Building a Modern Privacy Fence

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About: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check out my site @ http://darbinorvar.com

Intro: Building a Modern Privacy Fence

This privacy fence is made with corrugated roofing panels, some 2x4s and pressure treated posts. I wanted to create a rather modern looking fence that provided an interesting look while blocking the view of my neighbors. This is not a fence that goes onto my property line, so I decided to make it as tall as possible, to create an interesting backdrop for a hangout space. Make sure to check out the full build video for a much better perspective of the build process and the final result!

Step 1: Layout

I created two sections that totaled 16 feet long, however you can obviously size this to fit your property. For the posts, I used basic pressure treated 4x4s. I also used some 2x4s and corrugated roofing panels that measured 38x96 inches.

Step 2: Notches

For the posts, I'm notching out three sections to hold the 2x4s. I began with marking out where those should be. On the middle post, I need to do the notching on both sides, whereas on the two end posts, I only needed to do notching on one side. After making my marks, I cut lines with the circular saw, making multiple cuts. Then I cut away the slivers of wood with a big chisel and cleaned the area up, using a chisel and a mallet.

Step 3: Routing

For the tops of the posts, I used a router to create an angle. That way, any water will run off instead of collecting at the top.

Step 4: Assembly

To assemble, I layed out two posts and put in the 2x4s in the notches, using a large mallet. Once each 2x4 was secured, I added some screws to hold them in place.

Step 5: Digging

Once I had my basic structure assembled, I marked out where exactly the posts needed to go on the ground, and then I used a post hole digger to dig the holes. In total, I dug three holes, and I made sure they where each 24 inches tall.

Step 6: Placing the Frame

Once the holes were dug, I placed the one section of the fence in the two holes, as well as the other post. I then secured the remaining three 2x4s to connect the pieces together. Checking for level, and adding basic supports to make sure the pieces stayed in a level position.

Step 7: Concrete

To secure the posts to the ground, I added some instant setting quickcrete holes, once I was satisfied with the level of the posts. After filling up the holes, I added some water using a hose to set the concrete.

Step 8: Securing the Panels

Once the posts were secure in the ground, as well as painted, it was time to attach the metal roofing panels. I first drilled holes in the metal on the sides, and added some exterior screws and washers. Then we carried the panels to the back of the fence frame and secured the pieces, adding one panel at the top, and one at the bottom, and then repeating on the other side.

Step 9: Cross Supports

To tie the whole fence together, and to add a nice visual touch, I cut some additional 2x4 pieces to fit in between the rails. I screwed two pieces on the bottom of each section, and one on the top. Once they were secured, I also attached the metal roofing panel from the back to the cross pieces.

Step 10: Conclusion - Watch the Video

For a much better perspective, and to see the final result, make sure to check out the video that goes over all the steps in this project!

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    19 Discussions

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    Mihsin

    1 day ago

    Bravo, fine job you did. I envy you for finding things near and reasonably priced. You got great help from a phantom, supervision from a dog, and admiration from your baby. I'm congratulating you from Beirut- Lebanon

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    Billie Brown

    3 days ago on Step 10

    This is a terrific fence. Our neighbor built one that runs along the side of the street. The only problem is that it is white. It just invites the young to tag it. Because the fence is so tall and long the bright white is unappealing for a neighborhood. It looks like a warehouse wall. I hate to drive by it. If only it was a darker color.

    Maybe tan or brown.

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    pivoron

    12 days ago

    I have no idea about wind in your area, but I had a wooden 8 foot fence blow over. The problem was the 4x4 posts! You need at least 6x6 posts to take the wind load during a storm. The notches in the 4x4 will be the breaking point in your fence. Even without the notches the 4x4 in my opinion may not be strong enough to handle the tremendus wind force in a storm. I hope not, just saying. A tip I learned about the top of wooden post and fence boards is to coat the top edges with waterproof wood glue which dries clear and waterproofs the wood from rain!

