Live fence recommendation for noise reduction

Hi All,

I have been quietly enjoying the forum for a while, it’s time for my first post.

I recently bought a house sitting on a corner lot. The house itself is really nice and we enjoyed it a lot. However, the stop signs make the traffic noise pretty noticeable at night. I’m thinking of putting a thick live fence around my front yard to help reduce the noise hopefully. Someone has recommended pittosporum hedge. Do you seasoned homeowners have recommendations for this issue? Or maybe I need to put a lot of trees and other landscaping to really make a difference.

Inputs are really appreciated.

Hi there,

I know you are asking about landscaping specifically, but I was wondering how your window situation was. If your windows are old and not double panned, that may be why the noise is getting through. I live in a corner house here in SF that is not set back at all from a standard sidewalk and I get a fair amount of traffic during the day (I am at a 4 way stop sign intersection) but you wouldn’t know it from being inside the house if you didn’t look out the windows.

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Thanks, @sfdragonboy. The window is indeed double panned, I think the problem is the bedroom window is facing the street. For normal traffic, I don’t really hear much, but whenever someone with big pickup or older clunker drive by (the stop sign does make it worse), it is quite noticeable especially at night. I was thinking changing double pane to triple pane, but since I have a good size front yard without fence, I’m thinking putting a dense live fence there might help. Thanks.

we were told by our realtors when we plan to bid a home next to some traffic road. That home was bordered with good plants/shrubs etc at road side.

Read this.

Hmm, if the bedroom window is not really big or needing special treatment in design (casements vs slider or needing matching custom grids like mine are) maybe a triple panned window might be an easier/cheaper fix??? I know of folks who do go for triple panned windows like in the peninsula where the flight pattern is an issue and supposedly the triple layer helped.

I am sure you are aware of this, but I would be concerned how that fencing or coverage will impact your curb appeal of your home as well if it needs to be really high to be effective.

Good luck and let us know what you finally did that worked.

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Thanks, Jil. That’s great information and I will use this as guideline when I put the fence on.

Thanks, @sfdragonboy. I started to look into the window more with the understanding that live fence probably going to only do very little for noise reduction. Do you mind tell me what dual pane window did you use? Mine are 10 yr old CertainTeed, I’m not sure which exact model line it is, but CertainTeed sounds to be a good brand, right? I have contacted Milgard reps to see what better options I may have. Or maybe I just need to accept the fact that my house is not that quite. Thanks.


Well, I have used Milgard since they were cheaper than say Andersen or Pella replacements I believe. My corner house has too many large windows and I had a limited budget at the time. I have had the need to service my Milgards but the service was decent enough as they are lifetime warranted and they came out but only on certain appt days/times. I am sure Certain Teed is fine but more importantly you do want to match up the style with the other windows I imagine so if Certain Teed is still around, price that out first. I would only consider Milgard if they can also match up exactly or pretty well and the pricing is that much lower. Are you using sliders or casements? My casements I feel give a better, tighter close (IMHO) vs sliders which may be why less noise(?). But if all yours are sliders, then not sure how much more beneficial triple paned will do for you. What did the Milgard rep suggest? Did he/she think going with a triple paned window will help you?

Again, if the overall cost to try it anyway is reasonable I would go ahead and replace it if there is not a lot of touch-up work needed on the install. Hey, peace and quiet is worth a lot!!! Good luck!!! Let me know what you did.


I just thought of something. Is there a way for you to mimic adding another layer onto your existing window to see what pseudo impact you may get from a triple panned window? I would hate for you to spend on all that and it doesn’t noticeably improves the situation. I might even use wood to cover up the entire space. Hey, caulking and repainting is easier/cheaper experiment than a whole new window. Just an idea.

yes, I’m also following the same plan. I’m currently trying to build a storm window like system to add onto the existing window to see if that improves the sound isolation, if not, then I may need to also look into my walls.

The system I’m planning on building is:

Hope this can help, will update you guys with my findings.

Try laminate glass like in cars

Yeah, if the window experiment doesn’t pan out I would look at the exterior walls too. Are those walls insulated as far as you know? If an older house, it may not be. I don’t believe it helps a lot but I used soundproof drywall in my home theater living room walls that I share with my neighbor. The whole place was down to studs so I figured why not try it to be safe.

Hi Guys, just to provide a followup on my situation, I finally get the time to finish the soundproof window experiment, overall, the result is ok, it blocks the road noise pretty effectively. The truck engine noise can still be heard, but much lower.

Back to the wall, I checked the wall through the power outlet and there seems to be no insulation at all. So the wall seems to be my bottleneck now. I really would like to take down the drywall (the inside part), put in insulation and put the soundproofing drywall on. @sfdragonboy, how well did your soundproof drywall work? I may need a drywall guy referral if you guys have any good one you know. Thanks a lot.

Heavy laminate. The luxury brands all use heavier, laminate glass specifically for noise transmission reduction.


Aaah yes, the old drafty window leaking in noise trick… If it were me, I would go ahead and just replace the window to see what a real good sealed dual or triple paned window will do. Heck, it may be all you really need.

Hard to say if the soundproofing drywall makes a difference or not. I am not hearing from my neighbor and we tend to watch movies late in the evening or sports with the volume UP. I suppose you can use blow in insulation and then see if that is all you need again. Why spend more than you really need to?

Thanks @sfdragonboy, to reduce the low frequency humming truck noise, window is probably not going to be enough since I can feel the wall vibrating slightly when it gets really bad, so I think the low frequency noise goes through my non-insulated wall.

I have also considered blow in insulation, however, the quote I got for blowing insulation for two 12x12 bedrooms (two walls in each room) is $2200, while replacing the drywall with the proper sound insulation measures would cost me about $5000. Tempting to bite the bullet and go with the expensive and hopefully better solution. Maybe these quotes are not that reliable?

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2200 is a rip off

My brother in law in Los Angeles is replacing drywall 1400 sqft + insulation+5 recess lights at top for turnkey $4000.

Be sure to check with the city regarding rules on visibility around the corner. Hedges might have to be 3’ or lower. Agree with trying to soundproof the bedroom first. Window and walls. Where does the noise come through?

I know, it sounds really high, especially the quote does not even including texturing and painting the drywall patches when the blow in is done.

But I don’t have experience with this kind of job and don’t really know what would be a reasonable price? Thanks.