In today’s market privacy is at a premium. With more of us becoming attracted to the outdoor lifestyle, the barriers we select between our neighbors is essential.
So how do we do this? There is a myriad of ways to create your own privacy fence in your backyard. We’ve rounded up different ways to make sure your private backyard stays that way — private.
What is a Privacy Fence?
Homeowners add a privacy fence for reasons varying from high-jumping pets to pesky neighbors. The size varies from yard-to-yard. You may build a 6-ft. high privacy fence only to find that the next-door neighbors can still easily see over from certain vantage points. Or you may find you only need it 4 ft. tall because surrounding areas slope away from your yard.
Types and Materials
Designed to hide your yard, privacy fences also lend a decorative element to your landscape. Privacy fences come in many styles and categories based on its materials. Types range from the durable, classic wooden fence to heavy-duty, industrial metals. Whether ornamental or purely functional, each privacy fence style can effectively make a yard or garden more private than it would be without the fence.
A common staple to American neighborhoods, board fences are the simplest way to block the view into a property. With a wall of wood or other opaque material, a basic board privacy fence does its job. Built with solid planks, fastened tightly against one another, a board fence leaves no gaps for a passerby to peer through.
Stockade fencing is a great addition to your landscape design. The style traces its origins to rural Colonial America, used even then for security and privacy. Today it still provides privacy and noise reduction. Modern stockade-style fencing still holds true to the traditional picket fence style. Tall vertical pickets, often pointed at the top, positioned against one another with no gaps.
A shadowbox fence has pickets alternating on each side. Unlike a solid fence with all pickets attached tightly on the outside only, you get a double row. This grants you privacy but allowing you to look through the fence at an angle. The space between the rows allows wind to blow through the fence. The pickets almost completely block the view through the fence.
These are perfect if the thought of completely fencing in your yard makes you claustrophobic. A lattice adds the ideal amount of privacy and enclosure without completely closing off your yard. A lattice with small gaps increases your amount of privacy. You can also use a lattice as a trellis. This is perfect for showcasing your green thumb as a home for climbing roses or your favorite vines.
A new-comer to the different fence variations, the horizontal fence literally flips the script. These boards are installed horizontally instead of vertically creating a more modern appeal. These fences are spaced based on your preferences or come with different sized boards based on the type of look you want to achieve.
Trees and Shrubs
Going with mother nature is sometimes the simplest solution. Trees and shrubs are always great for creating privacy in your outdoor space. In most cases, property-line plantings can offer year-round screening. Fast-growing columnar evergreens, or sheared private hedges are a simple solution for separating adjoining yards.
Probably the priciest of the lot, a stone wall offers the most solid and permanent privacy solution. This is the perfect solution for homeowners in locations where the climate can wreak havoc on traditional fences. Try cutting a few windows into them. A bit of masonry on these 5- or 6-feet-high structures creates a less oppressive feel.
Corrugated metal is lightweight and makes for nearly maintenance-free, ideal fencing material. The water-resistant metal is easily recyclable and unlike it’s wooden counterparts, doesn’t need regular staining. Its industrial quality shields your backyard from curious onlookers. While contributing yet one more texture to the common palette of stone, gravel, and concrete.
Permits and Regulations
Before making any decisions about the installation of a privacy fence, you need to understand your local ordinances. Or, you might end up having to take it down. Built in the wrong place, too high, or with the wrong material you’ll wrack up a nice fine on top of everything else. If you reside in a development with an HOA, check with the association or planning committee too. You may have to provide a sketch design for approval.
In Summary: Staying Off the Fence
If privacy and security are your main goals, first ask yourself what you are seeking it from. This answer most often dictates how private and secure you need your fence. It can also dictate the style, materials and size you need. Also, always keep in mind the size of your yard. A too tall fence can overwhelm your landscape, or turn your outdoor living space into a courtyard.
Is privacy something you value most as a homeowner? Do you have any tips and tricks to add to this list? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section below.
Interested in hearing about the privacy benefits that come with owning a new home? Reach out today to one of our customer care specialists to learn more!