Privacy On A Budget: Three Low-Cost Privacy Fencing Options

It's nice to have some privacy in your own yard, but with cedar fencing costing as much as $8 a plank, constructing a solid wood privacy fence can really hurt your wallet. If you're on a tight budget, you'll need to look into cheaper ways to enclose and isolate your property. Here are a few ideas:

Chain Link Fencing With Slats

Chain link fencing is known for being one of the most affordable types of fencing. Of course, it does not make the best privacy fence on its own since you can see right through it -- but a product known as privacy slats can fix that. Privacy slats are plastic strips that you can slide through the chain links. Once they are in place, all of the spaces will be filled, and no one will be able to see through the fence.

If you're on a very limited budget, simple steel fencing will do the trick, but it does not have the longest life expectancy. If you can afford to invest a little more in a vinyl-coated chain link fence, you won't have to replace it as soon. You can save cash by purchasing the privacy slats yourself (at a home improvement store) and installing them on your own once professionals have put up your fence. It's very easy to slide the slats into the fence -- they typically come with instructions.

Hops or Ivy on a Trellis

If you live in an area with a long growing season, then consider using plants to create a privacy barrier around your property. Two good choices are hops and ivy. Both of these plants climb up a trellis easily, have dense foliage for complete privacy, and require little care.

For either plant, you will have to start with a simple trellis fence. This can be made from cheap, untreated lumber or even wires strung between fence posts.

If you have a sunny yard, hops are the better choice, since they thrive in full sunlight. They prefer loose and porous soil, so you will want to work the soil at the base of your trellis before planting them. Hops should be planted about 5 feet apart; they will fill in quickly, blocking the view into your yard.

Ivy, the most common variety of which is traditional English ivy, will thrive in a shady yard. Like hops, you should plant it at the base of a trellis and let it grow up. Plants should be placed about 12 inches apart. A local landscaper may be able to help you plant and care for your ivy or hops so that you can maintain a solid privacy fence.

Portable Fencing

Consider whether you really need your entire yard to be enclosed in order to make it private. Perhaps just placing a fence along one side of the yard will be enough to guard against stares from a certain neighbor. Should this be the case, a simple and affordable solution is to purchase several sections of portable privacy fencing.

Generally, sections of portable fencing connect via hinges. When you want to put the fence up, you simply unfold them. If you ever want to take down or move the fence, you can easily fold it up and do so. (You'll want to take down the fence if there is heavy snow or high winds.)

Another up side to this fencing option is that you do not have to dig any post holes. You don't have to pay a fencing contractor to put it in place, either. Just buy it at a local home improvement store, bring it home, and set it up according to the instructions.

You don't have to spend a fortune to keep neighbors from seeing into your yard! Choose one of the fencing options above, and your yard will feel more isolated -- but not at the expense of an empty wallet.