Build a Privacy Wall With Fence Panels

Instead of putting up an entire fence, build a barrier with wood panels.


Tools and Materials:

gas-powered auger or a post-hole digger
framing nail gun and a finish nail gun
circular saw
screw gun
chop (miter) saw
jig saw
level and a tape measure
concrete mix and a cement mixer

Lumber needed for making one 4'7” wide by 6' tall panel:
  - three 4x4 pressure-treated posts
  - five 1/2" pressure-treated decking planks
  - one 24” x 48” pressure-treated lattice panel
  - four 6’ 1x2 pressure-treated boards

Build the Frames:

1. For the top (horizontal) beam, measure and mark a line 12 inches from both ends of one 4x4 post. Mark a second line 8-1/2 inches in from both ends of same post to create a 3-1/2-inch area in between each line. This area is where the side posts will notch into the top beam.


2. Lay the top of another post next to the 3-1/2-inch area. The thickness the post should match exactly. Use a jig saw to notch out the marked area 2 inches deep, thus giving you a 2” x 3-1/2” notch. Test fit one of the side posts into the notch; make any necessary adjustments. Repeat the process for the notch on the other side of the top post.

3. Using a circular saw, cut a chamfer (angle cut) on the top beam on the same side as the notches (the underside).

4. Assemble the structure with the top beam lying flat. Fit the two vertical posts into the notches. Attach the beam to the posts using long framing nails or decking screws.


Create the Inner Design:

5. There are many patterns you can make for the center of the panels. We combined lattice and and 6-inch bullnose decking. To make this pattern, you’ll need vertical pieces nailed to the inside of the posts to hold up the decking and lattice. To do this, cut four 1x2s five feet long. You’ll only attach two at first. With the post and beam frame laid out flat, nail one 1x2 to the bottom inside edge of one of the vertical posts. Make sure that sits up against the top beam. Repeat on the inside edge of other vertical post.

6. Start laying out the slats of the panel. Using a chop saw, cut a piece of the decking material to fit inside the panel’s frame, ours is 4 feet wide. Lay the board so it rests on both 1x2s, about 6 inches below the top beam. Nail into place.

7. On two of the decking pieces, use a router to a make a 1/4-inch notch the length of each piece. The lattice will fit into these notches.

8. Place one of the notched boards on the 1x2s about one inch below the previously attached piece of decking. Make sure the notched edge is toward the bottom of the panel and facing up to you. Nail into the 1x2 boards.


9. Using a circular saw, cut a piece of lattice 24” x 48” (or to your correct width). Fit the lattice into the notch of previously attached piece of decking.


10. Fit the other notched piece decking into the bottom edge of the lattice. Secure the lattice to the two pieces of decking and to the 1x2 boards.

11. Add two more pieces of decking, leaving one inch in between each piece. Nail into the 1x2 boards.

12. Lay the remaining two 1x2 boards flush with inside edges of each vertical post and top beam. Line it up evenly with the bottom 1x2 boards. The top 1x2 will cover the nail holes on the decking material and lattice, plus add extra support.

13. Repeat steps to create as many fence panels as desired.

Dig Holes and Install Panels:

14. Before doing any substantial digging around your yard, always make sure to have the ground properly checked by the local utility company.


15. Measure out where you would like your fence to start and where you would like it to end. Mark for your first panel. Our panels are 4’ 7” wide and we spaced them 4 feet apart.

16. To dig the holes, you can use a post-hole digger or rent an auger from a supply center. Dig the holes about 18 inches deep. If you want to vary the height of the panels, dig some of the holes deeper than 18 inches.

17. Make sure your holes are spaced out properly by test placing the panels as you go along.

18. When all the panels are in the desired places, use a level to make sure they’re straight and even. Mix the concrete to the manufacturer’s specification and pour it into the holes. Use leftover lumber to make supports for each panel. The tripod structure will help keep the panels level while the concrete dries.

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