Urban porches and patios often lack privacy, especially if there’s a street, sidewalk or neighbor’s house only a few feet away. It’s hard to relax when other people can see and hear everything you do. So, if you’ve been wondering how to make your porch more private, these 12 quick fixes can help.
1. Add a Few Plants
Try putting potted plants on the half-wall or floor. An alternative is to install hanging plants from the ceiling. You can also grow vegetables in containers on your porch or patio, like tomatoes, for example.
2. Plant Some Trees
Grow trees or tall shrubs in front of this structure. It’s best if you choose evergreens. Remember that wood may rot when plants grow against it. So, leave some space for circulation. If you are renting and can’t plant them, just add a small potted tree, such as a ficus tree.
3. Consider Fencing
If you can, install a fence between the porch and your neighbor’s house or the road. To preserve easy access to the sidewalk or driveway, be sure to add a gate.
4. Install a Screen
Attach metal screening to your porch. This will keep most insects at bay and make it somewhat harder for onlookers to see inside.
5. Try Lattice Panels
A similar solution involves installing lattice panels to create a privacy screen. Many hardware stores sell plastic and wooden lattice products.
6. Put Up Some Railings
If you don’t have a railing or half-wall, consider adding one of these partial enclosures. Remember to use pressure-treated wood.
7. Create an Enclosure
Think about converting this part of your home into a glassed-in porch. You’ll need to buy a door and numerous windows to complete the project.
8. Hang Outdoor Blinds
To maximize privacy and shade, put up curtains or Venetian blinds. Look for outdoor curtains if your porch isn’t fully enclosed. This is a good tip for renters since it isn’t a permanent change.
9. Move Your Mail
Is your mail slot or box located next to the door inside your porch? If it is taking up too much space, remove it and install a mailbox on a post closer to the street. You can buy the new, more secure mailboxes at your local hardware and big box stores.
10. Park Your Vehicle in Front
You could try parking your vehicle in front of the steps. This will make your porch less visible and give passersby something else to see.
11. Adjust Your Behavior
If you only want to discourage people from bothering you, try to look busy. Read a book, use a portable computer or wear headphones.
12. Tune into Some White Noise
Other sounds can make it harder for people to overhear your conversations. So, think about using a window fan or radio. If you own the property, you could even install a fountain.
If you apply just two or three of these tips, you should be able to enjoy using your porch in greater privacy. Better yet, some improvements may even increase the value of your home. But before making any major changes, remember to find out if your local government requires a permit. And if you rent, always ask before you make any home improvements.