Decks are an extension of our homes’ living spaces—a spot to dine, to read, or to sit back and soak in the sun. But, while they may feel like an outdoor living room, they often lack the privacy offered by the overstuffed sofa in our family room.
Last summer, after staining and sealing a raised deck for a client, she mentioned that as excited as she was to decorate her new outdoor living space, she wasn’t thrilled about the view into her neighbor’s unkempt backyard. I told her I had a solution that would turn her exposed deck into a haven of privacy and then proceeded to introduce her to the wide world of privacy screens.
DIY outdoor privacy screen ideas are limited only by your imagination. Not only do they make your deck more private, they can also cut down on wind and offer some shade—all ways to improve the coziness of your home’s outdoor room. Installing a privacy screen, like lattice work, decorative panels, or a freestanding fence, is also a DIYer’s dream—relatively easy, fast, and low cost with a big payoff. And trailing vines, or the addition of potted plants, can easily add a natural element as well. You could run to the home improvement store this Saturday morning and be done early enough to show off your handiwork to friends at an afternoon BBQ—a private, invite-only deck party (no nosey neighbors allowed).
A classic choice to add some privacy to your deck is lattice. Lattice screens come in two common styles, grid and crosshatched, though some manufacturers may get creative and offer their own designs. Usually constructed of thin strips of wood stapled together in a pattern, wood lattices are the most common, but you can buy vinyl lattice screens as well. Either option is easy to work with, just cut and attach to a custom framework that fits your outdoor living space.
The Benefits of Lattice Panels:
Problems Working with Lattice Panels:
Outdoor decorative panels are screens featuring a scene or design cut into them. They’re often made from iron or copper sheets, but wooden panels are available as well. And, both metal and wood options are easily found at most shops or online stores that sell outdoor decorations or garden supplies. The options for decorative panels really are just about endless.
Once you’ve found a decorative panel to compliment your deck and home, as a weekend DIYer you can easily make a frame to attach the panel to. Wood framework is the simplest and easiest option—and allows for a wide degree of personalization.
The Pros to Installing a Decorative Wall Panel:
The Cons of Decorative Fence Panels for Gardens and Decks:
Freestanding options are basically pre-assembled sections of privacy fence that can be moved around your yard, deck, or patio. They are often latticework bordered by a wood frame, although there are also designs reminiscent of privacy fencing with a solid base and lattice at the top. Wood or wood framed screens are common and come in a wide selection of designs, while vinyl screens tend to offer fewer options but have the added benefit of extremely low maintenance.
The Benefits of a Freestanding Outdoor Privacy Fence:
The Disadvantages of Freestanding Fence Sections for Privacy:
While freestanding privacy fences may offer the least hassle, decorative panels offer truly one-of-a-kind options, and lattice is easy to customize for your space and decor. Whichever option you choose to add a sense of seclusion to your outdoor spaces, consider training crawling vines to grow on them, or adding a pergola to give yourself some shade and a bit of natural beauty.
For my client with the raised backyard deck, I was able to go back the next week and install a custom privacy screen for her in less than a day. She picked out some black decorative panels that I sprayed with a clear coat weatherproofer to give them a slight shine and keep them from rusting. I used OZCO 2-in-1 stain and sealer for the wood frame and OZCO timber screws to bring the project together. The stain/sealer combo saved me time and the hardware is top quality that I trust to last. After easily attaching the frame to her deck, my client now has the privacy to enjoy her space—and a little extra style added to her deck as well.
And, I promised her she’ll be enjoying it for more than a few seasons since I only use OZCO hardware on all my jobs. Their products are coated in zinc, powder-coating, and a corrosive inhibiting finish, which is perfect if you’re using ACQ-treated lumber. Even their timber screws are specially manufactured with a polymer coating to resist corrosion and reduce friction, making them easier to use. I don’t know of any other company that makes their products to such a high standard, so they’re my go-to brand. With OZCO on my side, I can stand behind my work with confidence.