Insulate your lounge area from the neighbors with a privacy screen. Weave cedar planks through chain link fence posts to create stylish, faux-distressed panels.
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Create a custom plan for your space, or follow our plan for the screen shown here. This fence can be made in sections 8, 10, or 12 feet long by changing the slat length. Add more sections to fit your space. Check with your building department and homeowner’s association for any rules, regulations, or conveyances that control the style, location, or height of fences on your property. Next, call 811 to have the underground utilities located on your property; this free service ensures you’ll avoid damaging underground utilities.
Using string, stakes, marker paint, and a tape measure, mark the location of your fence posts (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).
Using a shovel or post-hole digger, dig 8-inch-diameter holes to the depth shown on the project diagrams.
Mix bags of concrete following the manufacturer’s instructions and fill the corner hole with the concrete. Once that hole is filled, position the post in the center of the hole and check the post for level.
The best concrete mix has a thick consistency like chunky peanut butter. If the concrete mix is too wet, it loses strength. If the mix consistency is proper, you should be able to push the post into the concrete and it will stand on its own.
Continue mixing and setting the two outside terminal posts. Double-check the distances between posts at the tops and bottoms using a 10-foot board as a spacer. Run a string between the terminal posts to assist setting the middle line posts between the terminal posts in a straight line.
If the concrete mix is too wet and the post will not stand on its own, drive stakes at an angle and tie string to the post and stakes to support the post while the concrete sets.
Allow the concrete to set overnight before proceeding. In the morning, remove the string, stakes, and excess dirt from the area.
Cut the 1 x 4 cedar boards for the slats to 119-1/2 inches long (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).
Mark the slats to drill holes for the connecting hardware. At each end post, the hole is centered on the width of the board and 1-1/4 inches from the end. At the ends where two sections meet, offset the holes so that the bands can be mounted to the ends of two slats without overlapping on the post (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).
Lightly sand the cedar boards, and apply an exterior stain/sealer of your choice. We alternated several colors of Olympic stain: Dark Ash, Wenge, Cape Sand, Steely Sea, and Waterhouse.
Set the bottom slat in position to curve around the line post. Loosely connect the slat at each terminal post using galvanized tension bands, bolts, and nuts (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) so the bottom edge of the first slat is 1 inch above finish grade. Use a level to set the bottom slat, and drive a self-tapping roofing screw through the tension band into the post to set the height of the bottom slat. A large pair of pliers may come in handy to press the tension bands closed while you thread the nut onto the carriage bolts.
As you set each slat at the center post, insert the tension band for the slats on the adjacent section. Otherwise, it will be difficult to install them after the first section is built.
Install the second slat the same as the first, but on the other side of the center line post from the bottom slat. Connect to the terminal posts with tension bands. Repeat for the next few slats alternating the weaving pattern around the center line post. After attaching five slats, check to be sure they are level and drive screws through the tension bands to set them permanently. Continue up the post for 20 total rows.
Install the second section in the same manner as the first. With all of the slats installed, the top of the post may need to be trimmed. If so, cut the posts to 1-1/2 inches above the top edge of the top slat using a hacksaw or a reciprocating saw.
Tap the post caps into the top of the posts with a rubber mallet.
Find more outdoor privacy ideas with our 10 Takes on Outdoor Privacy.