Your deck can be the ultimate outdoor living space, but you may not feel comfortable using your deck if you feel that all your activities may be on display to the neighborhood. Fortunately, there are creative, easy, and effective ways to add an element of privacy to your deck, no matter what your design preferences or budget.
Why You Need Privacy
Your deck is just as much a part of your personal space as any room in your home – rooms where you can close doors, blinds, shades, or curtains for privacy. No matter what you may use your deck for, from simple relaxation to family parties to meditation, reading, meals, and more, privacy barriers shield the space from unwelcome or inadvertent eyes. A private deck may be more comfortable for you to relax, and may offer better shade or protection from wind or rain that could make the space less livable. Privacy barriers can also stifle noise from nearby yards or roads, and are especially valuable in areas where there may not be much room between adjacent properties.
Position Your Deck for Privacy
If you are building a new deck, you can consider different locations or positions in your yard for the greatest privacy. You could angle the deck to take advantage of natural privacy barriers in the architecture of your home or the landscaping around it, or choose to put the deck in a quieter or more remote location. This is not always possible, however, depending on how you want to access your deck, the size of the space you have to work with, and whether you have an existing deck you want to renovate.
Adding Privacy to Your Deck
There are many ways to add different levels of privacy to your deck, depending on your needs, style preferences, building skills, and overall budget. Popular and easy options include…
- Fences – A fence around your yard will automatically add privacy to your deck without making it seem claustrophobic or overly enclosed. Higher fences without gaps will provide the most privacy throughout your yard.
- Screens – Adding a privacy screen to your deck is an easy way to enhance its privacy. Screens may be around the entire deck, or just on certain sides or at certain angles where the privacy is most needed. Screens may be made from bamboo, wood pallets, louvers, lattices, and many different materials to suit different styles. Screens could be permanent additions to your deck, or may be foldable, retractable, or freestanding structures that can be moved for your changing needs.
- Green Walls – A natural green wall can be a living option to add privacy to your deck. You can choose vines, hedges, or other climbing plants to wind through a lattice or up wires to create a natural screen, and thicker plants will also dampen noises.
- Fabrics – For a softer, more relaxed look, consider fabrics for deck privacy. Shades and drapes can be opened or closed as needed, and are easy to change out or store in different seasons or when your style preferences change.
- Walls – Full or partial walls can enclose your deck for greater privacy. You might build the walls directly on the deck or just off it, or enclose just one side or corner. Walls can be made from different materials such as concrete blocks or wood, and could vary in height or density according to how much privacy you desire.
- Plants – Adding plants to your deck can instantly add more privacy to the space. Oversized planters could be filled with fast-growing grasses, small hedges, or miniature trees to create a movable green wall, or shorter planters can be augmented with hanging pots to create a tiered effect that still provides an effective privacy screen.
- Water and Fountains – A water feature can be an effective noise screen for audible privacy on your deck. You might even create a water wall or screen to do double duty as a visual screen as well, and you’ll enjoy the relaxing ambiance it provides to your outdoor living space.
- Lighting – You can control the privacy on your deck with different lighting, particularly if you use your deck more often in the evening. Lower lighting or ambient, indirect lights will still light the space without allowing clear views from the outside, and will also keep your lighting from disturbing close neighbors.
More Tips for Deck Privacy
As you consider different privacy options for your deck, bear in mind how you use your deck and how its use may change in different seasons. If, for example, you have severe winters and may not use your deck for several months, a removable privacy screen or drapes may be the best option so you can secure it in the off season to minimize wear and tear. If you use your deck year-round, however, you may want a sturdier, more permanent solution. Furthermore, consider how your deck use may change at different times of day and how seasonal shifts in sunlight and wind patterns may impact your privacy concerns.
There are many easy ways to add privacy to your deck, no matter what your needs or budget. With careful consideration of your deck’s style, use, and construction, you can improve its privacy and better enjoy your own outdoor oasis without worrying about who may see or hear.