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Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

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Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Old 08-14-17, 09:59 AM
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Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

I guess this could possibly go in the homeowners thread but...

Basically, I'm NOT looking to block sound out from my neighbors, I'm looking for some ideas so I don't have to whisper or be too quiet around my house (neighbors are close) - I was thinking about this the last time I had a few friends over - we weren't screaming or anything but with how quiet my neighborhood is, I knew the person next door could hear us when we were outside (they were outside as well) - we weren't talking about anything crazy at all but it just makes it a little less closed off when you know people can hear you.

One idea I had was a water fountain (which I would actually like) but I can't really find any others - any tips?
Old 08-14-17, 10:03 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Do you have a fence between you and the neighbor? I have no idea how well it works outside but you can buy weather proof sound dampening material. Maybe put some of that on your side of the fence?

Otherwise, I'd say something like the fountain which would introduce more noise. Maybe get central AC installed and have the compressor put right near the neighbor? lol
Old 08-14-17, 10:07 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

I'm about to put up a six foot privacy fence actually (should be within a week or 2). Yeah, my AC unit is directly in the back of my house lol.
Old 08-14-17, 10:39 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Wood fences won't contain/keep out the noise. I live in a townhouse community and I can hear my neighbors from several hundred feet away.

Maybe you can get some ideas from here:
Maintain Quiet and Privacy in Your Own Backyard
Old 08-14-17, 11:28 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

You need plants that will help deaden the acoustics: Trees, bushes and hedges.

Buildings and fences tend to just bounce the sound around.
Old 08-14-17, 12:52 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Old 08-14-17, 02:17 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Originally Posted by smg669 View Post
I was thinking the same thing
Old 08-14-17, 02:25 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Buy a house with a much bigger yard. One of the major inconveniences of living in the most affluent suburbs today with expensive real estate are that new homes get practically built on top of one another. I've seen people pay $2 million for a home not more than 25 feet from their neighbor's home if you want to live in the inner suburbs.

Last edited by PhantomStranger; 08-15-17 at 12:50 PM.
Old 08-14-17, 07:10 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Some tall shrubs and evergreen trees. Non-evergreen trees don't do much. Neither do fences, especially if a neighbor has a two-story house. Sounds carries exceptionally well vertically.

Or move to the countryside/rural area with more distance between you and neighbors.

Edited: Man...That first sentence made no sense. I've really got to start spellchecking.

Last edited by Jon2; 08-15-17 at 06:07 PM.
Old 08-14-17, 08:18 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Move so far out that you can be one of those people that say their nearest neighbor is 2 miles away.
Old 08-14-17, 10:31 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

I agree with planting trees. In 15 or 20 years your problem will be solved.
Old 08-15-17, 06:05 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Gimmicks aside, I'd say your only real option is to move somewhere where your neighbors aren't so freakin' close they can hear your toilet flush.

I would hate to be forced to hush up my conversation for fear my neighbors would hear everything I'm saying. Kind of defeats the purpose of having your own home. Might as well just live in an apartment complex that has paper-thin walls. At least you don't have to mow your own lawn or pay for maintenance...
Old 08-15-17, 06:27 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

I think some sort of running water/fountain would be your best solution that will provide some immediate effect and at the same time not be obnoxious to your neighbors.
Old 08-15-17, 06:32 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Buy a couple of these? You'll need some close by outlets.

https://www.amazon.com/Marpac-Dohm-D...2Bmachine&th=1
Old 08-15-17, 07:49 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Originally Posted by kd5 View Post
Gimmicks aside, I'd say your only real option is to move somewhere where your neighbors aren't so freakin' close they can hear your toilet flush.

I would hate to be forced to hush up my conversation for fear my neighbors would hear everything I'm saying. Kind of defeats the purpose of having your own home. Might as well just live in an apartment complex that has paper-thin walls. At least you don't have to mow your own lawn or pay for maintenance...
It's not that bad and an actual low playing radio would probably solve a lot of it. I was just looking for ideas in general.

