16 Cheap Ways to Block Neighbors View for Total Backyard Privacy

If you’re looking for cheap ways to block neighbors view of your backyard, the first thing you should do is determine just how much of an area needs to be blocked.

Just because the neighbors on each side of you can see part of your yard doesn’t always mean you need to fence in an entire property line.

In fact, I’d vote against it if at all possible. You want to keep prying eyes from intruding on your privacy, but not at the cost you feel you’re walled into some self-made prison.

Try to keep as much open space as you can so that your view isn’t blocked as well as your neighbors.

Often times you’ll realize just some plants, curtains, or walls on each side are all you need to get all the privacy you want without the closed-in feeling you would like to avoid.

There are numerous ways you can do this, sometimes very economically, and it’s possible to even do it all for free!

It just takes a few ideas like the ones listed below and a bit of work to create a calm, relaxing place to enjoy yourself in total privacy.

rear view of homes sitting close together in a neighborhood for cheap ways to block neighbors view

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Start with a Plan

drawing of a landscape plan for the backyard to get cheap ways to block neighbors view

Before you head to the landscaping department at your local home improvement store to pick up materials, be sure to create a plan.  You’ll need to know how much area you need to cover and what type of fence, wall, or other barriers will best suit your needs.

You can use something as simple as graph paper or even draw it out on the ground with chalk before you get started. Just be sure you have some sort of plan to work from so that you don’t end up with too much or too little material.

Fencing is one of the most common ways people create privacy in their yards, but it’s not always the best solution, especially if you’re on a budget.

Fences can be expensive to build and install, so be sure to factor that into your budget when planning.

The following options will get your mind thinking about the best solution for your yard and your neighboring situation to get you the privacy you’re looking for without breaking your budget.

1. Corrugated Metal Wall

Corrugated metals offer long-lasting solutions that give you a clear view of your surroundings and act as a solid barrier between you and them. So that’ll take a very long time!

It has a pleasing appearance by nature, yet it’s best suited to a modern or minimalist design.

Some people have employed enormous corrugated pieces of wood for their projects.

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2. Outdoor Curtains or Blinds

cheap ways to block neighbors view using curtains around the patio
Curtains around the patio offer maximum privacy from peeking neighbors

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get some privacy immediately is the same concept as indoors, you’re just bringing them outside. In other words, simply hang outdoor curtains.

Blinds and curtains are instantaneous privacy. They are easy to hang yourself, they’re cheap and they come in all sorts of colors, textures, and sizes.

They can also be hung almost anywhere and in any direction, great if you need privacy on an angle from a home higher than your own.

You can often find people simply throwing items like these away or selling super cheap on places like Craigslist or eBay. You could also dye or stain anything you get but aren’t happy with as far as their colors are to save even more.

The biggest negative is these privacy alternatives don’t always last long or hold up well to inclement weather. So you may need to take them down and put them back up during the winter months or large storms.

Otherwise, they are one of the easiest and quickest ways of adding some privacy to any area in your yard.

3. Chicken Wire with Plants for a Cheap Way to Block Neighbors View

The next option is also very cost-effective although this one may take a bit of time to completely do its job of total privacy.

There are a few big positives about using chicken wire and some sort of live plant, most often ivy or vines.

Chicken wire is really cheap. It’s also easy enough to place around your yard yourself. It only needs something to hold it up, and if you have nearby woods, you can just get a few fallen limbs to use as posts if you wanted.

The plants on the other hand take a bit to plant and train to cover the chicken wire. The good part is vines or ivy come in all sorts of varieties with some even boasting beautiful flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Just watching your enclosure can be a source of pleasure.

To really be frugal, buy or obtain a few plants, wait until they are established, then take cuttings to produce more cover further down the enclosure.

It may take a bit more time, but it’ll be free fencing for you once things get going.

The negative is that the wire won’t last too long depending on where you live and the weather conditions, and it will most likely need to be replaced every five to ten years.

