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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
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2007-01-08          138542


Will a privacy fence reduce noise? I'm thinking of the wood panel type fences.

We may have a chance to move to the family farm, and a few of the idiot neighbors have very loud 4-wheelers. I cannot tolerate the noise and rudeness. Even putting the house as far from the road as possible, I'd like more quiet.

Any other suggestions would be welcome. There is no reasoning with these people.

Thanks,
Bill

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-01-08          138543


The only thing that reduces noise by any significant amount is density. Think tall concrete or block barriers like they place along freeways through urban areas or big earthen berms.

I really can sympathize with your. When we built here in the boonies it was dead quiet. The lot next to us was supposedly unbuildable. Then a guy with political connections built a house and garage and a few other buildings and moved in. They didn't meet forest stocking requirements for an occupancy permit but they moved in anyway. Then they built a motorcycle track and run those damn things day and night in the summer. The only peace is on cold, rainy days (which we get a lot of in the winter). Anyway, one day their kids will grow up and move out and maybe things will quiet down. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-01-08          138544


I happened to notice the other day when driving thru Waterloo, Ia. on 520 that where the houses have crowed up to the interstate they built heavy solid wooden fences probably 12-14 ft. high for several miles. I think evergreens can also be somewhat effectrive too but not to the degree of a solid wall. Some people we kinda know built a new home within about a hundred ft. of the woven wire fence along I 380. I've been there a couple times, not a moments peace and quiet day or night. I would'nt have built there if they gave me the lot. Frank. ....

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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2007-01-08          138550


I think evergreens will help if planted densely enough. Can also help with developing a wind break, which helps carry alot of noise. Anything that can interrupt wind will interrupt sound waves. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-01-08          138552


We have 100 foot thick band of 40 foot douglas firs between us and the neighbors and they help a little but nowhere near enough. These trees have not been pruned up either (just for this reason).

[edit] I failed to mention what does help. We have good double-pane windows and a tight house and it helps a LOT to keep everything closed up. That means not opening up the windows during a cool summer evening (and of course higher A/C bills). ....

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2007-01-08          138562


Privacy fences may help some, but the noise of 4 wheelers will get passed them. Large trees also help but you may not live long enough to watch them grow. A combination of trees fences and berms will help. If on farm property, growing corn around your house helps. Trouble with corn it is only tall from the end of July til harvest in November. The rustle of dry corn from the wind is soothing. Usually you wouldn't repeat the corn every year either. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-01-08          138568


Bill, not sure now where you are but Leyland Cypress grow very fast compared to some other trees and help. I can tell with the thin line of hardwoods around our house when the leaves fall the noise bounces more. Could also be the fields are normally smooth with no crop then also helps the sound bounce. Anything that helps break the sound waves should help. May not be that noticable to the ear though. ....

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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
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2007-01-08          138569


My experience with large evergreen trees isn't good, either. I was thinking of a tall, thick hedge instead, backed by a tall privacy fence about 10' away from them. Then the house would be another 300' away.

I agree good windows, doors and so on will help with noise inside the house, but won't help me any when in the shop or working in the yard.

Maybe I should just forget about it and wear earplugs all the time. :-)

Thanks,
Bill ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-01-08          138587


Bill, if the sound is an issue only when you are in the shop or outside working...they make a nice headset with radio built in. Sells for between $50 to about $100 depending on the brand and such. Cuts out their noise and give you something you may like. Sure did enjoy mine until my wife happened to use them.



....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-01-09          138615


Unfortunately ATV noise is not something you can attentuate. The high frequency exhaust noise seems to penetrate most materials. Those that it doesn't penetrate it will get past and bounce off.

The wooden walls along highways are mostly rated for tire-related noise, not engine or other sounds. Back home our DOT found that for highways, simply changing the direction of the broomed-concrete finish before it cured from straight down the roadway to swshing it back and forth to running it perpendicular to the road drastically changed one frequency of sound but caused or enhanced another. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to deal with it. Me, I don't mind it. But like Murf, I like those things with engines (not quoting per batum)! Ar-ar-argh! ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-01-09          138616


I had one neighbour who used to get like riding his dirt bike in endless circles around his 2 acre property.

He told one of the other neighbours who talked to him about it that after his wife had a baby about the only time he got any riding in was on Saturday afternoon and around the property, no more time away with the boys, but it was his right to make all the noise he wanted, the noise by-law didn't apply mid-day, go away!

I quickly realized that the noise-makers house was exactly inline with the runway at my buddies house across the street from me, the noise didn't bother him because he lives 1/2 a mile back from the road. So I asked my buddy if I could keep my plane at his place for a bit, even if I was leaving early in the morning, he said it no problem, he & his wife are early risers, old farmer types. It took exactly 2 early morning take-offs directly over this guys head to get him knocking at my front door. I politely explained that it was a long way to the airstrip at my family farm, and so was going to keep the plane across the road, besides, airplanes are exclusively Federal jurisdiction, the noise by-law doesn't even apply, regardless of the time of day, go away.

