It isn’t easy to relax in the comfort of your backyard if you can see your neighbors standing just a few feet away. Even if your neighbors aren’t nosy, you’d still feel much more comfortable in a backyard that’s entirely your own. This is when you ask yourself about ideas on how to make a fence taller for privacy in your backyard.
A tall privacy fence is an incredibly desirable feature for a comfortable home, especially in a busy neighborhood. Most notably, it allows you to feel safe and secure in your property without passing strangers looking in. Other benefits of a privacy fence include preventing burglars from hopping the fence and keeping incredibly agile pets safe inside.
If your existing fence is short and you don’t want to rebuild a whole new fence from scratch, there are many simple solutions you can find to extend the height of your fence. We’ve written down various options you can take to easily add privacy to your yard and make your space feel more like your own.
Important Note: Many cities and homeowners have restrictions on how tall you can build your fence. In some cases, even if you can create, you will need to acquire a permit first. Additionally, some strict homeowner’s associations will have specific requirements for what material and color of fence you can create. Always check with your municipal regulations and homeowner’s association before making any new construction on your property — you don’t want authorities to fine on you!
What kind of fence do you have?
You’re not going to extend a wooden fence in the same way you would a brick or metal fence. All primary materials in residential fencing — wood, chain link, brick, or vinyl — have different extension requirements. We’ve separated this guide into those four major fence types so you can quickly access the information you need.
How to make a wooden fence taller?
If you have some carpentry experience, there are several DIY solutions you can take to extending your wooden fence. If you have a thick, sturdy fence that can support the weight of added posts, try these solutions:
Use a metal tie plate
This sturdy sheet of metal affixed to both your fence post and your upward addition for added reinforcement is also called a tie strap or mending plate. Use the right nails and/or screws for the job, so your fence remains stable and durable.
Use a metal fence post extender
This is essentially a “sleeve” that wraps around your fence post and addition for easy height extension. This isn’t the cheapest solution, but if you have a short area of fence you’d like to extend, it’s a long-lasting and easy fix.
Join wood together with a half-lap joint
If you’re confident in your carpentry skills, including measuring and sawing, consider cutting both the existing fence and the addition into a half-lap. This process involves cutting the opposite half of two sturdy beams and securing them together with tough galvanized bolts. This can be very time-consuming but worth it if you have the right materials and skills at your disposal.
If your fence is not made of sturdy posts but rather long, flat planks, you won’t have the necessary structural integrity to be adding sturdy beams. Try this solution:
Add a privacy lattice
When done right, a lattice screen added to the top of your fence can provide excellent privacy and an attractive visual effect. You can also add a privacy lattice to fences with sturdy poles using the aforementioned tie plates or post extenders.
How to make a metal chain link fence taller?
When extending a metal chain link fence, you should always try and purchase a fence height extension kit from the original retailer that sold you your existing fence. This way, you’ll be able to exactly match the material and style of the original fence as well as purchase a material you know will work.
If you can’t locate the original fence retailer, you still have a few options for adding height to your metal fence. No method of extending a metal fence is particularly easy, and you may want to consider hiring a professional to install the new metal privacy fence.
To add height to your chain link fence with a height extension kit, you will generally follow these steps:
- Remove the top rails (horizontal connectors) and any gates.
- Remove the old fencing, leaving the poles.
- Use panel sleeves to slide new pole lengths onto your existing poles, and screw them in for added height.
- Replace your top rails for the best support.
- Add new fencing onto your completed frame using new wire ties.
- Replace your old gate, or purchase a new entrance at the desired height.
As you can see, this process is long and laborious. However, leaving the fence posts and using this method to install new fencing will save you money and keep you from reinstall fence posts.
How to make a brick or block fence taller?
If you want to extend a brick or concrete fence, you’re in luck: you already have a highly sturdy, flat base on which to put virtually any fence extension you want. Get in contact with your nearest hardware store or fence retailer or search online for the most attractive option for your fence.
Here are some options to extend a brick or block fence.
- Privacy lattice height extensions
- Vinyl fence height extensions
- Potted plants
- Additional layers of bricks or concrete blocks
It’s worth noting that new bricks will discolor at a different rate than your existing bricks. If you want to keep the natural color of the brick exposed, there’s no way to use the same material and have it exactly match the original color. Consider painting your brick if this color difference bothers you.
How to make a vinyl fence taller?
Vinyl is a low-cost, durable option for fencing that is easily washable and maintainable. Another reason people choose vinyl as their fencing material is how easily it can provide privacy.
Vinyl fences usually come pre-fabricated, meaning it’s hard to alter their height like you would with wood or brick. Vinyl and PVC material is sturdy, but its general shape is challenging to change. Adding height to a vinyl fence is a task best left to professionals.
You can usually add the above-mentioned privacy lattice to a vinyl fence, provided you safely secure it with the right tools and bolts. Consult your local hardware professional to ensure you have the right tools to add a privacy lattice or other height extension, such as toggle bolts.
Can’t make your fence taller?
There are several cases where you may be unable to add height to your existing fence. For example, old or unstable fences might not hold up to new construction. The height extensions for your type of fence can be prohibitively expensive, or you might not feel confident enough in your skills to be able to perform the necessary construction.
If you are unable to extend your type of fence for whatever reason, there are several other alternatives you can build for backyard privacy.
Add trellises or a privacy screen
If you set a large privacy fixture several feet away from your property line, you can create a visual barrier with a tall enclosed area of lattice wood or a high trellis. Plus, climbing plants and certain vegetables can grow up and through a trellis, adding a beautiful feature to your garden.
Plant a hedge or large shrubs
A tall plant can be both attractive and dense, making a great privacy feature in place of (or next to) a fence. You may Plant trees or decorative plants of some kind in a pattern of your choice. As always, check your homeowner’s association before planting to avoid a potential fine.
Provided you have the right climate for it. Bamboo is a beautiful, sturdy plant that adds effortless privacy to your yard. Ensure the bamboo isn’t an invasive species in your environment — if it is, separates it from your native plants with sturdy garden beds.
Should you purchase a new fence?
Installing a new fence can be expensive and labor-intensive. However, if your fence isn’t sturdy enough for an addition, or your climate doesn’t support tall plants or shrubs, the best option is to install a new fence.
If you do go with this option, consider selling or recycling your old fencing — don’t just throw this large construction into a landfill.
Contact local fencing experts for personalized advice on how to make a fence taller for privacy
Installing the right fence addition is dependent on your climate, soil quality, and existing construction. To ensure your privacy fence is well-built, weather-resistant, and lasts for many years to come, contact local experts who have experience in your native landscape. Specialists at your local fencing supplier or hardware store are the best equipped to help you with this challenge.
Whatever option you choose, a privacy fence is well worth it. Between the added comfort, security, and property value, you’ll never regret adding a height extension to your fence. We hope you feel inspired to take on this DIY project and make a huge difference in your backyard!