Nosy Neighbors: How To Add Some Privacy To Your Property

When my husband and I purchased our first home, the process was stressful, but we settled on one we liked enough to live in temporarily until we expanded our family. When moving time arrived, we both dreaded the expected stress. We ended up using a different real estate agent than we did the first time, and we made a great decision, because she had a lot of home remodeling knowledge! We were adamant on finally finding our "perfect" home this time. When she showed us homes that lacked features we desired that we would have "nixed" before, she let us know if the feature could be added, and usually it could! We are now in our new home that we had a few small renovations performed on after we bought it, and we love it! I want to help others by sharing some remodeling tips I learned on a blog!

Nosy Neighbors: How To Add Some Privacy To Your Property

31 March 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

American homes are becoming bigger.  In fact, in 2014, the average newly built home was over 2,400 square feet. This is almost 1,000 square feet more than the average houses that were constructed in 1992.  Yet, as houses become larger, lots have gotten smaller.  For instance, the average lot is over 1,000 square feet smaller than it was from 1992 through 1995.  Since your neighbors are closer than ever, you might want to add some privacy to your property.

Privacy Fence

The easiest way to keep your neighbors from peering into your yard is with a privacy fence.  There are several options for this solution: 

  • Solid board fence: Due to their solid nature, wooden fences are one of the best choices for privacy.  Pine, spruce, and redwood are a few common types of materials to make this type of fence.  To help prevent wood rot and weathering, you need to use a sealant.  Staining or painting your fence every two to three years will help your wood fence look its best. If damaged, it is easy to find replacement wood for your fence.  
  • Vinyl fencing: Although this type of fence is more expensive, it is not susceptible to wood rot.  At the same time, it has a similar look to wood.  For the most privacy, you'll want to choose a board-on-board style which has an overlapping panel so there aren't any gaps to peer through.
  • Lattice fence: Even though you want privacy, you may want a more decorative option.  A lattice fence provides both.  You can also choose a vinyl fence with a lattice topper. For even more privacy, you can plant a creeping vine that will wind its way around the lattice.  Clematis and trumpet vines both produce flowers that can add beauty and a little more coverage to a lattice fence.

Before putting up any fences, you'll want to check with local building codes and your homeowner's association to make sure there aren't any fence restrictions.  

Perimeter Plants

If you want an additional privacy barrier, you can plant some thick bushes or trees. Here are a few good choices:

  • Waxleaf privet: If you live in plant hardiness zones 7 through 11, these dark green plants make great leafy hedges.  Waxleaf privets grow quickly, about 2 feet per year, so you'll have privacy before you know it.  The shrub also gets to be about 8 to 10 feet tall so nosy neighbors can't peak over.  You'll want to make sure these plants are in a location with full or partial sun.
  • Columnar evergreens: These coniferous trees provide a tall dense wall.  These evergreens will help give you privacy from neighbors who have a two-story home.  Oriental arborvitae can grow up to 25 feet tall.  
  • Deciduous shade trees: Shade trees can give you privacy along with protection from the sun.  Deciduous shade trees grow to be 25 to 60 feet high.

Fences, in conjunction with the correct landscaping, can help you create a secluded oasis.  A fence company can help you pick the perfect option for your home.