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DIY or Hire a Pro? Backyard Fencing and Wall Ideas for Privacy and Style

Want to add a bit of privacy and style to your backyard? Here are a few ideas for upgrading your fencing and walls yourself and when you should call a professional.
Linda Raymond via

Your backyard is where you go to relax, get some fresh air, and still feel at home. You want to be able to enjoy the outdoors and maintain some privacy with your family or guests. If your fencing isn’t offering you the privacy, or the style you need, here are a few ideas for upgrading your outdoor space.

These fencing and wall options range from simple and classic to modern and complex. We’ve divided the ideas into different styles and functions, and we’ve noted any considerations for whether it’s a good DIY project or may require the help of professionals.


There are tons of great options to create a natural feel for the borders of your outdoor space. You can construct your fence with natural materials or create a more organic separation of space using live plants or local stones.

  • Bamboo - Use bamboo stalks to create a tropical feel in your garden area. They come tied together in panels for easy installation between posts. If you choose to plant live bamboo, be sure to plant it in clusters and monitor its growth as it can take over your yard.
  • Stone - Many options for stone fencing and walls incorporate local rocks and stones into your landscaping or showcase rocks selected for visual interest. Mortar together large rocks into a low wall, or add stone veneer panels to your existing wall. This isn’t too difficult to DIY, though it does require a strong back! Alternatively, a gabion wall uses a metal frame to hold smaller rocks for a modern take on the idea of a stone wall. There are tutorials available for creating your gabion frame, but we recommend leaving this one to the experts.
  • Wood - Wood fencing lends itself to a variety of natural styles. Go with split-rail fencing to evoke a ranch or farmhouse feel, or choose wood with a stunning grain to update a standard fence. Two-toned wood gives any natural or standard fencing structure an artistic and modern feel.

Hedges - Go green with a live fence of hedges. Plant fast-growing smaller shrubs like privet or boxwood shrubs about two feet apart, or the larger arborvitae or mountain laurels about six feet apart.

27B_diy-or-hire-a-pro-backyard-fencing-and-wall-ideasghornephoto via


These fence styles incorporate modern materials and designs into your outdoor space.

  • Vinyl - Vinyl is strong, affordable, and low-maintenance with a sleek appearance. And you can easily install vinyl fencing yourself.
  • Composite - Composite fencing is more expensive than vinyl but tends to be cheaper than wood alternatives. It also allows you to select designs and patterns to display on the fence itself. These might be patterns of holes or raised material. Again, composite can be DIY’d.
  • Decorative Top - Lattice is the most popular design for panels to top your fence, but you can also find panels with abstract designs or add panels of a different material for contrast. This may be the easiest DIY fencing upgrade as you can add it to your existing fence.
  • Panels - Panels can be whole sections between fence posts or smaller sections divided within. Add a panel of chalkboard material if you have small kids or panels of stone, concrete, or composite designs for an artistic accent.
  • Corrugated Metal - Corrugated metal between wooden or metal fence posts is durable, modern, and lightweight, so it’s easy to work with. Vertical or horizontal orientations are possible, just like with wood. You can do this yourself or leave those sharp edges to the pros.


If you’re hoping to highlight your home’s traditional style, try updating your fencing to reflect these architectural roots.

  • Picket - Create a classic feel for your yard with a pointed picket fence. When installing one yourself, the key is consistency in the spacing of the slats from each other and the ground.
  • Brick - Brick garden walls are another one you may want to leave to a professional to get the design and masonry just right, but these walls add warmth and structure to your garden area. You can tilt the top bricks at an angle for added interest.

Outdoor fencing and walls should add privacy, but they’re not just about function - choose the style that’s right for the feel of your backyard and get started on your upgrade!

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you ShelfGenie for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.
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