As they say, good fences make for good neighbours. But rather than a solid wall of cedar or pressure-treated lumber, why not opt for a more open lattice fence. The diamond or square openings allow light and the breeze to pass through. You can up the green factor by planting some native vines that will weave their way up the lattice providing extra privacy.
Latticed privacy screens come in different materials. There are even self-supporting decorative metal screens available, often in a wide array of patterns. To prevent these from toppling over in the breeze, anchor the base into your patio stones or bedrock, or use sand bags to hold down the feet.
Sunspace Sunrooms sells privacy panel structures including the “Sun Lounge.” It features opaque acrylic panels built into an aluminum frame that rests on top of a non-slip aluminum deck. Panels come in several different colours and layouts and can be assembled by a DIYer.
Planting trees and shrubs is the perfect cottage-country privacy solution. For year-round coverage opt for evergreens. The taller they are when you buy them the more expensive plants are, so look for fast-growing native options that grow two to three feet per year. Just make sure you don’t plant any deep-rooting vegetation near your septic field.
If you’re planning on adding an outbuilding like a shed, garage, or bunkie at your cottage, consider placing it in a location that enhances your privacy as well. And if it has a footprint of 10 square metres (108 sq. ft.), you won’t need a building permit to add one to your cottage. You will have to make sure your location does abide by local setbacks from the property line and waterfront.
If you’re looking for privacy on the inside of the cottage, there are a number of possible solutions. Curtains, blinds, or shutters offer privacy but at the cost of losing the view. You could replace a window with glass block or one with privacy glass. The cheaper option is to install a window film on the glass. They’re available in a variety of tints and levels of opaqueness.