Do you regret moving next to an industrious neighbor? He just loooves to work with his hands, taking your down time for granted.
I had problems with my neighbor who fixed boats in his backyard. Once I confronted him about it and said I would call the cops, it stopped for good. But that’s because he was really doing something that could get him in trouble, financial and otherwise. But if your neighbors are making legal noise, it can be a long road to salvation.
Luckily, there are many soundproofing methods you can use to block the noise from your neighbors yard. Here’s all the information you need to do it properly:
1. Block the noise from entering your home
Soundproof the window
The noise is coming from the outside, so you’ll want to soundproof all the vulnerable areas in your walls. Windows, especially those facing the yard can be a problem.
You can reduce the noise by:
- sealing the gaps between the window and its frame
- hanging noise-blocking curtains
- installing an additional window pane
- using a home-made window plug
- hanging a fiberglass or heavy moving blanket blanket over the window
Installing an additional window pane is the most expensive option. The other ones cost anywhere between $10 to $40 and you’d notice a significant noise reduction.
Whichever of these methods you choose, you’ll definitely want to seal the gaps in the window frame. It’s also really affordable because you only need some foam tape to do it.
I also recommend hanging noise-blocking curtains on the window from a curtain rod. Getting the large curtains that go all the way down to the floor is the best option because they cover more of the area. In my opinion they also look better.
If you want to maximize noise reduction, use a double curtain rod instead of a regular one. A double curtain rod allows you to place two curtains to cover the same area. Basically, you get two curtain layers, which means you’ll have double protection against noise.
Another product you can use are dense blinds. There are two types of blinds – outer and inner, while some can be placed on either side. Both options are fine and they provide a security benefit as well. In other words, it makes it harder for an intruder to break in with properly fitted blinds covering a glass window.
It’s best to get thick wooden blinds because they are heavier, although I noticed my polyester blinds are a good sound blocker as well. I reviewed best window blinds for noise reduction, so take a peak if you’re interested in this method.
Soundproof the door
Exterior doors are another common entrance point for noise. Many times the front door is too thin to block even basic mid-level sound frequencies. In that case, you’ll want to upgrade your door with the correct soundproofing material.
These are the top ways to do it:
- seal the gaps between the door and the door frame
- seal the gap between the door and the floor
- hang a thick moving blanket on the door
- hang a moving blanket or noise-blocking curtains in front of the door
- install an additional wooden panel on the door
Sealing the gaps is something you should definitely do. You can use foam tape to cover the door frame and attach a simple silicone door sweep to the bottom of the door. It costs around $20 combined and will prevent the free flow of air (and bugs!) from crawling inside.
Once you’ve done that, you should add some mass to the door. The easiest way to do this is to tack a heavy moving blanket on the door. The heaviest one on the market is the Supreme Mover blanket. Plus, it looks nice. If you still hear noise, simply add another one to improve thickness.
If you’re more of a handy man, you can get a wooden panel custom sized, make a hole for the door handle and screw it on the door. It’s best to use plywood or MDF panels for soundproofing because they’re dense. You can get them custom sized at Home Depot. However if you plan on doing this, make sure that the door hinges are strong enough to support the extra weight.
Here’s my full door soundproofing guide if you want more tips and tricks.
Soundproof the wall
The wall facing the neighbors yard is in direct line of fire. It’s the wall you’ll want to bolster with soundproofing material to make it more resistant to noise.
There are plenty of options to choose from, depending on your budget, type of noise (airborne, impact or both), and whether you want to install the material inside the wall or on the surface level.
Adding material inside the wall usually works better, especially for impact noise caused by vibrations. Materials that are often used for this project are:
- Mass Loaded Vinyl – This material is pretty heavy and works great against all sound frequencies. It should be screwed directly to the studs, as shown in this video. It can also be screwed directly on a wall or a fence.
- Mineral Wool Batts – These are placed between wall studs to fill up these gaps as shown in this video. They can be used together with mass loaded vinyl or on their own.
- Drywall – Extra drywall means extra mass on the wall. And mass blocks sound, so it’s a good solution even though it requires a lot of work to install it. See how it’s done in this video.
- Green Glue – Is typically applied between two layers of drywall or two layers of heavy soundproofing material. It’s purpose is to absorb impact noise and it works great for this purpose. See how it’s done in this video.
But if you’re not interested in reconstructing the wall, you can install materials directly on the wall’s surface.
In that case, Mass Loaded Vinyl, heavy moving blankets like the Supreme Mover, and thick soundproofing panels are the best options.
