A privacy screen is often an essential idea in a deck plan, especially when neighboring houses sit too close for comfort or have direct views of the deck. Screens can be fencelike in appearance, for ultimate privacy, or more open in design to allow light and air to filter through. When paired with an overhead covering, they can create the impression of an outdoor room. The open construction of a simple trellis offers a measure of privacy; when backed by shrubbery or covered with vines, however, it can be as effective as a solid fence.
Vertical screens are helpful additions where conditions are windy or the sun's angle overheats the deck from the side. Around a pool or spa, they can prevent leaves and debris from blowing into the water and cut the wind's chill, making the deck area a more pleasant place to use and easier to maintain.