In residential areas, there are a few options to introduce some flair to your yard. Using privacy screens is one such option. They can break up a space, add some interesting visual components, and build your own private retreat, even in populated areas.
Privacy screens can bring a dynamic element to your yard, blocking things that you don’t want in sight, or even preventing others from seeing into your space. Screens are not only a design choice, but can also be practical in their use.
From the traditional wooden lattice and wooden slat design, to more creative and out of the box ideas, there are a multitude of reasons to choose privacy screens for your residential home.
What are some things you need to consider when deciding on a privacy screen?
- Increased privacy – The nosy neighbors and odd passersby will have a much harder time seeing your own personal goings-on.
- Shade – On a hot summer’s day, it is always nice to find a bit of shade, and when the sun is beating down on your patio, sometimes you have to bring the shade to you. A privacy screen can offer this much-needed respite from the heat of direct sunlight.
- Hiding eyesores – Sometimes there are things we need to keep outside and they are not always aesthetically pleasing. Things like air conditioning units and water pumps can really distract from your yard’s scenery. Privacy screens are a good way of dividing and keeping things like this out of sight.
- Attractive – The right screen can really accentuate your yard, making it a true sight to be seen.
- Sight lines – If you like to look out over your neighborhood, privacy screens may not be for you. They can block sight lines and hinder the view.
- Space – Depending on the screen, the size of your yard can be cut down by privacy screens. There are options that are easily portable, and can be taken down, but that becomes an issue of storage. Then you must consider where you keep them when they are not in use, and what happens to them when they are out in inclement weather.
- Maintenance – Depending on which option you choose, privacy screens can be cleaned simply with a garden hose. Although, as you move into other kinds of screens, such as wooden lattice and hanging garden varieties, repair, cleaning, and upkeep can become a bit of a task.
The materials used in privacy screen depend on the look you are going for, as well as your budget. There are a number of pre-constructed screens that can be found at nearly any garden supply store. Most privacy screens are made of wooden lattice or slats, though they can be made from nearly anything.
Metal panels, pre-constructed vinyl, cloth curtains, living plants, or glass panes are just a few of the possibilities. Most of these options may require some form of wooden frame to hang the materials from, so wood is your friend here.
For a traditional look, the all wooden option is your best bet for materials. But if you are more adventurous or want something a bit more quirky, you are limited only by your imagination in what can be used to build a privacy screen.
Cost can vary widely depending on what you are looking to accomplish. The quick and easy method for a removable privacy fence, is buying pre-constructed fences from your preferred outdoor and garden vendor. The pre-constructed 3 panel models can cost between $100-$300 for wood, around $400 for metal, and as low as $24 for a one panel vinyl piece. (Source: Lowe’s).
A 6 foot section of wooden lattice screen can be bought for about $90 per section. (Source: Home Depot).
For a living garden screen, you will need things for the plants to hang on. For vines, you could use the wooden lattice fence. Hog wire also works well, and hog wire can be found in 100 ft. rolls for $70. (Source: Home Depot).
Making a screen of bamboo can be cost effective as well, as you can find bamboo for $2-$3 per foot of pole. (Source: Forever Bamboo).
A cheaper option would be to repurpose other materials you may already have. Depending on what you have on hand, you could make a screen from repurposed curtains and drapes, unused doors, or any other myriad of things that look good draped from a simple wooden frame. Depending on what you decide to use, a creative option like this can be nearly free; and if not, these kinds of materials are very simple to find.
On the upper end of the scale, and if you are looking for something more involved, you can make an 88 square foot enclosed space with a functional sliding door for up toward $800. (Source: Do It Yourself).
Not sure if you’d prefer a privacy fence? Check out our definitive guide to picking a fence!
The most traditional version of a privacy screen is a simple wooden slat, or lattice design. This look is classic for good reason. It’s sleek, basic, easy, and wood always looks nice.
This is a classic wood slat design. You can leave the wood raw to achieve a rustic look, or finish the wood to give it a highly polished appeal.
This is a large finished wooden lattice design. This screen was built as part of the patio, making it one cohesive piece with the corresponding landscaping.
Here we see a screen being used to block the sight of pool pumps.
If you want to be able to see through to the other side, use larger openings in the wooden lattice. The screen can still can cut down on noise pollution, but not block too much of your sight.
Screens can be used to break up larger yards into smaller sections and separate flower beds from walkable areas and pathways.
With thinner bamboo, and a wooden frame, you can make custom bamboo screens to fit into a variety of places and arrangements.
A design and some lighting can make screens light up your outdoor space.
Letting vines take a lattice screen is a way to have a visually pleasing wooden lattice until the plants have an opportunity to grow.
This is another plant based privacy screen, this time with little potted plants along the wall. This can be achieved via a variety of methods. Instead of a draping, hanging, or climbing look, this version is basically a vertical garden.
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Horizontal metal or plastic poles through vertical wooden posts can make for another type of wall for vines to climb. See more of this home here. Designed by Living Gardens Landscape Design.
Hanging shades are a way to break up space and build privacy. You can hang them from the end of an overhang, but you can also build or buy a simple wooden frame to hang them from and have a mobile screen that you can place wherever you please.
Using curtains is another version of privacy screens that provides a fun and breezy way of accomplishing the job of a privacy screen. While white outdoor curtains have a traditional look, curtains can be made from a countless variety of materials, patterns, and colors.
Curtains can even be sheer and see-through, and still accomplish their purpose. Shop the look.
Whether on their own, covered in vines, large or small, wooden or vinyl, privacy screens provide shade, dampen noise, and spice up almost any yard.
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