Although it may not be the best as far as permanence, it’s hard to find a cheaper and easier alternative to work with.

4. Lattice and Plants

cheap ways to block neighbors view using lattice
Trellis is a cheap choice and excellent way to block your neighbor’s view

For small enclosures like a backyard in a city environment, latticework coupled with some sort of plant life do well together just like the chicken wire and vines above.

The wood lattice is cheap enough and many even look great all on their own, and the vines filling in the gaps of the lattice are a natural way of bringing some nature into your backyard as well as privacy.

You’ll need a few 4x4s in order to secure the latticework. Then plants like Boston Ivy, Climbing Roses, Jasmine, or Honeysuckle can all be used. You could even grow grape vines if your weather allows it.

Just remember if you go this route in colder climates, there will be times when the leaves fall for the winter and your view will be exposed once more until spring.

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5. Hedges

cheap ways to block neighbors view using colorful hedges
Colorful hedges may take longer to establish but they offer excellent privacy

A natural property boundary is always the best way to go if you have the time and money to create one. The positives of this type of border are endless including its ability to completely block out any neighbor’s view.

And if you have the time, it can still be done quite cheaply as well. You can either start by buying premature trees in bulk at any garden center.

Plants are usually priced by time, meaning a 5-year-old spruce pine will be many times more expensive than a yearling pine.

Buying the yearling pine can save a lot of money, and also buying 30 trees at once will help you save. However, you will need to wait longer until they mature enough to completely block your neighbor’s views.

And if you want to do all this completely free, why not simply look at what naturally grows near your property? There are all kinds of plants and trees that grow in neighboring woods that you can just go dig up for free. Just be careful it’s not private property and you get arrested!

Just be sure you have the right soil and water requirements needed for your “fence” to thrive. And don’t forget that some varieties of trees can grow to be 30 feet high. Yes, that’s privacy!

When you create a property line like this, you get the entire satisfaction of knowing you did everything. It’s uniquely your creation. And it’s also very environmentally friendly and birds and other critters will love what you have done.

Or you can just get a company to come in and plant a bunch of older trees and be done with it. It just depends on how green your wallet is.

6. Bamboo Fence or Live Bamboo Plants

When it comes to bamboo you have two choices, either going the dried bamboo fencing route or just naturally growing bamboo around your property’s borders.

Bamboo is a great plant that can grow in many areas across the United States naturally. Bamboo also quickly grows dense and can easily hide any peering eyes from beyond your property line.

It’s also cheap in any form and can be easily found at any garden center or home improvement store.

The only problem with this solution is that once it’s established, it can be very difficult to get rid of if you need to for some reason.

It also has a tendency to grow and spread beyond the areas where you want it, so keep an eye on it!

Live bamboo is beautiful to look at, and any bamboo that needs to be cut down as it matures can be used as building materials for other projects or even shredded for mulch.

Then there is simply bamboo fencing. This type of fencing is cheap and durable and completely eco-friendly as bamboo is plentiful and grows much faster than other wood sources.

Bamboo also makes beautiful fencing and comes in any color or size imaginable. You can also choose to stain it, shellac it or paint it yourself.

Personally, I like to just leave it totally natural and let it age as wood is supposed to. This gives it a look that only time can buy.

7. Brick or Masonry Wall

brick landscaping wall with plants
A brick wall is appealing to look at and it also provides privacy

Although not always considered a cheap alternative, brick walls not only totally block anyone’s view (including yours if your neighbor’s house is super ugly!), but they are also permanent and beautiful looking if you can afford them.

Bricks offer warmth and a “rusticness” very few other ways of blocking your neighbor’s view can.

And if you are frugal, there are ways of getting bricks cheaply and even for free.

Bricks are often just building materials that are thrown away. Old buildings are always being torn down and if you can connect with the right contractor or home improvement center, you can get them for a few cents each.

They may not be perfect and have chunks of concrete still on them, but that adds to the overall feel of the finished wall. It gives it an age effect that new brick just doesn’t have.

