Walmart's $25 Privacy Fence Protects From "Nosy Neighbors," But Does It Really Work?
Retail experts share their thoughts on whether this privacy fence is worth it.
There's a fence, and then there's a privacy fence. The latter is not just a pretty white picket version that serves as a backdrop for your hydrangeas. It's a taller, less-transparent structure that's meant to make your yard more private. Privacy fences are typically large, expensive, and complicated to install. But if you're looking for a quick fix, Walmart is selling a privacy fence for just $25. The retailer says it will protect "from prying eyes and nosy neighbors," and that it "installs in just a few minutes." Does this sound too good to be true? We consulted retail experts to get their take on this outdoor product bargain. Keep reading to find out if Walmart's privacy fence is worth it.
What exactly is the Walmart privacy fence?
Usually, privacy fences are between six and eight feet tall, with the idea being that a neighbor can't see over them. They may be standard wooden slat fences, or they could be a row of tall trees or hedges.
In the case of the Walmart privacy fence, it's made out of "durable waterproof polyester netting with reinforced seams and metal grommets" in a dark green and white striped design. The company says this "breathable" material allows light and air to pass through.
However, it's just three feet high and 15 fifteen feet wide.
Here are the drawbacks.
The height is the main deterrent to this privacy fence.
"In theory, the fence probably can provide a little extra privacy due to the nature of its striped and tightly woven design; that said, it's only 3' high," shares Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. "If you're installing this on a ground level rather than a balcony or raised patio, you're not going to get much privacy, though it may provide a deterrent to some smaller animals."
The 15-foot length is also prohibitive. For example, if a standard-sized lot is 50' x 100', and a backyard occupies half of that, you'd need roughly 125 feet of fencing to surround the back and side edges—meaning you'd have to purchase eight of these fences for $200.
It also can't stand on its own like a traditional fence. Walmart refers to its product as "privacy netting," and says it "secures easily to fence or deck with included cord, or weaves between deck posts or railings."
But there are some situations where this is a good investment.
According to Ramhold, the fact that this privacy fence "reportedly allows airflow" makes it well suited for hot summer weather.
"Although, if you're installing on a deck or even a lower part of a balcony, the airflow feature likely doesn't matter much," she notes.
At the same time, she says the petite design could work well "in smaller balconies to cover gaps in railings or on raised decks to offer a little shield from prying eyes." In both of these cases, she notes that its efficacy "is going to depend largely on the layout of the area and the viewpoint of your neighbors."
To Ramhold's point, many commenters on the product page say they used the privacy fence along deck railings or on balconies.
One customer said it "keeps the dogs from seeing out," while another used it to "hide ugly weeds growing at my neighbour's side." Someone also noted that they use it not for privacy, but as a "fence for a pet or child to have a area to play outside!"
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This privacy fence may still be cheaper than similar options.
If the dimensions and design fit your needs, Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback, says the Walmart privacy fence may be a better bargain than similar products.
"It's trendy, easy to assemble, and it's currently selling for under $20," she shares. (The fence was recently on sale for just $18, but has since been returned to its $25 price point.) "On the other hand, Amazon is selling a similar item for over $50—more than double the price—making Walmart's IdeaWorks option the best bang for your buck."