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    SpiderMax95pivoron

    Reply 4 days ago

    Good point, though I assume the trees in the background (possibly a forest?) stops most of the wind or at least slows it down.

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    matrona

    13 days ago

    Nice work - Happy moom :) sweet baby :)

    But why did you left that space behind the fence - between old and the new one ? Just asking .. I like wide gardens , open space .... and I do not like nousy neigbours too :)

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    wyldecentmatrona

    Reply 13 days ago

    Many communities have restrictions on how high the fence bordering a property can be (where I live it's 6 foot). She's basically treating this as a solid trellis which can get around the height restrictions because it's not on the property borderline. She can garden or whatever on the side the neighbors see and still have privacy on her side. I did something similar (not modern though) to provide a high privacy wall for my hot tub.

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    matronawyldecent

    Reply 13 days ago

    ok , I did not know about that rules ... 6 foot is 1,8meters ... wow ! I do not have any fence around my house ....... so people can call me all day long to drink cofie with them as soon as I put my nose out in the open field .. hahhaha , I love my neighbors , some old people but I can not visit them every single day ... so I am dreaming of some wall around my home to :)

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    wyldecentmatrona

    Reply 12 days ago

    I completely understand. There are some other options instead of a high fence. You can grow a hedge (privet,boxwood, etc.) and there are likely no limits on how tall they can be. Just need to keep them pruned. Or you could plant a row of evergreen trees, which don't require much maintainence. I also have long shed at the back of my yard which also blocks the view and is higher than a fence. Good luck with your fence and enjoying your coffee in peace :-)

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    jimmcneil2

    12 days ago

    I live next door to a garage in a 2 family, there is a space on the side of the house that's raised about 5 feet above the garage and I've been looking for a fence solution, this would be prefect, thanks for posting it.

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    blueslurker1.

    12 days ago

    Are you sure that the hole is 24"high and not 24" deep?

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    Edward Waldron

    12 days ago

    I find it strange that you feel the need for this. Your neighbors house is a long way from the fence line and unless they all come and look at you in your garden from their side of the fence I cant see the need for it.

    I know there is an old saying that "high fences make good neighbors" but i have never understood the obsession with high screens and fences.

    Hey Ho. Each to their own I guess.

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    Alaskan BevEdward Waldron

    Reply 12 days ago

    Hi, Edward. It's "Good fences," not "high fences." The reference is from Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Walls," which ends, "Good fences make good neighbors." Tally ho.

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    JamesA41

    12 days ago

    Neat instructable. I was planning on building a similar design using steel posts on a footing that went down below the frost line for here in Michigan (4ft+). I needed this depth at least for the height I required. I also was considering to save on steel wall... scrounging around for fields stone and building 4ft of the wall out of stone to add more strength too... if not at least around the posts.

    When I spoke to some of the farmers in the area... they mentioned like a farm or two in the area growing fruit or vegetables... that I'd want to consider going higher than 8ft and maybe even 10ft to prevent deer from jumping over which seemed really tall. I wound up working elsewhere for now and haven't gotten past the test bed plots at the farm for now... of course... which all get eaten or at least chowed on for the most part. I can see why my family did poultry, sheep and cattle last on the farm. :-) Thanks for sharing.

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    Delfairen

    Tip 12 days ago

    Remember to check local laws etc as this is too tall in my area. Also call to make sure there is nothing in the space you're going to dig.

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    Kdemon

    Question 12 days ago

    How well does the fence handle wind?

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    allangee

    13 days ago

    Nice! Typically, placing your crosspieces on edge, instead of on flat will help prevent sagging over the spans. I think the sheet metal will add enough rigidity - definitely would have if mounted vertically. You may also run into some problems with the posts. They should be set a minimum of one third the post length into the ground. At 7-1/2 feet above ground and 2 feet below ground, you don't even have one quarter of the length in the ground.

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    Kink Jarfold

    14 days ago on Step 10

    Once again, you've completed another fine project. Great Instructable. I really enjoyed it. KJ

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