How to Design the Perfect Privacy Fence

Do you need more privacy in your yard? Installing a privacy fence is the usual way of guarding a yard against unwanted attention. Not all fences are created equal when it comes to cutting off the gaze of people on the street or next door.

privacy fence

A lattice-topped cedar fence provides privacy and style.

A privacy fence isn’t necessarily the tallest, most solid structure. It can be a wood fence, a vinyl fence or a chain link fence. Getting a fence that makes your yard feel like a retreat rather than a stockade takes finesse.

Here’s how to design the perfect privacy fence.

Take Care of Red Tape

Start your plans by researching building codes. Check with your city’s building department. Find out if you need a permit. If you live in a subdivision, follow the rules of the homeowner’s association. You don’t want to build a fence only to later discover you’ve run afoul of the powers-that-be.

Now that the caveats are out of the way, it’s time to start designing.

How High Should A Privacy Fence Be?

There’s a method for finding the perfect height for privacy. You’ll need at least two people and a large piece of cardboard for this exercise. The cardboard should be about 1 square yard.

One person will sit and stand in various places in the yard. The second person will walk the line where the fence will eventually stand. As the second person walks, he’ll hold the cardboard at different heights. The first person will assess the level of privacy the cardboard affords at various heights.

Nail Down Property Stakes

Imagine building a fence on the wrong side of the property line. Even if you’re off by only an inch, you might end up having to tear down the fence. There’s a way to avoid this nightmare scenario: know your property lines.

Your property’s plat map is available from the county surveyor’s office. The map will help you find the stakes marking the corners of your property. There should be a stake at each place the property line changes direction. If the stakes aren’t visible, you may need to have the property surveyed. You can also try finding the stakes with a metal detector.

Don’t Wall Yourself In

A fence can provide privacy without making you feel like you’re locked inside a hermitage. Consider the benefits of a fence of varying heights. A fence can be shorter where privacy isn’t a concern and tall only where it needs to be.

A chain link fence might contain privacy slats in some areas but not in others. A privacy fence needn’t even form a closed circuit. It can simply be a panel to screen key areas of the yard.

Choose an Experienced Portland Fencing Company

Contact Pacific Fence & Wire to learn about the many affordable options for a privacy fence. We’ll design and build a great looking fence or help you get the right materials to do it yourself.

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