Outdoor Privacy Screen Choices And How To Pick One

By: Garret Vinson

Privacy is a luxury these days because we're living physically closer to each other owing to lack of space. But there are ways to achieve privacy if not by building high walls. Privacy screens made of wood, metal or vinyl are how to go about it.

The range of screen designs is vast but there are typically two main types. Living screens made of vegetation where greenery is encouraged to grow and hide spaces from public view, and non-living screens which are made of wood, metal and vinyl. We'll look at the latter.

Wooden screens look and feel natural and since they're mostly used in outdoor settings, this helps them blend with the environment. Carved designs were once hugely popular with ornate motifs gracing the surface and giving spaces a royal touch. However, recent times and trends have given way to simpler designs featuring horizontal or vertical slats similar to louvered shutters with sturdy wooden or metal frames and customization options to fit them on tops of walls, as gates, and as outdoor shower screens.

Moving away from traditional wood, engineered wood which is a mix of wood particles and a bonding agent can have the same appeal and warmth of natural wood but with a higher green rating. Unlike natural wood which is usually sourced from forests, engineered wood reuses the byproduct of natural wood left over from carpentry and construction works. It's manufactured, colored and stained to mimic the unique grains and knots found in natural wood. If required, it can also feature smooth designs devoid of grains.

Metal screens are another great choice because they're extremely strong. Outdoor screens are subject to wind, dust, rain and pollutants, all of which can slowly destroy them. And though metal in its natural state is prone to rust and corrosion, the screens are treated (galvanized) to minimize these effects. Regular maintenance will also see them last longer.

Like wood, metal screens can take on various patterns. However, they look best as trellises with ornate designs supporting vinery and other vegetation as they lend a charm and grace to outdoor spaces. Still, they can be customized for a price.

With vinyl, there's affordability, resistance to moisture damage and light weight. Colors are numerous as are designs especially if the screens are to complement modern and contemporary homes.

Outdoor screens serve multiple purposes and fencing is just one of them. They can act as cabanas and infill panels, space dividers, hot tub fences and to fence off outdoor entertainment areas from private family spaces. In fact, they're so customizable that they're suitable for use indoors too. Most room dividers we're familiar with are part of the same concept, albeit with fewer weather-resistant features.

Before purchasing screens, decide which areas of the yard need fencing and closure. Maybe there's a space that would be ideal for use in winter but is too exposed to the elements. Or maybe there's a hot tub in need of privacy. Outdoor showers, screen walls, patios and decks also stand to benefit.

Locally based manufacturers and vendors are the best sources to procure screens from. Since everything's manufactured locally, finding replacements like panels is easy and cheaper. Vendors will also typically have tie-ups with installers or have an in-house team that's skilled not only in installation but in offering recommendations relative to the locale's climate conditions.

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When deciding on your outdoor privacy screens, you would have to choose the perfect space and would also have to accommodate maintenance costs and other added features. For some help with your outdoor screen choice, follow this link.

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