In the Greater Vancouver Area, houses and lots come at a premium. This not only means in terms of money but also in terms of space. Most of us don’t have the luxury of being able to afford homes in the Lower Mainland that allow for sprawling backyards and great privacy. We can see our neighbours, and our neighbours can see us. So if you don’t have large hundred-year-old trees creating a natural barrier, what can you do to feel like there’s a little more privacy in your backyard? Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve collected over the years that can help resolve a few concerns.
- You can purchase some lattice panels from your big box DIY store and frame them with some wood boards. Drill eyescrews into the top of the frames and to the ceiling of your porch roof. You can use chains or another sturdy material to connect the two. And voilà, added privacy. Remember a few tips however, you’ll want to make sure that the material you use to connect the framed lattice panels and the porch ceiling is strong enough to support the weight. The last thing you want is to have them fall while you’re having company over for mojitos on a Sunday afternoon.
- Curtains work on the outside of your home, just as well as on the inside. Of course, we do live in Vancouver, where it’s rainy quite a bit of the time. So be careful to use either a system whereby you can remove the curtains quite readily (at the first sign of raindrops) or that will withstand the constant rain. Another helpful tip is to consider also using mesh bug screens which will not only act as added privacy, but also you can close up the curtains at dusk when the mosquitoes like to come out. And if you really don’t want to let the sun through and truly want 100% privacy, consider canvas curtains which you can get in a variety of colours to add a little pizzazz to the porch.
- As with most cities, there is a height restriction to fences that residents of Vancouver must adhere to. So with a little creativity, you can actually work around that. By installing a free-standing structure inside your backyard, you will have the added privacy. The downside, however, is that it takes up a little extra space from your yard itself, so be sure you’re ok with sacrificing a few feet. Consider using lattice again and growing ivy around it to make it seem more like part of the backyard then a make-shift fence.