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Dad’s DIY Lattice Privacy Screen

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Today I am showing you how a DIY lattice privacy screen is easy to make, decorative and can be used on a patio, deck or anywhere outdoors. We used lattice fence panels to create a privacy screen to hide our ugly ac units on the patio which created a nice backdrop for flowers and our patio furniture. A lattice privacy screen can also be used to hide trash cans or even a neighbors yard.

This post has been updated recently 2022 as our backyard privacy screen project was done at our old house.

How to build a lattice privacy screen

how to build a lattice privacy screen

Building your own privacy screen outdoors is an easy way to also add a decorative element to an area. You will see how this screen added a pretty backdrop to our patio – keep reading!

Our patio makeover featured a project involving the old cement (click through this post to see how to repair an old cracked cement patio)  and this lattice privacy screen was the last part of our patio makeover series.  I cannot believe the amount of emails I received asking for a tutorial on how we built the lattice privacy screen! 

Lattice is a very popular product and if you search Google, you will find several lattice fence ideas as well as smaller scaled projects like this one creating a lattice screen to hide small outdoor objects like trash cans, AC units or even lattice on a deck can provide benefits for privacy. 

DIY Backyard Privacy Screen

I love tutorials that I find online but especially love the visual tutorials, so I decided to create this post using mostly pictures.

My dad thought the solution was to hang the privacy lattice from the gutters above with hooks but the man only thinks in practicality, not in aesthetics. So I showed him some pictures of lattice fence ideas on a patio and the diy lattice privacy screen on a deck that my mom and I liked in order to get his brain in “design” mode.

He is definitely a person that can duplicate things if he sees a picture. I am the same way.

lattice screen on patio with flowers

Image found at Better Homes and Gardens

I love how this lattice privacy fence had a planters box on the top, so pretty! This option below also would be perfect for deck as lattice on a deck provides a spot for flowers, outdoor decoration and of course, privacy from neighbors. 

patio privacy fence with flower and patio table

Source

So lets get started with the tutorial of how you can make your own DIY backyard privacy screen and how to make a frame for the lattice.

Our DIY Lattice Fence Installation Process

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 vinyl fence privacy screens so we started with the 8′ section first.

We purchased plastic/PVC lattice from Home Depot (you can now order online!) OR you can get this Stylish vinyl brand from Lowes (order online!) You will need to use stainless steel screws so they do not rust.

We used 8 x 1 – 5/8″ screws to create the lattice patio screen and used 10 x  3″ screws to attach the  privacy screen to the existing post on the patio.

deckfast screws

Next step, I painted the 1×4’s before we assembled the privacy screen

saw horses, white lattice and white pine trim pieces for privacy fence

Creating a Lattice Panel

For this part of the project, you are going to make framed lattice panels. You are essentially going to sandwich the lattice fence panel between your frame (the wood) creating a lattice panel. 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.

saw horses, white lattice and white pine trim pieces for privacy fence

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.

How to build a white vinyl lattice privacy screen {diy tutorial} with my dad

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.

How to build a white vinyl lattice privacy screen {diy tutorial} with my dad, deckfast screws

How to build a white vinyl lattice privacy screen {diy tutorial}

Note how we staggered the screws, this is very important according to my daddio!

Inexpensive backyard privacy ideas

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!”ha..  Isn’t he is funny? 🙂 We ended up making 3 free standing lattice privacy screens to hide the air conditioner units so the next one, required cutting.

If you have a deck or patio that faces a grumpy neighbor, you could definitely make one of these DIY privacy screens and just cut your frame and lattice to the size you need. Adding a lattice privacy screen to existing deck railing is a great idea to hide a neighbors yard and provide privacy on your own deck. This is an inexpensive way to get privacy easily and quickly! 

My dad cutting white vinyl fence with skill saw - how to build a lattice privacy fence

How to build a lattice privacy screen {diy tutorial}
How to build a lattice privacy screen {diy tutorial} , privacy panel

We used the same steps to create the other two lattice privacy panels.

How to build a lattice privacy screen {diy tutorial} with my dad, screwing deckfast screws to white pine trim
How to build a lattice privacy screen {diy tutorial}, privacy screen with my dad

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.

