Privacy screens on a patio or deck can be used in a variety of ways; for example, they can block the view to an unattractive air conditioning condenser, grill, and other such items. They can also block sunlight and noise, and the view of the neighbours. If you're thinking of adding privacy screens to your outdoor area, you may find that you have far more choices than you realized, so note a few tips on how to find the best ones for your home's exterior.
Fixed versus portable
Privacy screens can be attached to columns of a pergola or other such structure, or you can buy freestanding, portable screens. The obvious advantage of freestanding screens is that you can move them around easily; if you use them to hide a grill on the patio, you can move the screens out of the way when it's time to cook, and then put them back into position when you're ready to relax. You can also move freestanding screens where needed for maximum shade on the patio.
The downside of freestanding screens is that they may blow over in a strong wind. Affixed panels can be a better option if you don't want to hassle with having to fold up and store away your screens every time there is a storm coming into the area.
Hinged versus panels
For freestanding privacy screens, you'll need to choose between hinged panels versus one solid panel. The hinged option is easier to fold up and move out of the way, and also offers more control over the amount of space you block with the screen. A solid panel may be more likely to resist tipping over in heavy winds. Consider the versatility you need from the panel versus how much strength and wind resistance it should have, when choosing between these two.
Louvered versus fixed slats
The slats on privacy screens might be fixed, meaning they don't move, or they might be louvered, so that you can adjust their opening with a rod. Louvered slats give you more control over how much fresh air circulation and sunlight you get through the screens. However, many people like to use their outdoor privacy screens as a type of wall, from which they affix hanging baskets of flowers, outdoor artwork, and other such decorative pieces. Note if louvered slats would get in the way of those items, and opt for fixed slats that are slightly open, so you still have fresh air and sunlight without interfering with anything you might want to hang from the screen.