How to Add Privacy to Your Garden

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Our gardens are our sanctuaries. What better way to escape the hectic every day than by spending time in our own outdoor living space? But the last thing you want is to be spied on by nosey neighbours like an animal at the zoo. We all enjoy a bit of privacy, and dependent on where you live, that can be harder to obtain. This article aims to demystify the different options available to add privacy to your garden, whilst also presenting the investment opportunities they pose.

Why add privacy to your garden?

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No more prying eyes

Urban environments are rapidly increasing in population, and house sizes are decreasing. Privacy has now become even more essential than ever before. Many of us are living in much closer proximity to each other than we’d prefer, and that’s why we encourage finding innovative and value-adding ways to make your garden feel more secure.

Security is key

Not only does adding privacy to your garden avoid prying neighbours, but it can also improve the security of your property. It goes without saying that a garden with a wall around it is more secure than a garden without!

Noise reduction

Can’t enjoy your evening meal al fresco because the neighbour’s teenagers are blasting music on full volume? Adding privacy such as foliage and walls can help with sound insulation, making your garden just a tad more peaceful.

Add value to your home

One of the best reasons for adding some form of privacy to your garden is that it can add value to your home. As this is part of the Garden Value Adding series, we will explore all the ways in which adding privacy can be a great investment for your property later on in this article.

The options available

Lattice Screens

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In terms of bang for your buck, lattice screening is a great way to add some privacy to your garden without going out of pocket. A lattice screen is made by weaving thin strips of wood into a pattern of your choice. Many people build them by themselves; however, it is possible to purchase pre-woven screens with a selection of designs to choose from.

Lattice screens are widely available from home improvement shops, and it’s quite easy to find one which will fit your style and sizing needs.

Pros and cons of lattice screens

There are advantages and disadvantages that come with constructing lattice screening in your garden. Let’s examine a few…

Pros of installing a lattice screen
Inexpensive

Lattice screens tend to be budget-friendly in comparison to other types of garden fencing.

Easy to install

They are generally easy to install, meaning that the invested time and labour is kept to a minimum.

Versatile

Lattice screens can be found with many different pre-set designs, or you can even design your own. Everybody should be able to find one which suits their garden’s aesthetic.

Perfect for climbing plants

Lattice screens are plant-friendly and are great for climbing plants such as Trumpet Vines and Wisteria.

Add value to your home

Due to their style and their addition of privacy and security, lattice fences are sure to add value to your property.

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Cons of installing a lattice screen
Not very durable

Lattice screens may be an attractive feature to have in your garden, but they are not known to be particularly durable.

High-maintenance

As lattice screens are often made of wood, you have to check for rotting and other forms of weather damage. Mould and mildew can significantly reduce the durability of the fencing and repairs are not so simple, generally requiring replacements of entire portions of the lattice.

Tall fences are harder to install

If you would like a tall lattice screen installed, you will need to set the fencing in concrete. This increases the manual labour costs as well as the time taken to build the lattice.

Perfect for climbing plants

Lattice screens are plant-friendly and are great for climbing plants such as Trumpet Vines and Wisteria.

Privacy can be harder to obtain

There are usually gaps in the lattice, so growing climbing plants is best for optimal privacy. The downside is that these plants can take a long time to grow.

How much does a lattice screen cost?

You can expect to pay roughly £20 per metre length of lattice on the lower end, and anything up to £200 on the higher end.

 

Traditional Fencing

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Traditional fencing is one of the most popular options when it comes to garden privacy. They come in a range of designs, shapes and sizes and are readily available to purchase online and in-store. A solid fence is a classic design which can be timeless if done well.

Pros and cons of traditional fencing

Traditional fencing has advantages, as well as disadvantages. Let’s inspect a few and see how they might affect your choice…

Pros of installing a traditional fence
Huge selection

In terms of fence designs, there are just so many to choose from. You can find fences of all different shapes, sizes, colours, patterns and materials – you will most definitely not be short of options.

Great for privacy

Solid fence panels with no gaps are perfect for your privacy needs. Unless broken or poorly designed, it’s very hard for anyone to peep through your fence into your garden once installed. Feel secure and free in your outdoor living space.

