Living in a quiet home environment can ensure your peace of mind. Unfortunately, a variety of factors can affect the tranquility of a place. Having a restless neighbor, a dog that is constantly barking or a noisy child can deprive you of proper relaxation in your yard. Building a DIY soundproof fence, also known as a sound blocking fence can really help you avoid fights with the neighboring houses.
It is also, possible that you are the one who is making all that noise. Imagine having to deal with your neighbor’s shouts each time you are hosting a party in your backyard during the summer period. Having a fence that can block some of the sound and reduce the transfer of it via the properties can really save you from a lot of complaints and constant fights.
Are soundproof fences effective?
A soundproof fence will reduce the sound coming from the street or from neighboring properties. It cannot affect any annoying sound that reaches the inner of your house. However, if you have fully insulated the building, then by soundproofing the yard, as well you will minimize the sound that reaches your doorstep.
As with interior soundproof, if you use proper materials of good quality and follow strictly some general DIY steps, you can make your yard a quieter place quickly and without having to spend a fortune.
The final result will make your yard a lot quieter, and you can reach a level of 50-60% of noise reduction. As you may well understand, trying to soundproof the outdoors from the outdoors cannot possibly result in a 100% soundproof result.
What should you consider first?
Before taking it upon yourself to build a soundproof fence, it is important that you understand the type of sound you wish to absorb via the use of such a task.
For higher frequencies, you are going to need even more complicated materials. It is also, useful to take other factors into account as well, including the location of your house, the total distance between your house and the fences you wish to install and the angles of your yard.
What else should you have in mind?
When you wish to install a DIY soundproofing garden fence, you need to have in mind that the height and width of the fence are two of the most important characteristics.
A soundproof garden fence will typically need thick boards nailed to heavy rails in order to be able to absorb as much sound as possible.
We all know that mass, in general, can dampen sound. Therefore, if you wish to let your specially designed soundproof fence to absorb some of the outdoors sounds, they really need to be heavy enough.
The effect of the mass on the soundproof property of an object highlights the advantage of masonry walls over typical wooden fences. If however, you wish to use wood, you should opt for a heavy and high fence that has no gaps between its boards.
A useful tip that will help you avoid any law issues or penalties in the future is to make a thorough plan of the fence you are going to build, its exact dimensions and location. There is a chance that you may be violating some law if, for example, you build a very tall fence near the road.
How to get started?
When you have made a plan concerning the height and amount of wood you are going to need, you should then build the fence at an ideal distance from your house. Leaving a distance of about 20 meters or more between the fence and the house will provide you with the utmost results.
The location of your house should also, be considered. If your house is placed in a valley, then you can rest assured that a high soundproof fence made of good materials will provide you with good results.
On the other hand, if your house is situated on a hill or abnormal ground, you will have to try a bit harder. In that case, you really need to try and make the difference of height between your house and fence as small as possible.
If the source of the sound is higher than your house and there are no other solid barriers between them, then, unfortunately, you’ll not be able to do much.
What type of soundproof material is preferable?
After you have successfully built the wooden fence, you should then transform it into a DIY soundproof fence. The same applies to an existing fence.
A cheap, yet effective way of increasing the soundproof properties of your fence is to add a special material, named mass-loaded vinyl. This product is waterproof and ideal for outdoor usage. Otherwise known as Noise Blok, this particular material comes in rolls and provides an effective soundproof result in a variety of applications, including fences.
The Noise Blok material is a considerably thin and flexible material that acts as a sound blocker instead of sound absorber. It is considered a really durable material that can stand rough weather conditions and can stay intact for many years after initial installation.
A well-known material in that category is the TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl, produced by Trademark Soundproofing. It contains heavy mass vinyl that acts as a barrier between the source of the outdoor sound and your yard. Another good choice is the Second Skin Luxury Liner Pro which is loaded with a combination of vinyl and cell foam.
How to install the mass loaded vinyl to your fence?
After you have measured the length and height of your fence and therefore have an idea concerning the amount of this material you are going to need, it is time for you to decide the route you are going to follow in order to apply it evenly.
The standard way includes some nailing and stapling of the material to the fence with the use of a stapler. You should also, have in mind that since MLV is a bit heavy, you will need a bit of industrial adhesive, as well.
