Newly installed pools, patios, and playgrounds may require a visual buffer in a hurry. A 6-foot solid board fence is the quickest way to add year-round screening—just be sure to check local building codes regarding fence heights (and any other restrictions). It may also be the best solution in a side yard, where space is tight, since fences have a smaller footprint than plantings.
Board fences come in various styles to complement the architecture of your home, and you can stain them to match the house. “But while a privacy fence might solve the problem, it’s not always the most aesthetically pleasing solution,” says Eric Sauer, a landscape architect in Dayton, Ohio. To break up the mass of a board fence, Sauer suggests adding an open lattice or baluster top, and planting flowering or evergreen shrubs in front to soften its solidity.