Mandy M
Mandy M
  • Hometalker
  • Duluth, GA
Asked on Jun 9, 2012

My dilemma....Creating privacy at the back of this house without breaking the bank.

Eroque022810Jemma DeeGinsum
+44

Answered

Really love this house but it's got a serious privacy issue. It's on a corner lot and the back is wide open so anyone who drives by on either street can see EVERYTHING. Trying to figure out how to create an inviting private space on the cheap. I'm a pretty good DIYer, not afraid to tackle the project on my own.
Any ideas????
ALL the neighbors can see EVERYTHING!  It's got potential but I need some inspiration and ideas.
ALL the neighbors can see EVERYTHING! It's got potential but I need some inspiration and ideas.
47 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jun 9, 2012

    You could start with a fence....an L shape to block the two main views. 20 feet on a side is not a huge investment and would result in some protection for that patio

  • Miriam I
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Just saw this fence idea. It's creative and low-cost! http://www.hometalk.com/188794/this-is-my-new-fence

  • Diana N
    on Jun 9, 2012

    If you're willing to wait a year or so, arbor vitae plants grow fast and would give you privacy. One or 2 gallons plants don't cost much, but would do the trick.

  • Jan M
    on Jun 9, 2012

    I used Golden Bamboo and it made a great privacy fence. It is fast growing but I do suppose it depend on your location too.

  • Diana N
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Ahhh, you're here in GA. I thought of something else you might consider. If you can put up some sort of posts - maybe even metal (you know the green ones with the little hooks on them for the wire mesh), you could do a woven fence using wisteria vines - dead ones, of course...

  • Michele M
    on Jun 9, 2012

    If you are in an area that can grow bamboo some types are really aggressive and grow very rapidly and planted close would provide a fence like feel with something sustainable....just a thought. You could then add a pergola onto the upper area for cheap and have either fabric or plants grow thru it. You also have some elevation in the yard so depending on where your property line is you could do some cheap dirt build up and then I saw Jamie Durrie use corrugated metal at like 4' on it's side run between wood 2x2 mini posts which were stained....looked really rustic and created privacy for the lower area...:? Obviously you could go higher but would need more metal...

  • Kris S
    on Jun 9, 2012

    You could just use fencing at the corner away from the house or a lattice divider piece. Also they have inexpensive freestanding trellises that you could put one at each side of that farthest corner and plant some vines on them. That might cost $20-$50 depending on the trellises. Or group together trellises and windchimes to create a corner piece there. If you do the two trellises, you could put a tiki torch at the corner point to anchor them. Then you have a double duty - the tiki torch, when lit, could keep mosquitoes away as well. Tiki torches run from $3 for traditional bamboo types to $8 for wrought iron ones (here at Lowe's). Grouping several different things together can create a sort of fence, relatively inexpensively. Good luck!

  • Ilene D
    on Jun 9, 2012

    A neighbor of mine stacked large rocks as an outside boarder about 3' and filled it with dirt. Next they placed some arborvite plants. Perhaps use this along with the recommendation of bamboo. Bamboo grows rampant and may start growing in your neighbors property.

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Mandy, I think using some 2x2s and latice to make fencing panels would look great. You can attach planters to them so you could start growing vines like grapes. Do you get much wind out there could use material panels strung on wire.

  • Therese C
    on Jun 9, 2012

    I have to agree with the bamboo ideas..If it were me, and it's not so this is just a suggestion, I would plant the bamboo in long wooden planter style boxes about 12-14" deep with double folded newspapers in the bottoms. This will allow the bamboo to grow well and not take over your entire yard. Many breeds of bamboo will take over an entire yard and start on the neighbors if not controlled, but it is well worth the care it needs. It creates a natural fence that is absolutely beautiful and grows to approx. 12 feet. For budget friendly grab some old pallets (many places will give them to you free), carefully disassemble them and use the wood to build the bamboo boxes. I'm not sure about in Georgia, but here in Iowa we have a store that sell bamboo starts for 75 cents to $1.25 each. Depending on how long of boxes you need, you could keep your cost down to less than $200 for the entire project...good luck!

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 9, 2012

    if you use bambo don't plant it in ground the roots will take over ground and push up concrete plus you then can never get rid of it.

  • Melissa D
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Althea or "Rose of Sharon" shrubs do well and they will reseed themselves so you can keep planting in a row like a fence :o)

  • Melissa D
    on Jun 9, 2012

    also the Althea grows pretty fast, we have it in the back of our yard as a living fence along with other shrubs

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 9, 2012

    I live downstairs from my kids and we bought some big planting pots of different colors every other one has a vine growing with rot iron trellis', they make a great screen so we have privacy. Also I saw where someone used old doors and hooked them together for a screen area.

