How to Block overlooking windows

The population of the UK has grown by 7.4% in the last decade alone. This increase means that more homes are needed and 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.

Nobody wants to have their neighbours gazing at them while they’re enjoying a BBQ or soaking up the sun so it’s important to know how to block overlooking windows.

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

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.

One of the best options to improve privacy from the window itself is to plant tall trees that will limit the view. However, the downside of this is that, depending on which way your garden faces, you may find it in a lot of shade. This isn’t such a problem for very large gardens but otherwise, it is worth considering this point.

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.


Climbing plants on a trellis are 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 yours or your neighbour’s garden.


An arbour is a great way to improve privacy at the perimeter of your property. Once again, you will need to work out the sightline in order to find the best place for the arbour and build it here so that the top sits slightly above the top of the fence.

Again, make sure you adhere to fence height regulations when choosing this option.

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 a more intimate 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.

If you don’t really need to block your neighbour’s entire view of the garden, then this is by far the best method. You could choose any of the following options.

  • 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.
  • Free Standing 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 to 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!


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.


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.

About Me

Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.

More You Might Like