Your property should serve as a refuge from nosy neighbors, busy streets, and the general hum and buzz of the outside world.
Fortunately, no matter where you live, there are steps you can take to achieve a sense of solitude for your home and yard. Regardless of your property size or budget, we’ve got some ideas to help you to create a greater sense of privacy.
1. Install a property fence
Installing a fence is one of the easiest ways to increase privacy for your home. If you have a smaller yard, fences have a small enough footprint that you won’t need to worry about them taking up too much space.
Here are a few of the most common fence types:
- Chain link: Chain-link fences are cheap and durable but don’t offer much in the way of privacy. They are a budget-friendly option if you’re simply looking to keep the pets contained. Just remember that the chain link construction won’t give your property a greater sense of solitude.
- Wood: Wood fences are one of the most popular options for American homeowners, in part because they can be built tall enough to provide ample privacy for sunny days when you’re working on your tan. Keep in mind the height of the wood fence will proportionately affect pricing.
- Vinyl and PVC: These fences offer the same coverage benefits as wood fences at a much lower cost. Once installed, PVC doesn’t need to be painted or stained, and it doesn’t noticeably weather from sun exposure. That said, extreme temperatures can make PVC fences more brittle, inviting cracks and corrosion.
- Concrete block walls: Concrete walls aren’t the cheapest fencing option, but they are the best option if you’re looking for privacy and a strong sound buffer all in one. They also maintain their durability in hot climates where vinyl fences aren’t practical.
2. Add a privacy screen to exposed fences
For chain-link fences, you can buy plastic slats that fit vertically through the fence links to keep nosy neighbors from seeing in.
3. Get a fountain
You can find budget-friendly options like recirculating bird baths, but keep in mind smaller fountains can only reduce noise effectively within their immediate area, so you’ll have to be strategic about where you set them up.
4. Landscape along the property line
By layering small trees and shrubs with smaller plants, you can create a barrier for your property without fences. In cooler climates, leaves on deciduous plants won’t stick around after autumn, so you’ll want to plant some evergreen trees and shrubs for year-round privacy if your other plants will be bare come winterl.
Landscaping for privacy has a much larger footprint than a standard fence, due to the space required for layering trees, shrubs, and plants, so it’s most suitable if you have room to spare on your property.
A word of caution: Make sure to keep your landscaping clean and well-trimmed. Overgrown yards might appeal to would-be intruders because they offer extra places to hide in on your property.
5. Build a pergola or gazebo
A wooden pergola with a slatted roof offers an affordable and aesthetic addition to your yard. And for a little extra privacy, you can cover the sides with lattice panels, ivy, or hanging plants
If building a pergola sounds daunting, you can purchase an easy-to-assemble gazebo that offers similar protection—especially when you work in some vines or hanging plants for added coverage.
6. Use privacy panels and trellises
7. Get a shed
8. Install a security camera
Property privacy considerations
Talk to your neighbors
It’s a good idea to chat with your neighbors about different property privacy options. Landscaping or building a fence along your property line will invariably affect your neighbors next door, so make sure they’re up to speed on your plans.
It’s also helpful to regularly walk the perimeter of your property to ensure there are no weaknesses or unwanted sightlines into your property. In these cases, it’s helpful to coordinate with your neighbors so you can inspect the property line from the other side of the yard.
Check local building codes
There are likely local regulations about fences and landscaping along your property line. Code violations can come with hefty fines—not to mention the cost of tearing down and rebuilding a new fence. Look at your local building codes for rules on fence heights and other regulations that might limit privacy options on your property.
Know your climate
If you’re going to landscape along your property, don’t forget to factor climate into your planning. Colder regions that frost during the winter will require evergreen plants and trees to maintain coverage throughout the year. Deciduous plants are a great way to buffer your privacy during warmer months, but their foliage won’t last the winter.
Time for some solitude
Whether you choose to implement one or several of the tips above, you’re well on your way to making your property more private, and a whole lot more peaceful.
Have you used any of these methods, or have other ideas to improve privacy on your property? Let us know in a comment below.