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Oh just thought of this have you thought of the Hay Bales stacked and then plant your garden in them. Double duty the area.

  • Jane P
    on Jun 9, 2012

    I have the exact same situation with my house. Previous owners built a small deck with a railing that is about 4.5 feet high. I just set out big pots and grow a ton of morning glories over the summer, so at least I can sit outside and not be seen. I think your best bets are plants.

    my dilemma creating privacy at the back of this house without breaking the bank, curb appeal, outdoor living
  • Sherry L
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Caroline or Confederate jasmine would fill in a simple and inexpensive fence quickly. It is thick and pretty and the Confederate smells wonderful.

  • Nancy T
    on Jun 9, 2012

    this is almost identical to mine when I moved in---we did a deep flower garden around the patio--with a path going out to the lawn on each side and a few trellises with clementis, honeysuckle and sweet peas on each one and a few shrubs around the outside--we made a "secret Patio"....we use it all the time, and even though we can hear others, we are not clearly visible.

  • Peggy M
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Leland Cypress trees. Grow up to 60ft. Would make a nice natural fence.

  • Kernisha D
    on Jun 9, 2012

    maybe some colorful fabric or a large piece of art, doesn't have to be expensive. it can be homemade. i saw someone make a fabric fece on a home decorating show a lng timeago and thought it looked great. ji just cant remember the show

  • Jeanette S
    on Jun 9, 2012

    It would not cost much to sink 4x4 posts in concrete, brace them good and then use lattice work as a screen. one on each side located a few feet away from the patio would give you room for a manageable flower garden. A nice bush planted at the edge of the bracing would keep people from stumbling over it.

  • Pam R
    on Jun 9, 2012

    I like ornamental grasses and Nandina. Nandina makes a great hedge and doesn't lose it's leaves. Also ornamental grass doesn't have to be cut back but can be in the spring and grows back fast. You could also add some panel sections around the area you want the most privacy

  • Therese C
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Here is an idea I cam up with..I draw much better with my hand than the "paint" tool...lol

    my dilemma creating privacy at the back of this house without breaking the bank, curb appeal, outdoor living, you ll get the idea of where I was going with this very inexpensive and great privacy
  • Pettigrew S
    on Jun 9, 2012

    I like the idea of several lattice panels on which you can grow some confederate jasmine. During the summer while waiting for the jasmine to cover the trellis, use a summer vine like morning glory or other annual vine. I think you would regret planting bamboo because it is hard to control and get rid of. It will grow from the yard under your house (yes, even in the dark crawl space.) A fast growing evergreen shrub for border plants around your yard or grouped in clusters of 5 is ligustrum.

  • Betty M
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Try this, if you can open it. lol I drew what I think would be helpful. Good Luck. :)

    my dilemma creating privacy at the back of this house without breaking the bank, curb appeal, outdoor living
  • Amanda H
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Some of my friends are using sheer white curtain panels to "enclose" their decks to create more privacy, and then they tie them back when they want more openess

  • Karen R
    on Jun 9, 2012

    I live in Aurora, IL and have a similar situation with needing a fence but cannot afford it. I have a single home that's backyard is backing up to townhomes that are two story. I feel that I am on stage everyday!! I wish I could do the fence drawers ideas, but I still feel it's probably too expensive. Any ideas for me?

  • Betty H
    on Jun 9, 2012

    I agree with Sherry L, we have Carolina Jasmin on our arbor, it stays green year round, the aroma of the flowers is heaven. The Bumble Bees like it also, but they haven't bothered us, they seem non aggressive.

  • Linda W
    on Jun 9, 2012

    put a hedge upor privacy fence..

  • Mandy M
    on Jun 9, 2012

    Oh my gosh! More wonderful responses than I ever imagined. Great ideas, even drawings! You all are AWESOME! Thank you.

  • Pat L
    on Jun 10, 2012

    I just planted hybrid willows around the perimeter of my back yard for the same reason. They supposed to be extremely fast growing! Praying for quick results.

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 10, 2012

    I like to plant fruit trees if any so that I can get fruit off of them as well as shade. Good luck Mandy let us know what you come up with.

  • Jan C
    on Jun 10, 2012

    I agree - maybe at the most visible area in the corner by the street, use posts and lattice (the new white plastic so no maintenance is involved in future) and do a "corner fence with maybe two sections in each direction, then plant climbing vine. Also, up by patio maybe some Butterfly bushes which grow very quickly and bush out, plus are colorful, Rose of Sharon and Loropetalum are a few of my favorite, quick growing and colorful. You can also go by a construction site close by and ask them to deliver a load of fill dirt and dump on the corner and create a raised berm, then plant your shrubs and it will raise them and help block it faster. That's just hard labor forming the dirt with shovel, but wouldn't need carpentry skills as in a fence. Also, a lot of shrubs go on sale in middle July cause the nurseries, Home Depot/Lowes don't want to water them anymore. They are a lot cheaper, but you will need to water carefully through the rest of this summer and then they'll be fine for next year!

