Today I am sharing how to build a lattice privacy screen on a budget. Do you have air conditioner units, trash bins or maybe a neighbor that you can’t stand the site of? Thankfully, we like our neighbors (knock on wood) but we have two large air conditioner units that are at the end of my mom’s patio so we decided to make a simple and inexpensive lattice privacy screen.
Last week I posted our patio makeover and showed you how to repair an old cracked cement patio. As I mentioned last week, this happens to be my mom’s outdoor space so we are trying to “beautify” it for her . I cannot believe the amount of emails I received asking for a tutorial on how we built the privacy screen. I had already planned posting a tutorial but your sweet emails made me that much more motivated to get it done quickly! I love tutorials that I find online but especially love the visual tutorials, so I decided to create this post using mostly pictures.
Before I get started though, I wanted to let you know that I’m over at SandandSisal today visiting my southern friend Kim! I would love if you would come visit me after you finish up here!
Ok, back to the lattice privacy screen. My dad thought the solution was to hang the lattice from the gutters above with hooks but the man only thinks in practicality, not in aesthetics. So I showed him some pictures that my mom and I liked in order to get his brain in “design” mode. He never ends up in design mode, he just caves because he can’t stand two of nagging him.
I love how this screen had a planters box on the top, so pretty!
So lets get started. First, paint your “frame” before assembling the lattice. We used 1×4 pine as our frame that I painted white prior to starting the project. We needed to make 3 lattice privacy screens so we started with the 8′ section first. We purchased plastic/PVC lattice from Home Depot. You will need to use stainless steel screws so they do not rust. We used 8 x 1 – 5/8″ screws to create the privacy screen and used 10 x 3″ screws to attach the privacy screen to the existing post on the patio.
Next, I painted the 1×4′s before we assembled the privacy screen.
You are essentially going to sandwich the lattice between your frame. Layout your frame (1×4 pine pieces cut to size), place your lattice on top and then add 1×4′s again on top of your lattice. You will basically be cutting 2 pieces of 1×4′s for each side.
Use your stainless steel 1 5/8″ (or whatever size you choose) to attach the pine to the lattice. Remember, screw from the “inside” out. You want the side that you will see to be pretty, you do not want to be looking at screws! Look at my cute dad, he thinks I’m crazy :).
Don’t be shy with your screws either and be sure to stagger them to prevent them from warping.
Note how we staggered the screws, this is very important according to my daddio!
My dad said in the middle of this project, “why do I want to share all my secrets with these people? I don’t even know them!” hehe. Isn’t he is funny? We ended up making 3 privacy screens to hide the air conditioner units so the next one, required cutting.
We used the same steps to create the other two privacy screens.
By this time, he is getting annoyed with all my pictures I am taking because I keep stopping and saying, “wait, I need a picture of that!” I really did help, but in between pictures. Of course, I got stuck cleaning everything up. My grandfather is watching out the window giving directions. ha.
Next, we attached the end pieces to the large 8′ piece using the 3″ screws. We also attached the small part (see below) to the existing post on the patio for stability.
Note that the screws are facing inward.
Much better, don’t you think?
Finally, a beautiful patio with hidden air conditioner units!
Total cost = under $40 (cost of lattice, pine for frame & screws).
Hopefully after this tutorial you feel a confident and motivated to build your own lattice privacy screen. They come in all sizes so you could always do a smaller version of this one. My mom loves that the air compressors are hidden now and she has a pretty back for her flowers. Mission accomplished!
You can view many more pictures of our patio makeover as well as our tutorial on how to repair an old cracked cement patio here. You may also love our outdoor covered porch, poolside project and pool house makeover.