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What are the Different Types of Privacy Fence Designs?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

By nature, privacy fence designs must be closed, with no gaps between upright slats or posts,to prevent people from looking into a yard or enclosure. This tight design is what grants privacy to a yard or enclosure, but this is not to say that privacy fence designs need to be large, imposing, and ugly structures that are intimidating and unwelcoming. Privacy fence designs will vary significantly according to the materials used for construction of the fence, and each material will grant a different aesthetic to a yard. The most popular choices for privacy fencing are wood, vinyl, and brick.

Perhaps one of the most common fence designs is a tall wooden fence with a trellis at its top. The slats of the fence are placed flush with each other, and the fence is usually just taller than an average adult male. The trellis extends higher than that, but also allows sunlight to pass through and adds a visually appealing accent to any privacy fence designs that includes it. The wood used for such a fence should be either pressure treated or naturally resistant to water damage such as rot, splitting, molding, and so on. Pressure treated lumber will resist such damage, but it often takes on a green hue, so the fence may need to be painted. Cedar is a good choice for fencing material because it is both naturally beautiful and naturally resistant to water damage.

A privavy fence might use soundproofing materials.
A privavy fence might use soundproofing materials.

Brick fences are one of the most attractive privacy fence designs, but they are also the most expensive. Brick must be lain by someone with practical knowledge and experience in brick laying, and doing this process incorrectly can lead to a weak, unappealing fence. Brick is a good choice for soundproofing as well, so privacy fencing in this case may also work best bordering busy streets or loud industrial businesses. Concrete panels can also be purchased to construct privacy fencing that is effective as a sound barrier as well. These panels tend to be less expensive but also difficult to install.

Privacy fences don't need to be large, imposing and ugly.
Privacy fences don't need to be large, imposing and ugly.

Some privacy fence designs are not true fences at all, but instead are shrubs or trees planted strategically around the perimeter of a yard or open space. The plants provide a natural and aesthetically pleasing barrier between a yard and potential onlookers, and trees and shrubs will almost certainly outlive the lifespan of a human-built fence. Evergreen trees are a good choice for such a fence, since they will provide shade and privacy all year round, unlike deciduous trees that will lose their leaves in the winter.

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Discussion Comments


@talentryto- Since an ideal privacy fence design for people with dogs has to be tall, it can be difficult to find a style that is also attractive. That is why I think that wooden fencing with pretty slats are your best option for protecting your dogs and keeping your property looking its best.

There are numerous wooden fence styles available that you can check out at your favorite home improvement or lumber supply store. In my opinion, a pretty design will make up for the fact that this type of fence has to be tall.


@talentryto- After tying several different types of fencing materials, I finally had a 6-foot tall vinyl privacy fence installed. I was hesitant because I was afraid it would look unattractive, but it actually looks very nice.

The best part about my vinyl privacy fence is that it is great for my two dogs. Not only are they protected when they are spending time in the yard, but they also don't notice other animals and people in the neighborhood like they did with other types of fences. Since the slats on my fence are very close together, people outside of the fence also can't see inside of my yard. I think that you should consider this type of privacy fence for your best friends, because I think you will be very happy with it.


I have dogs, so I am looking for a privacy fence that will protect them and keep them from annoying the neighbors because they have the tendency to bark when they see people. Does anyone have experience with dogs and privacy fencing, and some good tips for choosing the best type of material to use?

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    • A privavy fence might use soundproofing materials.
      By: Silvia Crisman
      A privavy fence might use soundproofing materials.
    • Privacy fences don't need to be large, imposing and ugly.
      By: Johanna Goodyear
      Privacy fences don't need to be large, imposing and ugly.