Lattice Privacy Fence Installation Tips

How to build a lattice privacy screen {diy tutorial}
corner piece of white vinyl privacy fence on patio with AC units

Note that the screws are facing inward. Much better, don’t you think? Finally, a beautiful patio with hidden air conditioner units!

Patio adirondack chairs and sofa, floral patio cushions, white vinyl privacy screen for AC units

Feel free to print this tutorial and items needed for future reference.

Yield: 1 privacy screen

DIY Lattice Privacy Screen

DIY Lattice Privacy Screen
How to build a lattice privacy screen to hide AC units on a patio.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty medium
Estimated Cost varies

Materials

  • 1. 1x4 pine as our frame - paint your frame prior (we used white paint)
  • 2. PVC plastic lattice - purchase the size you need or larger and cut to fit
  • 3. 8 x 1 - 5/8" screws to create the lattice patio screen and used 10 x  3" screws to attach the  privacy screen to the existing post on the patio.
  • 4. 3" screws

Tools

  • saw, hammer, power screwdriver, drill, measuring tape

Instructions

Our DIY Lattice Fence Installation Process:

  1. First, paint your "frame" before assembling the lattice. We used 1x4 pine as our frame that I painted white prior to starting the project. We needed to make 3 lattice vinyl fence privacy screens so we started with the 8' section first.
  2. We purchased plastic/PVC lattice from Home Depot (you can now order online!) OR you can get this Stylish vinyl brand from Lowes (order online!) You will need to use stainless steel screws so they do not rust.
  3. We used 8 x 1 - 5/8" screws to create the lattice patio screen and used 10 x  3" screws to attach the  privacy screen to the existing post on the patio. Next step, I painted the 1x4's before we assembled the privacy screen
  4. You are essentially going to sandwich the lattice screen between your frame creating a lattice panel. Layout your frame (1x4 pine pieces cut to size), place your lattice on top and then add 1x4's again on top of your lattice.
  5. You will basically be cutting 2 pieces of 1x4'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. We used the same steps to create the other two lattice privacy panels.
  6. 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.

Notes

This tutorial is for 3 side lattice privacy screen . You can use these same steps to create any size privacy screen based on your needs.

Order Vinyl Fencing ONLINE and GET THE LOOK (click images below to shop my affiliate links)

Ordering online these lattice fence panels or these are 48″ x 24″ makes if you prefer ordering from Amazon. So simple!

 

Patio adirondack chairs and sofa, floral patio cushions, white vinyl privacy screen for AC units

 

You can purchase a variety of privacy lattice panels (like this lattice ) whether it be wood (that you can paint) or vinyl. The vinyl is maintenance free. For those of you asking about our adirondack chairs, here are a few we love…  These are gorgeous from Wayfair (click here for adirondack chairs, these are great  adirondack chairs (very affordable / click here)  from Walmart .

Updated: Did you see our Trash Can lattice privacy fence?

Need to hide your garbage? Try this DIY lattice privacy screen. Step by step visual tutorial that can be completed in an afternoon.

Updated Blog Post 2022 – Are you new here? Meet Jessica and here latest update of the death of her grandparents, surviving divorce and a new marriage proposal!

Related Idea with vinyl lattice – This cute little garbage can privacy fence is at our campsite and is perfect for trash!

This lattice privacy fence project was such a great addition to our back patio. Patios with lattice also add to the visual appeal as well. Whether it be a trellis or lattice screen, it adds nice texture to the outdoor space. Building a lattice privacy screen to a porch or deck is also a simple weekend project.

Here is an example of how to use lattice attached to the lower part of a porch deck to hide the dirt and unfinished part of a stairway. 

Our total cost was under $40 (cost of vinyl lattice, pine for frame & screws). Hopefully after this project tutorial you feel a confident and motivated to build your own lattice privacy screen. I found may comments on forums with people asking how to build a backyard lattice privacy screen and it’s really not that hard especially if you have someone to help you.