A step-by-step guide
With the use of a knife, cut the MLV rolls in suitable pieces that match the height of your fence. Nail or screw the top side of the material, always having in mind not to overstretch it.
Keep the various pieces close together or better yet make them overlap. In the case you wish to use an adhesive as well, you should first spray it at the top of the whole fence before you install the MLV.
A nail gun or stapler will be used to install the MLV onto the fence. A good idea is to start from the bottom half of the fence and gradually move upwards.
Once you have successfully stapled the bottom end of the vinyl, you need to staple up the top ribbon. If you can ask for the help of friend, this is exactly the stage of the whole process you will need him the most.
The material is a bit heavy, so a friend could really help you to lift the mass loaded vinyl in order to staple it to the top half of your fence. You should not forget to overlap the upper the top half of the vinyl over the bottom half by at least half an inch.
After you finish working on a certain area, you need to seal any gaps that have been created between the various pieces. You can achieve that with a simple foam tape or you can choose an acoustic caulk for better results.
After that, it is time for you to place the vertical dog eared pickets. The thing you will do is nail the pickets through the vinyl and into the cross members.
Although the loaded mass vinyl is a waterproof material, ideal for exterior use, you could increase the durability of your fence by putting slats on both sides of it. By doing that, you will protect your fence from any harsh weather conditions.
It is true that it is easier to install the mass loaded vinyl to a fence you are currently building compared to an existing one. If the latter is the case, you should first remove the fence panels and reinstall them afterward.
How to install a fence before soundproofing it?
There is always the case that you will need to install the fence from the very start before soundproofing it. That can actually provide you with the added benefit of using a new wooden surface that has not worn out throughout the years.
The steps are pretty simple, but you should be a bit careful with the use of the various tools.
The first you need to do is install the posts of the fence. A good way is to apply the two corner ones first and then stake the middle ones.
A general rule is to divide the whole distance by 8. In order to safely apply the posts into the ground you need to dig some homes that will cover at least 30% of each post’s length. When you place the post into place, pour some instant concrete into the hole until it is 2/3 full. Add the necessary amount of water at the top of it and mix the materials well.
Next, you need to cut some rails so that their length reaches the center of each post. Attach them with the use of a screw. Place your privacy boards to the fence, as well. Nail each board into place and make sure to overlap them in order to make the whole structure stable.
The first side of the fence is now ready. You can then, make the whole construction soundproof by screwing the mass loaded vinyl material to the side between the posts, as mentioned above.
Are there any other available soundproof options?
In case you have a solid, relatively new wooden fence and you just wish to make it DIY soundproof, as well there is another well-known option out there. The idea is based on the use of some exterior absorber blankets.
The Grommeted Industrial Blanket by Boxer Tools is a good choice for that purpose. This type of acoustic material can really dampen both sound and vibrations and therefore, it can be used to soundproof a fence effectively. The blanket is easy to apply, as well.
All you need to do is to mount the blanket to the existing fence starting from atop and letting it expand downwards. You then have to screw the blanket in order to keep it in place.
We should have in mind that this type of material is used mostly for smaller yards and in cases you do not suffer from a lot of noise. In any other case, you should prefer the MLV solution: it is more durable and more effective.
Soundproofing your fence with the use of suitable and effective materials can be a life-changing experience in terms of noise reduction. There are a lot of different types of noise that can affect your daily life, including dog barks, children’s shouts, traffic noise, as well as a neighbor’s busy outdoors life.
Thankfully, whichever the source of that disturbing noise, you can actually deal with it once and for all with the DIY building of a fence that surrounds your yard.
The process is quite simple if you are a bit familiar with the use of some building tools and materials and the result will definitely amaze you. There is a variety of materials you can use to soundproof your fence, with the loaded mass vinyl being the leader in modern markets.
Soundproofing your fence will also, decrease the amount of noise that reaches your doorstep. Therefore, if you combine this technique with an indoors soundproofing reality, like the installation of soundproof windows and doors, you will sense a great change in the quality of your sleep and the quietness of your house. After all, spending some relaxed and peaceful time in our property should be a top priority for all of us.