Today I’m bringing back a popular post from last year, our Front Porch Privacy Screen, but showing you more detail of the process.
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).
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.
Here’s a reminder of the same view of the before.
The screen is so much nicer to look at from all angles! Here’s another before and after from the other direction:
The vines start out sparse but by summer we have a lush wall of green 🙂
There’s really nothing better than when the vines get to the very top of the screen and bloom:
Here’s a final side-by-side comparison before we planted the vines:
In the winter we tuck the screen away in the garage and replace it with this solid one. It helps protect the front entryway from blustery winter winds! No waiting for vines to grow; they’re already on the fabric 🙂
Don’t forget to pin for later:
For more ideas on how to add privacy screens around your property, see this post.
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. Click here for the full tutorial on how to make a vertical garden using soda bottles.
Here’s a quick video of just how easy a vertical garden is to make:
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!).
For tips and tricks on how to plan a full-blown small backyard makeover, be sure to check out our post ‘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 also find individual links to most of our backyard projects!
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