11 Ideas for Better Backyard Privacy

11 Ideas for Better Backyard Privacy Sunshine and warm temperatures invite you and your family to spend entire days outdoors, so it’s important that you be able to enjoy endless hours in your backyard without worrying about too much exposure to the sun—or curious passersby. Try one of these 11 solutions for adding privacy and shade to your backyard oasis.
By Jennifer Noonan

Construct a Classic

Common in neighborhoods across the country, wood fences are practically an outdoor staple. With a variety of woods to choose from, ranging from light to dark, and just as many style choices, wood fencing does more than boost backyard privacy—it also boosts design. Compared with other fencing materials, wood is also relatively inexpensive and, with proper construction and routine maintenance, long lasting. So long as you have basic woodworking knowledge, a DIY wood privacy fence is well within reach.     

Grow a Living Fence

Hedges have been a privacy landscaping hallmark for centuries, particularly along property lines. One advantage is that, depending on your choice of plant material, a well-planned hedge can reach virtually any desired height. The downside? It takes either lots of money or lots of time to establish a long, high hedgerow. Plus, hedges need a fair amount of maintenance. But with the right placement, even a hedge of modest proportions can be very effective.     

Fill in with Bamboo

A built-in bonus of turning your backyard into an exotic tropical retreat? Natural privacy. That’s because bamboo, an essential for any tropical space, grows tall enough to shield your cozy hideaway. Plant it on its own, or use it to fill in gaps around pergolas and fences. Take care, though: Bamboo is invasive and should be planted only in beds or in containers with strong barriers.

Fold Out a Private Enclave

Wide open yards are great for a lot of reasons—but they’re not ideal for private outdoor spaces. Build an intimate corner into an expansive backyard by bordering a patio with small trees and shrubs. Then, anchor your patio furniture with a simple structure like the one shown here. Unlike a traditional privacy screen, the open frame permits light and wind to pass through, resulting in a space that’s both breezy and cozy.    

Put Up a Pergola

For a little privacy without worry of blocking a stunning backyard view, consider building a pergola. Even though it stands without walls, its wood columns and beams still offer some obstruction for neighbors who might be looking in. A pergola is an exceptional choice for placement atop an elevated deck, as seen in this lofty example.  

Plant Your Pergola

For a pergola with a little something extra—specifically, coziness and shade—fill in the structure’s sides and open top with twining plants. The crossbeams and poles make the perfect base for climbing greenery, especially in a sunny site. The overall effect is serene and romantic as well as intensely private. It may take a while for the vines to make it to the top—but it’s worth the wait!       

Hang Out with Your Greenery

Here’s another take on a living fence: a custom-made vertical garden. Fill it with vegetables and herbs or flowering plants ready to overflow. No matter your choice of greenery, the decision to garden in hanging planters will both screen your yard from outside view and free up space to use for lounging, grilling, and other outdoor activities.  

Elevate Your Style

If you’re rethinking your backyard altogether, you may be able to build privacy from the ground up. Cascading landscapes achieve this in a discreet yet picturesque way. Here, the backyard’s multilevel design showcases bushes and trees planted at varying heights, creating a secluded retreat that still feels open and airy in the middle. These terraced setups can also increase backyard decor options by spacing out such elements as hanging baskets and birdbaths on different levels so that all are highlighted without crowding one another.    

Go Modern

Corrugated metal is one of the more modern fencing options on the market. Its industrial quality seriously shields your backyard from curious onlookers while contributing yet one more texture to the common palette of stone, gravel, and concrete. Found at home improvement stores and purchased in budget-friendly sheets, these metal fences are also extremely durable, ensuring a long-lasting privacy solution for your space.

Try a Trellis

Whether simple or elaborate, store-bought or custom-built, a backyard trellis provides a direct yet self-effacing solution to the privacy problem. Even as the structure interrupts sight lines, it admits softened breezes and dappled sunlight. Plus, as the ideal support for any number of climbing plants or flowering vines, a trellis can become an attention-grabbing focal point in the design of your outdoor living area.     

