How To Soundproof A Garden With DIY Outdoor Sound Barrier Panels

The internet is rife with how-to videos and articles on creating DIY sound barriers. Just about anyone is an “expert” on the net, right? But there is one problem with most of these resources: they focus on creating acoustic panels for indoor spaces, such as inside a room, sound studio, or even offices. Finding the correct solution for an outdoor space like a garden will take further poking around the internet.

Thankfully, you are reading this. And by the end of this article, you will learn everything you need to soundproof your garden using DIY outdoor sound barrier panels.

Concrete sound barrier wall

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There is something to be said about relaxing in a garden, with birds chirping, enjoying the cool breeze on your skin, and the sun providing loving warmth.

That sounds great, doesn’t it?

But here’s what you’re probably experiencing. Sitting in your garden, listening to annoying road noise and traffic noise!

One way to eradicate outside noise is to soundproof your garden using DIY outdoor sound barrier panels.

Things to Consider

Before heading out into the garden to create your own sound barrier panels, there are a few things you have to consider. This section highlights some pertinent questions to help you determine the best solution for your garden soundproofing.

As with all projects (especially with soundproofing), you must create a detailed plan before starting. The first thing to consider is the noise pollution you want to reduce. That’s because different noises require different fixes. For example, traffic noise and road noise require different noise reduction techniques than unwanted noise like lawnmowers.

Accessing the origin and type of noise issue means you will not waste your time and effort applying the wrong solutions.

Snapshot of Rockwool insulation

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The important questions you need to ask yourself are:

 

What Sources of Noise Pollution Does Your Garden Experience?

You can categorize noise into two groups: impact noise and airborne noise. Impact noise is the sound produced when something hits a surface, like noise from the door slamming or loud footsteps. On the other hand, airborne noise is just as its name suggests. It is noise carried through the air.

Sources of impact noise in a garden could be neighbors, vibrations from vehicles traveling on a nearby road, or even construction work somewhere nearby. You should also note that low-bass frequencies tend to travel a lot further than other frequencies, and that is why you are likely to hear a heavy vehicle coming before you see it.

Generally, you are more likely to deal with airborne noise than impact noise in a garden. However, it is the most difficult noise to control or fix in an outside space. One way to control the noise is to place a sound barrier all around the garden. Yet, it isn’t the most practical method.

Various soundproofing methods can control these sources of noise pollution. But keep in mind that it may be impossible to eliminate airborne noise pollution in an outdoor space. All you can do is reduce how much noise gets into your garden.

How much airborne noise you can stop from entering your garden will depend on the number of soundproofing solutions you use.
Additionally, it is worth factoring in the proximity of the noise source. How near or far your garden is from the noise source will determine the soundproofing solutions you need for effective results.

For example, it is a lot easier to reduce much of the sound generated by traffic on the road in a distance than it is to cut out the noise coming from the neighbor next door.

This is not difficult to see why this is so. The closer the sources, the harder it is for the more effort is required to block out the noise.
The second question you have to ask is:

Am I Stopping Sound from Getting Out or Getting In?

The solutions for blocking sound out and keeping sound in are the same, for the most part. However, it is important to look at things from different angles.

For example, if you want to stop sound from escaping your garden, it might be a lot easier to move that sound source somewhere else (if that is a practical solution). This saves you plenty of time, effort, and money.

Additionally, if your main focus is to manage your garden’s acoustics, you can use a couple of soundproof materials. For example, acoustic treatments like sound baffles can decrease the level of noise that escapes your garden. They also have the dual function of improving the sound quality within the garden.

Once you have critically answered these two questions, you can then move forward with building your outdoor sound barrier panels to suit your unique needs.

Roll of Rockwool insulation

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Things You Need

To improve the sound quality of your garden, you will need the following tools and items:

  • Four 8 x 4 x 1 wooden board
  • Wood glue
  • Two 2 x 4 x 2 cut foam insulation (the brand you choose is certainly up to you and your budget. But it is best to go with good-quality soundproof insulation for better results).
  • Forty 1 5/8 number 6 wood screws
  • Staples
  • Drill
  • Small drill bit to create pilot holes
  • Saw
  • Staple gun
  • Crosshead screwdriver or drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Serrated knife

Steps to Creating DIY Outdoor Sound Barrier Panels

Cutting the Wood

To make 2 x 4 noise barrier panels, you need to cut 8-foot long wood boards in half and cut 2 boards in quarters. You should note that cheaper boards can become warped, so it is always best to find the straighter ones as they have better quality.

Building the Frames

The next step is to place the cut wood against each other with the 2-feet pieces inside, so each panel has a 4-feet measurement.
Next, drill pilot holes at the bottom and top of each 4-feet piece. These pilot holes should be roughly 0.5 inches from the bottom and top of the boards.

Before putting in the screws, you can add some wood glue for additional strength. However, the frames should be sufficiently strong without it. Do this to all the corners.

Reinforcing Frames

This step serves two purposes: you create a placeholder for your soundproofing material and reinforce the overall sturdiness and strength of the frame.

You can place one of the 2-feet pieces of wood in the middle of both frames. Roughly measure two feet from the top of the panel (on the long side) to get the midpoint. Once done, drill two pilot holes about 2 1/2-inch down from the front side of the panel on both long sides.

You want the insulation to sit flush when placed in the panel. You could also add corner pieces to the frame to ensure that the insulation is flush with the corners and provide additional strength without adding extra weight to the panel.

The corner pieces should be in 45-degree triangles, and it is best to cut them using a jigsaw or a circular saw if you have one available. If you don’t, you can use a blunt saw. But this might take more time and effort.

When placing the triangles down, put them two feet away from the front panel to allow the insulation to sit flush once inserted. You can hold the triangles in place with one screw on each side.

Cutting the Insulation

The final step is to cut your insulation to size if you did not purchase pre-cut insulation. You might need to wear gloves to handle the insulation depending on the material. The preferred soundproof insulation here is Rockwool since it is highly effective.

With the frames being two feet wide, you will need to cut your insulation down to two feet as well. In theory, your insulation should seamlessly fit into the frame. But it might be slightly bigger or smaller in reality. This is bound to happen if you don’t get very precise cuts.

Nevertheless, if your insulation is a bit too large, you can get your serrated knife and cut it down to size until it fits nicely into the frame.

Conclusion

One thing to note when creating your DIY outdoor acoustic barrier fence panels is that you might need several panels to create fencing against the direction of the offending sound.

Additionally, when putting your fencing or acoustic barrier panels together to create a wall, the wall should be at least 6-feet high. You can also get it as high as 8-feet if materials and finance are not constraints.

While you might lose a bit of the view the garden offers, it will be worth it with the added noise reduction and increased privacy.

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