You fell in love with a residential property during your search for a new home, but it has one problem -- it's located near a busy road. You like your peace and quiet when you're spending time in your yard, so this is a possible deal breaker. Depending on where the property is located, you may be able to have a solid masonry fence constructed that will block a good deal of the noise.
Your First Steps
Contact the agency that manages zoning and other property restrictions where this real estate is located. Look for the planning and development department, the housing and zoning department or an agency with a similar name. If it's not easy to figure out, call the main number of the local governing body and ask for assistance.
You'll need to discover whether a stone or brick fence is allowed on this land and the size it can be. Expect a restriction on height, especially if you want to have this yard feature in front of the house. Rural areas are less likely to impose height restrictions, but check first.
After learning that you can have a masonry fence constructed on your property without violating any codes, you can buy the real estate and start making plans for your landscaping improvement.
For Best Results
The fence must be solid, including along the ground. You may be tempted to have the mason include decorative spaces along the bottom or regularly spaced in the structure, but that will significantly lower the noise-blocking ability. In addition to being solid, the fence must be thick enough for sound-blocking effectiveness. This type of fence -- essentially a wall -- blocks sound waves by reflecting them backward.
Additional Noise Reduction Methods
Plants growing along the stone or brick fence provide natural acoustic absorption. Evergreen trees and shrubs are especially helpful because of their dense year-round greenery. A thick texture of vines growing along the wall also would be useful. A thick crop of wildflowers and big, leafy plants such as hostas along the bottom of the fence enhance the attractiveness of your yard and absorb a bit more of the noise.
You can't block all the racket from the busy road. The Federal Highway Administration notes that highway traffic noise barriers can block up to half of the sound, but your fence will not be as long as those highway barriers.
In general, a solid fence that blocks your view of the traffic also blocks a substantial amount of the noise. If your fence is 4 ft. to 6 ft. tall, you'll benefit a great deal when enjoying your yard, patio or first-floor deck. But if your house has a second-story deck, you'll still get the full force of the road noise up there because the fence isn't high enough to block it.
Zoning may not allow your solid fence to be high enough to block your view -- or much of the sound -- of traffic. But if you can have it constructed at even 3 ft. high, that will block a substantial amount of noise from tires on the road.
Keep in mind that people commonly became accustomed to the routine sounds in their environment and eventually wonder why they ever found those sounds bothersome. If you can accept a reduced amount of traffic noise, this may be the perfect new home for you.
Contact a masonry contractor after you buy the property and discuss the design you want. Once the work is completed, you'll enjoy a quieter yard while also appreciating the classic beauty of a stone or brick fence.
My name is Ian Flaherty and this is my home and garden blog about painting. Many people don't enjoy painting the rooms in their house, but I think it's a very relaxing task that I often do after work. I frequently change the colors of the rooms in my home and every time I do, it gives the home an entirely new appearance, I learned how to paint rooms many years ago when I first started changing the paint colors in my house. When I was first learning how to paint, I had a few mishaps, but then I would do research to learn how it's done right. If you want to discover a whole new world that can be achieved with paint, I hope you'll read my blog and apply these tips and ideas.