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Fencing for Noise Reduction: Solutions for Grand Rapids, MI Homes

Fences have been used for centuries to mark property boundaries, provide privacy, and keep livestock secure. Today, fences are still an important part of many homes and properties, serving a variety of purposes. Whether you’re looking for a fence to add privacy to your backyard, keep your pets safe, or enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property, there are many different types of fences and materials to choose from.

In this article, we’ll explore the most common types of fences and materials, including wood, vinyl, composite, and metal fences. We’ll also discuss the different purposes that fences serve and the important role they play in property ownership and protection.

We’ll also talk about important things to think about when it comes to the fence’s height, maintenance, and installation, as well as the laws and rules that apply to fences. By the end of this article, you will have learned important things that will help you choose the right fence for your needs. So let’s get started.

The Science of Noise Reduction

If you live in a busy neighborhood or near a busy road, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with noise pollution. Fences, on the other hand, can help cut down on noise and make your home more peaceful. 

But how exactly does noise travel, and how can we measure it?

Sound travels through the air in waves, and the intensity of these waves is measured in decibels (dB). The human ear can hear a wide range of sounds, but anything louder than 85 dB is considered dangerous over time. The sound reduction capacity of a fence is measured in Sound Transmission Class (STC), which represents the fence’s ability to block sound waves. The higher the STC rating, the better the fence will be at blocking noise.

So, how do sound barriers work? Sound barriers, such as fences, work by blocking or absorbing sound waves. When a sound wave hits a solid surface, it bounces back or reflects, which can contribute to noise pollution. However, if the sound wave is absorbed or deflected by a soft or porous material, such as a fence made of composite or vinyl, it can help reduce noise levels.

When choosing a fence for noise reduction, it’s important to consider the right materials. Wood, composite, and vinyl are all good materials for reducing noise, but composite and vinyl are especially good. Also, fences that are thicker and taller tend to block out more noise than fences that are shorter and thinner.

Choosing the Right Fence for Noise Reduction

Now that we understand the science of noise reduction, let’s take a look at which types of fences are best suited for this purpose.

vinyl fence installation

Wooden Fences

Wooden fences can be effective at reducing noise levels, but their effectiveness largely depends on the thickness of the wood and how well it's sealed. However, wooden fences are often not as effective as other materials such as composite or vinyl, which have denser and more sound-absorbing properties.

Post and Rail Fence

Vinyl Fences

Vinyl fences are known for their durability and low maintenance, but they're also great for noise reduction. Their composition is such that they're much denser than wood, which makes them effective at absorbing sound waves. They're also relatively tall, which adds to their effectiveness in blocking out noise.

Wood Fence Installation in snow

Composite Fences

Composite fences are made of a combination of wood fibers and plastic, which makes them denser and more durable than wood fences. They also have better sound-absorbing properties than wood fences, making them a great choice for noise reduction.

Aluminum Fence Install

Metal Fences

While metal fences such as those made of iron or steel are often not the first choice for noise reduction, they can still be effective if they're designed and installed correctly. Metal fences should be designed with noise reduction in mind, such as being thicker or having sound-absorbing materials attached to them.

Design Considerations

It’s important to choose the right fence material to reduce noise, but it’s also important to think about how the fence looks. After all, a fence is a prominent feature of your home’s exterior, and it’s essential that it complement the look and feel of your property.

Aesthetics: When choosing a fence to cut down on noise, it’s important to think about how it looks and is built. For example, if you have a modern home, a sleek and contemporary fence design may be more appropriate than a rustic wooden fence. Choosing a fence that complements your home’s architectural style and color scheme will create a cohesive look that adds value to your property.

Vinyl Fence Installation Service
Chain link fence installation

Effective and Visually Appealing Designs: There are many types of fences that are both good at reducing noise and nice to look at. For example, a horizontal slat fence or a louvered fence can block noise and look elegant and modern at the same time. Another option is a fence with lattice panels, which can be made more attractive by adding climbing plants or flowers.

Landscaping Elements: Adding other landscaping features to your noise-reducing fence can also make it work better and make it look better. Adding trees or shrubs can help absorb sound waves and reduce noise levels further. Installing a water feature or fountain can also provide ambient noise that can help to mask unwanted sounds.

vinyl fence installation

Installation and Maintenance

Proper installation and maintenance are crucial for the effectiveness of a noise-reducing fence. Here are some important factors to consider:


Proper Installation

A fence that isn’t put up right won’t help cut down on noise, and it could also be dangerous. It’s important to have a professional put up your fence to make sure it’s strong and safe. A professional installer will also be able to tell you where and how high to put the insulation to cut down on noise the most.


Regular Maintenance

A well-maintained fence will not only last longer but will also be more effective at noise reduction. Cleaning, painting, and sealing the fence on a regular basis will help keep it in good shape and keep damage from happening. It’s also important to check the fence periodically for any signs of damage and repair any issues as soon as possible.



The cost of putting up a fence that cuts down on noise will depend on many things, like the size, material, and method of installation. On average, a fence can cost anywhere from $15 to $60 per linear foot. While a noise-reducing fence may be more expensive than a traditional fence, the benefits of reduced noise levels and increased privacy make it a worthwhile investment.

Do You Need A Professional Fence Intallation Company?


A noise-reducing fence can be a great way to reduce noise levels around your home and enjoy increased privacy. For maximum effectiveness and good looks, it is important to choose the right material, design, and installation method. With the right installation and upkeep, a noise-reducing fence can last for a long time and make your property look better. T&M Outdoor Services can help you choose the best noise-reducing fence for your needs and make sure it is installed and taken care of correctly. Contact us today to learn more.

By Tyler McEldowney
By Tyler McEldowney

Owner of T&M Outdoor Services, with expertise in sod, artificial turf, fences, and landscaping. With over 9 years of experience in the landscape industry, including roles as a Landscape Foreman and General Manager. Providing top-notch services and personalized assistance for all your outdoor needs. Let's transform your space into an outdoor oasis together!