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Help,we need to block our nosey neighbors!,,,,,,,,

Scott Lisa
December 28, 2014
Next door neighbor with numerous security cameras offers no privacy to our kitchen , dining and two bedroom side of our home. We attempted to block some of the view with a small raised bed and arbor, but all that happened was this neighbor installed unsightly snow fence.......any ideas to help us make that view go away, and regain our privacy........oh it has to be a low budget solution.... Southern Nh

Comments (34)

  • acm
    This is a view across a driveway, or across a road??
  • Angel 18432
    Plant fast growing evergreens. I forget the name of the one I'm thinking of "Giant something" As a side note, are you friends with the neighbours?
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  • myperfectadvice
    tell that you need more privacy
  • Maraly
    Arborvitae trees are used for privacy. My home is in NC and used all over here. Beautiful evergreens.
  • hayleydaniels
    I understand not being a fan of security cameras, but as the economy continues to crumble people are turning to breaking and entering homes so be glad they have them as they protect you too.

    Our next door neighbor came over a couple of days ago to see if our security camera had picked up the guy who he caught trying to break in to his garage! Unfortunately ours is on the fritz, but it's a good reminder to get it fixed and put up more lights.
  • marilynellis
    I guess I'm having a hard time understanding your concern when not many have such an expanse between neighbors like this to begin with. In most cases, they are almost within fingertip distance. I'm not saying this to criticize or discount your feelings but to help you get this problem in perspective. And especially in the winter when leaves are gone and it seems less coverage anyway.

    I suggest you try and relax and wait until spring, nobody likes change and territorial disputes is the cause of every war. Perhaps you will get used to the change and it won't bother you especially with leaves on trees and sunshine to lift your spirits. In the meantime you can research some possible solutions

    If this has not already escalated to the Hatfield and Mc Coys, invite neighbors over for a nice meal (home court advantage) and after dinner and good wine tell them your concerns and ask what an amicable solution there might be? Or at least go over there with a New Year gift and have a friendly chat. Let them suggest solution first and then offer some other choices that you have already researched. Living next door to a feuding neighbor is the most miserable situation imaginable. Don't let that happen under any circumstances. Out there in the beautiful country, you need eachother.
  • Scott Lisa
    This is across our driveway, the people are very strange and I can tell the cameras track our activities and and conversation. We are only looking for our privacy. , thinkin about 30 yards of loam and go from there.'
  • acm
    I'd go with blinds on that side of the house and think of them no further. They probably saw your arbor as an attempt to challenge the property line, and responded by defining it. Honestly, they might not enjoy seeing the back side of your little brown structure (which doesn't look much nicer than a shed from a distance). If privacy is the concern, then I'd put blinds in the windows and confine my outdoor recreation to the far side of the house, or get serious about planting a 6-foot hedge the entire length of your property (which just seems like a lot of work).
    Scott Lisa thanked acm
  • PRO
    Back Stage Realty
    I can totally understand. Part of the allure of having a large lot/land is that you can get away from prying eyes and have some privacy. Communication is key. The neighbor might like the idea of putting in a fence, but it may not be financially feasible by oneself. Where I live it isn't unusual for neighbors to split the cost of a fence if both parties want the partition. It wouldn't hurt to have the conversation.
    Scott Lisa thanked Back Stage Realty
  • MarleneM
    I don't know how to make view of snow fence go away, but to protect your privacy you should look into window film. During the day you cannot see in from outside, it's almost mirror like, so blinds/ curtains can be left open to let light in. In the evening when you have inside lights on, you can see in, but then you can close blinds. It's not expensive and readily available at Home Depot or Lowes.
    Scott Lisa thanked MarleneM
  • PRO
    Maltby Design
    A row of tall pyramid cedars along your side of the property line would be a quick solution. Is it even legal for them to point security cameras towards your property? Seems to me it might be an invasion of privacy. Maybe a sharply worded letter from your lawyer is in order.
    Scott Lisa thanked Maltby Design
  • PRO
    Carol Johnson
    A tall fence.
    Scott Lisa thanked Carol Johnson
  • Angel 18432
    Check out the thuja green giant - grows quickly seems the perfect fuss free tree.

