7 Ideas for Increasing Backyard Privacy

wood fence with hedges

Because your home is your castle, it's also the place where you want privacy from prying eyes. After a busy day, it's nice to know that you can come home and relax on your own terms without the rest of the world looking in.

Below are 7 ideas for increasing backyard privacy to make your life a whole lot better. Regardless of what method of privacy you choose, be sure that it works for you, your family, and the community that you live in.

1. Privacy Fences

Regardless of the material they are constructed from—wood, metal, lattice work, etc.—a privacy fence does exactly what it says it's going to do: gives you privacy. A fence constructed between lot lines can act as a buffer between you and your neighbors, while also looking nice at the same time. Many homeowners install privacy fences around their entire yard, but before you plan this type of enclosure, check with your Home Owners Association (HOA) for rules and regulations.

2. Landscaping

One of the easiest ways to obtain privacy in your own backyard is with landscaping, such as trees and shrubbery. For example, if you live in a warm climate, you might line your yard with large palm trees to block out your neighbors' views. If you live in a colder climate, think about pine trees that tend to grow quite tall and can handle low temperatures. Keep in mind that shrubs, small trees, and foliage can grow quickly and become overgrown, so be sure to plant accordingly with the notion that plants will get taller eventually.

3. Retaining Walls

Besides fences, homeowners can also install retaining walls made of sturdy materials like stone or brick. Brick and stone walls are solid and durable enough to withstand all types of weather conditions, and they can also be a place to hang vines, which will add even more coverage depending on how high they grow. Again, be sure to check with your HOA for local regulations and restrictions.

4. Gazebos and Pergolas

Another easy way to ensure backyard privacy is with a gazebo or pergola. You can purchase one at home improvement, patio, and furniture stores, or you can build one yourself.

A gazebo is a structure that usually has four to six sides and is covered by a canopy or top. A pergola, or ramada, is similar, but it is more open and usually consists of a roof and four pillars. Gazebos and pergolas come in various materials, including wood and metal, and they are often easy to install yourself. These structures can enhance the beauty of your backyard while giving you privacy.

5. Enclosed Patio

If you want even more privacy, think about adding on an enclosed patio. Also referred to as a sun room, an enclosed patio is constructed of floor-to-ceiling windows that give you the feeling of enjoying your yard without actually being in it. The shelter from the elements lets you sit and watch the rain or snow fall without being in the thick of it. With this option, you can install shades to be drawn for complete privacy. Again, consult with your HOA and city building codes before construction.

6. Shades and Canopies

Shades, canopies, and complete patio awnings can also block out views, and many are decorative. Shades and canopies come in a variety of colors and designs that can be coordinated to blend with any style of backyard furniture or other yard décor.

7. Pool Privacy

If your home has a pool, consider adding an outdoor cabana as a retreat for when you get out of the water. Rather than lounging out in the open, a private cabana gives the feel of being outdoors but can serve as a place to take a nap, change clothing, watch TV, and enjoy a meal without being visible. There are many cabana styles to choose from, including fabric and solid structures.