In his timeless poem “Mending Walls,” poet Robert Frost was right on when he said, “Good fences make good neighbors.” We’ll take it a step further and say “many neighbors are best left behind the complete privacy of a well-built fence, garden structure or massive tree line.” So, how do you accomplish much-needed privacy in the backyard while keeping both parties happy? There are quite a few easily and not so easily achieved solutions from which to choose. From the trusty, traditional wooden fence to the bigger pergola or patio cover – you have options. Careful planning and consideration are in order to create backyard privacy that is both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. Take a look at some of our favorite privacy options below.
Fences will always be the ideal way to block unwanted sights and wandering eyes. The traditional privacy fence is 6ft+ tall. Be sure to check with your city’s current ordinances as many have maximum height requirements. These privacy barriers are made of solid wood fitted together with few gaps in between for optimal blockage of sight and sound.
Wood fences are the popular choice for privacy in many neighborhoods. When built well and with taste, they provide required privacy without being intrusive or obtrusive to the homeowner or neighbor. Styles, wood types and finishes are plentiful and can include a gate if need be. Major styles include trellis, slat, stockade and basket weave. The most used wood types include cedar, cypress, redwood and treated pine. While other exotic woods are increasingly being used for modern fence designs such as the x-frame, louvered and horizontal board styles.
Vinyl and PVC are terrific materials for fencing as they are long wearing, durable and easily maintained. As with wooden fences, many styles are available from white Victorian with ornate finials to simple faux wood slats.
Willow in vertical strips bound by wire attach nicely to an existing fence, such as chain link, provides a terrific solution and a more organic, natural alternative to traditional fences. These fences can be made ornate with a wrought iron decorative frame.
Eclipse™ Privacy Fencing from Ultra Fencing & Railing is another option to consider. It features 3/4" x 5" x .080 Tongue and Groove boards as well as PowercoatTM technology for a more durable and private fencing solution.
Walls can be another essential way to add privacy although they are not as easily accomplished as fences and some other privacy options. Wall materials include concrete, plaster, plastic and wood panels and come in custom styles and heights.
There are many types of plantings that when fully grown provide an excellent natural backyard privacy option. If privacy is imperative immediately, many shrubs, trees and greenery can be purchased in more mature states of growth.
Bamboo gives the backyard a beautiful look while providing dense covering for privacy as well as shading. It can grow prolifically and quite tall dependent on the variety. It can also be used as thick coverage of the whole property line or grouped for single areas of the yard. Note, it grows quite vigorously and needs to be planted with careful planning.
Trees, shrubs and hedges are a traditional planting approach to backyard privacy with varieties such as Japanese/Texas privet, red tip photinia, podocarpus, junipers, evergreens, viburnum, myrtle, rhododendron and boxwood. When considering plantings for privacy go for greenery that is fast growing, evergreen, dense leafed, and tolerates trimming well.
The backyard can be enhanced, activities accommodated and privacy provided by substantial outbuildings in desired areas. These include the modern pergola draped with growing vines or ivy. A latticework enclosed outdoor living structure such as an elegant sitting area will provide a terrific outdoor activity area along with much needed privacy. Gazebos are highly popular and built in many styles and materials to match your home’s exterior and interior decoration. Garden arbors abloom in flowering vines, made from wood or wrought iron, provide privacy while looking beautiful doing it. Simple or elaborate greenhouses also obstruct the neighbor’s view while giving the gift of gardening pleasure.
Learn more about Great Day Improvements’ different types of Patio Covers.
Privacy screens can be used to create a room-like feel on patios, decks and other outdoor spaces as well as camouflaging necessary appliance units such as the AC and the neighbor’s unattractive tree or roof line.
Wrought iron skeleton structures, chain link and lattice in basic square or rectangular shapes or more ornate ones work well as framing for growing lovely climbing vines such as trumpet, wisteria and other perennial climbers. When fully fledged, the vines provide dense privacy and cool shade.
Other screen types include bamboo, wood and vinyl or PVC and can be bought in panels or in sections ready for installation.
No matter the privacy option you choose for your backyard, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can enjoy the outdoors directly from the comfort of your own property without having the whole world or the next door neighbors having the experience along with you.