Recreating The Privacy Trellis

In December of 2010 we added an eight foot 4x4 lamp post to the high end of our new deck which looks out over a wash that on occasion becomes a stream.

Though only a couple of feet high, one could easily forget it was there, fall off and break something. The bottom of the post was firmly clamped into a steel anchor going down about 16" between a couple of below-grade boulders. A quarter of the way up, it was also attached to the steel reinforced deck frame.

A square reinforced 2x4 frame was then joined firmly to the deck and to the post. The top rail of this frame extended far enough out to accommodate a relaxed arm holding a cup of coffee or a beer. Adjacent to a comfortable wrought iron chair, it was at the perfect height for this purpose.

The quietly tucked away deck overlooks a wide and open valley with only a few roof tops visible on the downslope and then a low mountain range beyond. The open-air expanse of sunny terrain and sky between the ranges is very pleasant to just sit there and look at. However, occasionally vehicles do pass by as do people, including immediate neighbors just beyond a hedge on the other side of the wash. We decided that we would like a little more privacy, especially when walking to the outdoor shower enclosure wrapped in only a towel.

In February of 2012, we added a two-panel trellis hung between a pair of decorative hollow metal posts stuck in the ground. This casual wall of lattice was placed just beyond a deck level bedrock boulder that spans from the lamppost to the shower enclosure. It looked great and it did the job.

In time, the occasional gale-force wind gusts began to warp this configuration out of shape. Trellis slats broke or came loose. Screws fell out and were replaced by steel hose clamps. The hollow steel posts rusted at ground-level and snapped on 3 sides.

Three foot steel straps were added up top for additional support. They ran from the top ends of the trellis pair to the post and to the shower. Even their screw heads would gradually wear out and disappear. We would often walk out our door after an afternoon breeze (part gale) to find it twisted every whitchaway.

In April of 2017, I decided to rethink the whole thing.

The lesson here is: "Don't expect anything rigid to remain rigid inside a wind tunnel".

An eight foot 2" aluminum strap was run straight across and perfectly level from the top of the post to just below the shower enclosure roof, bowed out to hang just beyond the deck-level boulder. The top of an eight foot solid (not hollow) steel decorative plant hanging post, discovered at Tractor Supply, was bolted to the center of the eight foot strap.

Three (rebuilt) lattice panels were hung loosely from the aluminum strap on solid zinc hooks that would allow the left and right panels to swing out to their hearts content without falling off. (The center panel is between the steel post and the boulder.) Each claw-like hook was enclosed within a clear soft vinyl aquarium hose so that they could not be heard swinging and will not wear out.

I think that this setup might work.





Fixed with hose clamps

Six weeks later: OK but falling apart; so not OK.

Rethinking; got an idea

Installing an 8 foot aluminum strap

A solid steel post will carry the load

PVC pipes extend the post legs deep

Locked in by rocks and caliche

The steel post is almost vertical

Three adjustable screws fine tune the curve

The trellis posts and strap are plumb

Restoring the old lattice

1/2" x 1 5/8" pine 'stop moulding' straps
to hang the panels

Posts and strap and trellis are plumb

A stretched U-bolt clamps the post
to the strap

Experimenting with Velcro

Painting the aluminum trellis strap black

Oiling the trellis panels and the pine straps

Hanging the trellis with Velcro


Hanging the trellis with hinged Velcro

A good wind is testing the velcroed hinges

Oh well ...

Reglueing the trellis straps
(the oil penetrated the glue)

Liberty zinc hooks might work

Will they fit?


The steel post and trellis are vertical

The angleirons will keep the trellis
from bouncing off


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