Build An Outdoor Privacy Screen

outdoor_privacy_screen_2.JPG A man’s home is his castle. If the lack of privacy in the backyard of your “castle” makes you feel like you are living in a fishbowl, then it’s time you made some plans to provide some aesthetically-pleasing privacy screening for your humble abode.

The best way to do that is with an outdoor privacy screen structure of one type or another.

I’ve got some free privacy screen plans and some cool ideas to help you in your decision-making process.

Before you begin making plans for your privacy screen you should find out if there are any local ordinances or neighborhood covenants that would prevent you from building the privacy screening of your choosing.

You should also consider the view that your neighbors will have once you have completed your project. There’s no sense in ruffling any feathers. You never know when you’ll have to borrow a cup of sugar and a few eggs.


Privacy Screen Ideas

Here are a few ideas of what you can do to create more privacy:

  • Construct a lattice fence.
  • Build a custom privacy structure that matches the architecture of your home. This could be constructed of wood, brick or stone.
  • Construct a privacy fence.
  • Build high walls with a material of your choice and soften them up with vines and vertical hedges.
  • Install panels of  “curtains” made of weather-resistant fabric.
  • Build an overhead pergola and attach a wire-mesh screening to the vertical portion and plant some foliage around it to soften it up.
  • Hang a wall of salvaged windows. You could paint some of the window panes, create faux stained glass or etch them to give an interesting effect, night or day, while still providing privacy. Point a light on them for a dramatic effect at night.

How To Etch Glass
How To Make a Faux Stained Glass Window




This is the view from inside of the privacy screen that you saw in the photo at the top of the page. It makes a huge difference.

  • Build a trellis with larger openings and install some of the openings with glass blocks.
  • Build a flowing, curved trellis with an attached pergola.
  • Install opaque acrylic panels. Buy clear acrylic panels and rough up one side with an orbital sander to make them opaque.
  • Integrate a gazebo into your deck with screens and plant some shrubs with a vertical growth habit.
  • Install some Asian-inspired panels made of opaque acrylic panels rather than rice paper.
  • Plant a nice row of fast-growing hedges or trees. Leyland cypress trees comes to mind. I’ve got a dozen of them on my west-facing property line to hide the neighbors driveway and large RV trailer. I planted them about 10 years ago and they are about 40-50 feet in height now. The foliage is spectacular and they also serve to slow the predominately westerly winds across our property.

    outdoor_privacy_screen_0.JPG outdoor_privacy_screen_1.JPG


    This is the emergency power generator behind a privacy screen. The photo on the right shows what you’d see when you walk by it. This was built for the 2007 Renewed American Home in Orlando.

    Source: Go to Better Homes & Garden’s RemodelingCenter for photos of some of the privacy screen choices that I’ve described above.


    Links to FREE Do-It-Yourself Plans for Outdoor Privacy Screening:

    This Old House shows you how to dig holes for fence posts and gives a few more ideas for privacy screening.

    Better Homes & Gardens – lattice-screen plan

    A walk-thru trellis

    How to Build a Patio Privacy Screen – Reader’s Digest (you read that right)

    A Cedar Privacy Screen – Popular Mechanics

    A Cedar Partition for an Outdoor Shower – via RONA

    Lattice-topped Fence – Popular Mechanics

    Fully-louvered Fence – Flex-Fence (very cool!)

    Shade Cloth-covered Lattice Fence with planter box – AlNet

    Patio Privacy Screen – This plan is extraordinarily appealing. – The Family Handyman

    Privacy Fence with Tile-Accented Pergola – HGTV

    Four Kinds of Privacy Fences: Basketweave; Board-and-Board; Grapestick; Louvered – LSU AgCenter

    Twig-Entwined Privacy Screen – Home Envy

    Trellis Trio – Better Homes & Gardens

    Grillwork Screen Vine Pole – BH&G






    Have an interesting idea for a privacy screen? Write me a note and I’ll share it for all to enjoy.


    Randy Boerstler

    Writing a home building blog that chronicles new homes during different phases of construction from a consumers' point-of-view is rather unique and loads of fun. Basically, my tips are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building a quality home. So let's have fun seeing what's new in the housing market these days!

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    • Mazgigs

      we have just hired someone to build a pierced brick wall  but the top bricks are coming of       should this happen

      • Randy

        Mazgigs…of course not. All bricks should be mortared in place. Give your mason a call and have them repair it. A good mason should do the repair work for free if it was recently done.