Most of us do not want to sit on our patio with neighbors looking over one’s shoulder. In over 20 years of selling bamboo, we have noticed that most all of our customers seek a privacy screen. We have seen all the reasons from apartments to office buildings, highways, power lines, nosy neighbors. There are many viable options when it comes to privacy screening. It is important to consider all categories before committing time and resources into a screening approach. The methodology describes the most popular screening options and compares the relevant categories in terms of cost, effectiveness, and longevity. Pricing is based on current market research and may vary on specific materials, location, installers, and market conditions.
Fence Type Material Cost
per linear foot
per linear foot
per linear foot
in feet tall
Easy to Expert
Easy to Hard
Low to High
Wood $12 $12 $24 0 8ft or less 10 Intermediate Intermediate Medium Vinyl $17 $7 $24 0 8ft or less 25 + Intermediate Easy Low Brick $40 $40 $80 0 8ft or less 100 + Expert Easy High Metal Panels $60 $40 $100 0 8ft or less 60 + Expert Easy High Hedge Tree $10 $2 $12 10 20ft or more 15 Easy Intermediate Low Bamboo w/
$15 $8 $23 2-4 20ft or more 75 + Intermediate Easy High Bamboo wo/
$10 $2 $12 3-5 20ft or more 75 + Easy Intermediate High
*Lifespan can be greatly affected by the durability of the material. | *Timeline Height is the amount of time required to create an effective screen. This category only applies to natural or living screens. Timeline for a non-living screen is the length of time required to complete the project. | *Privacy Height is the typical height of the screen. Both cities & neighborhood covenants often have an 8ft limit for fences. Living screens are typically maintained at heights of 20ft or more depending on species and climate. | *Lifespan can be greatly affected by the durability of the material. | *DIY Factor should be considered when looking at the total cost of the project. If the installation is done by the owner, the costs could be considerably lower. | *Maintenance represents the level of care required to properly maintain your privacy. | *Durability is the screen’s ability to withstand environmental stress ranging from weather events, animals, pests, etc.
Pros & Cons of Privacy Screen Options
Wooden fences are the “go-to” of most privacy screen installations. Wood has a large range of applications which enhances its versatility. However, most fences tend to be 6ft tall with dog-eared layouts.
Vinyl has a huge range of colors and finishes. Good quality materials can have a very long lifespan, but being plastic can be easily damaged. An advanced vinyl PVC can create new finishes and more selections.
Metal is very versatile and has been a popular choice for modern privacy screens. It has a laser cut designs for more appeals. A very premium choice metal panels will have a useful duration of a lifetime.
Brick & Stone Walls
This is a popular choice for thousands of years. Well-built brick walls have passed the test of time. A vast variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes allows the homeowner to achieve a rustic or modern look.
Trees are a great way to achieve taller privacy. Local governments and HOAs often limit fences and walls to 8ft. This does not apply to trees, making Leyland Cypress, Cypress, Willow, Oak, and Crape Myrtles very popular choices.
Bamboo without Bamboo Shield
Bamboo is gaining popularity in landscaping works because of its fast growth and development of a privacy screen. It attains tall privacy in less time than others. Bamboo is an easy plant to install and has a high ability to withstand environmental stress.
Bamboo with Bamboo Shield