How to deal with a neighbor's bad curb appeal

Block the view

If the problem isn’t affecting your home’s value, blocking the view is a peaceful solution. It lets your neighbor continue using her property as she pleases and lets you add privacy and ambience to yours.

Here are three options:

  • New landscaping. Dense, fast-growing greenery makes an attractive shield. Look for hedges, trees and shrubs that grow quickly, keep their foliage year-round and are disease- and pest-resistant and low maintenance. The best choices depend on your climate, but consider ficus plants, pittosporum, honeysuckle, Russian olive plants, privets and arborvitaes.
  • A new fence. Check with your local zoning board first; you may need to have your plans approved and obtain permits, and there may be rules limiting fencing materials or how high you can build.
  • Sheer curtains/translucent shades. These allow light to filter into your home, but mask or blur your view to the outside. They also make it harder for nosy neighbors, marketers and criminals to see what you’re up to.