They come in all sizes so you could always do a smaller version of this one. We also made a privacy screen panel to hide our garbage cans at the campsite. My mom loves that the ugly ac units are hidden and she has a pretty back for her flowers. You can see more of diy our projects and spaces by checking out our interior page. Mission accomplished!

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68 Comments

    1. Thank you Kristi! Hope you are enjoying your summer ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Jessica-you just made my day! This is a great project and please thank your Dad for giving away his “secrets” and thank you for giving such a thorough breakdown! We have {ahem} neighbors I could do without seeing and are putting in a pool next week so this project is totally on my to-do list now! Thanks again!

    Melissa

    1. Thank you Melissa ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with those neighbors!

  2. Wow! First of all, let me just gripe about builders and why they think it’s okay to just plop those horrific (but necessary things) right in the middle of everything!

    Second of all – that turned out AWESOME! What a beautiful space you made for your Mom! I’ve seen people butcher “lattice privacy screens” before but you guys did great. Your Dad cracks me up!

    On my way over to Sand and Sisal now!

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. This looks great! We built a lattice covering for under our house last year and we were not smart enough to buy the pre-painted version. I’m glad you did because that stuff is NO FUN to paint.

    1. No kidding, oh that must have stunk painting it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. It looks lovely! Tell your Dad all these people he doesn;t know appreciate him!

  5. Such an attractive patio solution! Your tutorial inspires me to camouflage a heat pump that is located right off the deck. Would you be able to tell how the planters are secured on top? What an attractive and functional idea you and Dad created. Thank you!

    1. Hi Sonia, you can screw the containers from the inside (of the container) right to the top of your wooden lattice piece. Just use stainless steel screws so they don’t rust. You may want to use those containers that have the water catch at the bottom b/c they usually come off of the bottom of the planter so you could screw the water catch to the top and then place your planter inside. Hope that made sense ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Please tell your father I say ” Thank you!” for sharing his secrets. I put together the first of two 8’x6′ screens on Friday and mounted it in place today. It looks great and my neighbor even came out to say so. I’m using them to screen off a small area of the yard where we keep our composters.

  7. Do you mind me asking about the slats for the lattice? What did you use for them? It doesn’t look like regular 1 x 4’s from here.

    thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Deb, we used 1×4’s for the frame on the lattice. Is that what you are talking about or are you talking about the existing posts on the patio that we attached the lattice frame to?

      1. I meant in the lattice itself. The 1×4’s I have seen are thicker, like 3/4″ and I was wondering if those are what you used, or did you use something from the trim section that is thinner.

        Thanks in advance.

        1. Hi Deb! We bought the lattice already assembled in a big 4′ x 8′ sheet. It’s vinyl lattice sheets.

          1. Thanks. I see now how you did it.

  8. Tell your Dad this was a great find and we really appreciate him sharing! Some daughters don’t have Dad’s nearby for yard makeovers! So we’ll “borrow” yours through the magic of the internet.

  9. thanks for posting this..and say thanks to DADS too…. he is helping me get my hubby motivated !

  10. Is this just free standing? What keeps it from falling over? Im in Florida and we get some winds that would throw that across the yard! LOL! Just wondering what he attached it to

    1. No, it’s screwed to one of the existing support posts for the roof. You can see it in the pictures if you look close ๐Ÿ™‚ You would definitely need to screw the privacy screen to something to keep it from falling over. It’s big!

  11. Love this project…NO MITER CUTS…It seems most bloggers have a carpenter for a husband..So although the projects are GREAT..we can’t RECREATE this is so do~able for everyone…Thanks!

  12. Jennifer Farsh says:

    Tell your Dad he is super cute;-) he reminds me of my Dad. Just found your site and I love it! Thank you for sharing your creations!

  13. MY HUSBAND AND ME DID IT WITHOUT LOOKING AT YOUR DADS SECRETS
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Just wanted to say thank you for posting. I’ve been looking at purchasing vinyl fencing to hide our wood pile and garabge cans and your fence project is not only cheaper but better looking. Great looking patio as well.

      1. What a fabulous project – and so budget-friendly. Thank you for the inspiration. I’ve posted this to Pinterest/homedepot on the “Garden Party” pinboard.

