A solid residential fence can mean privacy from neighbours and sound insulation from a noisy roadway. A solid fence might even block an unsightly view from your backyard. However, one drawback to a solid residential fence is that it might look a little overwhelming and industrial and may cut off fresh air and some sunlight. There are some ways to avoid this without compromising a fence's integrity or your property's security; note a few tips on how to manage this with your home's fence.

Use glass inserts

Glass inserts in a home's entryway door can allow more sunlight into your home's interior, and they can do the same with your home's residential fence! Glass is easy to fabricate and can be added to different fence panels; painted glass can add colour and also break up the look of a solid fence. Coloured, etched, or frosted glass can also ensure your privacy. A fence contractor or landscaper can help you decide the best places to add inserts so they look attractive and cohesive.


If you're thinking of having a slatted wood or vinyl fence installed, avoid putting them right up next to each other. For vertical slats, stagger them so that every other one is slightly in front of the next. Most vertical slats are attached to a top rail, so each slat can be in front of, and then behind, the rail to create this staggered look. This will keep your space private while still allowing in more sunlight and air circulation. If you choose a horizontal slatted fence, you can also leave some gaps between each slat so that the fence is not a solid panel but instead allows small slits of light into the space.


As with window inserts, cut-outs can allow in light and air without compromising the overall structure of the fence. If you have a wood fence, you might have geometric shapes cut into it or shapes like stars and crescent moons. A solid metal fence can be punched with any design, including random circles and other shapes, or even your initials!

As with glass inserts, you might talk to a fence contractor about the best overall design and location for your cut-outs so you'll get the light and air you want without compromising your privacy. You also want to avoid cut-outs that could work as toeholds for anyone who may want to try to scale the fence.