Versatile Vinyl Lattice for Fences … and More!

Photo: Michael Coghlan/flickrSometimes it's the little touches that make the biggest difference. Savvy homeowners know this is particularly true when it comes to decorating, both interior and exterior. Careful attention to detail adds character and turns a house into a home. (It will also ramp up curb appeal and attract the attention of potential buyers when you're ready to sell.) One bit of detail we especially like is the use of lattice -- an open, airy type of fencing material that can be utilized for both beautiful form and practical function.  

Latticework Designs and Colors

Traditionally, latticework consists of a pattern of diamond shapes which are produced by weaving strips of wood or metal together crisscross-fashion, much like the top crust of a cherry pie. The result is functional and good-looking, for purposes such as fencing, railings, and screening.

With today's polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other forms of vinyl, combined with advanced manufacturing techniques such as injection molding and computerized cutting, a wide variety of latticework effects are possible, whether standard or customized. Popular lattice designs include the classic diamond effect, and also circles, ovals, stars, abstracts, and whimsical motifs like leaves, flowers, or even tiny animals. What's more, versatile vinyl lattice fencing can be made to resemble natural materials such as cedar or cast iron.

White is the most common color. However, you will find latticework in black, wood tones, and an enormous range of earthy hues, as well. It's advisable to choose shades that will complement your home's trim.

Where to Use Latticework

Lattice effects work very well for vinyl fencing. Install a latticework fence to let in light and air and allow you to enjoy an outstanding view, while at the same time, safely keeping animals off your property or small children away from your outdoor swimming pool or hot tub. If you'd like a greater degree of protection from prying eyes, hire a contractor to build a PVC fence of solid panels, topped by a narrow section of lattice, known quite logically as a "semi-privacy panel."

But don't stop there. Vinyl lattice may be added to your yard in many more creative ways. It's ideal for crafting charming garden gazebos and pergolas. You can surround patio planters with lattice and train trailing vines to climb up a latticework trellis or overhead arbor. Lattice panels may also be used to conceal unsightly air conditioning exterior units, recycling bins, or garbage cans.

PVC vinyl lattice is at its artistic best, we think, right up front. It will play a gorgeous starring role on (or under!) your front porch as a safety rail, sunshade, or skirting. Our preference, though, is for lattice that is purely decorative. Lacy latticework trim or brackets framing the entrance make your home stand out from all the others on the block, in a very attractive way.

Latticework Maintenance

When you install vinyl fencing or decor made of high quality latticework, you can look forward to easy maintenance. If it contains UV protection, the material will not fade or discolor. You won't need to seal, paint, or stain the vinyl (although if you'd like to change the color someday, painting is certainly possible). In addition, vinyl fence lattice is rot-proof, insect-proof, and rustproof.

To clean exterior vinyl lattice that has become dusty, simply spray it with your garden hose, working from the top downward. For sticky spills or stubborn stains, rub down with warm water and dish soap, plus a soft scrub brush or non-abrasive scouring pad as required. Gently scrubbing with mineral spirits, followed by a thorough rinse, will remove grass stains, grease, or tar.

Laura Firszt writes for

Updated September 16, 2018.

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