Need a new fence for your yard or patio? Whether you crave more privacy in your outdoor space; need to block chilly wind, mask a street view or secure your pool; or keep your dogs in (or deer out), we’ve got you covered. Here’s the need-to-know info on choosing the right fence based on space and needs.
If you want true privacy, choose a fence with little to no space between boards. A closely spaced lattice can be nearly as private as a solid material when combined with the lush foliage of climbing plants. The height will depend on the slope of your yard and your neighbor’s yard, the position of your seating areas and any applicable local building codes. Try using a length of paper or cardboard the height of the fence you are considering, and have a friend hold it up while walking the perimeter of your yard. Stand up and sit down in each area of your yard to see if the fence will be high enough for your privacy needs.
Consider going gateless. If ease of access is more important to you than security, consider forgoing the gate entirely and installing several offset fences to allow room for a path while blocking the street view, as shown here.
Consider a stepped design. If it seems like too much to have a tall privacy fence all the way around your yard, consider going with a stair-step design to get privacy just where you need it. For instance, you could have a taller section of fence around your seating area and hot tub, and lower fencing beside the lawn.
When you need to block strong breezes but don’t want to lose the light — or a grand view — the best option is glass, as shown on this stunning rooftop patio. If blocking a view is not an issue, any privacy fence with few to no gaps between boards will work well. For height keep in mind that if you primarily need to keep the wind out of a seating area, the fence can be a few feet lower than around an area where people will be standing, such as around the grill.
The most important features to have for a security fence are a taller height, a lack of places to grip and a sturdy, lockable gate. Any security fence should be at least 8 feet high, although you can add a few feet of trellis to the top of a 6-foot fence for security that doesn’t look quite so imposing. Choose a fence with flush boards and no horizontal rails on the outside, to deter potential intruders from attempting to climb it.
Block a Street View
When your home is on a busy street, creating a peaceful backyard space begins with the right fence. If you want to allow some light in, pick a fence with small gaps between boards (or even a lattice-like design) and layer lush plantings on both sides to provide additional privacy. Or try a frosted glass design, as shown here. As with privacy fencing, it can be helpful to test out the fence height you are considering before you commit.
Keep Deer Out
Some deer can jump nearly 8 feet high, making it quite difficult to keep them out of garden beds using normal fencing. A solid privacy fence is ideal because it blocks the deer’s view of your tasty plants — it’s not likely deer will jump into an area if they can’t be sure it is safe. If privacy fencing is not desirable (for instance, you want to be able to see and enjoy your own garden), you can make a regular garden fence taller by attaching netting to taller poles, in effect making a taller (but nearly invisible) fence. Another option is to make your fence significantly wider by planting large hedges along one side — deer cannot jump as high if they must also clear a long distance.