For those who want a privacy fence with a modern touch, the louvered fence is an excellent alternative to the traditional boarded look, offering a contemporary edge and a sophisticated design.
Louvered fences are slanted so that they offer substantial privacy and environmental buffering while still allowing air to pass through. Please be sure to choose high quality wood when building a louvered fence as this type of fence is especially prone to warping and structural damage. Cedar, redwood and cypress are generally used due to their high resistance to warping and moisture-induced rotting. However, if possible, pressure treated lumber is your best choice for this design as it offers maximum rot resistance as well as built in vermin protection. Priming and painting before and after installation is also an important preventive step which helps extend the overall life span of your lumber.
Be sure to equip yourself with the proper tools, and take proper measurements before attempting to build this type of fence yourself. The following article outlines the tools you will need and the steps you should take in order to correctly build a louvered fence so that you can enjoy your home in peaceful solitude.
Part One: Post Installation
Step 1--Lay Fence Perimeter
Map out what will be the area of your louvered privacy fence. Drive a 2-foot stake into the ground at the designated starting point. Tie the heavy string to the post and walk the desired length of the fence. Stop at the corners to drive another stake, wrap the string and continue to lay out the perimeter of the fence in this fashion.
Step 2--Mark Post Positions
Drive a stake in the ground everywhere a fence post needs to be installed. They should always be kept within 8 feet of each other, please measure carefully to ensure proper construction.
Step 3--Secure the Posts
Dig the post holes to be 24 inches deep. Mix the concrete and use at least one bag per post. Place and secure the posts, using a carpenter's level on each post to be certain that it is balanced.
Step 4--Allow Concrete to Set
Temporarily secure a 2x4 to the posts and to a stake in the ground to hold them steady until the concrete sets. After the concrete is set, remove the supports holding the posts.
Part Two: Constructing the Fence
Step 1--Create Frame
Set the fence of the table saw at 4 11/16 inches. Make sure you are cutting with the grain of the wood and cut enough 1x6 lumber pieces to create the frames for the louver panels.
Step 2--Cut Miter Joint
Set the electric miter saw at a 45-degree angle. Cut one of the pieces you used in the previous step on a 45-degree angle from the corner out. The triangle that is left will be your miter joint.
Step 3--Build the Frames
Measure the space between each post and cut the top and bottom pieces for the frame to this length. For example, if the space between the posts measures 8 feet, cut the top and bottom pieces to be 8 feet long.
Step 4--Cut Louvers
Cut the louvers from the remainder of your 1x6 lumber. These pieces need to be 5 1/2 inches shorter than the posts; therefore if the post is 96 inches above the ground, that means the length of the louvers needs to be 90 1/2 inches. Make sure that the sides for the frame material in Step 1 are the same length as the louvers.
Step 5--Place Miter Joint
Place the miter joint that was cut in Step 2 flat on the bottom of the frame and against one of the sides. Place the first louver against the triangle and secure it through the top and bottom pieces with 1 1/4-inch deck screws, then remove the joint.
Step 6--Set Louvers
Place the 1x2x8 lumber on its edge and slant it against the secured louver as a spacer. Set another louver against it and secure it through the bottom piece with the 1 1/4-inch deck screws. Repeat this process until the panels are complete. Panels should not exceed 8 feet in length.
Step 7--Secure Panels
Place a 4-x4x4-inch block at the base of the posts for the louver panels to rest on. Secure the panels to the posts through the frame with the 1 1/4-inch deck screws.