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Chain-link fences have bordered American yards for more than a century, and with good reason—they’re cheap, easy to install, and durable. But the steel perimeter’s signature open weave left renter and Smile and Wave blogger, Rachel Denbow, feeling exposed to nosy neighbors and passing cars. The problem wasn’t just people looking in, either; it was what she saw looking out. Everyday eyesores like overgrown weeds, parked cars, and trash cans at the curb dominated her dreary view, and gave the whole space an unwelcoming vibe. So, Rachel turned to the inspiration-laden social platform Pinterest to research a simple privacy solution, and devised her own affordable, renter-friendly fix.
Crafting her custom wooden privacy panel only took some 6-foot-long cedar boards, 1×3 lumber, and a pair of metal pipe straps. Rachel first laid two cedar planks on the ground horizontally, separated so that outer edge to outer edge measured roughly four inches taller than the height of the existing chain-link fence—enough to hide it completely. Once aligned, she perpendicularly placed two 1×3s across the boards (one about 4 inches in from either edge) and secured the pieces together with nails. After checking that the structure squared up with the fence, Rachel strengthened the frame with a few extra nails and filled in the center with the rest of the cedar boards, all equally spaced.
With the panel complete, all it took were a couple of pipe straps fastened to the wood to hang the project from the metal fence lip. Her hanging solution caused zero damage to the unsightly existing structure (should she ever need to take the piece off) and cost less than a full fence installation! More than adding privacy to an open space, the horizontal boards in this clever cover-up also add a fresh, modern twist on traditional fencing. For the low cost of a few wood boards and fasteners, it’s a simple DIY that will transform your bleak backyard into an outdoor oasis.
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