It can generally go without saying that people love privacy. For many people, privacy is something they don’t really think about that much. That is, until they no longer have that privacy.

Whether you have a large, sprawling backyard that spans for acres or you have a tiny backyard that barely offers enough space for a garden, there is going to come a time when you realize that you want to have a little bit more privacy in your life. However, you might also realize that you don’t quite have the money to fully renovate your yard. This can leave you wondering how exactly you can make your backyard private, while you are working on a budget.

Thankfully, there are a few different ways that you can go about adding privacy to your yard without going over your budget. For some people, adding some plants is going to be the perfect way to obscure your property. For other people, a simple metal sheet provides the privacy needed while also adding a more modern feel to the yard. Here are a few different roads you can take to keep your yard safe from prying eyes.

Utilizing Plants for Your Privacy

You might not think about it at first, but adding plants to the border of your property is a brilliant way to keep it private, while also giving it a more natural feel. Whether you want to plant and cater to some hedges, or you would be willing to wait for certain types of trees to reach their full height, there are a few ways that you can go about using plants to add to your privacy.

For one, the type of plant that you can choose for this is going to be highly dependent on where you live, the climate of the area, and the amount of nutrients in the soil. It will take a fair amount of research to find which plants would not only build a suitable living wall for your property, but will be able to last for a long, long time.

A living wall, as the plant walls are often called, can add a sense of beauty to your yard, especially if you love the outdoors and you love nature. Depending on the setup of your patio, a living wall can even be romantic during the spring season when the flowers bloom. Because of this, a living wall can be so much more than just a way to keep your backyard as private as can be.

However, this wall will really only be good for you if you are able to manage and maintain plants. If you do not have a green thumb, you might want to consider using trees, rather than plants and flowers, to add to the privacy of your yard. A living wall is going to be a commitment that you have to make to ensure that the wall stays living, so that you can make the most out of the privacy it provides.

Speaking of using trees for your plant wall, this is a much easier way to get the job done, as long as you are willing to be patient. While the trees themselves are going to be relatively inexpensive, and all you need to plant them is a shovel and some time, you are going to need patience. A lot of it.

Trees can take a couple years to grow to their full height if you are working with the fast-growing kind, and if you are working with trees that are not bred to grow quickly, then you are going to have to wait even longer. Trees make a wonderful, often lifelong solution to privacy, but the wait for them to grow is often very off-putting.

Nonetheless, it is something that you are going to want to consider when you are thinking about ways that you can add privacy to your backyard. 

Using a Fast-Growing Vine and a Fence

If you want a solution that still involves plants, but doesn’t involve you caring for the plants nearly as much, you might want to consider the idea of introducing ivy, or a similar vine, to your backyard. Of course, you will want to make sure you set this up far away from any areas where you are growing flowers, as ivy can quickly and easily take them over.

For this method, you have three choices: you could choose to build a trellis for the ivy to grow on, and to act as your wall; you could simply buy a trellis if you don’t have the materials to build one; and you can consider purchasing a lattice fence. All of these choices provide the same benefits, so the one you choose is up to you, depending on your time, money, and knowledge with building trellises.

If you plan to build a trellis, you are going to need some knowledge of how to build. You will also need a source of wood or metal or the material for the trellis itself. However, you will be able to completely customize the size of the trellis, meaning that it can cover an entire side of your yard, assuming that you can get the materials for it.

If you choose to purchase a trellis, it will cost a bit more money, especially if you have a larger yard and require more trellises to actually cover the side of the yard that you want privacy from. However, it will be extremely easy for you, as all you will have to do is install the trellis into the yard and you will be done. This is easiest for people who might not have a lot of free time on their hands.

Finally, purchasing a lattice fence over a trellis is simply a matter of preference. Both offer the same benefit of being a place where ivy can climb and cover up any areas where prying eyes could see. It might require some research to determine if it is less expensive to purchase lattice fences over trellises, but it will be worth it for your budget.

Once you have purchased a fence, or built one, you will want to find a fast-growing and semi-aggressive vine to plant by the trellis. More often than not, ivy works just fine. Given a few months, the fence should be completely covered in ivy, providing you with the privacy that you deserve.

