DIY A Beautiful Trellis To Add Some Much-Needed Privacy To Your Front Porch

Make your guests do a double-take before knocking on your door with this DIY front porch trellis. Should you decide to tackle this DIY, an open space of your porch transforms into a living, wall-like structure where flowers or vines grow along the frame to add a privacy screen to your porch area in an aesthetically pleasing way. 

The finished product will immerse you in the outdoors with the comforts of home still within reach — much like glamping. This project is fully customizable so you can match the style of the trellis to that of your home. For an elegant look, a wooden trellis is a good choice. Before building, measure the area of the porch where it will go. Decide how much of this space the trellis will cover. It can be the entire width and height of the area or only a portion of it. 

This measurement will help you figure out how much material you will need. Selecting the materials will vary depending on the style you plan to build, and you may be able to build a strong trellis with items you already own. Generally speaking, plastic, metal, wood and bamboo are commonly used. Select wood resistant to moisture and rot to ensure your trellis lasts longer. Recommended varieties include western red cedar, cypress, and redwood that are also not treated with chemical preservatives. Knots in the wood may weaken the latticework of the trellis, so pieces without them are ideal.

How to build your porch trellis

To start building your trellis, there are some tools worth investing in, including a circular saw, drill/driver, level, and carpenter's square. You'll also need to add eye screws, hooks, and the wood (or other material) to your shopping list. To assemble, place two pieces of wood vertically on a flat surface. These should be long enough according to your porch's height and spaced apart according to your porch's width. Next, place two pieces horizontally overlapping the vertical ones. Put one at the top of the vertical pieces and the other at the bottom. This creates the outer frame. Check if they're straight with a carpenter's square, and drill the overlapping pieces with screws to secure all four pieces. 

Then, line some wood horizontally along the frame, spaced according to your preference. Mark their places with a pencil, remove them, and cut any wood sticking out of the frame using a circular saw. Put the trimmed horizontal pieces back on their placements, drilling them into the frame. Next, lay some wood vertically over the horizontal lattice pieces, making sure they fit within the frame. This should resemble a checkerboard pattern. Drill them into the horizontal pieces, and your trellis is done. Secure the trellis to your porch by hanging it from eye screws at the top and anchoring it to hooks at the bottom. 

Alternatives to a wooden porch trellis

There are many styles to choose from when it comes to building a porch trellis, all of which give a different vibe. An alternative to the wooden trellis is one made primarily from wire that offers a sleek, modern look. To achieve this design, string steel wire between two wooden planks. While a wooden trellis is decorative enough to stand alone, one made of wire will need plants to look its best and provide any privacy. As the plants grow, they will hide the wire that supports them, which makes the plants appear to be floating in the air between both planks. 

Additionally, you can customize your trellis look even further by anchoring it inside of a planter. If you're not a fan of drilling into your porch, you will love this fastening method. Should you choose this option, add a planter box and soil to your materials list. Note that when building the trellis, you will want to give your trellis some legs so you can stake it into the soil of the planter. To do this, when creating the trellis frame, place your lower horizontal piece about 12 inches from the bottom. Lastly, don't forget about the plants! Star jasmine, climbing roses, and clematis are good choices. Watch them grow to turn your porch into an outdoor oasis