How to build a vertical louvered privacy fence

Written by michael straessle
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How to build a vertical louvered privacy fence
Vertical louvres (Image: Michael Straessle)

For those who want a privacy fence but don't want their yard to become part of a neighbourhood "cookie-cutter" look, there is the vertical louvered privacy fence. The main difference between this type of fence and others is the way the pickets are installed. They require top and bottom horizontal lumber to which the vertical pieces are secured. The rest of the fence installation is the same.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1-by-6-inch lumber
  • Electric mitre saw
  • Table saw
  • Variable-speed drill
  • Phillips head screw tip
  • 1 1/4-inch deck screws
  • 1-by-2-by-8-inch lumber
  • Post hole diggers
  • 4-by-4-by-96-inch posts
  • Concrete mix
  • Carpenter's level

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Instructions

    Getting Started

  1. 1

    Set the fence of the table saw at 4 11/16 inches. Rip (cut with the grain of the wood) enough of the 1-by-6-inch lumber to form the frames for the louvre panels. Each frame includes two sides that fit between a top and bottom piece. A panel encompasses the framed louvres that go between the fence posts.

    How to build a vertical louvered privacy fence
  2. 2

    Set the electric mitre saw at a 45-degree angle. Cut one of the pieces from Step 1 on a 45-degree angle from the corner out.

    How to build a vertical louvered privacy fence
    Cut the mitre, make a triangle.
  3. 3

    Measure and cut the top and bottom pieces of the frame to the needed length. For example, if the space between the posts is 8 feet, cut the top and bottom pieces at 8 feet.

    How to build a vertical louvered privacy fence
    Build the frames.
  4. 4

    Cut the vertical louvres from the 1-by-6 material 5 1/2 inches shorter than the posts. This means if the post is 96 inches above the ground, the length of the louvres needs to be 90 1/2 inches. Cut the sides for the frame material in Step 1 the same length as the louvres.

  5. 5

    Place the triangle cut in Step 2 flat on the bottom of the frame and against one of the sides. Place the first louvre against the triangle and secure it through the top and bottom pieces with 1 1/4-inch deck screws, then remove the triangle.

    How to build a vertical louvered privacy fence
    Placing the triangle
  6. 6

    Place the 1-by-2-by-8-inch lumber on its edge and against the secured louvre. Set another louvre against it and secure it through the bottom piece with the 1 1/4-inch deck screws. Repeat this until the panels are made. Panels should not exceed 8 feet in length.

    How to build a vertical louvered privacy fence
    Template to set the louvres

    Laying Out and Setting the Posts

  1. 1

    Drive a 2-foot stake into the ground at the starting point of the vertical louvered privacy fence. Tie the heavy string to it and walk the desired length of the fence. Stop at the corners to drive another stake, wrap the string around it and continue to lay out the perimeter of the fence.

  2. 2

    Drive a stake in the ground everywhere a fence post needs to be installed. It is recommended that they be kept within 8 feet of each other.

  3. 3

    Dig the post holes 24 inches deep. Mix the concrete and use at least one bag per post. Place the carpenter's level on the post to be certain it is plumb.

  4. 4

    Secure a 2-by-4 to the posts and to a stake in the ground to hold them plumb until the concrete sets. After the concrete is set, remove the supports holding the posts.

  5. 5

    Place a 4-by-4-by-4-inch block at the base of the posts for the vertical louvre panels to rest on. Secure the panels to the posts through the frame with the 1 1/4-inch deck screws.

Tips and warnings

  • For alternative ways to assemble vertical louvered fences, see "Fixing Fencing" in the Reference section of this article.
  • Ask your utility companies to mark the yard for underground lines.
  • Use a steel rod to break up rocks in the way of the post holes.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children.
  • Do not spray paint, sealer or stain on the fence on a windy day.

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