You can use screws or nails to hang MLV and moving blankets on the wall in a few minutes. The same can be done with soundproofing panels, but an even better option is to use hanging strips. Hanging strips are used to hang paintings. Some people even use them to hang mirrors! I’m not that brave even though they hold really well and permanently, especially Command Strips. Simply place one or two strips on the backside of each panel and than stick the panel on a wall or a door. Done.
I don’t recommend soundproofing panels lightly. Because there are so many foam panels that only reduce echo but don’t block noise. But there are a couple of them that are designed specifically to block sound. Namely the “uber dense acoustic panels” by Burton Acoustix.
The Scandia Moss panels?
One novel idea that I haven’t seen before are Scandia Moss panels, as shown on the photo on the right. They’re supposed to be placed on indoor wall surface, preferably with hanging strips.
I’m really intrigued by this because it looks cool. But I’m not sure how good it would be for sound reduction even though it’s advertised as a sound reducing solution. Here’s what the manufacturer says about this product:
“Scandia Moss is a moss Brand Processed with our Eco-Friendly Technology in order to bring a Natural moss from the Northern Arctic area with clean air and water into our Indoor life. Scandia Moss SM Panel provides physical connection to Nature. It can absorb the toxins from air, promoting our Health and Well-Being. That makes good for having Scandia Moss in Kids Room & Playing Areas. Scandia Moss Maintenance Free, Watering not required. No Trimming, and No Sunlight Required. It is minimum 30% Humidity enough for which is the same range you need for your Well-Being. Naturally Hydroscopic, Scandia Moss absorbs and expels moisture from the surrounding environment.”
I don’t recommend this product because I got no idea how well it works. I’m just throwing it out there if anyone is willing to try it out. If you do, leave a comment and let me know how well it works.
2. Block the noise from entering your yard
The #1 rule of soundproofing is: get as close to the noise source as you can. And then cover the motherfu****! Sorry about that, I’m trying to quit smoking.
Here are 6 ways you can upgrade your yard’s defenses against neighbors and traffic noise:
- create berms by adding soil to create hill-like structures surrounding your noisy neighbors yard
- plant trees or shrubs on top of the berm
- install a solid-wood fence, 6 feet high or higher
- use a sound distraction in the yard like a water fountain
- plant a hedge of evergreen trees for year-round noise reduction (make sure to plant them close to eachother to minimize the gaps)
- upgrade the fence with soundproofing material
- build a stone wall around the fence
You probably already have a wooden fence with little to no gaps. But it’s not enough. In that case, first use weatherstripping tape to seal any small gaps. Also, make sure that the fence is high enough. If you can see over it, it’s not high enough. In that case, replace it with a higher one.
Soundproof your fence
If your fence is pretty high, installing soundproofing material directly on the fence can get the job done. I recommend using Mass Loaded Vinyl for this project. Cut the Vinyl to the required size. Nail or screw the vinyl to the fence. Done.
Build a stone wall
The most effective method for blocking noise is a really thick and high stone wall. That goes without saying really. But it requires more money and more time to finish.
This can turn into a really expensive project, depending on the size of your yard and how many people you hire to plan and build the wall for you. And you’ll probably want to hire a professional team to make it look decent.
If the noise is coming into your garden shed, then I suggest utilizing a few tips from this garden shed soundproofing guide.
3. Confront your loud neighbors
Before you start working on your project, it’s worth confronting your neighbors about the noise first. I had a really rude neighbor who used to repair boats in his backyard. It was like a part time job and a hobby of his.
Well, the stench of the painting and the racket was just too awful, and after a month of grinding my teeth I decided to confront him. After diagnosing his apology as being insincere, I threatened to call the cops on him which would probably result in a few thousand dollar fine. That was the end of that, and my yard became the quiet garden of Eden once more.
But if your neighbors are not creating noise because of some extraordinary reason like that, then yes, soundproofing your home will definitely produce better results.
Because even if you confront them, they won’t have any real reason to be quieter. Unless you’re best pals of course. But in that case, you probably wouldn’t have to search for this information anyway.
Final Word: How to block noise from neighbors yard
I hope you find these tips helpful at getting rid of the annoying neighborly noise. I know how bothersome it can be and I can also tell you that it’s been a major relief solving this issue with my neighbor.
If you can’t do it through a simple conversation or by informing the authorities, then use some of these soundproofing methods instead. You’ll be surprised how sealing a few gaps and adding mass to the right places can make a huge difference.