DIY: Build your own privacy screen / by Mark Schmidt

"Hello, neighbor! Nice seeing you..." you say. Or is it not so nice to see them? We all need a little privacy. It's not that we don't like our neighbors. We just need a little space. 

Many of our homes are built close together or are set at just the right angle to make that space thing a little tough to come by. So why not take the weekend to tackle a little DIY project and build your own privacy screen? Here's how:

Build your own privacy screen


  • 2x4x10 pressure-treated lumber (2 - this number will be dependent upon your space)

  • 2x6x8 decking boards (23 - this number will be dependent upon your space)

  • 1 box of 2 1/2" wood deck screws

  • 3/4 x 5" lag bolts (8)

  • stain (if wanted)


  • drill + bit

  • pencil

  • measuring tape

  • compound miter saw

  • (if staining - foam paint roller, paint tray, gloves, wiping cloths, rags)


  1. Measure the dimensions of the area you'd like to screen.

  2. To determine the amount of lumber you'll need, decide on your preferred spacing between each slat. The amount will vary from what we called for above, depending on your spacing.

  3. Once you've done a little math to determine the number of boards you'll need and the dimensions, measure, pencil, and cut your boards. 

  4. How tall is your screen? If it's shorter than ten feet, cut your 2x4 boards down to size.

  5. If you're staining your lumber, go ahead and do this now. If not, move on to step 6.

  6. Attach your 2x4s to the exterior of your space by finding your studs and then anchoring four lag bolts into each board. 

  7. Work from the top down, and begin attaching your slats to the 2x4 anchor boards. Use two 3-inch decking screws in each end. Be sure to leave space for the gap size you determined in step 2. 

  8. Call your friends (even your neighbors!) and invite them over to see your new private space!

This weekend project is for the warriors. Not looking to do-it-yourself? Give us a call at 910.620.1835 today or fill out our brief renovations form and we'll be in touch soon.