Want to Turn Your Backyard Into a Retreat?

In the two decades I have spent working as a fence and deck consultant, I continue to enjoy helping customers transform their lives by transforming their personal space. While they likely knew from the first phone call that making changes to their home and yard would result in increased personal satisfaction, I know from long experience that it can be hard to truly grasp how much of a change even simple tweaks can bring about until they are finally experienced firsthand.

One of my favorite projects is to help a client create more peace and natural beauty right in their own backyard. While often this may seem like a major undertaking to them when they first contact me, they are often amazed by how the simplest of additions or reconfigurations can accomplish their goals.

Why a Privacy Fence?

One simple addition that can immediately influence the yard as a whole is a privacy fence. However, it is important to understand what does and doesn’t constitute as a privacy fence. Not all fencing is designed to offer privacy as a key benefit. Sometimes people will choose a fence primarily because they like the visual effect, rather than the functional benefits. Luckily, there are also ways to have both elements — beauty and functionality— in a fence. There are all kinds of attractive fencing materials to choose from, including traditional white picket fence, wrought iron fence and gate, steel fencing, simulated stone fencing, traditional wooden fencing, and vinyl fencing.

The ability of a fence to provide both aesthetic appeal and functional value, however, can take some planning to make sure the client receives every benefit they want from their new fence. What I like to do with clients, before we start talking about anything else, is to ask them what their goals are for their new fence. A person who installs a fence to frame the sight of their award-winning roses in the front yard has a different goal than a person who installs a fence because they want to be able to spend time in their backyard without the neighbors watching. In the same way, the fence that is chosen to meet these objectives may look different.

What Makes the Best Kinds of Privacy Fences?

The best fences for offering increased privacy are contiguous fences, where there are no gaps between the fence posts and high fences. Therefore, people cannot see over, under or between it into a client’s yard, and the client cannot see over, under or between it into their neighbor’s yard as well. Because a privacy fence is installed to offer a private backyard space for a long period of time, it is important to discuss the type of fencing material chosen.

I recommend a heavy-duty vinyl fence material, because it is durable, remains attractive regardless of exposure to the elements, is easy to maintain and can withstand even the roughest contact from pets and children. For these reasons and others, heavy-duty vinyl fencing, such as that found at A Vinyl Fence & Deck, is becoming the fencing material of choice for clients who want both an aesthetically attractive and functionally useful privacy fence. Best of all, when the life and durability of the fencing material is factored in, a heavy-duty vinyl fence often works out to be the most affordable and cost-effective choice.

What Other Features Can I Add To Make My Backyard the Best?

Whenever a client approaches me with a project to turn a backyard space into a more beautiful, private and relaxing area, the fencing is usually where I begin. Once the privacy fencing plan is in place, it’s then time to turn to other aspects that can bring about that sense of peace, calm and restoration a well-designed backyard offers. I might suggest a water feature, such as a fountain or small koi pond, a fire pit to enjoy on chilly nights, installation of ceiling fans over a deck area to provide relief when the weather warms, fragrant blooming greenery and subtle outside lighting that can soothe the senses and add visual beauty. Investing in comfortable deck furniture, an outdoor grill for parties and gatherings and even a Jacuzzi can also contribute to a retreat-like atmosphere in a backyard space.

Ultimately, with any project that involves giving a client a personal space to retreat to, the success of the project itself will begin and end with the effectiveness of the privacy fence. As I always tell my clients, “Once we get this detail right, the rest will fall into place!”