Fences are usually made to be either 4 or 6 feet tall. Although plenty of home owners wish they could have a little more privacy, many cities and homeowners associations limit fence heights to 6 feet maximum.
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You should check if you can add an additional 2 feet to your fence before working on the project and find out if you need permission to work on the fence. Once you've learned about all the legal requirements for working on your fence and have obtained any necessary permissions, there are a few ways to add a few extra feet that will allow you privacy but won't require you to tear down your existing fence first.
Adding Extra Boards
The easiest way to add a few feet to your fence is to simply buy a few fence boards, then cut them down and add them to the back of the existing fence.
To do this, start by measuring the height from the top of the slats to the fence rail because that's where your new boards will sit. Tally that height to the 2 feet you are looking to add to the fence, as this will be the height of your new fence slats. Then, purchase standard treated fence slats at your local hardware store.
Use a saw to cut the boards down to the proper height (always using proper safety equipment, such as a respirator and gloves). Add any diagonal cuts necessary to make the boards all have the same decoration on the top. Paint or stain the new boards to match your existing fence. Finally, use four screws to attach each new board to your existing fence slats.
Using A Lattice Screen
For something with a little more visual flair, you might choose a lattice screen. To add height with this method, buy fence posts the same size as your existing posts, then cut them down to 2 feet. Connect these 2-foot-tall post segments to the existing posts with a pair of metal ties and screws.
Cut the lattice screen panels down to 2 feet, 3 inches tall and cut the width so that it spans between each fence post. Lastly, use screws to attach the lattice panels behind your existing fence and in front of the fence posts. For extra privacy, you may grow vines on the fence, which will fill in the holes in the lattice.
Adding Additional Privacy
If a 6-foot tall fence just isn't high enough for you, but local restrictions bar you from building anything taller, you can always modify what's in your yard. Tall hedges and trees can add additional privacy, but check your city and homeowners association to see if there are any restrictions on vegetation types or heights in your property.
Alternatively, you can build a lattice privacy screen inside your yard a few feet away from the fence. In many cases these can be taller than 6 feet, but always check local regulations and obtain any necessary permissions before building.
Jill Harness is a blogger with experience covering architecture, design and decor trends from around the globe. As she lives in what would politely be called a "fixer upper," she is particularly interested in writing about DIY projects and repairs. Most of her home design writing can be found at www.homesandhues.com. You can find out more about Jill's experience and learn how to contact her through her website, www.jillharness.com.