Custom privacy lattice for deck

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Old 09-16-10, 01:00 PM
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Custom privacy lattice for deck

Hi, I'm glad I have found this site and I can't wait to browse some more and start taking on more do it yourself projects. I have successfully completed several small projects at home and I'm looking to get started on one that I have been wanting to do for a long time. I want to build 4'x8'custom privacy lattice panels and fit them on the railing of an already constructed deck. Something like this here http://www.plainbiz.com/Biz/15/fence2.jpg
I want to anchor these to the 4x4 posts that make up the frame of the deck.

I can figure out how to construct this I just need some input on the best way to attach it to the deck posts. I will be attaching the panels to the top of posts that extend 4 feet from deck level so the top of the panels will be 8 feet from the deck and each will be 8 feet long. My plan is to cut away part of the railing so I can attach the lattice frame to the 4x4 posts that hold the deck and the railing up. Is there any way to safely attach these panels to the posts? Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 08:31 PM
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zack1,

Welcome to the forums.

If I'm following you right, you are talking about mounting the 4X8 lattice panels 4' above the deck and have the top of the panels 8' above the deck.

I only see a couple of problems with that plan.

The biggest will be the deck railing. Depending on where you're at, the railing needs to be either 36" or 42" high, and constructed so that a 4" ball can't pass through it below that height. And that railing has to support a 200# load in all directions. If you put a joint in the posts below the 36" or 42" level, chances are you won't be able to make it strong enough to support the load.

If you put the joint in the post above the top of the railing, chances are it'll be too weak to support the lattice panels.

And if you replace the posts to make them continuous from the footing to the top of the latice panel, your local inspector could very easily call it a "fence", and, depending on where you're at, any "fence" over 6' tall would have to be engineered.

Probably not a good idea.
 
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Old 09-17-10, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for the reply Lefty. Well that's a bummer. I really need some type of privacy for my deck. It wouldn't look nearly as nice but I'm thinking that if I got some prefabricated 4x8 lattice panels, framed them out and fixed them to the deck and the inside of the railing that this may work. Any thoughts? Code issues? Thank you so much for your time and input.
 
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Old 09-17-10, 10:07 AM
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Well....I framed up for privacy panels around the spa area on the deck at my last house. The design of the deck and the railing allowed me to simply attach PT 2x4 to the interior of the posts (with deck screws) extending about 4' above the top rail. I capped itall around the top as well with 2x4 and reinforcement blocks to help prevent twisting and bowing. I cut plastic lattice to fit around the outside, pre-drilled oversize holes in the lattice (for expansion) and screwed directly to the 2x with color matched screws. Capped the top of the lattice with contrasting plastic U-channel.

Sorry...this is a basic description...it's been over 15 yrs since I did it.

A few things were in my favor. It was a semi-octagonal section of deck...so my panels weren't very long (about 6' for 2 sides, 4' for the other 3 sections). I had both top and bottom rails on the railings so on the long sides I could put in a center support. At the angled joints, the contractor had put in posts on each side of the angle...so I used a 2x on each. I also had better wood than what you can get now and let it dry to eliminate pieces that would warp or twist. I used the large opening lattice...not the small...that helped with wind. Matter of fact it stood up through hurricaine Isabel with no damage. 80mph winds took down trees and ripped off roofs..but left my lattice. The large lattice gave us plenty of privacy for nighttime dips..but allowed a little bit of breeze and light.

Now...was it fuctional...heck yeah...was it perfect..heck no, but it looked pretty darn good.
 
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Old 09-17-10, 01:13 PM
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Thanks Gunguy. I've decided I'm going to build it pretty much how you built yours. Basically I plan to frame up some 4x8 lattice and secure it to the deck, deck posts and the railing. I'll let y'all know how it turns out if I think about it. I'm going to buy the materials this weekend but probably won't be able to begin construction until next weekend. Thanks again.
 
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Old 09-17-10, 03:14 PM
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I would add that all lattice isn't made the same. The more expensive lattice is thicker and IMO will hold up better than the cheaper thinner lattice. There is also the plastic [vinyl?] lattice that never needs painting but I don't know if it's stiff enough to work for your use
 
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