06 Mar 2022

Backyard Privacy on a Budget

Backyards can be a great place to hang out and relax, but sometimes they have problems. Particularly if you live in an urban area, you might find that your backyard is a little too open to nosy neighbors or prying passers-by. 

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Instead of setting up an expensive and complicated system of fences to keep your backyard safe from prying eyes, you might want to consider trying a more affordable DIY approach to backyard privacy and safety. We have put together a list of ideas you could try to protect your backyard from the eyes of others. Below, you will find 7 great ideas, all of which can be completed in a single weekend without breaking the bank or requiring extra manpower.

Extra Large Planters

Tall plants are a great way to block views in style, but they often just are not big enough. If you buy large planters, you can fit enough plants into them to make a dense, vision-obscuring wall of foliage. Buy several large planters and line them up in a neat row wherever you want to block the view of your yard. Then, simply fill them with tall plants, such as decorative grasses or tall flowers. Essentially, you are making a hedge to block the view, but cheaper than a normal traditional hedge made from bushes or shrubs would be. Overall, you are looking at a cost of around $20 per planter, $5-10 per bag of soil, plus whatever the cost of your chosen plants is. Much less than a hedge, and much quicker, too!

Planting Trees

If you have got more space and a bit more flexibility in your budget, then trees and bushes can make an amazing privacy fence. They can take a while to grow, so you will need patience, but they do not have to completely break the bank. Fast-growing trees can reach the ideal height in only a couple of years, and they are not difficult to maintain at all. The cost of this option can vary significantly, ranging from $20 per tree for certain varieties to $45 per tree for other types of trees. It is not one of the cheaper options on this list, but it is a good option for larger gardens and more flexible budgets.

Living Wall

A living wall is nowhere near as intimidating as the name makes it sound! This great option can block the visibility of your yard significantly while also increasing your available garden space through vertical planting, making it ideal for smaller spaces. All you need to get started is a lattice structure or frame, some flower boxes, and some plants. The frame and boxes can easily be made from pallets or scrap wood, and the plants can be whatever you like. Simply hang the boxes from the frame at varying heights, fill them with soil, and add whatever plants you like. A combination of vertical plants and trailing plants is recommended to fill the gaps between planters as effectively as possible. The costs of this method vary hugely, but it is one of the more affordable options available.

Outdoor Patio Curtains

Curtains block views well for indoor spaces, so why not use them for an outdoor space too? All you need to do for a stylish privacy option is hang some durable outdoor curtains from a wire, rope, or rods around your outdoor seating area or patio. Wooden fixtures, trees, or railings can be great anchor points to hang curtains from, and it is easy to add more posts if needed. In general, this will cost around $20-50 per set of curtains, plus the cost of whatever hanging option you choose to use. Given the size of most sets of outdoor curtains, this is a very cost-effective way to protect a larger area.

Retractable Backyard Screens

This option might not be DIY, but it is certainly one of the quickest possible options for obscuring the vision of any passers-by. Backyard dividers can be easily bought from any home improvement store or retail website, and they can be set up in moments. Just anchor them to some sort of sturdy flooring, and you will be able to slide them back and forth whenever you want. This is one of the more expensive options, coming in at $100-300 for most screens, but what you are paying for here is the amazing convenience and speed of setup.

DIY Privacy Screens

If you do not want to shell out for the cost of a ready-made privacy screen for your backyard, you can make your own out of a few old doors or sheets of wood, plus some fasteners and fresh paint to help them look smart. Simply set up a line of doors, fastened together using hinges, and anchor them firmly somewhere in your yard. Depending on what you have lying around to upcycle, this could be an extremely inexpensive option!

Lattice Fences

Lattice fences are a much easier DIY project than you might expect. All you will need is some lattice and some fenceposts, as well as a few nails to fix it all together. You can easily paint latticework to match any other wooden accents in your yard, and it is much faster and easier to put up than a full fence. It is also cheap, coming in at only around $15-20 per lattice panel and $15-25 per fence post!


Privacy screens for your backyard do not have to break the bank. All the options listed above are great starting points, and you can easily combine them if you want something a bit more protective. Why not plant tall flowers in front of a lattice fence, for example? With a bit of DIY effort, you can easily shield your backyard from prying eyes.