise, you may only need to use a heavy-duty window film.
Or, if you work from home and need to keep your office space quiet, you might want to install acoustic panels over your windows. Here are a few ways to soundproof your window:
- Use heavy-duty window film. This type of film is designed to reduce noise levels by up to 80%. It’s available in clear or tinted varieties, so you can still enjoy the view from your window while blocking out unwanted noise.
- Install acoustic panels. These panels are made of sound-absorbing material and can be mounted on the inside or outside of your window. They’re an effective way to reduce noise levels, especially if you live in a busy area.
- Use weather stripping. This is a simple and inexpensive way to seal gaps around your window, which will help to reduce noise levels.
- Hang heavy curtains. Heavy curtains can also help to reduce noise levels by blocking out sound waves.
- Install awnings. Awnings can provide an extra layer of protection from noise, as well as keep your home cooler in the summer months.
- Use soundproofing foam. Soundproofing foam is designed to absorb noise and can be applied directly to your window.
- Upgrade your windows. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, consider upgrading to windows that are designed for soundproofing. These windows typically have thicker glass and special seals that help to block out noise.
4. Soundproof the Wall
To soundproof a wall, you need to add mass and decouple the wall from the rest of the structure. This will stop sound from vibrating through the wall and into your room. You can add mass by hanging heavy curtains or attaching foam panels to the wall. To decouple the wall, you can add resilient channel or batt insulation to create an air gap.
Finally, seal any cracks or gaps in the wall with caulk or sealant. This will help to prevent any unwanted noise from entering the room.
Soundproofing from the inside of the wall is the best method if vibrations cause noise. To soundproof the walls, you will need the following materials:
- Mass loaded vinyl (MLV)– They are heavy and can be used to absorb sounds of any frequency. What you need to do is screw them to the wall.
- Drywall– you can add drywall to the existing walls meaning that the wall will have more mass that will help in blocking the sound.
- Green Glue– green glue is applied between two layers of a soundproofing material or drywall
5. Plant Noise Blockers
If you want to block noise from your neighbor’s yard, you can do so by planting trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs will act as a barrier between your property and your neighbor’s, blocking out some of the noise.
Evergreen trees are especially good at blocking noise, as they provide year-round coverage. Some good evergreen trees to plant for noise reduction include cypress, spruce, and fir.
You can also try planting hedges, such as boxwood or yew.
How to plant soundproofing trees
You should plant the trees like a hedge. Space them right so that no, there are no gaps between the trees or scrubs when they mature. You can also plant them in layers for better results.
You should plant shrubs near the source of the noise, then plant the trees behind and lastly, a row of scrubs facing your home. These shrubs near your home give a beautiful landscape design that has a good scent and have an appealing view.
Trees with broad leaves are more effective than those with narrow leaves. Go for trees with dense branches that reach the ground to ensure maximum sound absorption. Examples include hollies and junipers.
6. White Noise Machine
A white noise machine is a device that produces a sound that is similar to the sound of a waterfall or rushing water. This type of noise can help mask other sounds in your environment and can provide relief from tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.
A white noise machine works by producing sound waves that cancel out other sounds in your environment. The sound waves generated by the machine create an interference pattern that makes it difficult for other sounds to be heard.
There are a variety of white noise machines on the market, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some white noise machines can be portable, while others are designed to be used in a specific room or area.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a white noise machine:
- Size and portability. If you plan on using your white noise machine while traveling, choose a compact unit that can easily fit into your luggage. For home use, size isn’t as much of a concern.
- Type of sound. White noise machines emit different types of sounds, such as raindrops, ocean waves, or Fan noise. Choose the type of sound that you find most relaxing.
- Sound profiles. Many white noise machines offer different sound profiles so you can customize the sound to your needs. For example, some units have a “sleep” sound profile that gradually lowers the volume over time to help you drift off to sleep.
- Automatic shut-off timer. This feature allows the unit to turn off automatically after a set period of time, so you don’t have to worry about it running all night.
- Price and features. White noise machines range in price from around $30 to $100. Special features, such as Bluetooth connectivity or a built-in night light, may add to the cost but can be helpful if you have specific needs.
Alternative Methods of Soundproofing Walls
If you are not willing to reconstruct your walls, you can go for sound dampening materials which include, sound deadening panels, Audimute Mover Blanket, Mass Loaded Vinyl.
What you will need is screws or nails to install the MLV or the moving blanket on the wall, which will take you less than 30 minutes.
You will need hanging strips for the soundproofing panels, but the nails and the screws can also work in case the strips are unavailable.
There is a variety of soundproofing panels in the market but most of them will block echo and not the noise. I would recommend you to go for Uber Dense Acoustic Panels since I tried them and worked very well.
Scandia Moss Panels
They are designed to be used indoor placed on the wall using hanging strips. The panels have a good design and are said to give good results in noise reduction.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.