How To Build A Privacy Screen On An Existing Deck

These DIY privacy screens are a great way to get the privacy you want inside and out, whether it be for your deck, porch, area of your yard, or even your windows.

Some of these privacy screens can also be used to hide anything unsightly in your yard such as trash cans, recycling bins, an air conditioner, or even areas of your yard that you just don’t love.

All of these DIY privacy screen projects are beginner-level and low-budget. You’ll learn a lot without spending a lot, and have a great build that you’ll be eager to share.


Based on the size of your deck, you’ll need to pull together the lumber for the screen.

You need lumber for both the upright posts and the ones that will plank horizontally across.

We used pressure treated 4×4 lumber for the 4 upright posts. For the horizontal posts, we used 16 ft long pressure treated deck planks.

You’ll also want to get deck screws to assemble your screen, and have your drill on hand.


When you build a privacy screen, it’s important to look at the building codes for your specific region to make sure that the privacy screen meets the local regulations (both height and how they are attached & built).

The 4×4 posts used to support the screen are bolted onto the deck frame and secured according to local regulations. They extend down into the ground to ensure stability of the posts.


The deck planks were then secured to the 4×4 posts using 3-inch deck screws and an impact drill.

Any good backyard design includes plans for privacy, and the easiest privacy structure to build is a lattice screen. Lattice blocks the view but is open enough to keep you from feeling closed in. You can grow vines on it and it fits into almost every landscape. You can construct a lattice screen as a deck railing or as a fence in the yard.

As a deck railing, attach posts to the deck either with through posts at the corners and taller rail posts in between, or tall rail posts throughout. You’ll need to dig postholes and set posts for a detached lattice fence. Just make sure the fence line is square to the landscape feature of your choice. If its function is to provide privacy to the deck, it should be square to the deck, no matter how far away it is.

Lattice is prone to warping, so buy the thicker 3/4-inch stock and support sections 6 feet long and longer with vertical battens fastened at half the width of the bay (the space between posts). Lattice frames look better in smaller 4- to 6-foot bays.

Expect to spend about 3 hours installing each 6-foot bay. Before you begin, lay out and set footings for a fence. Also make sure you’re comfortable with the needed skills for this project: measuring, cutting, fastening, and digging.

In some deck design situations, you may feel that it is important to block certain views to increase privacy. This can usually be achieved by building a privacy wall or fence. There are many conventional privacy wall or fence designs for these structures.  You can use these as a great opportunity to add some style and an attention to detail into your design. Some privacy walls incorporate an arbor feature across the top. Fence boards, lattice and even metal balusters are common material choices for privacy wall or fence construction. Remember, privacy walls and fences are still enforced as guardrails and must meet all code requirements.


  • Drill
  • Miter Saw
  • Table Saw or Circular Saw
  • Caulk Gun
  • Paint Brush or Roller


  • 6 2inx4inx12ft Lumber pressure treated
  • 20 3/4 in. x 3-1/2 in. x 12 ft. PVC Trim white
  • 6 4inx4inx100in PVC Wrap (Post Jacket) white
  • 2 boxes Exterior Screws steel
  • 6 2 in. x 1-1/2 in. x 2-3/4 in. Galvanized Angle L Brackets steel
  • 1 can Exterior Paint white
  • 1 tube Caulk white


  • Cut the 2x4s to the height you want using the Miter Saw.
  • Paint the 2x4s white (only need to paint the back side!).
  • Cut the PVC Trim that will be attached on the back side to desired length using a Miter Saw. 
  • Utilize outdoor steel screws to attach the slats on the back side. TIP: Once the first trim piece was cut, we used the scrap piece as our spacer for attaching the rest of the slats.  TIP: Use caulk to cover up each screw. 
  • Cut the PVC wrap in half, using either a Circular Saw or a Table Saw, and attach to the front side of the 2×4. 
  • Attach the wall to the deck using Galvanized Steel L Brackets.
  • Cut the PVC trim for the front side using a Miter Saw and attach using outdoor steel screws.TIP: Use caulk to cover up each screw.  
  • Decorate.

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