Front Porch Privacy Screen

2 Materials
$40
4 Hours
Medium

When our neighbours decided to store their garbage bins at the side of their house we had more than just a curb appeal problem. Every time we came and went out the front door we were met with an unappealing view of their trash.
Even after we installed a new walkway, screen door, painted the front door red, and added flower pots, although it was a big improvement, it still wasn’t enough.
Here’s what the view looked like from our front door – yuck.
Our solution was to build a custom privacy screen. Privacy screens are a fun weekend build and a great way to use up scrap wood. Hubs ripped wider pieces of cedar left over from a fence project for me to work with. I set up a cutting station on the driveway to cut the pieces to length with our mitre saw.
I came up with a quick sketch of what I had in mind so I could lay it out and visualize it. I set up sawhorses and then laid out my pattern according to my plan, starting with the side pieces, then filling in the cross pieces and lastly the lattice. I built the lattice section in the centre piece-by-piece, but you could also add pre-made lattice and save yourself some work.
Once I had my design finalized and figured out, I moved it all over to the garage floor because it was easier to glue and pin-nail on the ground (below I’m working on a different screen).
Don't forget eye protection!
Once everything was complete, here’s how the privacy screen for the front porch turned out (with hubs doing his best Vanna White impression).
Hubs then built a planter box so we could train vines up the lattice and further hide the unsightly view.
We used L-brackets screwed into the brick to support the screen on the top and bottom, and the planter box just sits right in front of it on the porch itself.
The vines start out sparse but by summer we have a lush wall of green 🙂
Another great idea to camouflage the view by the front door, if you have the same situation as us, would be to plant an entire vertical garden using soda bottles and aircraft cable. I did the one shown below indoors for my kitchen, but it would look fantastic as a privacy screen outdoors too! You could stagger 3 or more columns side-by-side for better privacy. 
Here’s a quick video of just how easy a vertical garden is to make. For the full tutorial on how to do it, click here.
Just before we finished our front yard, hubs and I transformed our backyard too. It went from this sad bit of landscaping done by the previous owners:
…to this lush oasis (thankfully by the time we were done, our neighbour in the back removed the gargantuan satellite dish that was such an eyesore!).
For more ideas on how to add privacy screens around your property and for tips and tricks on how to plan a full-blown small backyard makeover, be sure to search out two of our previous posts using the search bar feature on my Birdz of a Feather Home website: 1) 'Spring Forward – Building Trellises and Privacy Screens' and 2) 'How Does Your Garden Grow'. It will break down the steps we took to achieve our dream garden – from planning the space to laying a patio to even installing a pond – and show you how you can do it too! You’ll find individual links to all our backyard projects!

If you enjoyed this post, please pin and share. For more inspiring ideas, in and around the home, follow our blog here on Hometalk and/ or Birdz of a Feather (link below this post where you see our logo). You can also follow us on:

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I'll leave you with a few of the craft projects you may have missed under the Craft Rehab category of our blog if you haven't yet subscribed

Suggested materials:

  • Cedar  (Big box store)
  • Pin nailer  (Big box store)

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Jjqq
    on Apr 30, 2017

    What kind of vines do you suggest for quick growing and will fill in nice and thick? I love your solution to the privacy problem. As far as the back yard - that satellite dish ---thought the aliens were arriving :)
    • Birdz of a Feather
      on Apr 30, 2017

      It's really dependent on your climate, sunlight and other factors, so you're probably best to ask your local nursery. I grow sweet pea on ours because I like the flowers but it's not overly dense; I still want to see the trellis details because I worked so hard on it :)

      As for the satellite dish, it's such a relief it's gone!
    • Anniepepper19
      on May 1, 2017

      Beautiful job ...love what you did.
    • Patti
      on May 1, 2017

      What a beautiful idea. Think I just might try this on the garbage collection right by my yard. Thanks Much Love ❤️ It. Patti
    • Dpbeee2
      on May 1, 2017

      Very nice Job you did! Perfect solution too.
    • Dpbeee2
      on May 1, 2017

      Very nice Job you did! Perfect solution too.
    • Missroselady
      on May 6, 2017

      Clematis fills in very nicely. But it takes a couple years. It also likes its roots in shade.
    • Hab24973216
      on Jun 16, 2017

      morning glory are nice climbers and pretty...
    • Jo
      on Jul 9, 2017

      Morning glories take over pretty quickly, I have some and they bloom.
    • Kimberley Hosmer
      on Mar 24, 2018

      Morning Glories do make a very quick and beautiful display. Lots of varieties to choose from, too.

      One word of cation, though. They produce an abundance if seeds, that will find their way to every corner of your yard. So it might be best to limit then to an area away from other plantings. Along an alley fenceline, for as we did in an area prone to graffiti, along the alley side of the garage. Beauty to foil crime!



    • Don30661044
      on Mar 29, 2018

      Sub Zero Ivy, It'll climb and cover like a beautiful green wall, and the best part it'll stay green year round. Spreads rapidly and is beautiful. My aunt had a chain length fence put up around her property and planted the ivy and it covered her entire fence area and gave her privacy from her neighbors.

  • Jan
    on May 8, 2017

    Is that a small pond on the right side of your walkway by the house. I can only tell that it is stacked stones in a circle. Can you give info on how you did that and maybe a close up picture? Love every you have done in your yard!
  • Great! I want to do something similar for my windows, not for privacy but for design. I love craftsman windows with the lines a couple of inches in from edge etc. what material would you recommend to achieve such design within a frame that can be leaned against a window? Appreciate any advice! Clair
    • Birdz of a Feather
      on Jul 26, 2017

      It depends - will the frame be inside or out? Will it be painted or left a natural colour? If outside, you have to think about rot resistance. These are all considerations you have to take into account. You'd need to research your use and the availability of wood in your area. Frames like that are typically made of hemlock, straight grained fir or even mahogany . You could also use yellow pine or cypress for its durability (but you won't find these in a big box store). Find a wood supplier in your area and ask their advice for your particular purpose and use :)
    • It would be fitted inside the window but not attached with glue. I like the look of black trim on the interior window coupled with a window trimed with white.
      Thank you for your help,
      clair

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