Good neighbors are something not all of us are blessed with. If you live beside a nosy Nora, you'll want a solution to shield yourself from prying eyes. Thankfully, an outdoor privacy screen can do the trick
Whether it is a freestanding partition or an integrated fixture, a good garden screen serves as a divider between you and the rest of the world. And, besides providing privacy, these screens can also shield your favorite outdoor spaces from wind and sun.
In this article, we go over the most-popular outdoor privacy screens of 2022, discuss the strengths and shortcomings of each option, and also provide a buyer's guide to help you identify the right one for your needs. Take a look!
If you have nosy neighbors, an outdoor privacy screen can protect you from prying eyes. A good one makes you feel safe and secure so you can go about your business without any worries. But if you end up choosing the wrong one, it will be a big waste of time, money, and energy. To help, we’ve put together an in-depth buying guide so you can figure out a suitable option for your backyard.
Types of Privacy Screens
Wood is a very popular option for outdoor privacy screens. Not only is it readily available, but it can also be crafted in a variety of styles, like picket fencing, panels, palling fencing, extensions, and many more.
You can get wooden outdoor privacy screens in a variety of woods, including cedar, redwood, mahogany, and more, each with its unique properties and charms. With wood, you can also choose from a variety of colors!
Vinyl is a durable material obtained from PVC plastic, which is commonly used for flooring and weather cladding because of its affordability and easy maintenance. Plus, it is easy to install and water-resistant so it can hold its own in different weather conditions.
Like wood, vinyl is also available in a variety of texture, finish, and color options, so homeowners can choose what looks best with their home.
Steel is also a popular choice for fencing and cladding. This material is non-porous and water-resistant, thus making it an excellent choice for ensuring your privacy. Colorbond steel fences, in particular, are designed to resist corrosion, cracking, peeling, and chipping.
These outdoor privacy screens are available in a range of colors and finishes, including matte and glossy options. With them, you can erect a steel barricade around your swimming pool to ensure complete privacy or around your garden to keep away prying eyes.
Plants create the most beautiful outdoor privacy screens. They blur the line between garden and fence, providing you enough privacy without ruining the aesthetic of your home.
There is a huge variety of plants that you can use to screen your backyard — regardless of your climate and soil conditions, you can easily find a plant that thrives in your lawn. Cypress trees, Hicks Yew hedges, and boxwood are popular choices for plant fences.
Bamboo is an eco-friendly option with an undeniable aesthetic and remarkable growth rate. When compared to other fencing materials, bamboo is an attractive choice because it does not contribute to deforestation.
Additionally, it is strong, heat and water-resistant, hypoallergenic, and extremely durable. You can make a fence out of bamboo wood or even plant live bamboo shoots to shield your garden. Though, it will require regular pruning and cutting.
Outdoor curtains may seem a bit unnatural, but they are a surefire way for creating privacy. Just make sure you install them undercover so they’re protected from rain. After all, fabrics and tulle are going to become a mold fest when they get wet. In general, it's better to choose a waterproof material like polyester for long-lasting performance.
How to Choose a Good Outdoor Privacy Screen
Before purchasing a privacy screen, you should first consider where you want to install it. Are you going to install it on a sprawling patio or a city balcony? Different locations call for unique solutions. For example, aluminum screens look amazing over a spacious patio, but not on a small balcony. Outdoor curtains are a better choice in the latter situation.
Thinking about the location helps you choose the right material and style of outdoor privacy screen. If your outdoor space is exposed to the elements, choose a screen that offers some shade and protection. Plus, it should be a material that can withstand harsh climates too. But if the space is covered and somewhat protected, a pair of sturdy outdoor curtains will work just fine.
The next thing you want to consider is the amount of privacy you need. There is a wide range of garden screen options, each providing a different level of protection and shade.
If you want to keep prying eyes out, look for a solid screen with no gaps or holes. You can also look into getting a screen with angled panels to ensure privacy while adding to the aesthetic of your home.
But, if you’re after a more decorative piece that also offers some privacy, there are a lot of screens with panels and decorative components that you can look into.
Removable or fixed
Besides the material of the screen, you also have to decide whether you want a fixed screen or a removable one. If you are after a short-term fix to keep seasonal effects at bay, roller shades and balcony screens are the perfect contenders for the job. Retractable, portable, hanging, freestanding screens, however, are a good choice when you want to keep the sun out on hot summer days, but let the warmth in on colder days.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution, consider installing wood, metal, or planter-style privacy screens that keep both the elements and nosy neighbors out. Such screens are permanently fixed and become a part of your home, so you have to be careful about what you choose.
An outdoor privacy screen’s effectiveness greatly depends upon its size. You have to find a size that is just right. Too small, and it won't cover you effectively, leaving your outdoor area exposed to prying eyes. Similarly, a privacy screen that is too big will not fit and you'll have to trim or alter it in some way.
Make sure to measure the height and width of your outdoor space beforehand. This way you'll know exactly how tall you want the panels to be. Plus, you can also decide how many panels you will need to ensure complete privacy.
Creating an appealing outdoor space requires attention to detail. So, when you are choosing an outdoor privacy screen, make sure to factor in your home's exterior finish and architectural style.
Choose a fixture that compliments your home. For example, a contemporary silhouette with a similar color scheme will help you achieve a seamless, effortless appearance.
How a Privacy Screen Can Improve Your Outdoor Space
Enhances the decor
If you are too busy to grow and look after a lush garden, a few well-chosen outdoor privacy screens can help you create an attractive outdoor living area. You can simply use them to decorate your yard or pair them with your straightforward garden to create an outdoor oasis where you can relax and be protected from prying eyes.