Add value to your home

Similar to lattice screens, traditional fencing also adds value to your home. A way to maximise the value would be by using a modern style which fits in with what is popular on the market at the moment.

Added safety

Having a well-fenced garden can provide you and your family with safety and peace-of-mind. The fence can keep unwanted visitors out of your garden, and if you have a pet dog you can allow them to run around without the fear of them running away!

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Cons of installing traditional fencing
Upkeep and maintenance

A wooden fence can be difficult to keep clean and rot-free. Regular maintenance is required, such as cleaning, staining and even repairing breakage. Traditional wooden fences are prone to weather damage, and therefore may cost money to hire someone to fix them when they are beyond DIY-repair.

Expensive

If you are installing a traditional fence, it can be very expensive. The price depends on the materials used, the height, length and style of the fence. If you are looking to fence a large garden with a premium design, then expect to pay a premium price!

How much does traditional fencing cost?

Fences start from around £60 per panel, with the average being about £100 per panel. Most of the cost comes from the manual labour, because usually, two professionals will need to install the fence.

 

Pergola

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Our third option is slightly more adventurous. Many people think that a pergola is just a covered patio with some wooden panelling, but they can be so much more! Add some curtains or even bamboo blinds and a pergola can become a private outdoor getaway in the comfort of your own garden.

Pros and cons of a pergola

Pergolas are fantastic, but nothing in life is perfect. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of building a pergola in your beloved garden…

Pros of installing a pergola
Cost-effective

The wood used for pergolas (pressure-treated) can be some of the least expensive wood on the market. This makes building a pergola particularly cost-effective.

Easy to DIY

Pergola’s aren’t too complicated to build yourself, but if you aren’t so good with your hands, maybe leave it up to a pro!

Attractive

Pergolas can be extremely attractive garden features, whilst also being practical private spaces for spending time with family and friends outdoors.

Indoor-outdoor

Adding features such as curtains and blinds to your pergola can give your garden a very indoor-outdoor vibe – DIY curtains made of colourful fabrics can create a tropical feel, even when it’s gloomy outside!

Add value to your property

As with the options aforementioned, and most garden features, a pergola can certainly add value to your property if you are looking to sell!

Image courtesy of ShadeFX

Cons of installing a pergola
Maintenance

As with many of our garden privacy solutions, pergolas which are made of wood will require a fair amount of maintenance. For example, they need to be treated, stained, cleaned and sometimes repainted. Mildew and mould can destroy the wood over time, so killing the mould, at first sight, is very important. Regularly inspecting your pergola is imperative.

Not liked by all

Although many people find pergolas attractive, and as mentioned before they can add value to your property, that doesn’t mean that every buyer will like the feature. Some garden features can put buyers off, especially something as visible and bold as a pergola.

Insects

As pergolas are made of wood, they can attract insects who like to feed off and live inside the panels. If this is a problem, it’s important to hire a professional to take care of the matter, and exterminate the unwanted visitors!

How much a pergola cost?

A pergola can cost as little as £400, and as much as over £5,000. With the addition of weather-proof curtains and manual labour, the price can only increase.

Other options to consider

Taller plants

Adding tall plants around the perimeter of your garden can add some natural beauty, as well as privacy to your space.

Raised garden beds

Raised garden beds may not be the same as a wooden fence, but they do add an element of privacy and greenery, which is better than nothing!

A hedge

A staple, natural barrier between you and your neighbours – a hedge is sure to do the job.

Bamboo

Bamboo grows extremely quickly, and can be a very effective method of keeping wondering eyes away from your land. You don’t have to buy them as seedlings, as you can now purchase bamboo shoots that are already 3-10 metres tall.

So, which is the best investment?

If you live in a rural area, and do not have traditional garden fencing already, we would strongly encourage you to invest in some. This addition of privacy and security is something that the majority of buyers crave, even in the idyllic country.

If you live in a more urban environment, and have a fence already, we would suggest you consider looking into not only improving that fence by painting and regular maintenance, but also consider looking into adding some creeper plants, bushes and maybe even a hedge.

A properly maintained and landscaped fence with some shrubbery is probably the most secure investment for most homes; however, it very much depends on what suits the style and location of your property.

Lattice screen, fence or pergola? Let us know your favourite option in the comments below.

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