Movable Trash Can Fence / Screen

Today’s project was a long time in the making.. meaning it took half of a morning to accomplish but I’d had it in my brain for many moons. We use the side of our house, back by the garage, as extra storage for a trash can, the wheelbarrow and a few other bulky things that are too big for anywhere else. It works but I’ve hated that it’s an eyesore as you walk by.
Ok, maybe it’s not that offensive but it certainly could be better.
I wanted to build a fence to hide it all but I thought it would be a bigger job with post hole digging and drainage rock (like we used for the jungle gym bars in the backyard) but my sweet man said that since the fence I was envisioning was an L shape, it could just stand on its own. I like that even better because 1. it’s easier and 2. it would be a quicker project and 3. we could build it smaller because whenever we want to move things out, we will just move the fence away.
Let me walk you through what we used and what we did.
We had 2 posts left over from other projects; a 4×6 post and a 4×4. He bought some 2×4’s for 2 more posts. We just used what we had. He told me that, since the fence is small, just 2×4’s would have been fine.
We planned the posts to be 36″ tall, mainly because that meant getting two out of a 2×4 and having pieces left over for bracing. (Rounding up or down to make even cuts keeps material waste at a minimum.) The longer length of the fence is 8ft to use a full-length 2×3 (aka fence rail) each, but 2×4 would work great as well.
We laid out the long side of the L with the two 2×4 posts and put the larger 4×6 in the corner for maximum strength.
You can see that the long boards are lined up with the top and then about 5″ from the bottom. We used a large square and some diagonal measuring to make sure it was all right angles.
Before was drove screws into the corner post (the 4×6) we made sure to overlap the long boards so that we could turn the corner and have the boards line up at the correct depth.
We repeated the process for the narrower side and attached the two.
Nails would be great for most parts of the fence, but screws into the big corner post will keep it from getting loose as we move the fence around over the years.
For extra strength, Joel cut 2 corner braces from scrap wood, one at the top and one at the bottom, and attached them to the post from the inside and the rails from the outside.

That was the “hard” part! It’s standing all alone and just needs the fence boards! We used rough cedar in 8′ boards so we could cut them in half to be 48″ long.
We started in the corner with the edge of the fence board right against the edge of the long boards and screwed in the post. I wanted the top of the fence to be a straight line as opposed to sloping with the yard so you can see that in the corner, the fence is closer to the ground and there’s a little extra gap at the end.
We also used a plastic putty knife as a spacer for the gap in between each board.
For a clean look from the front, I made sure the front fence board overlapped the side board so that the seam wasn’t visible from the front.
That’s it! Later, I stained it with weathered oak by Minwax, arranged the stepping stones and hung a planter that the previous owners left.
Those are fake plants in real dirt. This side of the yard is out of sight out of mind and the planter is tiny. Anything I put over here would die quickly in our summer heat.
It looks so much better doesn’t it!?
We can just grab it and move it by the bracket inside but we also thought about adding some handles on the outside too.
Everything is still there but it’s tucked away nicely.
Love it!!
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Thanks for reading, friends!

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