  15. Patti Teeters says:

    Hi, Jessica. Love your idea and tutorial. Your Dad is a cutey! Thanks to both of you for tutorial. It is exactly what I am looking for, for the west side of my front porch. Nice wind breaker and nice to put some morning glories on. And the price of the project fits my pocket book just right. Have a great time in the new patio area!!

  16. Thanks for this tutorial! Two quick questions for Dad:
    1. Can you explain how you connected the corner? Brackets or just screws?
    2. I need to do this but need 3 panels horizontally (you had just one). How do I connect each panel to one another?
    Thanks ‘Daddio’!
    Hanna

    1. We used screws but you could use corner/L brackets. Just make sure they are for outdoors and will not rust over time ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck!

  17. You are so lucky that your dad is around !!!!! My dad was just like him. Your privacy screen came out beautiful.

  18. Dana Sutherland says:

    This looks great…We have a 35×15 chain link dog kennel that I have been trying for so long to think of something creative and attractive to conceal it with. I think I just found the perfect idea for it. Thank you for posting this. Let your dad know he just helped you help another family!

  19. Thank you for the step by step … very helpful. I too have “those neighbors” and maybe this might help my plight (waking up with garbage in my front yard). I will be building 6 of these and maybe they will get a hint.

  20. This looks great, and you’ve made it so easy! My only question is: how do you prevent it from blowing over? is it attached to the ground or the house somehow, or is it freestanding? thanks in advance for your time!

    1. Thank you Jennifer! The side posts are screwed to the wooden columns (that holds up the roof). It would definitely blow over if it wasn’t attached to something.You can always use cement screws (for outside) if you need to attach it to a cement patio:)

  21. Thank you so much for the GREAT ideas love the pictures of your dad an projects . I use to work with my dad on projects so this hit home for sure !

    1. That is great Katey you have done stuff with your dad. Great memories for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Delvalouisia says:

    Wonderful tutorial and very clean photos. They help alot. I going to try making a small fence this summer. Thanks So Much! Delvalouisia

  23. My son and I are going to attempt nstalling privacy lattice on our carport,(upper). Need any help you can give. Reetee

  24. I was wondering how you all get along. Do any members of the 4 generations clash??? We have 3 generations in my house and the grandpa and the dad clash alot.

    1. For the most part we all get along. My husband works over 70 hours a week so he is barely home and if anyone clashes, it’s me and my grandfather. We have moments where we butt heads but mostly, it’s ok ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Does your Dad have a tuitorial on how to build that plant stand on the patio? I need this privacy screen on my patio..as my neighbor’s shrubbery sheds on my patio all the time and makes such a mess.

  26. Jessica-thanks for this tutorial!I’ve been thinking about this type of project and now I don’t have to reinvent the wheel:)

  27. So how do I get the lattice screen to stay up? I’m going to try to build it to block out my neighbors who are loud and hoarders.

  28. Great tutorial Jessica. As I write this comment the guys are here installing a new AC unit and I needed a way to protect it from my male dog that killed our last AC unit by lifting his leg on it all the time. You idea is exactly what I need to hide and protect my air conditioner. Thanks for great tutorial, yours came out great!

    1. Oh no! Yes male dogs wreck tons of things with their leg and pee ๐Ÿ™ Good luck and we love our barrier, we have since added window boxes filled with flowers to it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. There are SO many ads on this page that the article is literally unreadable on mobile ๐Ÿ™

  30. This came at the perfect time! I was asking my son about putting something up at the end of my patio to block my view of my neighbors. This is just what I wanted. Thank you so much. Tell your dad he was a big help and a lot of us out here wish we had such a great handy fella around.???? Hugs,

  31. What are your thoughts on the pvc trim so the wood doesn’t need painted? We bought it to attempt a privacy screen on the side of our deck to block our neighbor’s windows but now I am worried it may bend or sag since pvc is a bit flexible and the screen will be a bit tall. Our deck railings are white vinyl so we have to zip tie the screen to hold it to the deck rail. Thanks!!!

  32. This looks really good and gives your mom a great place to relax without looking at AC units or garbage cans. Your dad is so funny! And it’s great that he can help you sometime.