The population of the UK has grown by 7.4% in the last decade alone. This increase means that more homes are needed so it isn’t uncommon for developers to build properties incredibly close together. While this might be something that we’ve grown accustomed to, it does come with one significant problem; the garden being overlooked. Things like trees, privacy screens and large parasols are all viable solutions when trying to block the view from an overlooking window. Of course, you will need to be mindful of your neighbours and be sure not to block off so much of their view that their window becomes completely unusable. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest and most effective ways of blocking an overlooking window so that you can regain your privacy.

How to Block overlooking windows
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How to Block Overlooking Windows

When it comes to choosing the right solution for blocking an overlooking window, there are three options. You’ll need to choose whether you are going to block the view from the point of the window, from the fence line of the property or improve the privacy in the smaller spaces of your own garden. There are different approaches you can take with each of these methods so it’s worth thinking about what will work best for you and your neighbours.

Blocking From Above

One of the best ways to block the view from an overlooking window would be to convince your neighbour to install a privacy screen at the window, or on a first-floor deck if they have one. However, this will come at a cost to your neighbour and unless you’re willing to pay or are very close with them, it’s unlikely that they’ll agree. So, you need to do the work on your side which means first working out where exactly their view falls. Once you have determined this, you will be able to work out where exactly it needs to be screened.

Blocking From the Property Line

As we have already mentioned, you might try planting tall trees along your boundary, but this does come with problems. Some people will also opt to heighten their fences, but you can then end up feeling enclosed as you’ll need them very high to reap the benefits. What’s more, there are regulations on fence height in the UK, so you must be careful. That said, there are other ways that you can increase your privacy along the property line and many of them are incredibly pleasing to the eye.

Trellis

Climbing plants on a trellis is a great way to add a little more privacy to your garden, especially if the overlooking window is on the ground floor and you have a low fence. There are many varieties of plants to choose from and what’s great about this method is that many of these will also provide a sound barrier for added privacy.

Single Trees

Now while it might not be the most practical idea to plant a long line of tall trees along your boundary, you can plant a single tree in the middle of the sight line. All you’ll need to do is to determine where that sightline falls on your fence and plant one tree. You’ll get the benefit of privacy without casting shade over the whole of your or your neighbour’s garden.

Bushes

Large bushes along a property line can be a good idea. There are plenty of bushes and shrubs such as laurels, that will grow quite large and having a few of those against a fence or along the boundary can work wonders.

Large Pergola to Stop People Seeing into the Garden
Large Pergola to Stop People Seeing into the Garden

Making Your Garden Spaces More Private

Some of the options for improving privacy at the point of the window or at the boundary of the property can be fraught with issues. So, perhaps one of the best ways to get rid of any stares from that overlooking window is to block the view at ground level. By creating screens and blocks around your seating areas and other parts of your garden, you will likely have much more success. What’s more, these will not be restricted by regulations and won’t eat into your DIY budget quite as much.

  • Decorative panels are a great way to enclose an outdoor seating area and they’ll provide you with some much-needed shade when the sun gets too much to bear. You can choose a few side panels or go as far as creating a ceiling. What’s more, these panels come in a variety of designs so you can get creative.
  • Freestanding trellises are another great way to shield an area of your garden where additional privacy is needed. It’s possible to get your hands on a wheeled trellis which is great if you want flexible privacy.
  • Building a pergola around your seating area and adding curtains or side panels is an excellent way of improving privacy and shielding yourself from the elements. Many of these designs offer versatility as panels can be moved and lifted as necessary.
  • Wattle fences are made by weaving branches between upright slats, and they are excellent if you want a more rustic look in your garden. They’re free-standing so can be moved around but for a more permanent fixture, you can secure them to the ground.
  • A large parasol strategically placed over a seating area will block the view from the overlooking window and will give the space a comfortable and inviting feel. What’s more, these parasols can be adjusted as the sun moves so you’ll be protected from those UV rays as well!

Conclusion

If you’ve been getting looked at by your neighbours when in the garden, you may have been wondering how to block overlooking windows and improve the privacy of your garden. The good news is that there are several ways you can do this. While it is possible to block the view from both the window and the boundary line, this is often costly and filled with hassles. Blocking the view using innovative methods in the small spaces around your garden offers you the privacy you desire as well as an interesting new look to your outdoor space.

FAQ’s

How high can a fence be between Neighbours UK?

While there are many options for fences, the maximum height is determined by your local council. A fence can be as high as you like – but you are not able to go over 2 metres without planning permission!

Can I put up an 8-foot fence UK?

Yes, a fence can be 8 feet although you will have to go through the proper channels and apply for planning permission.


Author

Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.


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