He came back over about an hour later when he heard me working in the shop, he had 2 cold beers in his hand and *very* politely asked if I would reconsider departure times, if he would reconsider blasting around on his dirt bike. I told him I'd do one better, I'd move the plane, and offer him a better place to ride, the excess land at our airport 5 minutes away.

Everybody is now happy. :)

What I'm saying is, go ask, *very* politely, if there is some way to find a mutually acceptable resolution to the noise problem.

BTW, I also host a "neighbours day" every year at the airport, free BBQ, etc., and everybody knows all my equipment is available to lend a hand if they are doing some work, and anytime they (or their visitors) want a plane ride, or a place to hold a big family picnic, all they have to do is ask.

Maybe if you offer a helping hand, or some such thing, in return for an adjustment in their noise levels, everybody will be happy. Also suggest to them that there are special mufflers for most ATV's for hunting, they make an ATV nearly silent without affecting performance at all.

Best of luck. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-01-09          138617


Murf, that's a good story to live by.

BUT--what does the "average guy" do when things don't work out to one's advantage, I mean not every one is as saavy or has the connections like you (don't wanna pump up your head TOO much)?

And I'm sure you're aware that with some exceptions Canadians are not like Americans when it comes to our rights (or wrongs as the case may be) when it comes to carp like this. I realize I tend to be in the minority when it comes to making noise--call it consideration, or common decency. It is just my sense of doing the right thing to not ruffle my neighbor's feathers. When I was an avid ATV'er I would ask the neighbors if they had a problem with me riding in their area. Most were embarassed FOR me that I'd even ask (but they and I know they would be the first one to call the cops if I hadn't asked them) I found if I asked first I never had a problem. But there again, I was not raised like so many are now that "it's easier to get forgiveness than it is permission"

BTW, how's my manlift's journey coming--should be in Nashville (the halfway point) by now eh? What? It's in BC? And you're using it for bungee jumping? WEll at least one of us getting some use out of it. LOL ....

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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
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2007-01-09          138619


That would be the proper way to settle things between neighbors, and I will of course try diplomacy, I'm just not getting my hopes up. Relying on the goodwill of these folks just isn't likely to solve the problem.

I've approached neighbors before that were shooting in their backyard too close my house. Being polite, I asked them to stop before calling the sheriff. They agreed and it hasn't been a problem. The case with the ATVs is different because they aren't breaking the law.

I have a lower tolerance for loud noise than some do...my truck, motorcycle and all my equipment still have stock exhaust. At 42, I don't think this will change. Honestly, this kid's quad is louder than my friends' Harleys. 200 feet away conversation is annoying if not impossible. And he doesn't ride it anywhere...just a straight line through the gears to one end of the field, turn around, then back. With my luck he'll be one of those kids that lives at home until he is 30.

I'm just trying to find solutions that are in my control, such as privacy fences, etc, so I don't have to rely on their poor judgement.

Thanks,
Bill

....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-01-09          138621


Murf, how about southern neighbors? We sort of like BBQ a lot!
Why is the best method is the one use after the others fail? ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-01-09          138622


Jeff, I'm nearly finished with it on the job we've got it on, then I just need to take down my christmas lights, prune some trees and then a short rental to builder friend of mine and we'll have it right down there.

Oh, BTW, it needs a small repair, I'll get you the quote right away...... ;) :)

Bill, I've done a few of those noise attentuation fences. Anything that noisey is a) not going to be deadened to any great extent, and b) you're not going to like the look of the fence required.

If diplomacy doesn't work, you always have "Plan B" .... it turns out there are Federal guidlines on noise pollution, I'd bet if you filed a complaint some nice people from the EPA would pay your neighbour a visit and explain the facts of life to them. ;)

If that doesn't work, just send me the address, West Virginny isn't that far of my route to Florida, a couple of low passes might make them reconsider noise levels!! :)

Best of luck. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2007-01-09          138623


Bill, are there any noise ordinances where you live? If so, do they specify a maximum noise level? If so get a sound level meter to measure the noise level. If it's in excess of the maximum you have some ammo to at least ask him to put a muffler on that thing. If you need a sound level meter I'd be happy to loan you mine. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-01-09          138626


Murf just give me the bill when you bring the lift. I'm sure it will be the same-- within a couple dollars. :)

Reminds me of my neighbor back in the hinterland, you know the kind: they won't pay for or rent the right equipment to the job themselves, but have no qualms about using yours for free. She decides that she wants her big pine trees trimmed so they don't keep rubbing on the power lines. I tell her "Ssure! Go ahead and use it 'til your heart's content--no charge" (incidentally her husband AND son ran these so they are both capable). Instead she says "Oh no! I want YOU to do it because I don't want THEM to get electrocuted". Well isn't THAT nice as long as Jeffy gets fried! Trees still aren't trimmed. Like the mexicans would say, "Not my yob" ....

