How to Create Deck Privacy and Enclosure
Decks can leave one feeling exposed and uncomfortable without some kind of definition both above and at the edges. It is possible to enhance deck privacy and enclosure if the deck site lacks the necessary natural attributes.
It's a good idea to consider privacy first. If the proposed site is at the least exposed side of the house, at a corner where the main structure of the home meets a wing or tucked behind a retaining wall or hedge, privacy probaly will not be an issue. Also if the site is isolated from the house or is on an elevated hill above the surrounding views, the deck design may not need to be altered. However, if the deck is not effectively screened from the street and from a neighbor's view, then it will be necessary to add a fence, a wall, trees or shrubs to the plan. Fences create privacy and security but with a little thought they can also contribute beauty to the landscape. Climbing vines or hanging baskets full of cascading foliage and flowers can add color and texture to perimeter fencing for little expense and effort.
These same elements have the capacity to produce a sense of enclosure but so will benches, garden beds and other features. Overhead space can also affect the comfort level of deck occupants. So an outdoor ceiling or overhead such as an arbor, pergola or tree limbs is an possible consideration.
Walls and fences make attractive additions to an outdoor space design by connecting the deck to the larger landscape and adding a vertical contrast to the horizontal expanse of the lawn.
Walls and fences can define space giving it an identity that suits its purpose. They can create privacy, tame slopes, block annoying winds, form backgrounds for decorative accents and hide unsightly utility devices and areas. Walls and fences can make large areas seem less imposing by dividing them into smaller ones.
There are obvious walls such as fences, hedges and the sides of the house. But there are also walls that are not as obvious. These are perceived walls that include low hedges, built-in or freestanding benches, planters, changes in deck levels, posts that support an overhead, plants, shrubs and small trees. Anything that separates the deck from the rest of the world or separates one area of the deck from another can be considered a wall. Erecting solid walls, fences or dense hedges to divide property into divided spaces can result in separate but isolated areas. Perceived walls, however, suggest the separation without isolating the areas from one another. They interrupt both visual and actual movement but they do not block views. As a result they direct traffic effectively and define space without creating a feeling of claustrophobia.
Another means of creating deck privacy and enclosure is through the use of screening which simply involves the careful placing of plants, fences, walls, trellises and other stuctures. The amount of screening required will depend upon on how each area of the deck is to be used. Cozy, intimate places for conversation, reading, sunbathing or meditation should provide lots of privacy. These areas need to be screened with walls, high fences or dense evergreen plantings. Active areas for family gatherings, child play and parties require less privacy. Partial screening is the answer such as latticework fences, airy trees or walls with available seating.
The placement of privacy screens is an important consideration. The closer to the deck area, the more privacy is created. The farther from the deck area, the less privacy.
Few decks require screening around the entire perimeter. Plan the screening to block the most revealing view first. The idea is to enhance privacy without barricading the outdoor deck space.
For maximum privacy as well as security install a solid wall, a fence or dense hedge. These structures can function as effective boundaries that can retain children and pets within the yard and keep unwanted visitors out. They make an ideal backdrop for garden beds where flower borders, ponds, fountains and sculpture will stand out dramatically and enhance the aesthetic look of the yard.
Selecting materials for outdoor walls and fences offers another excellent design opportunity. There are a tremendous number of choices but the goal should be to select materials that suit the style of the home and the landscape. A solid brick wall can look classic and imposing. Interlocking concrete blocks suit most home styles. An evergreen hedge or closely planted row of roses can create a colorful and attractive barrier that is almost inpenetrable.
Homeowners are only limited by their imaginations and willingness to experiment with creative and different ways of creating deck privacy and enclosure.
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm really smart , so why are my grades below average?
I'm not boasting. I really believe that my IQ is way above normal, and my understanding of things is a lot better than almost everyone I know. ITS NOT overconfidence. I never say all this to people because they would perceive this as boasting or claptrap. I definitely have ADHD and I'm really really bad at concentrating on the book, even novels, with the exception of the 2-3 novels that I've read with a lot of focus because I was procrastinating big time on a very big test. I make plans/time tables but they're just a waste of time and paper. I'm always restless. Psychiatric help has been of no use. One put me on lexapro and the other one dismissed my symptoms totally. And I have a full blown ego and no self esteem. Only the people who actually know me(my family and the two friends I've been close to but no longer) know and said that I am extraordinarily smart. Others just see me as a dumb girl who studies all the time but never scores (because I try a lot, I always have a book in my hand, I sit in the first bench to try and get the most of a lecture, all my books are torn of falling down all the time, and its only the first page/paragraph of every chapter that I can say I've actually read). What do you think I should do ? Meditation gives me headaches, makes me even more restless. And recently I've been wondering if there's even a point of life (I know I'm gradually going crazy as well)
You should study. Just because you're smart doesn't mean you'll pass if you don't study.
Is it looked down upon to pay out-of-pocket most or a large portion of the cost of an Eagle Scout Project?
I will be the one doing the project. I realize it mostly depends on how the Eagle Board takes it, but I'm looking for opinions. My project involves creating a meditation area for a cemetery by putting in concrete benches and landscaping. The project's total cost is about 0, and I plan to purchase the benches for about 0-0. At first I will use it as a loan type system, and if I have enough donations after paying for the rest of the of the project, I will pay myself back the money. I will probably end up leaving 0 in the project as a personal contribution (or more if I don't get the funds). Is this a good idea?
Well, I know they like it if you are able to scrounge up donations to cover the costs of "public works" projects. Visit the cemetery to see who is located near the site you want to use. If it's anyone even remotely well known, you could contact a family or business that is/was associated with the dearly departed. Bring a sketch of your idea to show and ask them for a donation and you will put a plaque with their name on the bench.
If that does not work, then visit a concrete place and ask for a couple of benches that you can put their business name on a plaque. Don't forget a birdbath.