Moving from the Sticks to the Suburbs? What Are Your Privacy Options?

Posted on: 20 May 2016

Although the rural lifestyle presents a number of benefits, many families eventually choose to move to a more centrally-located community in a suburb—making things like carpools, birthday parties, and last minute grocery or errand runs much easier. This transition can require some adjustment for those more accustomed to life without close neighbors. What are your best and quickest privacy options when moving from the sticks to the suburbs? Read on to learn more about regaining a sense of seclusion in your home and yard while making your new space your own.

What changes should you make after moving in to provide you with privacy in your home?

If your new home is on a small or narrow lot, it's likely that at least some of your windows look directly into those of your neighbor's home. You may be reluctant to go about your business if the blinds aren't pulled; you may even wonder if there's any point in having a window if you're never able to open it to let light in.

One way to combat this catch-22 is to install a slightly reflective adhesive decal onto each window that has a direct view of your neighbors' house. These decals will essentially turn your windows into double-sided mirrors, allowing you to see outside with minimal glare while preventing those outside from seeing anything but their own reflection. If you prefer to have your windows open during warm weather, you can also purchase special reflective window screens that can help block some of the view inside your home. In addition to providing privacy, these decals and reflective screens can refract the ultraviolet rays that cause sun damage to your floors, counters, and even furniture. 

If your home is in a relatively new subdivision that has homes framed and built with drywall between wooden beams (rather than more heavily insulated brick or stone), you're likely to find that it is somewhat lacking in the soundproofing department. You may not want your neighbors to hear you talk with other family members or watch TV, but don't want to remember to keep the volume down.

Fortunately, soundproofing your home is usually as simple as adding a bit of extra insulation to help dampen sounds from inside before they reach the outer walls. You may be able to accomplish this through the use of spray foam insulation between walls or blow-in insulation for larger empty spaces like attics and crawlspaces. 

What are the quickest ways to gain privacy in your yard?

For homes that have a chain-link fence rather than a wooden or vinyl privacy fence, planting ivy or another climbing ground cover around the perimeter of this fence can quickly provide you with a solid, beautiful, and eco-friendly privacy fence. Each individual vine can grow up to 10 feet long, allowing you to cover a large surface area with relatively few plants. 

If you don't have the patience to wait a full growing season for this ivy to fill in and begin climbing your fence, you may opt to use artificial ivy in the interim (or even as a replacement for natural ivy). This ivy is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing and can stand up to heat, rain, and even snow without fading or losing its luster. You can contact companies like EZ-Ivy for more options. 

Homes with no fence at all may benefit from quick-growing trees or shrubs that will reach their full height in just a few seasons. There are a number of options, from evergreens to fruit trees, that can help you achieve the look you want from your yard while also blocking direct views from neighbors or passersby.