Build a Backyard Privacy Fence

privacy-fence-final

Our yard is small but mighty. Our indoor/outdoor space works well for us but recently our neighbor decided to cut down some bushes that were on his property but acted as a natural barrier between our homes. After the bushes were removed we could clearly see his kitchen and dining room windows and of course they could see right into our backyard.  We did have some bamboo screens but they were worn out and falling down and not providing any privacy at all. We had no warning but fortunately the neighbor was just doing this to prepare the house for a new tenant so there was no one living in it, but we knew that could change quickly.

no-privacy-before

We considered a few options to regain some privacy between our homes. The first was extending the brick wall between our homes with a wood fence similar to what we had done in another section of our yard. The issue here is that the brick wall was shorter on this side so we’d have to build a much taller wood fence. This would take a lot more time and money and we needed this done fast.

The second option was to buy some pre-made wood fences and place them on risers up against the brick wall. Although the fences are pre-made we’d still have to build out a frame for them and they would be very heavy.

The next option was installing corrugated steel panels along the wall. Using furring strips we could attach the steel panels to the brick and be done with it! Usually the most simple option is the best so this is what we chose to do.

Thanks to Lowe’s we found all of the tools and materials we needed and after a quick trip to pick up supplies we were ready to get started.

Tools & Materials

8 corrugated steel panels (4×8)
20′ furring strips
Tapcon concrete screws
Corrugated steel screws
Carbide-tipped masonry drill bit
Hammer drill and driver

Step-by-Step

The first step is to attach the furring strips to the wall using Tapcon concrete screws. We pre-drilled the holes using a masonry bit that was included in the Tapcon screw kit.

bosch-tapcon-concrete-screws

furring-strips

The next step is lining up the steel panels against the wall and making sure they are even across the top. We overlap at least one ridge and then drill the steel screws through the panels and into the furring strips. We recommend using two furring strips for this process to ensure maximum hold.

privacy-fence-tall

Big thanks to Duluth Trading Company for letting me try out their new DuluthFlex Ultimate Fire Hose Cargo Pants.

privacy-fence-install

The last step was sitting back and enjoying our new private yard.

The steel panels gave our yard an industrial chic look and made us feel like we were in a coffee house in Austin (not a bad thing). It’s full private and the panels have since weathered a few Santa Ana wind storms with no problem. An added bonus they served as an earthquake warning as we heard the panels shaking against each other last week during a little tremor we had. It was freaky to see and hear them move when there was no wind in the air.

privacy-fence

How to Build a Corrugated Steel Fence

  • http://www.hardwarehabitat.com/ Hardware Habitat

    LOVE this look! Super simple and quick. Definitely going to file this away to use for future pesky neighbors! Also, being from Colorado, I think it would totally freak me out to hear an earthquake via corrugated steel panels! lol

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      It was freaky!

  • http://weshipfloors.com Marcus

    Interesting look, great tips. Been putting off a privacy fence for a few years now, but looks like I’m gonna be starting one in a matter of days.

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      Good luck Marcus – We’re curious to see how it turns out.

      • http://weshipfloors.com Marcus

        Probably not nearly as good as that one, but we’ll see….

  • Shannon Ferguson

    Very cool looking. I love how it makes your backyard into an oasis.

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      Thanks!

  • Mountain Creek

    Doing anything to prevent kids and animals from getting cut by the metal? I hope so?

    Also, what is your plan for rust-proofing?

    Finally, have you considered what will happen with a windstorm?

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      We don’t get bad enough windstorms so not an issue. There are no real exposed edges for kids or animals to cut themselves on except for the ends and those aren’t really that sharp.

  • meg

    What does it look like from the neighbor’s side?

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      The same.

  • suzanne

    Very inspiring! Any suggestions on how to add the panels to my existing 6 ‘ chain link fence?

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      Thanks Suzanne – You could take down the old fence but leave the posts then attach the panels to the posts using U bolts or something like that?

      • suzanne

        Thank you so much for replying! The old fence is 3000 $ worth of brand spanking new! We have large dogs and needed a quick fix. I will look at “U” bolts this weekend and see if I can’t figure this out. Very much appreciate the insight of someone with more skills than myself.

  • Audra

    The fence looks great. Does it reflect the sunlight back at you during the day?

  • Sandy

    I love the look of corrugated steel fencing. Going to have one built around my pool. How do prevent it from rusting? Special paint??

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      No rust. We get no rain here either.

  • Sue A

    I am so elated to see that I can do the same thing that you did for your privacy. Awesome!!I live in the desert and get very strong 65mph winds very often. How would this work using a 6ft chain link fence behind the corrugated metal pieces? I was thinking about laying them 2 horizontal rows so that I could save some money. 160ft of fencing with 3 gate openings. The other side of the yard has no fencing. So how would I do this? This seems like an inexpensive fencing idea that can be done versus $3000.

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      Good luck!

  • Donna Hopson

    your neighbor didn’t complain? I’m not sure how mine would feel about blocking their windows.

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      No neighbors at the time. 😉

  • R K

    I love this. About to do the same to my yard, brick wall and all. I live in SoCal too. Did you have any issues with heat reflecting off the panels into the plants surrounding them? I am planting some Eugenia bushes in front of my panels and am concerned that the heat might burn the leaves of the plants.

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      No heat issues. Did you put the wall up?

  • GGirl

    Love it! Thanks for the information. A couple of questions – does this fence meet code? It looks higher than 6 feet, but we are in a similar situation and would like to put up an 8 foot fence (and neighbors would agree). Is there a strong reflection from the metal when sun is on it? It will be facing our huge living room windows Does it build up heat in the yard? Thanks, hoping to do something similar and will send you photos when we finish!

    • http://charlesandhudson.com/ Charles & Hudson

      Depends where you live and what your code is. You can get it trimmed to meet 6 feet if you want. There is a bit of heat coming off the metal but you only feel it when up close. If it were a smaller space like a balcony or tiny yard it might ben an issue. Would love to see the photos.

  • SHE.

    Love it!!! Great simple ideal. Id like a cheap material that is removable if possible and that does not rattle in high winds. Winds in NV has been very strong lately. Ultimately, I will use this complete ideal if I cant find a more quiet material for high winds. Something is better than nothing and I like this quick design.

  • jon_in_TX

    As a kid I once tried to climb over a corrugated panel fence. It sheered off part of the palm of my hand, which was left hanging by a flap of skin. Such fences are dangerous if the top edge is not protected. Nor should a property owner consider such an exposed edge as a deterrent. The danger cannot be seen until it is too late. Instead, go to a sheet metal shop and have them fabricate a continuous protective top rail that can be attached to the panels with a tab and screws or pop rivets. It will give a finished look and will tie the panels together, making the fence stronger and the panels aligned. This cap can also cover the potentially rough edge of the sawed end of the panel.

  • http://wamexperts.com WamExperts

    I love this look, it makes the yard look different. Amazing how a few minor adjustments can make the place look neat. I do have a few concerns, 1 – i have cats that love to climb. Would they not injure themselves on the sharp edges. What would you suggest to prevent them from jumping 2 – The sun would it not create a terrible glare should the sun shine on it. 3 Would it not rust? What can you do to prevent it from rusting.

  • Sarahsmilesalot

    Bravo! Just what I need

  • http://www.lahabrafence.com/ Ron Frazelle

    There are step by step procedures in this article for installing a privacy fence in the backyard. This is very helpful for increasing the privacy of your backyard and thanks for sharing the materials to be used in this fencing. Using aluminium in privacy fence increases the durability of your fence and reduces the risk of your money.