One of the best parts about owning a single-family home – as opposed to an apartment, townhome, or duplex – is the privacy. While you may still have neighbors on either side of you, at least you have separate structures and your own plot of land. The question is, how do you maximize this privacy for your own comfort and peace of mind?
Try These 7 Privacy Tips and Tricks
There’s a difference between appreciating privacy and being an antisocial neighbor. You can want your home’s activities to be confidential without shunning your neighbors or making them feel like they’re bothersome.
In pursuit of maximizing privacy and keeping your family happy, healthy, and safety, here are some specific things you can do:
- Be Strategic With Blinds and Window Treatments
Windows are functional and aesthetically pleasing. In fact, many of today’s homes have windows in every room – often including the bathroom. But for all of the benefits windows yield, they also provide those on the outside with a glimpse into your home.
In order to maximize privacy without messing with the functional nature of windows, you need to think about how you’re using window treatments. You have a variety of options, including blinds, shades, curtains, and drapes. Each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, so do your research and figure out which ones are most effective in your situation.
- Plant Trees in the Front Yard
If you have a bunch of windows on the street-facing side of your house – or a front porch where you spend a lot of time together as a family – you may consider planting some trees in the front yard to establish some natural privacy without totally blocking your property from the rest of the neighborhood.
If your house sits slightly elevated from the roadway, short shrubs or smaller trees with broad leaves and dense branches will work well. “Taller trees, or trees with larger canopies, can be used to screen eyes at a higher level such as in a 2-story home next door or residence that’s higher up the hillside,” Marcie Geffner writes for Bankrate.
- Position Living Areas in the Back of the Home
While this isn’t always an option if you own a home with a clearly segmented floor plan, you may consider positioning living areas towards the rear of the home (as opposed to up against the front of the house).
Since the kitchen and living room probably get more use than, say, the dining room and guest bedroom, it’s probably smarter to have them in the back of the house where you don’t have to worry nearly as much about other people seeing inside.
- Position Your Garage Door Away From the Street
Every time you open your garage door, you’re essentially showing the neighbors everything that’s inside. This might not be an issue, but there’s something nice about being able to open up your garage and not give everyone a glimpse of your mess (or expensive tools and lawn equipment).
This tip may only apply if you’re building a home, but it’s best to position your garage door away from the street. If anything, having it parallel to the street, as opposed to perpendicular, will give an added layer of privacy.
- Be Purposeful With Backyard Landscaping
When most people think about privacy, their mind immediately goes to the backyard. This is especially true if there are neighbors on all sides – one behind, one to the left, and one to the right. While there are certain aspects you can’t control – such as what your neighbors choose to do – there are a variety of things you can do in your backyard to increase privacy both inside and outside of your house.
Privacy hedges, fences, walls, and trees are the first things that come to mind. You don’t need to totally block visibility from all angles. The key is to create just enough visual deterrence that you feel like you can walk around in your backyard without having your every move tracked.
- Pay Attention to Outdoor Living Spaces
If you have a patio, deck, or other outdoor living space in your backyard, you’ll want to create some privacy so that you’re able to relax without rubbing shoulders with your neighbors.
Pergolas are a favorite method of privacy, especially if your neighbors have second story windows overlooking your backyard. It creates just enough shelter – as well as shade – to make you feel protected.
“Amp up the privacy offered by a pergola with the addition of a trellis,” Better Homes & Gardens suggests. “Even though [a] trellis doesn’t completely block the view beyond, it provides enough protection to make the deck more enjoyable. Plant vines along the deck line and watch as they wind their way up the trellis over the seasons.”
- Install Security Cameras
Finally, you may consider installing security cameras on your property. While they may not directly enhance your privacy, they have the indirect result of keeping people away and deterring unwanted visitors. They also give you the chance to record footage and review what’s happened in the past.
Thankfully, it’s fairly easy for you to install a security system on your own these days. You don’t need a professional service or electrician to come out. Many of today’s leading cameras are wireless and can record video to the cloud, or send you a notification when there’s suspicious activity. Place a few cameras on your property and you’ll rest a lot easier at night.
Contact Green Residential Today
If you’re looking for someone to partner with as you pursue your real estate interests in the Greater Houston Area, look no further than Green Residential. For more than 30 years, we’ve made it our number one priority to help homeowners, property managers, and real estate investors make the most out of their real estate holdings, both in the short- and long-term.
For more information on how we can help you, please contact us today!