In urban or suburban areas, it’s often the case that one’s yard is in view of their neighbors, and it’s often accepted as an unfortunate drawback with no easy solution. In truth, privacy is a luxury that is easily attainable for even the closest of neighbors.
Not only can you block your neighbor’s view of your yard, you can do so in way that adds aesthetic appeal, extra shade, and noise reduction to your outdoor spaces. If you’re looking for the perfect solution to your lack of privacy, here’s a list of 10 excellent screening ideas and some extra tips to get you started.
Table of Contents
- Things to Consider When Blocking Your Neighbors View into Your Yard?
- 10 Screening Ideas to Block Out Neighbors View of Your Yard
- 1. Retractable Awnings
- 2. Build a View Blocking Tall Fence (or extend your current one!)
- 3. Pergola and Outdoor Curtain Combination
- 4. Privacy Deck Screens
- 5. Ivy, Hedges, Trees, and Tall Plants
- 6. Lattice Privacy Screen
- 7. Hang Outdoor Blinds
- 8. Build a Wooden Privacy Wall on Wheels
- 9. Rock, Concrete, or Brick Retaining Walls
- 10. Build a Backyard Office Pod
- What About Noise?
- 8 Noise Blocking Tips to Prevent Neighbors Listening In
- Final Thoughts
Things to Consider When Blocking Your Neighbors View into Your Yard?
Make Sure it is Legal!
Whatever solution you go with, check your building codes and property lines to make sure you’re not in violation; the last thing you want is to have to tear down a newly constructed privacy screen. It’s also a decent idea to check with your neighbors to avoid any disputes.
How Much It Will Cost
A thorough tally of costs will prevent you from finding yourself over budget and having to abandon the project before completion. Consider all the materials needed, including any tools you may need to buy and any professionals you may need to hire.
Appearance and Style
One of the reasons why people are disinclined to build a privacy screen is because they haven’t discovered an option that appeals to their sense of style. Learning more about all the alternatives can offer a solution that will fit your personality.
Also, before settling on an option, carefully consider if the appearance and style is something you’ll enjoy, and consider whether or not the screen will be a troublesome eyesore for your neighbors.
Some screen ideas require more maintenance than others. If you want a one-and-done solution, be sure not to commit to something that won’t become a hassle or a burden in the long the long run. And keep in mind that if your screen requires constant upkeep, it might be hard to enjoy the privacy it provides.
One common mistake is investing time, money and effort on a privacy screen, only to find out that you’re still uncomfortably exposed. Double-check all the angles of your neighbor’s viewpoints to ensure your solution will do the trick.
10 Screening Ideas to Block Out Neighbors View of Your Yard
1. Retractable Awnings
One of the simplest and most practical solutions is a retractable side awning. These are durable and easy to use, and they provide sun and wind protection as well as privacy. If you want to avoid construction projects and permanent installations, a side awning is as easy to remove as it is to install.
For situations where a neighbor can look down into your yard, you can go with a retractable overhead awning which will provide all the same benefits of a side awning.
2. Build a View Blocking Tall Fence (or extend your current one!)
The most common solution is a privacy fence. Fences are a quick solution and practical for yards with limited space. If you already have a fence but still want more privacy, extending the height is a fairly easy. Just be sure to double-check your neighborhood building codes for any restrictions to fence height.
3. Pergola and Outdoor Curtain Combination
Outdoor curtains are an elegant and easy solution. They might not provide total privacy, but if all you need is a subtle obstruction of view, then this might be for you. People who want to be able to enjoy the view from their yard while having the option to adjust their level of privacy will find outdoor curtains to be the best of both worlds.
To hang curtains in your yard, you can install basic outdoor curtain rods. Or, very a nice upgrade, you can spring for a stylish pergola that can be enclosed on the sides, giving you a cozy living space will amble privacy.
4. Privacy Deck Screens
Similar to an awning, privacy deck screens are practical and require minimal effort to install. These are perfect for decks, patios and porches, and they take up very little space. Also, the knitted polyethylene material is highly durable and comes in a variety of colors and designs.
You can also find relevant information on privacy deck screens in our 10 Best Wind Screens for Decks article here.
