By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Some of us have something to hide, such as a not-so-attractive air conditioning unit or a cement pad intended for bulky garbage cans. Vinyl lattice panels provide a good-looking cover up and create an attractive backdrop for any landscape. Even an eyesore in your neighbor's yard can be shielded from view. These are versatile panels that will endure all kinds of weather, and require only a routine wash down with a garden spray to remove dirt.
Lattice material comes in white and green in 4-by-8-foot sections and U-shaped channels in 8-foot lengths. The channels frame the panels to create finished edges and are fastened together with screws. Both are sold in the building materials sections of home and garden centers and lumberyards. To build a 16-foot divider, you'll need four 4-by-8-foot plastic trellis panels, eight molded U-shaped channels, screws, crushed stone and pressure-treated end posts.
A contractor can build the divider and install it for $471 which includes labor and material. You can buy the materials and build it yourself for $275, saving 41 percent. The project involves digging the postholes, and setting the posts in a bed of crushed stone, then assembling the panels in the channels and fastening them together with a screwdriver. Use a carpenter's level to make sure the divider is straight and level.
Check with your local building department to find out if there are restrictions about the height of the screen or how close it can be to your neighbor’s property so get the information before you begin.
Don't want to do this job yourself? To find a contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right, click
Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with prescreened local contractors.
Click here for design ideas from Better Homes and Gardens Trellis Design Ideas.
For more ideas about building projects with lattice panels, see Sunset's book "Trellises and Arbors."
Now you know the average cost to build a trellis divider, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020