I probably should have mentioned that I'm soon getting a patio poured in the very back of my yard where it's nothing but neighbors backyards as well.

Again, was just looking for some tips - planting trees/bushes isn't an option for my backyard - I honestly am going to look into getting some sort of waterfall though, I actually like those things - especially the more expensive ones.
Old 08-15-17, 06:21 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

If plants are out, maybe a sound system setup with speakers aimed at your neighbors (presuming you have one on each side), but tuned low enough that it doesn't irritate them, and acoustically isolated (as much as possible) from your intended conversation area?

Although, I'd think anything that creates some sort of background noise/sound would just be self-defeating and would make conversations a bit harder to hear. I've reached that point where if someone is trying to talk while the TV is going, or someone else is trying to talk at the same time, it's impossible to make out what anyone is saying.
Old 08-15-17, 07:05 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

No real solution other than: MOVE. Sorry to say, if I lived in your neighborhood, you would be THAT guy who made all the noise.

I do feel for you, I have a 150x150 foot lot, fenced all around 6' and I can hear all my neighbors (and their fucking DOGS and motorcycles), very much to my chagrin and sleep deprivation. All the houses in the neighborhood are spaced that far apart, yet I can still hear them.

Moving to the country is very appealing, but I can't imagine living in apartments or houses where the lots are spaced only 25 feet apart. Damn, those people must have no privacy and must be able to put up with a lot of noise pollution.
Old 08-15-17, 07:53 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Originally Posted by Jon2 View Post
Although, I'd think anything that creates some sort of background noise/sound would just be self-defeating and would make conversations a bit harder to hear.
It is usually very easy to talk over consistent water sounds and they really do a pretty solid job of providing acoustical privacy. People have been using running water for this purpose for hundreds of years.
Old 08-17-17, 08:25 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
No real solution other than: MOVE. Sorry to say, if I lived in your neighborhood, you would be THAT guy who made all the noise.

I do feel for you, I have a 150x150 foot lot, fenced all around 6' and I can hear all my neighbors (and their fucking DOGS and motorcycles), very much to my chagrin and sleep deprivation. All the houses in the neighborhood are spaced that far apart, yet I can still hear them.

Moving to the country is very appealing, but I can't imagine living in apartments or houses where the lots are spaced only 25 feet apart. Damn, those people must have no privacy and must be able to put up with a lot of noise pollution.
Definitely don't want to move - I love the house I live in. It's not the end of the world for me, just something I'm inquiring on. The main sitting area for my backyard is out of range for all neighbors to hear as well so If I wanted to, I could just use that area all of the time.
Old 08-17-17, 09:23 AM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

If you're staying, all I can think of is...

1. Fence. I also see sound-suppressing fences on Google.

2. Landscaping.

3. Invite your neighbor.
Old 08-17-17, 03:31 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post

3. Invite your neighbor.
This. Life is so much better when neighbors are in your inner circle.
Old 08-17-17, 04:16 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
This. Life is so much better when neighbors are in your inner circle.
Guess so. If you can't love 'em, join 'em.

Only trouble is, what happens when THEY move and new assholes move in to take their place (after 20-30 years)? This has happened with 3 of my old neighbors. The new ones are unfriendly, entitled, and LOUD. In other words, the youngish, disrespectful set who couldn't care less about anybody but themselves.
Old 08-17-17, 04:30 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
This. Life is so much better when neighbors are in your inner circle.
I dunno. Some neighbors broh.



I was once at my brother's house for a little celebration. We were talking too loud out front (just getting some air) and someone opened up their second story window, leaned out, and yelled at us. Very awkward. Thing is: when you're in the quiet suburbs, your voice really does travel. That house was 50 feet away and we weren't yelling. But it was late and quiet.
Old 08-18-17, 08:02 PM
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Re: Ideas for "sound privacy" outdoors (around the house)

How about a yappy dog?

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