    http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Thuja-Green-Giant.htm

    I like the window film idea also. Think you should start with that and also
    get to know your neighbours. Maybe there is a good reason for the cameras
    that is not related to you.
    Scott Lisa thanked Angel 18432
  • sunnydrew
    Try Leyland Cypress trees In double staggered rows. They grow several feet per year. You won't even see the house next door.Research them as they have pluses and minuses.
    Scott Lisa thanked sunnydrew
  • Claudianne
    I would put up a length of privacy fencing. You might still have to so something with the windows, but they couldn't see you outside.
    Scott Lisa thanked Claudianne
  • Scott Lisa
    That's their problem about the backside of the arbor, since we've moved here we've done our best to improve the property, and the trellis was made from reclaimed wood from our 215yr old barn. These people are just odd cameras everywhere, and the property line is not properly documented I.e. Survey. Just some cheapo depot sno fence and wood piles pallets rocks ect. Just odd... All we want is the odlers to repoint the stupid cameras themselves. and grow up and leave us alone....
  • PRO
    Maltby Design
    Like I said, the cameras may be considered an invasion of privacy. Talk to your lawyer. I would also encourage you to spend the money on a legal survey so that you know where the property line is. That way if you build a fence or plant a row of hedges, they can't accuse you of encroaching on their property. These are the sorts of things that can easily and needlessly get out of hand unless you nip it in the bud early.
    Scott Lisa thanked Maltby Design
  • kpappal
    We planted a staggered row of thuja green giant arborvitae- they grow faster than any evergreen that I know of, and are very disease resistant. I must add that we have wonderful neighbors, and are thankful!
    Scott Lisa thanked kpappal
  • PRO
    Earth, Turf & Blooms
    We would suggest planting Norway spruce (picea abies) 8'/10' 12 foot on center or Leyland Cypress and faster grower if deer are not a big problem ,or a 6' stockade fence with a gate to be neighborly.
    Scott Lisa thanked Earth, Turf & Blooms
  • PRO
    Sustainable Dwellings
    Tall privacy fence... create an outdoor room with pergolas and plantings. Make attractive seating area and maybe firepit?
    Scott Lisa thanked Sustainable Dwellings
  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.
    Start with the window film and keep going with the property survey and then tree plantings/privacy fence. I think you would be happier if YOU can't see THEM as well.
    Scott Lisa thanked Cancork Floor Inc.
  • patraskeva
    neighbors who over step there bounds are truly a pain, they can make you feel insecure in you own home or out in your own yard. The least expensive way to get some privacy from your nosey neighbor would be blinds or curtains to start off with. but I think this will wind up being a multi stage project, because the window treatments will only give you privacy and comfort inside your home not when you are out in your yard. So you will probably still want to do something out there eventually. I can certainly feel your pain. We don't have a problem with any of the neighbors who property abuts ours. instead we have a neighbor who live three properties away from us in a gated community at the end of one of two roads that our property runs up against and he thinks he owns 10 feet of the edge of our property and has tried to tell us what we can and can not do with it. So I feel your pain. And for the person who mentioned neighborhoods that the houses are almost on top of each not her and you can hear your neighbor if they raise their voice, well to them I say we all choose where we buy our homes and for those of us who chose to have more land so we can have a little privacy this type of thing is a real pain in the back side and to be told to suck it up is not a reasonable response for us.
    Scott Lisa thanked patraskeva
  • Scott Lisa
    Thank you so much everyone for you comments, it worse than I've explained but I should get back to he task at hand, eliminate the peeping toms view, and try to ignore the very childish neighbors attempt to ruin our lives. We live in a very nice 21 yr old far home. The odd neighbors believe that what they own is more important than life itself. I've lived through 4 heart attacks , 6 bypasses, and colon cancer, I think I deserve to live in peace, neighbors grow up, your material wealth means nothing in the end...........
  • Scott Lisa
    Sorry typo. 215 yr old farm house
  • n247080
    Oh, how I feel your pain! I'm in a similar situation, although my neighbors are in full view of my living room window. They did have the decency to put up a solid, good looking privacy fence, but that didn't block all the other weird stuff I could see from my winding or the security lights that went off any time a bunny passed through.

