3 Quick Ways How To Reduce Highway Noise In Backyard

Highway nearby homes with backyards

You’ve purchased that new home with the perfect house.  Its location cannot be beat.  There is only one little issue that’s bugging you about it and you’re not sure if there’s a solution.  You are near the highway and the sound coming from it is distracting while sitting in the backyard.  So what can you do to fix this?  How to reduce highway noise in backyard?

How To Reduce Highway Noise In Backyard

Fortunately, you have several ways to reduce highway noise in your backyard. You’ve probably already considered advocating for a sound barrier next to the highway itself. That can take time and requires a lot of your neighbors joining the battle. Instead, there are many measures you can take yourself. We’ve identified the top three most impactful things you can do right away to get rid of that noise. Luckily, all three of these ideas will also improve the aesthetic of your backyard too.

Add A Pool Or Water Feature

First there’s the obvious solution. Build a pool or water feature that creates its own noise to compete with the highway.  This is a good first step but often doesn’t do quite enough to drown out the noise.  Additionally, you may not want to fix the problem with the cost of an inground pool. However, if you are interested in a pool, we recommend adding a loud feature such as a waterfall. Either way, a pool alone will not solve your issue completely. You’ll need to consider a multi pronged approach if you want to minimize the highway noise as much as possible.

Build A Concrete Or Masonry Wall

Consider building a concrete or masonry wall along the property line closest to the highway.  A solid masonry wall will do the most for noise reduction, but if you don’t want to absorb the expense to build a masonry wall, a solid wood fence will also help.  You can get creative here also.  If your grade and drainage will accept a berm (a raised portion of earth) along the property line, consider paying to truck in topsoil to raise the grade along your property line a few feet, then build a fence on top of the berm.

How To Reduce Highway Noise In Backyard With A Masonry Wall

Plant Dense Evergreen Plantings

Whether or not you build a fence along your property line or build a berm, the next step is to consider planting as a tool to reduce noise.  Dense evergreen plantings do an incredible job at reducing vibration and unwanted noise from neighboring properties and roadways.  Depending on where you live, you may be able to plant western red cedar, eastern white cedar, or green giant arborvitae.  If you live in an area where these won’t survive, check with your local nursery for a recommendation for dense evergreen plantings.

How To Reduce Highway Noise In Backyard With Arborvitae Trees

The arborvitae family of trees are fast growing, dense evergreens perfectly suited to privacy and sound attenuation.  When choosing how to lay out the evergreens, stagger them in a triangular pattern so the gap between every two trees is filled by another behind them.  Building this staggered layout multiple rows deep will maximize the sound attenuation potential of your landscape.  Don’t forget to consider irrigation when planting evergreens.  If you want these trees to grow their maximum every year they will need water in addition to the sun. You can plant arborvitae seeds but those will take some time, so we recommend buying the full arborvitae trees instead.

How To Reduce Highway Noise In Backyard Summary

By combining some or all of these methods of reducing highway noise in your backyard, you will help maximize the peace and quiet of your property.  The expense of improving the sound barrier can seem overwhelming at first. However, for as little as a few thousand dollars you can plant quite a few evergreens, or for a few tens of thousands of dollars you could build a fence and plant some evergreens. 

Like most things there is such a wide range from place to place and property to property, the budget is hard to pin down without knowing your site and its unique demands.  An experienced landscape contractor will be able to help you with planting and fence construction and be able to provide a budget number for how to reduce highway noise in backyard.