French drain

French Drain

So we found a lot of cracks along on our cement patio and a contractor told us that we had a slight negative grade so we could regrade away from the patio or try a french drain. I still don’t know if this was the way to go.

This was a weekend project by myself.  I weigh 120 lbs so I had my work cut out.  I think it was one day of pure digging before I had the energy to reconvene.  Other sites will give you more technical advice.  I’m just showing how I did mine.

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Lattice privacy screen planter

I like my neighbor, but I don’t want to see him every day when I step out of my backyard. I knew I wanted a lattice privacy screen so I could grow a climbing vine that will give me a natural wall to enjoy.

After building the lattice screen, I realized I was going to struggle with mounting it to a sturdy foundation.  The conventional way is digging down 2-3 feet, putting down a post, and then filling with cement.  An associate at Home Depot said the wood will rot over time so I didn’t want to deal with that nor did I want something permanent just in case I want a change.  I figure by mounting my lattice to a planter, I should have enough weight to keep the structure steadfast as well as have aesthetic quality.

After screening some ideas on pinterest, I came up with this design for my needs.  Most of the stand alone lattice screen planters I saw didn’t look like they would hold up to the powerful winds we have in Colorado so I modified some ideas and tried to keep costs low.

lattice privacy screen planter

Materials:

  • 6′ cedar fence (8) ($2.15 x 8 = $17.20)  ( Free if you use free wood from neighbors)

  • 1+ 3/4″ Wood Screws (50 for $5.76)

  • 1″ Wood Screws (50 for $3.88)

  • 3″ Wood Screws ( 3x.96 = $2.88)

  • 2×8 Stud Posts (2) (2×2.94 = $5.88)

  • 4×8 Lattice Screens (one cut to 2×8 so I could have a 6×8 wall) (2 x$20= $40)

  • Paint (free, leftover)

  • 2×2 posts (6) (free, leftover)

  • Total: $75.60 without tax

Tools: Clamps. Miter saw, Drill

I built my first planter for free using free wood from a neighbor’s fence, but the posts were a bit warped and I didn’t get good alignment, which is why I purchased new cedar planks.

1st planter

Despite the deception in the picture, don’t expect perfection.  Even the new cedar planks were a little warped but they were fairly aligned.

Suggestions for next time:

-Alternate the fence post so you have a curve and a straight edge next to each other

-Rather than an open planter, create a wooden base so the soil can weigh down the planter for a more sturdy foundation

-Install the lattice last.  (I created the lattice panel first and then attached it to the planter, which was a bit challenging to move around.)