    I planted some fast growing shrubs, not sure what they're called, but they're in the willow family and look like weeping willow but are tall shrubs. They grew like they were on steroids right up and above the fence. Took about 2 years to completely block them.

    I also planted some quicker growing trees that are now catching up (just in case the fence ever comes down) some river birch and boxwood to give things a more solid cover in the fall. And they have planted some arborvitae on their side.

    Bad news, they have woodpecker invasion so they've tied silver and gold gift bags to tinsel swags and hung them from the gutters. I swear, I can't win. The neighbors and I just laugh at this point. What else can you do?
    Scott Lisa thanked n247080
  • arubalime
    Oh Dateline just had a show about neighbor disputes and neighbors using cameras. Look it up if you have a chance. This is scary stuff and I feel your pain!
    Scott Lisa thanked arubalime
  • Sheena Gardner

    Im dealing with the same situation ..I put up a privacy fence now they have one overlooking my fence into my backyard ..I called the cops they said it was legal ..What happened to invasion of privacy?

  • acm

    @Sheena -- Like "freedom of speech," it has to do with protection from the government, not from other regular (crazy) folks around you...


  • libradesigneye

    Most states have a civil harassment statute - not very different than a restraining order on certain kinds of behavior - and they are often written against neighbors - but you do have to have a credible threat of physical harm.

    One immensely better option is to call a local community non-profit that does mediation. Usually, they offer free mediation for situations like yours where talking one on one has only made it worse. Call them and ask if they do neighbor mediations on a pro bono basis.


  • kaywestmaas


    Lisa, this is awful. You have every reason to shelter your privacy.

    1. I think there are window blinds that allow the user to see outside, but people cannot see in.

    2. I also wanted privacy in my yard, but had a very low budget.

    Our friends were getting a new wood fence and their old wood panels were going to be discarded. We asked if we could have them. With help from some friends, my husband installed new 4"x4" posts. We dug the holes, placed the posts (using a level), and filled the hole with Quick Crete.

    Then the used fenced panels were attached to the posts with wood screws.

    The fence had four different stains from: our friend's inside yard, then their neighbours on the left, right, and back.

    It was cheaper to buy a spray washer ($130 at Home Depot) than to rent one for several days. Home Depot recommend a spray soap that they said would remove anything. Now cleaning every square inch was a lengthy process (40 hours). But it didn't all have to be done during the same time frame.

    Hope this helps!

  • kaywestmaas

    Lisa, if it's a viable option, I'd also plant fast growing evergreens between the fence and each window. (Not too close, mature roots can grow into your foundation and cause structural damage.)

  • chookchook2

    Sheer curtains on your windows.

  • PRO
    Cascio Associates - Site Planning - Landscape Arch

    Lots of great ideas, but most will dig deep into the monthly Social Security receipts.

    It has been my experience that, if you have a nice deciduous shrub or small tree adjacent to your window, you have a nice filtered view to the areas beyond, but the reverse is not true, you are completely hidden within.

    If your view become cluttered in the springtime, snip, snip with your little pruners and your full view is restored, while remaining hidden from even a few feet away.

    Details matter.


  • linywiny

    Leland Cypress trees,Thuja Green Giant both grow really fast 3-4 ft a year and get tall great staying green for privacy all year round. Neighbor spats can spiral out of control surprisingly quick. Best to avoid them and if they do anything try to not let them get the best of you or under your skin. Just plant the trees in front of windows first then add more when ever you can afford more even if it is one at a time until that side of house, yard is protected/blocked from their prying eyes. You can also buy rolls of bamboo made for privacy or shade from Lowes/HomeDepot that you could put up outside of house in sections in front of each of the windows just using tree stakes,tall pieces of rebar,or tall metal fence post to hold the bamboo up. Another similar idea is to put chicken wire/stucco wire on some tall pieces of rebar or fence posts in front of windows 3 ft or so away from house then grow some fast growing vine on wire such as Trumpet vines,Jasmine,Honeysuckle,Virginia creeper. Some vines would not be good in winter when leaves are lost. You could even grow them on the bamboo making it more beautiful or even fragrant,while providing food,nectar for hummingbirds,bees,& butterflies

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