Advice for creating divider / privacy on shared driveway with neighbor
February 20, 2014 in Design Dilemma
Neighbor and I get along, but we'd like some privacy!
We have one large concrete driveway. The divider would be on my side.
He has suggested some planter boxes. Thinking - clean lines, modern style. In wood finish perhaps? I have the light house, he has the green house.
Also getting a quote on demoing a strip of the concrete, and then putting in a concrete curb on both sides to make some nice plantings there.

Also attaching a picture of the planter that my neighbor has suggested - or at least something similar to this. Perhaps wider though.

Suggestions? Trying to keep costs low. I will be putting house on market in a few months. Do you think it is worth it to do this job? I think buyers would be turned off by lack of privacy and it would be worth it.
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I like the planters. Planting something with substantial root size will eventually heave and crack the concrete. But before I invested anything I'd talk to my Realtor to see how much value the planters would add. On the other hand, following through with a mutually agreed upon and completed plan with your neighbor will free you from potential hard feeling towards you on the part of your neighbor should the buyer want to change the arrangement. Let your neighbor deal with any issues that come up with the new owner of your house.
February 20, 2014 at 9:05pm        Thanked by emelfr
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Yes, I do feel obligated to my neighbor as we've been talking about doing something for the past year. Some fear that if I put in planters new owner might just take them out.
But when I bought the house, the biggest turn-off was the shared driveway. So, I think it would help selling to add a little privacy.
February 20, 2014 at 9:12pm     
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I'd do it then. When you feel an obligation to follow through with something and you do, you can lay your head down at night and sleep well. Good call on your part. :)
February 20, 2014 at 9:27pm     
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Brandi Nash Hicks
Why not just a strip of grass?
February 20, 2014 at 9:31pm        Thanked by emelfr
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The planters look very nice....they're potentially moveable, right? So if the buyer doesn't like them, the neighbor on the other side can just scoot them over 12 inches. However, the cost may be more than you're willing to pay.

Also, the driveway slopes down markedly to the street (as it should); can you level the planters so they don't look awkward?
February 20, 2014 at 9:46pm      Thanked by emelfr
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Yes, we've thought about leveling them out... or not having them go all the way to the street.

For the grass - this is California and trying to limit amount spent on water - also would like a little more height. Was thinking some native grasses in planters but let grown tall and to seed. They wouldn't need too much water and would give some movement to the mass of concrete.
February 20, 2014 at 9:51pm     
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Purple fountain grass is gorgeous when in bloom in east Texas but it needs some water in the heat of summer. It also dies back in the winter. I'm not sure what it would do in California. We're going to plant some, we haven't decided which variety yet, to cut down on our bermuda grass lawn.
February 20, 2014 at 10:04pm   
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Yes, that is one I was looking at. We recently got rid of all front lawn, planted fruit trees and mulched the area. Yes fruit trees will need some water the first few years but after they will be set. Well, the new owners will hopefully enjoy them!

Grass free is the best!!
February 20, 2014 at 10:09pm     
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I see you have a large pot with a tree or shrub in it. Could you repeat that at intervals down your driveway? Less expensive than custom planters, and easily moved. I'm sure removing concrete would be too expensive, and custom anything certainly is!
February 21, 2014 at 6:06am   
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I like the planters. I think they will look beautiful and provide the visual divider that is needed.
February 21, 2014 at 6:16am   
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I don't know in what zone you are, but if citrus tree are not a good option, you could get something else. Here is an idea
February 21, 2014 at 6:18am     
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The planters are excellent. There are good drought resistant choices for showy plants.
February 21, 2014 at 6:24am     
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Since you are planning to put the house on the market, planter ideas are not too bad but the question would be if it would give enough privacy for new owners, so it needs to be inviting but not intruding. There are some ideas from Houzz here:

Wesling Construction

Mountain View Contemporary

A Family Friendly Brownstone Garden


Aptos Residence
February 21, 2014 at 8:00am     
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Have you and your neighbor agreed on the maintainance of the planters.
February 21, 2014 at 9:24am     
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Well, after consulting with three real estate agents and speaking with a contractor, all have advised me to leave the driveway as is!

Their basic idea is that people in my neighborhood want low maintenance. The new buyer will most likely be an investor who is going to rent it out, so he wants the most off street parking he can get. They will see the mass of concrete as a plus.

This makes me sad as someone who loves curb appeal and plants, but happy as it means I don't have to shell out any more $$.

We did move our large basketball stand that was blocking the garage right between my neighbor's house and mine. It looks much better there. And my neighbor's teenage sons should appreciate that.

Thanks anyway... on to my next house to make it beautiful.
February 25, 2014 at 11:34pm     
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ps. my neighbor will not be happy, but if I have a choice I'll sell to a family!
February 25, 2014 at 11:35pm     
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Update: House sold in two days! I spoke with my neighbor and explained the situation. I suggested he put in planters before closing if he wants to avoid having the new tenants (house sold to investor who will have rentors) park on his driveway. He decided to put in some planters on his own totally paid for by himself. He put them in today. They are small but should do the job. Everybody happy ;)
March 23, 2014 at 10:44pm     
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Great news on the sale and the neighbors! Congratulations.
March 28, 2014 at 9:45am   
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