Front Porch Privacy Screen

2 Materials
4 Hours

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 our website (below this post where you see our Birdz of a Feather logo: 1) 'Outdoor Privacy Screen Ideas' and 2) 'Small Backyard Landscape Ideas'.

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Suggested materials:
  • Cedar   (Big box store)
  • Pin nailer   (Big box store)
Birdz of a Feather
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Jjqq 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 :)

  • Jan Jan on May 08, 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

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