Outdoor Living: How to Block Out Traffic Noise
When you’re trying to enjoy time in your yard, noise from nearby traffic can be very annoying. Such was the case for these Deck and Patio clients. Their home is located in the heart of Queens, a borough of New York City, and is tightly surrounded by apartment buildings, traffic and noise.
In such a city atmosphere, even adding the pool and patio they asked for wouldn’t provide the escape they desired. To create for them a real backyard oasis, we had to block out the noise and oppressive atmosphere.
“We’ve found that one of the best ways to screen out noise is a sizable waterfall,” says Deck and Patio’s own Dave Stockwell. “Our clients agreed and opted for one that would provide pleasant splashing sounds into their backyard’s new vinyl-lined pool.”
Water cascading over rock into another water pool is a natural sound barrier that is peaceful and soothing to the soul.
In addition to the waterfall, the clients also wanted another noise barrier — a 12-foot-high concrete block wall.
“While a wall like that is truly useful for privacy as well as a noise barrier, it can be oppressive in itself,” says Dave.
So the next challenge for our designers was to soften the wall’s appearance. One thing great about interior and exterior walls is they make an ideal canvas.
“First, we planted bamboo around its perimeter,” says Dave. “Bamboo can be invasive so we encased the woody grass with concrete blocks to limit its spreading.”
The sounds of the waterfalls, the colorful landscaping including the bamboo and the dramatic concrete block wall give a sense of refuge in this bustling part of one of America’s five largest cities.
Taking full advantage of the wall, Deck and Patio designed and supervised the layout of a “living wall” that can hold multiple-sized pots for plants.
When completed, the living wall became living art — changing in color and shape almost daily.
The result: the clients may live in a busy part of New York City, but during outdoor living season — every spare moment they can muster— is spent in blissful leisure right in their own backyard.
The free-form vinyl-liner pool includes boulder coping, and a moss rock waterfall with robust plantings that help beautify the wall.
The pool’s surrounding patio is made from Techo-Bloc pavers that complement the 12-foot-high wall and smaller concrete encasement for the bamboo.