Create a serene setting for kicking back or visiting with guests with this floor-to-ceiling porch trellis. The open design of this trellis offers plenty of privacy while still allowing a cooling breeze to come through.
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Then, from pressure-treated 1x2s, cut the horizontal mounting cleats (C) and vertical decorative stiles (F) to length. From pressure-treated 1x4s, cut the upper/lower decorative rails (E) to size.
Using a pocket-hole jig, drill holes through the inner pair of mounting cleats (C), where shown. Depending on your ceiling construction, you may need to mark the screw-hole locations on the top cleat to center the screws on any exposed joists. Drill the holes.
Then mount the top cleat to the ceiling by driving 1-1/2-inch severe-weather stainless steel screws. Using a plumb bob (or a level with a long straightedge) at each end of the cleat, mark the locations on the floor for positioning the bottom cleat. Align the cleat with the marks, and screw it in place.
On a flat surface, lay out two uprights (A) and two horizontal supports (B) in the configuration shown to form the frame. Measure for equal corner-to-corner diagonals to verify square. Drill a pair of mounting holes through the supports and into the uprights at each corner, where shown. Then, fasten with 1-1/4-inch deck screws. Next, position the remaining inner uprights in place, equally spaced, where shown. Drill the holes, and fasten with screws. Then, mount the remaining inner horizontal supports, equally spacing these between the outer supports.
Lay out the center decorative rails (D), where shown, centering them between the inner horizontal supports (B) with their ends centered on the uprights (A). Drill mounting holes, where shown, and fasten with 1-1/4-inch deck screws. In the same way, attach the upper/lower decorative rails (E) and vertical decorative stiles (F).
With a partner, raise the trellis and hold it in place against the inner horizontal mounting cleats (C). Position the top outer mounting cleat against the horizontal support (B). Drill mounting holes through the cleat, support, and into the inner cleat, where shown. Fasten with 2-1/2-inch deck screws. Repeat to mount the bottom cleat.
Stain the wall trellis a color of your choice. We used Olympic solid-color stain, white #23007, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This project requires only crosscuts of standard dimensional lumber using a table saw or miter saw. To ensure identical lengths of multiple parts for a square assembly, use an auxiliary fence and a stop block on your saw. Select the clearest (least knotted) and straightest boards you can find. This provides the best appearance and easiest assembly.
Pressure-treated lumber is likely to have high moisture content when you buy it. If your boards feel wet and heavy, set them aside for a week or longer to dry out. Stack (sticker) the boards with spacers to allow air circulation, and keep the boards in a dry place out of direct sunlight, such as your garage or shop. If you cut wet lumber and assemble a project with it, the parts are likely to warp or crack around fasteners (which restrict the wood movement) as the wood dries.
The privacy trellis is held in place (sandwiched) between a pair of horizontal mounting cleats (C) at the top and bottom. The inner pair of cleats attach to your porch ceiling and floor using screws in pocket holes. You’ll need a simple pocket-hole jig to drill these holes. The outer pair of cleats attach to the trellis and inner cleats with deck screws.
Although we designed the 83-inch-high x 96-inch-wide trellis to fit the opening on our featured porch, you easily can size it to suit your space. To do this, measure your opening. Then, cut the lengths of the uprights (A) to your measured height and the lengths of the horizontal supports (B) and horizontal mounting cleats (C) to your measured width. When changing the lengths of these parts, you’ll also need to adjust the spacing of the inner parts A and B and the decorative horizontal and vertical rails and stiles -- parts D, E, and F -- as needed to maintain approximate equal spacing. Depending on the overall change in the frame size, you may want to add or omit a rail or stile as well as to adjust their lengths to keep the ends of the parts approximately centered on the widths of the frame members.