Brick also comes in all sorts of colors from red to brown. So it’s easy to match your home’s ascetic to the brick you’re acquiring.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and can handle some masonry tasks, this is something that will not just add the privacy you want, but it’ll add value to your home as well.

8. Hang Up Your Greenery

outdoor hanging plants on patio
A variety of hanging plants can keep neighbors from getting a full view of your backyard

Adding aesthetic value to your home with elegantly styled hanging plants is a terrific approach to get additional benefits.

There are several reasons for people to hang shrubs on their walls, but seclusion may be the most crucial one.

However, your neighbors will have no idea what you’re up to if you carefully hang your gorgeous plants. They can’t believe that you’re ignoring your own feelings.

As a result, they may mistake this for an entirely other design. Only you, of course, are aware of the significance of this. Is this not fantastic?

9. Rock Wall

rock wall for cheap ways to block neighbors view
A rock wall can be built in numerous ways to keep your backyard private

Another alternative can either be expensive or free. Look around your yard, I’m sure you already have plenty of rocks you’d love not to be in your perfectly manicured lawn. So why not use them for a wall?

No rocks in your yard? Rocks are everywhere. And they’re free for the taking.

Even if you don’t have a truck, you can load up your car’s trunk with a few rocks each day and bring them home. That way your materials are totally free other than the concrete to lay them with.

This is usually how the old stone walls you can see around farmer’s fields happen. Over time as they plowed their fields, rocks would pop up and the farmers would lay them at the edge of the field.

In time whole stone walls formed. All free and environmentally friendly.

You can do the exact same thing.

But if you are willing to pay, the choices of stone today are mind-boggling. Stones come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. And what you can build with them is just as diverse as the stones themselves.

Although not usually considered cheap, if you’re looking for permanency, this is the way to go.

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10. Gardens

Gardens are great ways to economically build privacy into your outdoor spaces. You can mix and match plants, containers, and everything in between.

You can start with simple plants or even some shrubs in the outermost layers, then work your way in with smaller plants. You can plant tall grasses in large pots for specific places where more height is required.

Or have one or two taller trees for a shaded area as well as privacy.

One of the reasons I love using plants to build out private spaces is I can use them for more than just building walls.

Plants to help keep mosquitoes away like Lavender and Mint not only look stunning but smell nice while acting as a natural repellent.

Planting grapes on a few trellises to break up the yard, add flowers, and then delicious fruit. Apple and Peach trees can be kept small enough to add foliage to conceal your area while again giving you fresh fruit as well.

Then there are herbs and spices that can be grown in the ground or in pots to add height and depth to your view as well as your neighbors.

Using plants is only limited to your imagination. Use them for scents, to attract birds and other wildlife, or just focus on beautiful flowing plants. Then your privacy is not just private, it’s a true sanctuary.

11. Use a Container Garden for Backyard Privacy from Spying Neighbors

cheap ways to block neighbors view using garden plants
Container gardens can grow tall enough to keep neighbors from spying on you

A container garden is a different kind of garden that can create a magical and private atmosphere in your backyard with the inclusion of lovely plants.

This alternative will want your attention, but you will like the process and find it to be really enjoyable. Using a variety of colors, shapes, and textures, you can construct a work of art that doubles as a cover for your patio.

12. Cascading Landscape

It may seem like a costly concept, but trust me, it’s one of the most cost-effective backyard privacy options. Easy DIY tasks that you can undertake with your own homemade resources are the cascading levels.

Because it calls for the use of muscles, this idea is best suited to the handier among us. Finally, patience is required because it will take a long time to accomplish your goal.

Plants and bushes can be displayed to their best advantage with multilayer designs. In order to get the best results, you’ll need some guidance from a professional landscaper.

There is a lot of room on the terraces to decorate with magnificent flower vases, outdoor lighting, and more.

