Designing a privacy fence

A good privacy fence can help every homeowner create his own space where he can eat and relax outdoors without someone spying on him. The new fence will need a solid framework to resist to any type of weather and wind. When you make the plan for the fence, it’s important to think about its look from the side facing the neighbors.


  1. To get ideas about your fence, you may need to study some design books, outdoor living magazines and remodeling magazines. Make some different sketches for fences that are needed in the backyard, between driveways and a house and road. On your design you may put some fence boards that have a height of at least 6 feet.
  2. Make more than one drawing to see which one fits best with your house design. Try to sketch some fence boards having two angled cuts at the top so that people will not intend to come over the fence. Try on your design to see which material is the best one using a solid plank fence, a bamboo-covered fence or a wood-frame fence.
  3. Make some measurements for the linear footage of the yard which require a privacy fence. Check at the city officials if you need a permit for your fence. Try to find also if the fence has to be set back from the property line or it is ok to build right on it. You may need to make a survey in order to define the property line.
  4. The fence posts will need to have a distance of 6 to 8 feet between them and installed in concrete. Some metal post sleeves will be necessary to cover the bottom part of the post fitting into the ground. Under the sleeves, some tar will need to be added so that the posts will not rot because of moisture.
  5. The materials that you purchase will need to last. Some very good choices will be the pressure-treated wood or salt-treated wood for fence framing. Spend as much money as it needs for high-quality framing to be sure you won’t have any problems in the future. After finishing the installation of the fence, apply some paint or stain to preserve the fence materials. If you intend to install also a gate, buy some heavy-duty hinges because you will need them.


  • For more visual interest, you need to use some corrugated tin sheets. For the wood framing you should use a hunter green and for the metal sheeting a lighter green.
  • Use old sheets of plywood to create screening on framework. You have to cut the plywood in sections with a width of 12 inches and a height of 72 inches. In the end, add some stain or paint over the plywood to make it look new.
  • Don’t install the privacy fence until you consult your neighbor. Try to invite it to cover his part of the fence with boards that he likes or privacy material.
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