A Complete Guide to Custom Wind Breaks

There are many factors that can lead to a gusty and unruly wind, such as the large distances between Earth’s surface and its atmosphere. Thankfully, humans have been developing what are traditionally known as windbreaks since ancient times. A windbreak is an architectural structure designed to reduce the effect of high wind speed on a human construction or natural area. The first step in designing your own custom windbreak is to gather some basic supplies: plywood sheets, 2X4s, plastic sheeting (or tarps), nails, cordless drill with drill bits and screws. 


The next step is to add any decorative elements into your design which can include trees, landscaping materials, and shrubs to create a more personalized touch. Building your own windbreak is only half the battle; once it’s complete, how will you prevent high wind from reaching your house? 


To successfully prevent storms during hurricane season, everyone within a certain distance must make sure that their structures are well built and slightly longer than usual because you never know when these storms will blow through. Once you have completed your windbreak, it is important to reinforce your structure in the following ways: making sure all loose objects are weighted down or secured to a stationary object, adding solid anchors for hanging ornaments such as bird feeders and wind chimes, and finishing up with a well thought out design plan. 


What are wind breaks?

Wind breaks (also called wind barriers) are buildings or other artificial structures that reduce the wind speed near the protected area. A tall fence can serve as a windbreak by deflecting the wind around rather than against a building, providing protection from steady winds in one direction and causing turbulence in winds that change direction.


Famous wind breaks

The Great Wall of China was originally built to prevent invasion by Mongol hordes. It is a massive windbreak that enabled inhabitants to live on its leeward side, shielded from the strong northern winds of Central Asia.


The Arc de Triomphe was built to commemorate the 18th century victories of Napoleon, who died before it was completed. It served as a windbreak and a symbol of France’s 19th century might.


Paul Gallico built a “windbreak” at his farmhouse in Falmouth, Maine when he felt the gusts were damaging his fruit trees.


Tips on how to make your wind breaks better


  1. Make sure that you are building your wind break on a level surface to make it easier to insure a sturdy foundation.
  2. Hire a contractor if you are unable to complete the project yourself, because it is easy to overlook some small but important steps while trying to complete the project yourself.
  3. Make sure that your wind break will conform to your local building codes before beginning construction.
  4. Spend some extra time on finalizing the design aspect of the project by adding in any personal touches and decorative design features to make your windbreak unique.
  5. To prevent high winds from reaching your house make sure that you have finished any repairs and updates on windows, doors and chimneys as these are common weak points during storms.



As with most things in life, when we begin a project we will have a grand vision of how it will turn out. The more time we put into the project and plan, the more likely it is that everything will work out as we had planned. But don’t let this stop you from following your dreams, because you know what they say – the best things in life are free! You can build your custom windbreak at home or you can hire a contractor to help.