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

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Timothy Dahl

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
Timothy Dahl

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  • 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.