Reduce Unwanted Noise in your Backyard

Posted October 1, 2015 in Blog, Landscape Design

There is no doubt that a noisy environment makes it hard to relax and to enjoy your backyard.  Living on a busy commuter street, next to noisy neighbors or even a shopping center can get stressful, but don’t feel that you need to sell your house just yet; this situation is not hopeless!  There are several ways to combat environment noise with some clever landscape design techniques that don’t necessarily mean you to invest in a completely overhauled construction process to gain some peace and quiet.

Fences and Barriers

A general rule of thumb is that if you can see the source of the noise, you will hear the noise.  Blocking out the sources from sight can tremendously lessen the intensity of the racket.  Consider where the noises are coming from.  If tire noise on the street is an issue, you can get away with a lower wall, but if the neighbor’s deck is the culprit, you will have to adjust the height of the fence accordingly.  Building a fence without any gaps between the boards is also key.  If there are open spaces in the fence, that gives the noise vibrations a chance to wiggle through.  Masonry walls can help a great deal because they are generally thicker and without gaps, so the noise gets reflected more efficiently.


Privacy landscaping is another idea to block out any unwanted noise.  Not only will you gain visual privacy, but the tree branches, leaves and trunk will help absorb and reflect the incoming sound waves.  While tree branches can be sparse and give the sound a chance to travel through, you can pair the trees with broad leaf plants to help pick up the slack.  Raised beds can also help the cause by creating a more vertical blockade and landscaping interest in your yard.  Interesting and lush backyards can subconsciously make you feel farther away from the hustle and bustle, creating an environment of cozy tranquility.

Desirable Noise

Sometimes, if you can’t beat ’em, you just have to join ’em!  Fight the undesirable noises with desirable sounds!  Simple purchases like wind chimes can replace the outside annoyances easily.  Professionally installing water features is another great way to produce more peaceful sounds in the yard.  Water features with water falls, slow trickling water or even water fountains can effectively create relaxing white noise.  You might not necessarily always pay attention to the sound of the water, but you won’t really be hearing the outside noises either!

Sink your Space

If building up isn’t a feasible option for your property, you could always consider digging in to make your outdoor living spaces lower than the rest of the property.  Carving out your landscape can create a sunken backyard private paradise!  Just as taller fences or plantings can reflect and absorb the environmental noise, in a sunken living space, the soil can have the same effect.  Retaining walls will help create the structure of the project and also help with the environmental chaos.

You can’t eliminate all outside noise, but you can use some of these tips to keep it all under control.  Using a combination of these techniques can greatly improve the quality of your backyard and be a space that you will love to be in!  If you would like help from an experienced landscape designer and you live in the Poconos, the Lehigh Valley or the Philadelphia areas, reach out to MasterPLAN Landscape Design.  We care about the details and aspire to create a beautiful and functional outdoor living space you can be proud of.  We are adamant about solving your challenging backyard problems in a stunning yet innovative way to fulfill your tailored needs.  When you are ready to chat about your project, we are ready to listen!

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