5. Ivy, Hedges, Trees, and Tall Plants
If you’re feeling ambitious, a row of hedges or bushy plants are an excellent barrier. Trees are also effective if your neighbors are looking down on your yard. There’s a wide variety of options when it comes to plants. From simple fence-lining to vine-covered trellises to dense garden beds, with a little patience and care, you can green-up your yard and block your neighbor’s view.
With a larger budget, you can hire a landscape architect who will help with the design, installment and initial maintenance.
6. Lattice Privacy Screen
A basic lattice screen is a popular choice. It’s affordable, easy to install, allows airflow and partial shade, and there are many ways to decorate or stylize a lattice work so your outdoor space looks nice and inviting. Wood is the most common material for a lattice screen, but you can also find lattices made of plastic or metal.
7. Hang Outdoor Blinds
Even simpler than awnings and deck screens are outdoor blinds. If all you want is a six-foot screen that can be lowered and withdrawn with ease, go with these basic roller blinds that are made to withstand outdoor conditions.
8. Build a Wooden Privacy Wall on Wheels
Similar to outdoor curtains, a mobile wall is a great solution for those who don’t want a permanent fixture. Perhaps you enjoy the view beyond your yard on some occasions, while on other occasions you’d prefer some privacy. Constructing a mobile wall is a creative and customizable alternative. For the DIY savvy, it can be a fun project, or you can hire a carpenter to do the job.
9. Rock, Concrete, or Brick Retaining Walls
This landscaping option is pretty expensive, but an overhaul such as this will enable you to limit your neighbors view of your outdoor living spaces.
10. Build a Backyard Office Pod
New on the market are prefabricated office pods. These upgraded sheds are constructed with windows and comfortable interiors, providing a perfect workspace right in your own yard. There are many designs out there, from minimalist and modern to cozy and naturalistic.
What About Noise?
If noise is also an issue, a carefully selected privacy screen will also quiet things down for you. Some of the options mentioned above are better at noise reduction than others. To add thought to your privacy screen solutions, here’s a list of effective noise-reducing techniques for your yard.
8 Noise Blocking Tips to Prevent Neighbors Listening In
Hedges and plants are effective at noise absorption. For hedges, choose evergreens for year-round foliage. And planting leafy trees and bushes can provide a pleasant rustling sound when the breeze blows, drowning out nearby noises.
2. Stone, brick, or stucco-covered walls
Thick masonry will certainly damper incoming noises. Adding a layer of stucco will also increase the muting effects of a stone or brick wall.
3. Soundproof fence
Some fences are designed with layered materials specifically for noise reduction. While they’re more expensive than regular fences, they’re far cheaper and easier to install than a wall.
4. Landscape Design
If your budget allows for a major overhaul, such as constructing a retaining wall, consider taking the opportunity to lower the overall level of your yard. A landscape designer can properly re-level your yard so that your outdoor living spaces are surrounded by raised hills (or berms) which will buffer outside noise.
5. Outdoor Speakers
With a set of outdoor speakers, you can play music or even turn on some relaxing nature sounds or white noise. While this won’t block or absorb noise, it will drown out any unpleasant noises.
6. Wind Chimes
For moderate noise pollution, a set of wind chimes will give your ear something nice and soothing to focus on. They can be hung in a pergola, from an awning, or even from a nearby tree branch.
7. Water Fountain
The steady trickling of a water fountain provides a relaxing contrast to any invasive noises. You can go with a modest, easy-to-install free standing fountain, or you can go big with a pond and waterfall. However, be sure to invest in a silent water pump, as some pumps can be as noisy as your neighbors.
A well-placed shed can drastically alter the acoustics of your yard and minimize incoming noise. This method is especially effective if noise is entering from a wide opening or alleyway.
When it comes to getting proactive about your outdoor privacy, there are plenty of options to consider. You can go with a quick fix, like a retractable screen or blinds; you can go green with hedges or trellised ivy; or you can go big with a brick wall or a landscaping overhaul.
Thinking outside the box and getting creative can result in stylish and personalized improvements. And using a combination of two or more methods, such as a waist-high stone wall with wooden fencing on top or a pergola with vine-covered latticework, can maximize your privacy.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.