Nothing says serenity like the shrill of sirens, blaring of horns, and jarring cacophony of traffic. Your backyard should be a place to get away from it all. But, if you live in a busy area, peace and quiet can be hard to come by. To make it easier, we’ve rounded up six ways to reduce traffic noise in your backyard. Not to go all science geek on you, but it ultimately comes down to creating sound barriers between you and the offending source.
6 Ways to Reduce Traffic Noise in Your Backyard
- Plant hedges and vegetation
- Install a deck
- Build a privacy wall
- Install an acoustic fence
- Add water features
- Build a shed
Pro Tip: The right additions for you may depend on the architecture style of your home. Learn more about the most popular house styles and how to identify yours with our quick guide.
1. Plant hedges and vegetation
One of the best (and most eco-friendly) ways to reduce traffic noise in your backyard while complying with city building codes is by planting hedges and additional vegetation. Hedges aren’t commonly subject to height limitations and can provide a great sound barrier between your yard and busy streets when planned correctly. Not only will hedges and trees reduce noise, but they’re also an excellent technique to give your backyard some more privacy. We know the prospect of new plants is always exciting, but be sure to talk to a landscaper about choosing the right greenery for your situation, space, and climate before you start planting.
2. Install a deck
Aside from vegetation, there are some other aspects of landscape design that can help you reduce traffic noise in your backyard. It’ll take some time, money, and effort, but building a deck can go a long way in reducing the traffic noise you’re dealing with. Building a deck is also a great way to build equity and increase your home’s value.
3. Build a privacy wall
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned brick wall to keep out unwanted traffic noise (and nosy neighbors). Brick walls give you a lot of freedom when it comes to where and how high you want to build, plus they’re the perfect density for blocking vibrations and don’t have gaps for sound to leak through. But while brick walls can reduce unwanted traffic noise by up to 50%, they’re also costly, take a lot of time and effort to install, and aren’t always the most aesthetically pleasing. If you’re in a neighborhood with height restrictions and regulations on what you can build in your backyard, you may want to opt for something a little less conspicuous.
4. Install an acoustic fence
Enter the acoustic fence. Acoustic fences have the same noise-blocking ability as brick walls at almost half the price. Not to mention, they can be much easier on the eyes and are available in many different styles and colors. They’re easy to install and will blend right in any neighborhood you live in. You can’t go as high with an acoustic fence as you can with a brick privacy wall, but you can still reduce noise quite a bit with this method.
5. Add water features
Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire—or in this case, water. Sound barriers are great, but let’s be real: It’s impossible to block out ALL the noise of the city. In this case, you should start thinking competitively and attempt to create your own white noise to counter the traffic. Water features like fountains, a pool, waterfalls, and streams in your yard can create a soothing source of white noise that drowns out unwanted sounds. No pun intended.
6. Build a shed
A well-placed shed can be a superb sound blocker while also adding some extra storage to your backyard. If you know there’s an acoustic corridor in your backyard, such as an opening in a wall or a passageway leading into your garden, a shed could be the perfect solution to stop those sound waves from getting any further. Still not quiet enough? Try soundproofing the shed to double down on your noise-reducing tactics.
Any other tips for reducing traffic noise in my backyard?
Your backyard is supposed to be a place you can retreat to for relaxation, and traffic noise can get in the way of that. But you don’t have to let it win! Any one of the techniques listed above can help you fight back, but a comprehensive landscaping strategy that includes vegetation, creative landscaping and design, and some soothing white noise is your best bet at turning your backyard into a peaceful sanctuary. And if you can still hear the countryside calling through all your newly-installed white noise, we’ve got a loan for that.
Reclaim your backyard zen with sound barriers, white noise, and more strategies to reduce the clamor of city life.