12 Ways To Create a Private Backyard Retreat

Updated: Jan. 16, 2024

A round up of some our favorite options for creating the perfect private backyard retreat.

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living wall
Family Handyman

Build a Living Wall with Movable Planters

If you have a ground-level deck or patio and prefer more privacy, consider building a living wall. It can shield you from the neighbors, surround you with flowers and provide fresh herbs just steps from your kitchen or grill.

The planter boxes are easy to build, and a drip irrigation system provides automatic watering all summer long — no worries about missing a day of watering, or losing all your plants when you go on vacation. Here’s how to build this living wall project.

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Privacy Arbor Solid Wood Pergola

Extend your outdoor living space with the Seneca Privacy Arbor 6 Ft. W x 4 Ft. D Solid Wood Pergola by Yardistry and create a centerpiece for your space. With a solid base, this product is perfect for creating an elegant sitting nook, screening an unwanted view, or adding color and detail to any outdoor space.

This privacy arbor pergola comes with illustrated step-by-step instructions that will ensure quick and easy assembly.

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sunlight through tree sunny day
Artsiom Malashenko/Getty Images

Plant a Tree

If you want more privacy and shade in your outdoor space, why not plant a tree? The benefits are infinite. Trees are mostly low-maintenance additions that help seclude you from nosy neighbors. They also create a green landscape, shield your property from wind and noise, create shade and offer beautiful scenery. Make sure your new tree gets off to a good start with these tree planting tips. You can also add putting greens to your backyard and make it look fabulous!

If you want to build something exciting in your backyard, you can add a backyard basketball court to it!

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Decorative Privacy Screen

Privacy has never looked so good. Transform your backyard or deck with this outdoor partition decorative screen.

Inspired by the traditional geometric patterns from around the world, it is modern yet versatile. Made from 1-1/2 mm laser cut galvanized steel, this lightweight, high-quality screen is designed to resist corrosion through all seasons. A robust and scratch-resistant powder coat ensures it will stand the test of time in commercial and residential settings. It comes with all necessary assembly hardware for quick-and-easy setup.

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Patio Privacy Screen
Family Handyman

Construct a Patio Privacy Screen

There’s a time and place to fraternize with the neighbors, and that time isn’t necessarily when you’re trying to kick back and enjoy a little quiet time on the patio. Wondering if your neighbors can have security cameras towards your house? Find out here.

We built airy and attractive outdoor privacy screens that serve as the perfect solution to achieving a little outdoor privacy for homes a bit too close to the neighbors. Plus, its unique look will enhance any yard.

While it may look like a big project to tackle, most of the work involves cutting boards to length and screwing them together. It measures 12 ft. long and 7 ft. tall at its highest point, but it’s easy to adapt it to your yard. All the steps you need to construct this handsome outdoor privacy screen are here.

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Vinyl Privacy Screen

Define your outdoor living space with this Wicker Screen Enclosure. This privacy screen features four panels and five posts that can be arranged in multiple ways to customize your outdoor areas. It can be used to conceal large items such as air conditioners, garbage and recycling cans and more.

The durable resin construction and steel posts with a powder-coated finish are weather, water and UV-resistant. It also offers easy maintenance — simply wipe clean with a damp cloth. This outdoor divider is easy to assemble with minimal tools.

The decorative wicker pattern and contemporary design match a variety of patio and garden decor styles and make it an attractive addition to backyard spaces.

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diy privacy deck
Family Handyman

DIY Deck Privacy Fence

If you enjoy spending time on your deck but the neighborhood pest seems to pop over every time you step outside, this privacy fence project is for you. Convert a deck railing into a handsome privacy screen to block nosy neighbors, unsightly views, wind and noise. It’s easy to build and will fit most decks. And it’ll make your deck a more comfortable, welcoming place. We’ll show you how to do it.

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Outdoor Roller Shade

This Coolaroo Outdoor Roller Shade combines knitted fabric with a crank handle. The heat-treated fabric blocks 95 percent of UV rays while reducing heat and glare in a range of patio, window and outdoor applications.

This durable fabric also resists tearing, warping, cracking and chipping, and the design holds up against tarnish, stain, fade and rust. Its antimicrobial properties kill microorganisms, making the shade mildew and odor resistant.

This Coolaroo Shade requires simple and minimal assembly and installation. The aluminum head rail and bottom rail will prevent sagging and bending. Check out these 10 front porch ideas that you’ll love.

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DIY low mainenace water feature
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DIY a Low Maintenance Water Feature

If you prefer tranquility with your privacy, create this water feature that can be assembled in a day. It’s designed so the water flows from a stone into a gravel-filled reservoir below, then circulates back up through the rock with the help of a pump.

Best of all, because it doesn’t require a collection pond, this fountain requires scant maintenance. Be sure to place it out of the sun to reduce algae growth and keep the water fresher. Here’s everything you need to know to build this fountain.

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Grow With This Cedar Vertical Garden

This backyard privacy idea is practical and beautiful if you like to garden. With the Yard Craft two-sided vertical garden you can grow your vegetables and herbs up and down instead of spread out. This vertical planter has two growing sides, one to be shaded for those plants that thrive with little to no sunlight. This easy-to-assemble planter is ideal for any gardener who likes more privacy in their space.

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outside view of porch
Family Handyman

Install a Screened Porch

Expand your home with a screened porch, perfect for hot summer days where you want a breeze and privacy without the bugs. It’s a multi-day project, but you’ll get many seasons of use out of this DIY addition.

Built with standard dimensional lumber available at home centers, we designed this project without heavy beams or complicated joints. Straightforward construction plans make this ideal for someone who is comfortable building decks or sheds.

Don’t be intimidated by the scope of the task; we’ve broken down all the steps and tips you need to know to build this screened porch here.

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Fence Privacy Screen

If you already have a chain link fence in your yard but want more separation from your nosy neighbors, consider installing a fence privacy screen. These provide durability, a high privacy rating and good air circulation. This fence privacy screen is knitted with 100 percent high quality polyethylene material. It comes 90 percent UV resistant and has three buckles on every corner to reinforce the stretch. Also, learn how to make a DIY picnic table for your backyard.

Next: Find out about transformer box in the yard.

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