  • Jeanette S
    on Jun 10, 2012

    CAUTION!! Both Bamboo and Nandina are considered nuisance plants. They put out runners which make more plants! DO NOT use these! To Karen R, for privacy where you are towered over by 2 story homes, put up a pergola and put curtains on the posts. Tip: For curtains, you can use canvas drop cloths easily purchased at the paint store! Use that manufactured material for no maintenance and long life! This should not cost a fortune and would not require expert skills to put up. Just make sure it is braced and anchored securely.

  • D P
    on Jun 10, 2012

    you can buy canvas drop cloths for around 15.00, if you put eyelets around the edges you could rope lash them to a frame of 2x4's with screw in eyes and make a "wall" for privacy around the deck until you grow a hedge. I prefer a live fence over a structured one. it will last a lot longer and not require painting.

  • Chris H
    on Jun 10, 2012

    trellis' with moonvines or saucer and cups to grow on, the investment into thunga green cedars that will be large in 5 years and create a room for you, if looking for something more architectural in nature then a woven fence would be something different and texturally they are inexpensive just have access to small branches and hedging. Here is an example in the lower lefthand corner on this page http://www.ben-law.co.uk/products.html

  • Linda S
    on Jun 10, 2012

    leyland cyprus grow really quick make a row of them buy 2 footers 3 years they'll be up over your head

  • P R
    on Jun 10, 2012

    i bought 2 footers 3 years ago and now they are about 5 ft wide and10 to 12 ft tall.

  • Eli A
    on Jun 10, 2012

    Bamboo? There are lots of non invasive kinds. It really is easy to keep under control if you have the invasive. All Bamboo is is grass. You just have to step on the culms when they sprout twice a year. They're good to eat too (think bamboo shoots). Not sure where in GA Duluth is, but there's a terrific place to get Bamboo in Anderson, SC. They have some very rare species.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 10, 2012

    I live in an HOA and my neighbor had the same privacy issue with the home behind his house. He planted a beautiful bamboo area that grew quite fast & hasn't spread to other areas of his yard. It solved the privacy issue rather quickly.

  • Connie Raven
    on Jun 11, 2012

    What about a living hedge?? Use fast growing plants or shrubs.

  • Clay B
    on Jun 11, 2012

    Check out http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/ThujaGiant.htm, the Giant Green Thuja, I got a few. Grows tall but narrow, and will grow together. They grow fast, so get the cheaper small ones. Best part, no trimming needed.

  • Alethea S
    on Jun 11, 2012

    If you choose not to have all greenery around your outdoor space, you might consider sinking some posts (not too expensive) and then stapling on some willow fencing or some inexpensive bamboo blinds. You could plant some shrubs, roses, or as Clay suggested, Giant Green Thuja, on the other side to dress it up some.

  • Kandee S
    on Jun 11, 2012

    My hubby drilled a hole in a rock, we then put plastic tub in it and connected it to water pump, this rock sits in a big planter and we have a water feature. I then took more planters and added herbs and flowers we now have private corner in our busy yard. I just like plants that produce food of some kind. Now if you have wild animals, bulbs planted they don't like them. Rosemary is beautiful, bug repellent and smells great. Trees are leaves and messes that way. I still like the clear wire and hang home made drapes off it.

  • Ginsum
    on May 10, 2016

    We had a similar problem but from an elevated deck down into neighbors patio . . . We put in an arbor/pergola, top 2 feet wide length was 16 feet long and supported by three posts, and planted kiwi vine (we might as well eat from it right?) we put only one in (self fertilizing) and in the area that we were waiting for the vine to fill in I hung string and planted a load of scarlet runner beans and they filled up the space till the vine did the trick, pretty and you can eat them too?

  • Jemma Dee
    on May 10, 2016

    You might want to take a two part approach to this challenge (immediate privacy and future privacy). As a temporary solution you can create planters filled with a fast growing plant (horsetail grass, etc.) that surround your patio for immediate privacy. For future privacy, Google "landscaping for privacy" and see what appeals to you. Create a plan that you can implement over time that encompasses your whole yard. You may also want to consult a landscaper and get a plan that you can plant yourself over time.

  • Eroque022810
    on Sep 30, 2016

    You can add trellis within large barrel shaped planters so you won't need permits to dig and place fence then plant clematis or any vine you like even some veggies grow up like zucchini or tomatoes. I get it the entire back of our yard is open but not on corner since it's my neighbors that can see in it doesn't bother me as much but I do want a border so I plan on a shade garden to not close them out nut to define my space. Good luck.

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