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Freestanding Privacy Screen/Trellis

Improve the view by planting this structure in your yard or garden.

Privacy Screen

In WOOD® magazine issue 198 (July 2010), you'll find an outdoor-room-size pergola with latticed screens. Here's how to build the same screens into a freestanding structure for use as a trellis or a privacy screen.

Download the plan here.


1 Build a screen with parts Q-V as described in issue 198. Add a cap (Y) above the top (Q) [Drawings 1, 1a].
2 Cut two posts (Z) to length to allow for 12" between grade and the bottom of the screen [Drawing 1]. Rout 1/4" round-overs on all four corners of each post. Screw the screen (Q-V, Y) between the posts, centered on their thickness.

Screen cap view

Full drawing of trelllis


1 Cut the beams (AA) to size and cut the arches [Drawing 1b]. Crosscut the center rail (BB) to fit between the posts (Z) less the thickness of two beams. Screw two beams to the center rail. Cut the end rails (CC) to length and screw a beam to each one. Screw the center-rail-and-beam assembly between the posts [Photo A]. Then screw an end rail and beam assembly to the outside of each post, checking that the ends of all four beams align.
2 From 2x4s, cut the long and short bands (DD, EE) to length and screw them to the beams (AA). Rip and crosscut the short and long trim (FF, GG) and top trim (HH) to size. Screw these pieces in place [Drawing 1].
3 Prepare holes for the posts, as shown in issue 198. With help from a friend, lift the screen into the holes. Plumb and level the assembly, then secure it with stakes and kickers. Pour concrete in the holes, allow it to set, then remove the stakes and kickers.

Bean arch detail
Center the beams (AA) on the thickness of the posts (Z), then drive 3" deck screws next to the center rail (BB) into the posts.

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