What is a Semi-Private Fence?

5 Reasons Why Many Homeowners Choose This Unique Style


Semi-private fences, at a glance, look a lot like traditional privacy fences. They’re typically 5–6 feet tall, made of wide wood or vinyl planks, and completely encapsulate the yard, offering a sense of privacy and seclusion.

At closer inspection, semi-private fences have one huge difference: openings! Also called privacy screen fences, this beautiful fencing design has serious merits. Read on for some compelling reasons why your may want to give your yard a privacy fence — without complete and absolute privacy.

1. Semi Private Fences Are Often Private Enough

With wide planks and narrow gaps, semi-private fences enclose your yard, without making it feel walled-in. Whether this style offers enough privacy for you may depend on your situation. Are you right up against your neighbor’s back yard? Just enclosing a portion of your property? How close are others?

These questions matter: to look through a semi-private fence still offers fairly good privacy. To really see the other side, you need to get up-close to the gaps. Think about cutting a small hole in a piece of paper. You can barely see the other side unless you hold it close to your eye. Likewise, a semi-privacy fence viewed from an angle has little to no visibility through the fence. The fence’s planks are too wide, creating an effective screen.

Private enough is nice. But why not just opt for total privacy? Read on for some considerations.

2. Semi-Private Fences Allow More Sunlight

Gardeners rejoice! Do you want to create an attractive border along your privacy fence? Your herbs, shrubs, flowers need sunlight: something that a typical privacy fence can partially or completely block in a border planting. Plants that thrive in partial shade — phlox, columbine, lamb’s ear — love semi-private fences, as do herbs like oregano, chives, cilantro, and many varieties of parsley.

Of course, you’ll need to plan your project around the angle of the sun during your growing season. Approximating this is fairly simple. Bring a broomstick to the planting area — these are typically 4-5 feet long. Hold it just above your head, approximately 6 feet in the air, and mark the tip of the shadow with a stake or object. Do this mid-morning, at noon, and mid-afternoon. Think about the time of year: in the spring and fall, you’ll see the average angle of the sun. In summer, it’s directly overhead, and the shadow will lengthen at other times of the year.

Now, you’ll have a sense of where the shadow of your semi-private fence will fall, and how it will affect your planting. Will it cast a shadow on your garden? Or is the angle of the sun such that you can grow your garden against a full-privacy fence because it won’t shadow your plants? Or will you choose semi-private fencing, but grow full-sunlight plants?

We’ve focused on gardeners, but let’s not forget: most people love a sunny yard, and semi-privacy fences give you a brighter space, particularly later on in the evening when the sun is low.

3. Semi-Private Fences Allow More Air Flow

What feels better than an evening breeze while you’re relaxing in your garden? Many homeowners choose semi-privacy fences because they allow for more air movement. A six-foot privacy fence doesn’t pose a huge problem for air circulation — unless your yard is quite small. However, semi-privacy fences offer less obstruction to wind, and, combined with the extra light, can lend an airy feeling to the space. Many homeowners prefer this style’s look as well – which looks slightly like a traditional white picket fence.

Semi-private fences can give a more welcoming, inviting feeling to your property. Rather than a solid wall, they carry a softer message that you value your privacy, but don’t want to close yourself off to the outside world.

In short: Do you have a collection of wind chimes, pinwheels, and a tin duck with rotating wings? Or maybe you just enjoy a gentle breeze. Think about semi-private fences for your project.

4. Advanced Materials Make for a Low-Maintenance Semi-Privacy Fence

Air, sunlight, and just-enough privacy. Homeowners choose this style of fencing to feel secluded without closed off, enclosed without total isolation. However, when it comes to many designs, less fencing material does not mean lower maintenance. Fortunately, our low-maintenance vinyl semi-privacy fences give you all of these benefits without adding more work to your weekends. Designed and built in the USA from US-sourced materials, our vinyl is precision engineered to withstand decades of use. The viny doesn’t require painting, and won’t rot, warp, twist, or bow.

Think about it: Painting or staining a wood privacy fence is a lot of work. At 5–6 feet tall, that’s a lot of surface area to cover around the perimeter of your property! A wood semi-privacy fence may have less material, but it adds the dimension of covering the inside of each vertical plank. This means more drips and brushing, and more places for water to infiltrate, rather than the solid surface of a typical privacy fence. On the other hand, depending on the design, it may be easier to replace individual rotten, twisted, or damaged boards on a semi-private fence.

But why? Fencing is a huge investment, no matter what material you choose. Don’t spend thousands of dollars — much of which goes to labor and equipment, not the fence itself — only to add more time- and cost-intensive maintenance to your life. Choose vinyl semi-private fences from Nobility Fence and relax, knowing that you can enjoy your property as long as you own your home.

We stand by that promise, offering a transferrable lifetime warranty on our semi-private fences, the best in the business.

Ask a Pro About Low-Maintenance Semi Privacy Fences

Want more information on low-maintenance vinyl semi-privacy fence styles and pricing? Download a catalog today, or get in touch with one of our friendly pros. We’re happy to answer your questions.

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