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Privacy Fence Options

Updated on May 7, 2012

Privacy fencing isn't just for backyards; it can be used on balconies, mini-patios, around a parked RV and in loads of other ways. We've got a small backyard that is already lined with a high quality fence, but it doesn't stand quite as high as I'd like it to, and since it's quite near the entrance of the main building, it's not quite as private as I'd like it to be. So what can you do in a situation like this? Obviously, you're not going to remove a perfectly good fence and stick something else in there -- that would cost a fortune you don't need to spend, and it would probably involve hiring workers to come sort it out for you. The best alternative in this situation is to set up your own privacy fencing and save yourself big money. The following are privacy fence options you'll be be able to afford and also be able to install without the help of a professional.

Shade Cloths

If you've got a fence that already stands at a suitable height, a shade cloth may be all you need to make the desired area private. Shade cloths come in all sorts of colors and transparencies. You can get the standard green (imagine a tennis court with the big green cloth covering it -- you can see through it a bit, but not entirely), or something in black or beige. There are even some companies who produce shade cloths in neon colors. You can get something 90% opaque, or you can get something more see-through, such as something 60% or 70% opaque. It's totally up to you. To install these, you can either thread it through the fence rods, or slide bits of it over the top bits and affix it with a heavy-duty tie. You'll probably want to do that to the bottom too.

Lattice Screens

Lattice screens aren't going to be entirely opaque, but if you'd like something beautiful and artistic that also provides a decent amount of privacy, you may want to go with a few lattice screens. They come in various materials and designs and if you haven't got a car, just have them delivered by your local Home Depot (or local equiv) and they should be fairly easy to put up -- though if you're smallish you may want to have a helping hand. Some of these can be quite large so do be sure you measure the space needed and buy the appropriate size. You will need to affix it to something to ensure it stays upright, or have them specially sized to slide into a pre-measured area of space.

Privacy Fence Panels

If you've only got a small area you'd like to make more private, you can always buy a proper privacy fence panel of the appropriate size. Major DIY shops will offer them in this way and you simply buy what you need in the size you need. It could be a tad more difficult to install these, because they can be heavy and large and you'll need to be sure they are sturdily affixed to something to prevent them falling down. You can get these in many materials and you'll find some nice wood panels with ornate designs at the top. Many of these will stand 6' tall which is generally enough privacy for most people.

Bamboo Fencing

Bamboo fencing is a cheap way to give your patio (etc) some extra privacy. But do be aware that it can be messy (bamboo can shred apart like cornhusks) and somewhat transparent. I have used this in the past and would not use it again unless there were no alternative -- unless you went with a really high quality bamboo fence. If you do that, you'll likely be pleased, but if you go the cheap route, you will probably not.

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