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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
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2007-01-10          138631


My experience with the ATV "Yard Warriors" (No yard too tough!) is that, like the proverbial pile of sh*t, the more you stir them, the more they stink.

The problem could get much worse, that is why I would rather rely on passive measures on my part, rather than them suddenly having an attack of common sense; I fear that if I approach them, even nicely, they'll start trying to aggravate me.

I've never heard of noise regs around here, if there are any, they are roundly ignored. I suppose I should look into it; at least I'd have some ammo that way. My best buddy is an audiologist, so I'm sure I can get the equipment if needed.

I did entertain myself one day, one of the local hooligans was doing donuts in the road on a dirt bike; I had stopped in our driveway to drink a cup of coffee before going home, and was watching him make an idiot of himself. I dramatically picked up my cell phone (he could see me plainly) to check messages. He immediately headed back to his yard, put the bike up, and went in the house. Hehe. Guess he thought I was making The Call.

Really, the noise is what bothers me. These kids could be out doing drugs and stealing...at least when they're riding around their yards, they are staying out of trouble. It's not that I would deny them having some fun. I just hate noise. I don't want to have to stay in my house, just because it is a sunny Saturday and the yard apes are out.

Thanks,
Bill ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2007-01-10          138633


Here in NJ unless they are making a racket after 11PM or riding on the road without license and tags no police officer is going to come and charge them with disturbing the peace.

As much as I hate them I suppose that is why you see so many gated communities with more tightly packed homes with all those homeowner assocations and rules and regs that go way beyond local ordinances. Even there one pain in the butt neighbor can make your life difficult in one of those communities, as I discovered renting a house in one.

Whenever I think of moving someplace with more acreage than the 5 I have, I always consider that the chessboard of property where I am now is unbelievably good for making my spot private and super quiet. I would have to have at least 40 acres to duplicate it and then still put my house in the middle of it. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-01-10          138642


Bill, just wondering, have they been doing this long or did they just get four wheeler for Christmas. If like most people such gets old and they move on. Be careful as you don't want to give them the idea they have a great place for others to meet and ride.

Part of the reason I am asking this, my mother in law's neighbors got dirt bikes for Christmas. Two teenagers. Their yard is 3/4 acre. You can guess the track around the yard. Good thing the dad also does landscapping.

I do understand what you are up against. There are two boys on either side of me that have four wheelers. The ones on the open side I can hear very easy (that is the tree line that losses it leaves) with open trees and no crop in the fields to help break the sound waves. They are about a 1/4 mile away. The part I like, they are right next to my brother in law...hehehehe so I find some humor in the noise making it easier to bear.

I think the back up alarm on a piece of equipment must be one of the hardest noises to ignore. Know a person who had a problem neighbor (he complain about everything he did at his shop). Said it is funny the complaining stopped when he "forgot" to turn off a backup alarm on that neighbor's side of his shop one weekend. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-01-10          138647


I've been told by neighbors (who are contractors also so they didn't care THAT much) that they can hear my backup alarm on my loader. It's a half mile away and separated by heavy woods. A good OSHA-approved one runs about $50-$100. Priceless when attached to the lawn mower that has to be used back and forth back and forth :)

Any ideas on how to get rid of %#$#$ that like to blast their car stereos at all hours? I heard there was a way to shoot a beam of energy to the vehicle that will wipe out the electricals, but the guy said it was too illegal and didn't want to be responsible for "other" collateral damage such as "any" electrical circuits in the area.

....

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MacDaddy
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 95 Western NY
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2007-01-11          138691


I totally sympathize with you. We have the exact same problem. And they’re not even next door; they’re about 3/4 mile away with woods between. It sounds like they’re right behind my house. I have no problem with people riding motocross, but they never take a break. At the end of a long week, I like to sit outside on my deck with a cocktail and enjoy a moments peace. Instead every neighbor on the street has to endure the endless whine of 2-strokes till dark. And it starts all over again in the morning. ....

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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
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2007-01-11          138697


There is more than one neighbor with loud bikes, and it has been going on for more than a year. This week was the first time I've heard the very loud ATV...the "nice" neighbors tell me it goes on all the time. I guess up until now I've just been at the farm at times when he wasn't running it, or I was busy on our MF diesel with my hearing protection on.

I'm trying to avoid the temptation to annoy them with noise in the hope that they will see the connection. For one thing I don't believe that two wrongs make a right; also I've watched my poor Dad struggle his whole life to deal with situations like this; he is even less tolerant than I am of loud, rude behavior; and it never worked for him. That is really the larger point for me: I see that other people may be bothered a bit by the excess noise, but don't obsess about it or let it ruin their day. I'm trying to adapt to an imperfect situation.

On the other hand, there are a bunch of trees that need cut on my property about 60' from their front porch, and I prefer working early in the morning...

Thanks,
Bill ....

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