Creates outdoor rooms
If you have a big, lush yard, garden screens can help you divide it into different areas or rooms. This means you can separate the vegetable garden from the flower patches and the dining area from the play area, all without compromising your yard’s beauty. Divider screens also help keep smaller areas organized so you can make the most of the available space.
Helps keep things hidden
Many people place their recycle and reuse bins around their outdoor spaces. While they are necessary, these bins are often an eyesore. Using an outdoor privacy screen is a smart way of enclosing them attractively. An opaque screen with fewer cutouts will obscure your bins, keeping them out of sight.
Similarly, households that rely on oil tanks and LPG gas cylinders can also use outdoor screens as a disguise, preventing such objects from overwhelming the garden.
Encloses your pool area
Swimming pools and hot tubs are popular outdoor fixtures. Since they are a luxurious relaxation feature, you'll want to enjoy them away from curious neighbors and passersby. Outdoor privacy screens can help you in this regard.
These screens ensure complete privacy so you can enjoy your personal oasis of calm. They also help separate the water area from the rest of the garden, so children and pets do not wander nearby.
Regulations for Erecting an Outdoor Privacy Screen
While you don't require planning and building permits when installing an outdoor privacy screen, there are still some regulations that you should follow. We have listed them below:
Make sure your outdoor privacy screen is no taller than 6.5 feet in height. Any taller and you will need the approval to erect it.
These screens cannot replace swimming pool barriers or other water safety fencing.
An outdoor privacy screen can only accompany a house or any other residential property.
It cannot be a part of any retaining walls.
Your gardening screen should not restrict water runoff to and from neighboring properties.
If your house is located on a corner block, your privacy screen must not obstruct the line of vision for drivers who are going around the corner.
Reviewing the Finest Outdoor Privacy Screen of 2022
Ivy is a beautiful way to provide your outdoor space with some privacy, but looking after the real thing can be tough. The DearHouse Artificial Ivy Privacy Fence Wall Screen takes all the hard work away by covering your fences with realistic ivy leaves. This outdoor privacy screen is available in a variety of sizes, so you won’t have a hard time finding the perfect one. Plus, it is easy to cut and customize according to your needs.
This outdoor privacy screen features big leaves that are very close to the real plant. While they may arrive flattened in the package, you can fluff them up easily. Installation is also effortless because the screen arrives pre-assembled — all you have to do is secure it using zip ties. Overall, we’ve chosen it as our top pick for its easy installation, low maintenance, and long-lasting performance.
If our top pick does not meet your privacy needs, this next product will surely grab your attention. The Sunnyglade Fencing Privacy Screen is made with sun-protected HDPE fabric. This fabric is incredibly weatherproof, but the weaving is breathable enough to allow air and water to pass through.
This outdoor privacy screen also features brass grommets all along the edges for effortless installation. All you have to do is use zip ties to fasten them to your fence. The best part? You can choose from a variety of colors, meaning you can easily find one that compliments your home.
The Kitchen Joy Outdoor Privacy Screen lets you escape the hustle and enjoy some much-needed privacy on your city balcony. Just like the real thing, this faux ivy fence screen is dense with 3D leaves that offer lots of coverage.
This outdoor privacy screen features a combination of stemmed and stemless leaves, giving it an almost natural appearance. The leaves all cling to the screen with a convenient clamping mechanism, so there are no loose leaves or gaps. Even better, this UV-resistant ivy wall panel is durable and long-lasting, so you won’t be replacing it any time soon.
If you are looking for a solution to hide your recycling bin, gas tank, or garbage can, our next pick has you covered. Enclo’s Vinyl Outdoor Privacy Screens are removable fixtures that you can set up to hide anything that is ruining your outdoor space’s aesthetic. They feature a premium vinyl construction that makes them durable yet extremely low maintenance. And, while this pick comes unassembled as three posts and two panels, don’t you worry — assembly is hassle-free. Plus, these outdoor privacy screens are washable and extremely low maintenance.
If you want to divide your outdoor space into separate areas, the Suncast Reversible Outdoor Screen Enclosure should be your choice. This resin and hardened steel structure is designed to look great in any outdoor setup. Meanwhile, the wood-like panels with lattice details are hinged, so you can easily arrange them the way you like. It adds a touch of style to your garden without requiring much effort, all while providing much-sought privacy. And, so it’ll be able to suit nearly any home’s decor, this outdoor privacy screen is available in two colors — white and brown.
Easy to care for
Available in white and brown
Lightweight and durable
Requires careful assembly
People Also Asked
Q: Are outdoor privacy screens worth it?
A: Yes, outdoor privacy screens are worth it. They keep your backyard or any other outdoor area protected from prying eyes, leaving you free to relax, exercise, or tend to your garden in peace.
Q: How long do outdoor privacy screens last?
A: Outdoor privacy screens can last for one to 10 years. They face the full wrath of environmental elements, so their lifespan depends upon how durable their material is and how well you take care of them.
Q: What is the best material for an outdoor privacy screen?
A: There is no one answer to this question. It depends upon your unique living conditions as well as how much you care for the screen. That said, many buyers swear by polyester screens as they are immune to various weather elements, making them excellent for both short and long-term usage.
Q: How do I stop my privacy screen from blowing over?
A: The best way to prevent your privacy screen from blowing over is to secure it with concrete blocks. Try placing a concrete jersey barrier to keep it in place, or you can invest in a few T-braces that will prevent the screen from tipping over.
Q: How do I put up a garden screen?
A: There is no general way of putting up an outdoor privacy screen. Because the market is extremely diverse, you should follow the directions that come with your outdoor privacy screen for proper installation.
The Garden Gate Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best products for a beautiful and bountiful garden and backyard. The content is created by The Garden Gate Review Team. Garden Gate’s editorial staff is not involved. Garden Gate is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.