Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West

Posted by Kathy Foran on 7/24/2016

There are countless reasons you might want more privacy in your backyard. Whether you live on a busy road and have motorists gawking at you as you cut the grass, or if you live in close proximity with your neighbors and want a bit of alone time on your back patio, we'll cover all of the best ways to get more privacy out of your living space.

Planting your way to privacy

If you want more privacy but don't want to build fences around your yard, one good alternative is to use planned and structured planting to build a natural barrier. This technique is especially beneficial because of the endless variations available on what plants to use. From small shrubs to massive trees, you can determine just how much privacy you want. Similarly, you can choose to layer tress, bushes, plants, and grasses to create a garden-like wall that you and your family can enjoy looking at.

Walls and fences

The standard American household's means of privacy has long been the picket fence. There are a variety of fences on the market and their materials have been updated over the years to become sturdier and less vulnerable to wear than wood. Many old properties have rock walls surrounding their perimeter. If you have a rock wall but it doesn't provide enough privacy, one creative option is to build a small, decorative fence on top of the rock wall. They add a modern look to your wall and increase privacy at the same time.

Take indoor techniques and bring them outside

If you live in an urban area with a very small backyard or patio area one great way to add privacy is to take indoor barriers like curtains and room dividers and use them outside. This will give you the privacy you want but will also make your backyard or patio a cozier place to spend time. Use weather-resistant curtains and dividers when applicable. They will require less cleaning and will last exponentially longer.

Partial privacy options

If you want more privacy but don't want your home to seem like a closed-off fortress there are many partial privacy options to choose from. Some of them are just scaled down versions of the above. For example, you could choose to use dividers or plants only in the area around your patio table. Another great option of partial privacy is to use latticework. To make it more or less private, incorporate plants and vines in the lattice.

Audible privacy

Do you have noisy car traffic on your road? Do you live in the city where there are constant passersby having discussions on the sidewalk? If so you might want to consider some options for audible privacy. Most barriers you put up (a wall or fence, for example) will provide some amount of noise reduction. The properties of the wall will determine just how many decibels will be blocked out. However if you are more concerned with masking or distracting from the outside noise consider using water and nature as a means of audible privacy. Fountains and streams create a pleasant background noise that will drown out some of the background sounds.