Lattice availability: Diagonal & Square

TheoryOfGravityMay 27, 2012


My house was built in 1922 and is quite near the older 'hoods which are Victorian and Arts/Crafts. And because I'm on the corner and my backyard is basically the whole block radius' front yard, I want to put up privacy fencing on a budget and keep closer to the old style--as least modern mass produced looking as possible. Redwood lattice fencing is my option and I think the square lattice would look more period.

However, the big two only sell diagonal fencing in redwood. Lowes sells a square fencing made of ACQ pine, but that's ACQ pine. Online I found square fencing but they want hundreds per panel.

Any idea for where I can find square redwood lattice for the big box comparable prices? The length I'm fencing is 28' (seven 4ft width panels). My zip is 92373 if you have tips for where to search. Or am I pretty much stuck with ACQ pine since that's my budget and "that's life"? ;)

Diagonal lattice is everywhere:

Square lattice would look better:

Thank you in advance! :)

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By the way in case you're wondering, I have to go 8ft high because I'm on lower ground than the neighbor right behind me in close proximity.

And a handsome 8ft tall period sold wood fence would cost far too much (the posts alone would be too much) and I'll be doing the work: time and skill is a factor. For the lattice fence, I'll be using inexpensive tall chain link posts that I can mask.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Hope you check all the codes first before going 8' high as it could be possible trouble and might require a different screening scheme.

My gripe about ready-made lattice is that it looks cheap and flimsy. Lattice looks better when the wood members are thicker and more widely spaced. They need to be 1" x 2" (nominal) material. 5" or 6" spacing looks pretty good. I would not consider using big box lattice and think a home-built alternative is better.

It wasn't until sometime along in the late 1960's that unpainted wood in the landscape became popular. Like architecture of that period, it did not become popular because it looked better, but because it saved time and money and technology had progressed. Because unpainted wood can have a ratty, unkempt, biodegrading look about it, it took a while to catch on. By the 70's architectural style was changing to better incorporate that look. I rarely see weathering wood that I don't think would look better painted. Previous to the 60's, almost any wood--lattice or what have you--in the garden/landscape would be painted... usually white or sometimes green.

I've built lattice for my own use out of painted 1" x 2" and find that it is not that difficult. Because it's a repetitive process, once it's underway, it's fairly rapid. If the painting is done prior to construction, even it can be 'production-lined' and goes pretty fast with a roller and latex paint. (Treated wood must be un-bunched and allowed to dry for at least a couple of weeks before painting.) A single 8d nail driven though wood members at each intersection and bent over and smashed flat with a hammer is quick, secure and "disappears" after being painted.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 5:46PM
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I agree w/ Yard that making your own is dead simple, and my carpentry skills aren't that advanced. However, if you want sheets of the lattice as described you should check out the local lumberyard/builder's supply (think 84 Lumber or even the local family-owned lumberyard). That's the only place I've ever bought it when doing under-deck screening and similar projects for clients.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Thank for the reply, you guys!

I had thought about painting it. I found handsome examples of lattice fencing worked in sturdy framing both painted and also stained on various professional installer sites. I like that. I am not considering letting it weather. I also think that looks bad. Unfortunately, it all comes standard The hard part is finding/buying/setting the framing so that it can go high enough which is where my galvanized post idea comes in. And I admit I didn't even consider asking the city. It's just that my yard is two feet below the people right behind me, and one of their room windows faces my shallow & wide back yard. Their front porch is right there in line with my back door about 20 feet away.

AND I do laundry back there. I'm beside myself not being able to go outside and be alone. There were two guys who lived there before the couple now. One of the guys always magically drove up when I wanted to do laundry when most people were at work (I work in academics, so my schedule is different). And he always sat there on the front porch texting. So if I wanted to go outside, I had to have him in my private day off time. :\

Sorry, I'm digressing. I'm actually quite friendly but very protective of my alone time. We introverts are like that. :)

Thanks for the ideas about building my own. I had considered it but priced separate slats at the big boxes and it seemed so more expensive. I'm definitely going to check with the city and also price at 84 Lumber--I recognize the name.

If you have any inexpensive/classier ideas about privacy where I have access to my full yard that can block a window (just the one) 8 feet up in the air and a porch 20 feet away, I'm all eyeballs. :)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 12:34AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

There are always trees for privacy... figure out what shape of canopy you would need to get good coverage from all the vantage points, and you can ask here or at a local nursery for suggestions as what would fit the bill.

Combination of trees and shrubs, deciduous and evergreen, depending on what time of year you need coverage, and it can usually be done.

I take the time to say all this because I have not yet heard of a city where fence heights are not limited to 6 feet. That said, I have a high trellis at one side of my property *right beside the fence* that is 9 feet high that I grow clematis on... looks like a giant badminton net. I didn't ask the city, partly because I didn't think of it either, but also, because *It's not a fence* .

If you post a better description or a photo (although I find our growing reliance on photos to convey and absorb information to signify a decline of the species, but I digress too), you might get advice on how to better use that lattice or do something different.

To post a photo, you need an album in an online photohosting site such as photobucket. Paste the HTML code of your photo on that site into the body of your text here.

Karin L

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 11:44AM
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"I had considered it but priced separate slats at the big boxes and it seemed so more expensive."

"Slats"--which are thin--are more expensive than 1 x 2 and don't look as good.

This area is a bit tricky because codes usually (maybe all) impose the 6' ht. rule. Usually the height is exclusive of ornamentation so one can have decorative looking "stuff" at the top of the fence that's not counted as part of the fence height. But where city rules come into play, there's interpretation and so what might be OK one place, is not in another and vice versa. Sometimes people break the rules and nothing happens because the affected parties either don't care or actually like the rule breaking. So no one complains to the city and nothing is done about it. However, it's pretty risky to assume one will be so lucky. And there's no guaranty that if ownership changes hands, the new owners will be in agreement. I've known people who are willing to take the risk and just talk it out with the affected neighbor and come to mutual agreement and leave the city out. Because the city doesn't likely notice what's in a back yard, It can sometimes work fine. But if a person has any contemptible neighbors who might jump at the chance to cause problems, it would definitely not be the way to do. If the neighboring yard is 2' higher than yours, is there a retaining wall at the divide? Chances are the city might agree with a higher fence or grant it in a variance... which is a hoop to jump through and costs $, but if your case is good, you stand a good chance of having it granted. The affected neighbors are the ones who will likely be your opposition so feeling them out ahead of time would be a good idea. It's interesting that a person cannot have a fence higher than 6' ht., but it's perfectly fine to have a 50' ht. row of Italian Cycpress.

One device I have used in the past where I needed high screening was an arbor created of vertical poles (of whatever height) spaced several feet apart like fence posts. It would depend on the scale, but for the sake of this example let's use 8' spacing. Between the poles, I swagged wire (clothesline type would work) @ 1' horizontal increments. (This is getting into a grey area because, technically, I don't believe it qualifies as fencing. It would seem to be more like the ornamentation at the top of fencing. But then again, one doesn't want to pay a lawyer to prove a definition in court.) From the lowest horizontal wire, attach and drop cord @ some regularly spaced intervals (such as 12 or 18" to the ground. I just buried the cut end in the ground so it would not flop around. It can be just cheap jute cord or whatever as it's only temporary. Plant a vine that will climb the string until it reaches the uppermost horizontal wires. For quick, temporary solution, morning glory will work well. Add a woody vine for a more permanent solution. This is the quickest way to get tall screening that will not continue on to get too tall. As to how risky this would be, one would need to make their own call.

My advice here is for helping to solve a design problem... not a legal problem. One must research their own legal issues.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 12:38PM
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