Conceal with Curtains

Just as valuable in your backyard as they are in the bedroom, a few opaque panel curtains will both block your view of neighbors and further establish the sense of an outdoor room. If you’re able to mount them, curtain rods are the easiest way to keep your panels in place. Consider hanging curtains along the sides of a porch, pergola, or custom corner unit like this one.  

Adding a backyard pool? 5 ways to make it pop with a great view

Adding a custom swimming pool to your backyard can make it look great and be much more fun, and adding a custom pool with a gorgeous view takes both aspects over the top. So, how can you add a fantastic view to your swimming pool, even if your yard currently doesn’t boast a vista? Here are 5 tricks for any yard.


If you have a fantastic view already, you can emphasize it by installing what’s known as an infinity edge pool. Among the most luxurious types of swimming pools, infinity pools use a sluice system to create the illusion that the water has no border keeping it in the pool. In actuality, they’ve been carefully engineered to allow water to flow over a sloping outer edge and into a lower catch basin where it’s invisibly recirculated back into the pool. Infinity pools look utterly fantastic when that disappearing edge is paired with a fantastic view from a high property. They transform the pool into a work of art and combine well with both modern home design and more natural looks.


Encourage swimmers and guests to enjoy your backyard view with proper placement of a complementary spa. Unlike pools, spas are designed for sitting and relaxing rather than constant movement. So, assess the best angle for your particular view (or views) and install a spa so that guests face it. Make the spa–and its accompanying view–a key focal point in your pool design.


Pool fencing may be a necessity if you have kids (or if local zoning requirements demand it), but it doesn’t have to ruin your view. The easiest way to ensure this is to use high quality “frameless” glass fence material that’s nearly transparent. This minimalist style forgoes cross bars and most columns but still provides the height and other safety features that you need.


What if you love the view of your home more than the one facing outward? Have no fear…you can use a pool to direct attention inward as well. How? Simply make the swimming area like an extension of the home. Design a seamless transition between the entertainment spaces of the house (such as living room, dining room or family room) and the style and materials of the outdoor entertainment area around the pool. Modern architectural features can help integrate the two areas. Sliding glass walls and oversize or “garage door style” doors can often disappear almost completely to invite people to move freely around the space. Alternatively, you could add a covered courtyard that leads from the interior to the outdoors or use an outdoor kitchen to get guests outside. Then, angle the lounge spaces around the pool so that you face the home when enjoying a beach entrance, tables or a fire pit.


If you don’t have an awesome view to take advantage of, you can design a pool with its own beautiful vista to look at. A faux grotto can be as tall or all-encompassing as you need in order to create the best view while swimming or lounging. Make it a true haven by planting tall trees behind the grotto and adding a bubbly waterfall or two. The advantage of customizing your own rock grotto is that you can control your view and personalize it to your taste and style…something you can’t always do in nature. You may soon forget the outside world at all! No matter what size or style yard you have, you can either embrace a great view or create your own perfect vista by applying any one of these design tricks.

Drain your pool water to the proper levels

I recommend the water be brought below the jets but not below the top of light. If you can shut off your skimmer line and activate just the main drain line, you can quickly drain the pool using the waste on the filter system. As a pool tech who needs to move water fast, I use a large gas powered water pump with firehoses leading to the street. Take note that neighbors don’t want to be flooded, drain the water to the street. At this time, apply the winterizing Algaecide. You need to determine the size of your skimmer line. Most are 1.5 inches and some are 2 inch. You may have never noticed, but the skimmer hole has female threads and that’s important for this method of closing the pool.

The importance of your pool filter

For clients of Max Q Services there is still one month to take advantage of our Spring Special Filter maintenance and equipment check. This annual preventative maintenance on your pool’s equipment is designed to get your pool and its equipment ready for the swim season which is upon us now. DE filters need to be disassembled and cleaned, and cartridges need to be checked and replaced if needed. Seals and O-rings need to be checked, lubricated and replaced, and a safety inspection of the pool pump and filter, the timer and wiring, as well as the drain covers in the pool needs to be done. All of this is included in this service.