What’s better is that ivy requires significantly less maintenance than plant walls, meaning that you don’t need any talent in caring for plants. All you have to do is let it grow.

Adding Curtains to a Pergola

One option that you can consider for privacy is adding some curtains to a pergola. Whether you want to build a pergola or you would rather purchase one is entirely up to you. However, this method works best if you already have a pergola and you simply want to add some more privacy to the open walls.

First things first, you will want to find some curtains that offer the amount of privacy you want. If you want as much privacy as possible, you will want to go for the thicker, heavier curtains. On the other hand, if you want to save as much money as you can and you only want some basic privacy, you can consider opting for the less expensive, thinner curtains.

Thicker curtains are, understandably, going to cost a fair amount more money than other curtains, especially if you splurge and go for blackout curtains or something similar. However, the thicker the curtain is, the more privacy it will be able to offer you, even blocking out the shadows to some degree.

Thinner curtains, on the other hand, are going to be much less expensive and much easier to find at your local store. However, while they might block the view that you have from the pergola, there’s a good chance that people will still be able to see shadows through them. For some people, this means that the pergola is no longer private, meaning that the thinner curtains were simply not enough.

Finding the right curtain will depend entirely on your budget and the degree of privacy that you want. The thicker the curtain is, the more privacy you will get. The thinner the curtain is, the less that you will have to pay.

You will also have to purchase curtain rods and you will need to find a way to install them onto the pergola. After all, you can’t really have a good set of curtains up if you don’t have curtain rods to attach them to.

One of the best parts about having curtains on a curtain rod is that you will be able to decide when you want privacy and when you want to look at the world around you, since you will be able to open and close the curtains as you wish. For some people, the option of having adjustable privacy will be well worth any hassle it will be to install the curtain rods onto the pergola.

Simple, But Effective: Sheet Metal

If you do not care as much about having a considerable amount of style in your backyard, or if you have a dull, grey, and stony yard, you might want to consider the idea of getting some sheet metal fences to be the solution to your privacy concerns.

Sheet metal can actually create a very smooth and modern feel to your backyard, depending on what you have. Stony, grey, and elevated backyards work best for this, if you do want to turn your sheet metal fences into something that matches your backyard. After all, everyone can appreciate a good-looking backyard.

Sheet metal is an excellent solution to consider, as you can purchase it at just about any size for your yard’s perimeter. Of course, you will want to spend some hours measuring out your yard, making sure you know what measurements to purchase and how much metal to buy, but it’ll all be worth it by the time you have a perfectly private backyard.

Sheet metal is also incredibly durable and weather-resistant, making it a far more long-lasting solution than curtains or a living wall. If you are looking for a solution that offers no hole, no risk of dying if you go on vacation, and can withstand more than a few storms if it is installed properly, you will want to keep your eye on the prices of sheet metal in your area.

Before you know it, you will have the perfect solution to your privacy problems.

Privacy Screens for Privacy Problems

Last, but most certainly not least, you can consider one of the simplest solutions of them all. You can consider getting one, or a couple, privacy screens to set up around the porch and patio to protect your property from any prying eyes that might be causing your privacy problems.

Privacy screens are exactly what they sound like. They are a screen, often made from a material such as wood, metal, or even plastic, and they usually have that same material going across the length of the screen to ensure that anyone who is looking in that general direction is not going to be able to see anything.

Do keep in mind that these screens do not work all that well on the grass, rocks, or any uneven surface. This can be considered a solution for porches and patios in your backyard only, or if you have an island in your backyard where you prefer to relax. They function best on flat, even surfaces, such as concrete, brick, and asphalt.

These screens can start out at an incredibly low price, depending on the length of the fence and the material of the screen. This allows a considerable amount of versatility when it comes to trying to spend money within your budget, but also making sure that you get a high-quality privacy screen to get the job done with.

In the end, one of these methods will be sure to provide the privacy in your own backyard that you are entitled to. Whether you want to expand your green thumb and work with a living wall, nurturing it for years to come so that you can watch it bloom, or you simply want to have a nice and simple sheet of metal saving you from people watching your property, there is sure to be a budget-friendly way to live on your own property in peace.

Author

I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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