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13. Rock Fireplace

This isn’t just a way to make s’mores, it’s also a means of warding off your prying eyes. The best part is that you don’t have to be an experienced mason to do this. With a bit of creativity, you can turn this into a masterpiece.

A fire pit in the middle of your patio or deck will not only provide privacy but also act as a natural boundary.

If you live in an area with cold winters, you can take this one step further by building a rock fireplace.

14. Outdoor Kitchen or Grilling Patio

An outdoor kitchen is one of many cheap ways to block neighbors view

An outdoor kitchen or patio area for grilling out is a practical and effective way to block your neighbor’s view.

It provides a great spot to host summertime BBQs and get-togethers while also serving as a visual barrier between your yard and theirs.

Plus, it’s a great way to improve your home’s value and make your outdoor living space more enjoyable.

15. Pergolas or Arbor

A pergola or arbor is a beautiful addition to any yard and can provide much-needed shade and privacy.

These structures are relatively simple and inexpensive to build, and they can be customized to fit your specific needs.

You can add climbing plants or vines to further obscure the view from nosy neighbors, or use it as a frame for an outdoor living space.

Pergolas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re a great way to shield your home from the sun, but they can also provide a view of the sky from neighboring windows.

Using fabric or plants on their sides, you’ll protect them from the rain!

16. Decorative Faux Fencing

If you want to create your private environment without putting in a lot of work and make it fast, you can buy fake fencing that looks real and call it good!

This is best when you have a smaller area rather than a large yard, of course, but it is also good in a big yard if you just want to close in a smaller patio area.

Decorative faux fencing comes in all sizes and heights with different kinds of plants or just greenery. You can choose what you like, put it up, and be prepared for a completely private evening on the deck or patio by the end of the day.

FAQ for Cheap Ways to Block Neighbors View

You may still have a few questions about the best ways to keep your backyard private without spending a lot of money.

With almost all of these ideas, you can alter them to fit any budget.

How can I get privacy from overlooking my neighbors?

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to get privacy from your neighbors, consider adding some plants or bushes to the bordering backyard area.

You can use taller plants to create a natural wall between your property and your neighbor’s, or plant vines to grow up a fence or trellis.

If you have a lot of space in your yard, you may also want to consider creating a cascading landscape design.

How can I build privacy without a fence?

If you don’t want to build a fence, there are a few other ways to create privacy in your yard.

You can use plants or bushes to create a natural wall between your property and your neighbor’s, or plant vines to grow up a fence or trellis. You can also create a cascading landscape design to add depth and visual interest to your yard.

How do I block nosy neighbors?

cheap way to block neighbors view using tall plants
Plants prrovide nice cover for privacy plus create a warm environment

One cheap way is to use plants. You can mix and match plants, containers, and everything in between.

Start with simple plants or even some shrubs in the outermost layers, then work your way in with smaller plants.

Plant tall grasses in large pots for specific places where more height is required. Have one or two taller trees for a shaded area as well as privacy.

One of the reasons I love using plants to build out private spaces is I can use them for more than just building walls. Plants to help keep mosquitoes away like Lavender and Mint not only look stunning but smell nice while acting as a natural repellent too!

Then there are herbs and spices that can be grown in the ground or in pots to add height and depth to your view as well as your neighbor’s view if you’re really wanting to give them a show.

Using plants is only limited to your imagination!

Cheap Ways to Block Neighbors View Final Thoughts

Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it needs to be ugly or only function for one specific task.

If you just plan a little you may be able to mix and match a few of the ideas I’ve listed above to create something functional as well as beautiful to look at and be a part of.

After all, just because you’re looking for cheap ways to block a neighbor’s view doesn’t mean your view isn’t important. Nor does it mean what you’re using shouldn’t be as beautiful to look at as you are.

When looking into your neighbor’s view, what is it you’d like to see? A flat plastic wall or a beautiful flow of plants, stones, brick, and flowering vines.

Once you answer that question, you should go with what you would want to see and not just because it’s the cheapest option, but because it also brings you joy to look at and be a part of every day. 

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