14 Privacy Fence Ideas for Safety & Seclusion

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated December 14, 2021
A group of friends hanging out in a backyard at a picnic table surrounded by a dark wooden privacy fence
Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision via Getty Images

Don’t let a lack of privacy have you feeling “on the fence” about your backyard

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Your backyard should be a place you can relax and gather comfortably. But, that can be hard to do if your space is visible from neighboring homes or from the road. 

Keep your home safe and out of view with a privacy fence. Privacy fences come in a variety of colors, styles, and price points to match your home’s design. 

Before you build, run your plans past your local zoning department. There may be specific laws, restrictions, and requirements you need to follow. They may also be able to provide you with your specific property line so that you don’t accidentally build on a neighboring property. 

Speaking of neighbors, it’s also a good idea to talk your plans through with all neighboring residents so that everyone is on the same page. This will allow disagreements to be resolved before putting money into the project. 

But first, you need to pick the right fence to draft up your ideas. Use this guide to inspire your upcoming privacy fence installation.

Budget-Friendly Privacy Fence Ideas

Adding a fence to your yard is never really a “cheap” project, but there are some privacy fencing options that are more affordable than others—especially if you have a lot of square footage to cover. Consider some of the following budget-friendly materials:

A black chain-link fence in a backyard with surrounding tropical plants
Genotar1 - adobe.stock.com

A chain-link fence is a relatively open design, and not ideal on its own in terms of privacy. However, it is an affordable option if you’re looking to keep your children safe and protect your pets from wild animals.

Get more privacy out of your chain-link fence by tautly securing mesh, tarp, or canvas material along one side of the fence. 

Another option is to plant a line of trees or shrubbery along the fence. Faux boxwood greenery is another great option here, too.

2. Pallet Fence

A backyard wood pallet fence with hanging plants
Alexandre Morin-Laprise/Moment via Getty Images

Wood pallets are usually easily accessible and often free for those willing to pick them up and carry them out themselves. A truck or SUV would be necessary here. 

Though a pallet fence is budget-friendly, it requires a bit of DIY handy work. The plus side is that you can get as creative with it as you’d like. Try weaving LED lights through the panels or installing a garden with hanging planters as pictured above.

DIY Privacy Fence Ideas

One of the most expensive parts of a fence installation is the labor cost. If you are able to install a fence yourself, it will likely save you a good amount of money. 

However, don’t try to do it yourself if you don’t have the proper tools or experience. The money you’re saving on a DIY installation now could cost you double in repairs down the road if not installed correctly. 

If you’re ready to take on a DIY project, consider these privacy fence ideas:

3. Faux Boxwood Greenery Fence

A backyard with boxwood fence
Nastco/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Boxwood greenery is very trendy and works great as a privacy wall. You can get faux boxwood greenery in several different forms including square panels and hedge rolls. 

This option works best on existing fences that might be a little too see-through, such as a chain-link fence. Simply use zip ties to tightly secure the greenery to the fence. You can add greenery around the entire fence, or just in areas where you would like more privacy.

4. Wood Fence

A horizontal white wood privacy fence in a backyard
Boris SV/Moment via Getty Images

A wood fence is a great option to DIY if you’ve got the handy skills. This way, you can really customize the height and style of the fence so you can make it exactly how you want. 

There are several types of wood fences to consider, including:

  • Louver fence

  • Picket fence

  • Post and rail fence

  • Vertical board

  • Wood lattice

Natural Privacy Fence Ideas

A natural privacy fence is a great option for those who don’t necessarily need the security of a closed-in fence but would like the privacy benefits of one. 

These natural privacy fence ideas can also be combined with a traditional fence to add more height and coverage for seclusion. 

5. Tree Line Fence

A line of tall trees following a fence line
Pawel - adobe.stock.com

Not only does a tree line fence help for privacy, but it can also provide a bit of shade in your backyard—perfect for lounging outside in the summer. 

You can plant the trees yourself, or hire a local landscaping company to do it for you. 

6. Shrubbery or Hedge Fence

Various shaped shrubbery fencing
Restyler - adobe.stock.com

Add a shrubbery or hedge fence for seclusion by planting them on your own or hiring a professional landscaper to help. 

Shrubs and hedges can create a fence line on their own, or they can be installed alongside an existing fence that could use a little more privacy. 

Keep in mind that this option does require regular trimming and maintenance.

7. Bamboo Fence

A backyard lounge area surrounded by tall bamboo and wooden fencing
John Keeble/Moment via Getty Images

Bamboo fencing is a great natural fence option, especially if you’re hoping to create a relaxing, tropical atmosphere in your backyard. 

Classic Privacy Fence Ideas

These tried and true fencing options will complement any house design while providing seclusion, safety, and curb appeal. 

8. Picket Fence

A rural home exterior with a white picket fence
Stuart Monk - adobe.stock.com

A picket fence is one of the most classic and well-known types of fencing. For maximum privacy, opt for a tall picket fence or plant trees or shrubbery along the perimeter. 

Material options for picket fencing include natural wood, vinyl, cellular PVC, composites, and even metal.

9. Vinyl Fence

A white vinyl fence enclosing a residential backyard
Ghornephoto - adobe.stock.com

Vinyl fencing is a great option. Not only does it provide safety and seclusion, but it also needs less long-term maintenance when compared to a wood fence. Plus, a vinyl fence takes less time to install than wood—which means lower labor costs. 

Vinyl fencing also looks very clean cut and cohesive, giving your home a more luxurious appearance.

10. Panel Fence

A wood and brick panel fence
Hanna - adobe.stock.com

A panel fence is a type of fence that is built in multiple framed sections. This option provides a lot of room for customization in way of design and materials. Go for a natural all-wood look, or add textured metal sheets between the frames for a more industrial feel. 

11. Stone and Gabion Fencing

A gabion fence surrounding the perimeter of a house
Wlodzimierz - adobe.stock.com

A stone fence is a great way to add privacy to your home. Plus, it provides a natural, earthy feel many desire for their home. 

There are two ways to go about adding a stone privacy fence to your yard:

  • Mortar stone wall: a wall built by laying stone and securing it with mortar

  • Gabion stone fence: a wall created by filling a gabion basket with stones (pictured above)

12. Trellis Fencing

A women weaving greenery in her wooden trellis fence
Boogich/E+ via Getty Images

Trellis fencing is a diamond-patterned panel, typically made of wood or vinyl. Stack vinyl trellis panels side-by-side to build a whimsical privacy fence, or add wood trellis to the top of your current fence for extra height and coverage. The cost to install a trellis is about $400 to $2,400.

13. Iron Fence

A small white house with a surrounding iron fence
Perry Mastrovito/Stockbyte via Getty Images

Though a classic iron fence is beautiful, it doesn’t usually provide enough coverage for privacy. If your heart is set on an iron fence, consider also investing in trees or shrubbery to go along the perimeter of your fence where you’d like a little extra privacy.  

14. Brick Wall Fence

A backyard courtyard surrounded by a tall brick wall
annick vanderschelden photography/Moment via Getty Images

A brick wall can be built as low or as high as you’d like—or your city or town allows. For lower brick walls, we suggest adding trees, boxwood, or tall shrubbery along the fence line for more seclusion. If landscaping isn’t in your budget, a more affordable way to get more coverage is to add trellis panels along the top instead. 

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