How to Build a Trellis Fence

Latice image by J Elkins from

Build your own inexpensive yet attractive fencing without a lot of building knowledge or skills. Lattice trellis panels are available at most home improvement stores. Sold in a variety of colours, the trellis is made of either wood or vinyl.

Wood trellis can be painted to whatever colour you desire, but vinyl trellis fencing is impervious to most weathering, so it lasts much longer. Once erected, the trellis can provide shade and privacy, and you can grow vines along it to add a natural touch.

Drive a 6-inch wooden stake into the ground at each corner of the area you are fencing. Tie a string between the stakes, mapping out the shape of the fence.

Dig a 2.5-foot-deep hole every 6 feet along the marked fence line, using either manual posthole digger or a gas-powered hole auger.

Place a 6-inch layer of gravel in the bottom of each hole. The gravel prevents water from standing in the hole, which could prematurely rot wooden posts.

Mix quick-setting concrete in a wheelbarrow according to package instructions. Mix the concrete for each post just before pouring, so the concrete doesn't begin to set before you pour it.

Set the post in the hole. Use a level to verify that it is standing perfectly vertical. Prop a length of 2-by-2 board against either side of the post to hold it straight while the concrete cures.

Pour the concrete into the hole around the post until the level of the concrete is just above ground level. Allow the concrete to cure completely, which usually takes no more than 24 hours.

Set a trellis panel up between two posts. Adjust the panel so that the top is level with the top of the posts.

Nail the panel to the posts. Place a nail every 6 to 8 inches along the entire length of the trellis along each post to ensure it is held securely and doesn't buckle. Place a trellis between each post until the fence is finished.