Neighbor Looking Over The Fence—What To Do?

Do you have nosy neighbors that look over the fence from their property? If you do, you may want to stop this from happening but are still in search of ways to do so. Fortunately, we have done some research on how to deal with this problem, and here's what we found.

There are many ways to tackle the problem of a neighbor looking over the fence. Here are some things you should do if you get those uncomfortable stares from your neighbor:

  • Install a privacy screen
  • Add privacy plants
  • Extend your fence
  • Mount an openwork fence on your stone wall
    • Install screen made from a lattice or sections of ornamental ironwork

You just have to make a little effort to protect your privacy from the view of a neighbor looking over your fence. Continue reading to discover more information on how to deal with the problem of a nosy neighbor looking over the fence.

young couple leaning on a white fence in front of their luxury home, Neighbor Looking Over The Fence—What To Do?

What To Do If You Have A Neighbor Looking Over The Fence?

It can be awkward if you have a neighbor looking over the fence. To prevent these uncomfortable situations, you can try any of the following:

White vinyl fence enclosing a backyard

Install A Privacy Screen

Privacy screens are made for situations like this. You should install them if you have a neighbor who likes to look over the fence into your yard or backyard. Privacy screens come in different styles and materials like metal, wood, and vinyl.

Alternatively, you can also use a mesh shade net cover. You can easily redesign your garden with such a privacy screen, blocking the stares of inquisitive or prying neighbors. It will help you maintain your privacy while still being able to enjoy the outdoors.

Additionally, privacy screens are affordable and if you choose the right design, they can blend in well with your garden. They can also prevent sunlight in your seating area, keeping it comfortable while blocking the stares of nosy neighbors.

If you are very creative with design elements, they can even become decorative pieces for your garden.

Click here to see this privacy screen fence mesh on Amazon.

Add Privacy Plant

privacy hedge and a narrow flowerbed with petunia flowers with a modern house behind

Privacy plants can prevent your neighbor from seeing what is happening over your fence. They add privacy while beautifying your garden. If you have a larger yard, it is better to plant a mix of shrubs, evergreen trees, and perennials to achieve a more natural look.

If you want to block a neighbor's stare from a second-story window, you should consider planting deciduous shade trees which usually grow from 25 to 60 feet high. When kept over a deck or patio, these trees offer privacy. During winter, the bare branches of the trees let sunlight into your house.

The drawback of plants is that they may not grow quickly enough, so using plants to disrupt your neighbor's view may not be an option if want privacy immediately. Also, they need to be taken care of and this will add to your regular chores. This may not be a difficult task for people who enjoy gardening. Alternatively, you can install thick artificial hedge plants.

Click here to see this artificial privacy hedge screen on Amazon.

Extend Your Fence

If your fence is low and you have a neighbor looking over, you can add more height to it. A fence extension creates privacy. There are so many ways to do this—you can use decorative panels to achieve aesthetic looks while blocking the view of your neighbor.

Also, fence extensions prevent more sunlight from entering your house.

If you are yet to build your fence and are in need of some privacy, you should consider building a 6-foot solid board fence. This will create enough privacy in your backyard. But make sure to inquire about local building codes concerning fence heights and other restrictions.

Fence building is a better option in a side yard since spaces there are usually tight. Fences do not have as much footprint as plants do.

Mount An Openwork Fence On Your Stone Wall

If you have a two- or three-foot stone wall surrounding your house, you can mount a three- or four-foot lattice or picket fence on top. This should be high enough to disrupt your neighbor's stare. The openwork fence screens will not make you feel claustrophobic.

PVC fence mounted on a stone wall

Install Screen Made From A Lattice Or Ornamental Ironwork

You can set screens produced from lattice, wood panels, or parts of ornamental iron with anchor posts on the floor to cover your space. Alternatively, you can make a U-shaped structure to make the place visually appealing.

For good flexibility, you should place the end of the post in planters that has light weight. Then use wheels to keep them in place. Add concrete plugs to the base or try setting the posts in stones. After this, you can move them around if you need more open space for entertainment.

Click here to view this wood lattice fence panel on Amazon.

How High Can A Privacy Fence Be?

While there is no set standard for fence height in most residential areas, different cities have their own fence height regulations to follow. About 3 feet is the common height for front yard fences. The common height for backyard fences should be between 6 and 8 feet.

If you want to build a privacy fence, it should be high enough to disrupt your neighbor's gaze. So, privacy fences are generally between 6 to 8 feet high.

How Close To A Sidewalk Can I Build A Privacy Fence?

detail of a fence of a city park and sidewalk

This is a common question for homeowners who want to build a privacy fence. When building, make sure to set the fence back to about 2 to 8 inches from the sidewalks. Also, inquire if your fence project needs a building permit. If it does, try applying for one as soon as possible.

But if the sidewalk is close to the curb, you can build the fence to the property line. If a landscape strip is between the sidewalk and the curb, you can build your fences to the sidewalk edge.

Can I Lean Things Against My Neighbor's Fence?

It is better to ask for your neighbor's permission before leaning things against or hanging anything on their fence. Also, making use of your neighbor's fence as a temporary retaining wall may put a lot of burden on the fence panels and supporting posts, which they might not be able to bear.

According to a Q&A legal help site, if you do the above without permission and the fencing gets damaged, you may be required to pay for the repairs.

Is It Legal To Paint My Side Of A Neighbor's Fence?

Legally, painting your side of a neighbor's wall can be allowed if your own side is on your property line. However, it is advisable to ask the owner of the fence for permission since they have spent time and money to build the fence. But if the fence is not on your property line, you shouldn't change its color except you ask for permission.

You can promise to do the painting very well; better still, let them know the color, time frame for the painting, and other necessary information. With this, they will know your projects don't go against their expectations.


young couple leaning on a white fence in front of their luxury home

A neighbor looking over the fence is a problem that can be solved when you take the right actions. To tackle this issue, you can use plants or trees to disrupt the view from your neighbor.

You can also install a privacy screen which is usually made of fabric or mesh material to cover the fence. Building a higher fence can also remedy the situation.