How to block the neighbours’ view of your backyard

Your backyard is a place to entertain guests, enjoy family barbecues, and a place for you to relax and unwind.

Seeing the neighbours every time you step outside is a bit of a buzz-kill. It can decrease your enjoyment of the house and your backyard, and in some cases lead to conflict.

Here are 11 tips on how to block out the neighbour’s view of your backyard and improve your privacy.

Grow a tall hedge

This is the most obvious solution and one that can really do an effective job of blocking the view of your neighbours, especially if it’s dense enough to create a strong visual barrier.

If you can something dense and fast-growing, one option is to grow bamboo near the fence line. Bamboo will quickly grow up to a few metres tall so this is a good option for anyone who wants results fast!

Build a taller fence

If privacy is what you’re after, building a fence could be the answer.

Before you start construction, make sure you know where exactly your property ends and your neighbours’ begins—you don’t want to accidentally build a structure on someone else’s land.

A fence of at least 6 feet high should block views into your backyard from most angles.

You’ve got a few options:

  • Wood fence
  • Metal fence
  • Brick fence
  • Concrete block walls
  • Modular fencing
  • PVC fencing

Don’t forget about permits and other local rules when planning a fence and be sure to consult with your neighbour during the planning phase.

Build an enclosed patio

Building a patio is a very different way to block your neighbour’s view. It will not only block the view but will also create another place for you to relax. It can be as small or as big as you want.

You can design the patio around something that is interesting like an existing tree or a large rock.

You could also plant vines or climbing plants to grow over your patio creating more privacy and shade during the summer months.

Outdoor curtains

Outdoor curtains are fantastic for privacy and for adding shade to your backyard.

They’re typically hung from an awning or pergola, although you can get more creative with the placement if you need to block out light or peering eyes coming in at weird angles.

There are lots of different kinds of outdoor curtains to choose from, including curtains made from canvas, plastic, or even hangings made from brightly coloured fabric.

Plant in layers

If you are looking for a way to block out your neighbours’ view of your backyard, you can try planting trees and shrubs in layers.

For example, plant one layer of tall trees at the back of your yard, then put shorter shrubs in front of them. You can also add some vines that grow next to the shrubs or even a tall hedge.

This creates a feeling of depth and makes your neighbours feel further away. It also helps to block out noise.

If you have enough space, consider planting dense and tall grasses in between the shrubs and trees.

Grow trees or shrubs

Not only are trees or shrubs one of the most effective ways to achieve your privacy goal, but they are versatile because they grow tall and can be pruned to the desired height.

Moreover, trees and shrubs are cheaper to install and can actually be easier to maintain than fences.

If you choose this option, make sure the trees or shrubs are placed strategically so that they block out the neighbour’s view from their ground-floor windows and/or second-floor windows and balconies.

Depending on how tall you prefer your privacy barrier to be, put them in a location where there is enough space for them to grow unimpeded by obstacles like utility lines.

Trees or shrubs can provide shade for your home in addition to blocking out your neighbour’s view of it, making it more energy-efficient as well as more private.

Build a pergola

Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of a pergola. Your neighbours have no more peepholes into your backyard!

Plus, the crafty DIYer in you will be happy to know that pergolas are pretty easy to construct.

Outdoor privacy screens

If you have a backyard that is large enough, you can use an outdoor privacy screen.

This will not only block the neighbours’ view but also decorate your surroundings.

Lattice is one of the best options for an outdoor privacy screen.

Basically, the lattice consists of crossed-sectioned strips of wood or other material that form a criss-cross pattern.

It can be used in different ways to create an outdoor privacy screen around your property.

The advantage of using lattices as a privacy screen is that it allows light and air to pass through it thus providing you with access to sunlight and fresh air.

Some people use them as trellises for vines that grow on them and thus provide you with complete privacy.

Grow a living wall

A living wall is a timeless, natural way to create a focal point in your yard. It requires work, but it’s worth it!

By alternating different plants, you can make your living wall multi-coloured and dynamic.

Depending on how much space you have available, different types of plant growths can be used for your living wall:

  • vines along trellises or walls (outdoor or indoor),
  • herbs planted in vertical containers along a patio, or
  • rows of potted plants lined up atop ledges such as window sills or even hung from hooks along outdoor gazebos are all viable options.

Live mosses like those that cover trees in forests may also help add some green foliage where there would otherwise be none.

A fountain to mask the noise

Fountains are a great way to block out noise and create a calming atmosphere in your yard.

You can build a fountain into a wall or make it free-standing.

With both types, you will have the ability to adjust the height of the water flow, the direction of the water flow and thus the volume it produces.

The size of your fountain will depend on your budget and preference. You can purchase them online or at select home improvement stores.

While they are often expensive, this is an option that adds value to your property while providing peace and tranquillity in your backyard year-round.

Indoor privacy options:

  • Install a privacy window film. Privacy window films are made of frosted vinyl and are easy to install. Window films can be cut to any shape so they can be used on windows of any size, including skylights and arched windows.
  • Install curtains. Curtains add colour, privacy and softness to a room.
  • Install blinds or shutters. Inside mount blinds or shutters give you the most privacy because intruders cannot see through slats or louvres.
  • Outside mount blinds are another option.
  • Install awnings over windows facing neighbours’ houses in order to provide shade and block out unwanted views.