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How to build a patio privacy screen

Updated February 21, 2017

A patio is a great place to kick back and relax, but if your house has neighbours close by, you may not enjoy all the privacy you'd like. You can improve your outdoors leisure experience by building a simple privacy screen for your patio. It's an excellent weekend project for the do-it-yourselfer.

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  1. Decide where your privacy screen will be located. You'll want to take into account factors like the location of your patio, where your neighbours are, the future growth of trees and other vegetation (which could serve the same purpose as it grows).

  2. Mark out the locations for your support posts. You'll be placing 4 inch by 4 inch posts into the ground to serve as the supports for your privacy screen. Measure out where they will be placed and mark the location with flags or marker spray paint. When measuring the distances, measure from the centre of where each post will be.

  3. Dig holes for your posts. Make the holes 18 to 24 inches deep. Mix ready-mix concrete (Sakrete general purpose mix will work well for this), and set the posts into the holes so that the tops are level with each other. Aim for a consistent height of about 6-1/2 feet above ground level for the top of the post, but remember that if your ground slopes you'll need to adjust that slightly for each post. Use your level and a tight string to ensure that the tops of the posts are level with each other. Check the straightness of each post by applying your level to each side and straightening if necessary. Support the post with a wooden support until the concrete sets. Allow at least 24 hours for the concrete to set.

  4. Size your lattice screens. The screens come in a standard 4 foot by 8 foot size, so you'll need to trim down the 8 foot length. Measure down from the top of your posts, then subtract 6 inches from the length. Cut each lattice screen to that length. Now nail the lattice screens onto the posts. Put the edge of each screen equal to the halfway point, and the top edge even with the top of the post.

  5. Cover the nails with strips of 1 by 4 inch boards of treated lumber. Nail or screw these boards in place. They'll protect the edges of the lattice screens from warping.

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Things You'll Need

  • 4 inch by 4 inch treated posts (8 feet)
  • 5 foot by 8 foot wood lattice screens
  • 1 inch by 4 inch treated boards
  • Tape measure
  • Flags or marker paint (spray)
  • Concrete (Sakrete)
  • String
  • Wood screws
  • Nails
  • Saw
  • Shovel
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Paint (optional)

About the Author

Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.

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