A few years ago, when my dogs were just overly excited puppies and everything was interesting to them and everything needed to be barked at to stay far away from their “house”, our neighbors of course didn’t appreciate themselves and their constant party guests getting barked at. Very loudly. We assured her that we too did not enjoy the fact that every time they walked their own dog on our side of the property our dogs went berserk! As neighbors who were trying to get along with each other on each side of the property, we eventually played nice and found solutions on how to drown out the noise on their side and blocked the view of their activities from our dogs. We finally built a partial fence to block their property, but for the short term fix, we installed an inexpensive solution to gain privacy from the neighbors.
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Living in a neighborhood can be both a great experience and a trying one. Sometimes the lifestyles of everyone just doesn’t work well together and it can cause stress for everyone involved. Besides trying to move out to the middle of no where with absolutely no neighbors, the best solution is usually to try to find a solution to solve the problem for both sides.
Instead, we found a way to block the view and stop the constant barking, and keep peace with our neighbors at the same time.
In our house, we have a small problem. Several actually, but this one concerns our dogs barking at the neighbors. For us, our neighbors didn’t like the dogs barking and we didn’t like the dogs barking every time they saw the neighbors outside of our home. Which let’s face it that is what dogs do, especially if they see someone in close proximity to their own yard. But our dogs are like family to us and getting rid of them was not an option. Either way, our neighbors seem to find it annoying, me too since I work from home and my husband may be sleeping during the day if he has pulled a 24 shift at the hospital. Because let’s all agree here that no matter who is at fault, us for having dogs or the neighbors for enjoying their pool too much, barking dogs can get really really annoying.
Part of the problem is that the side of our house that faces the neighbor’s back yard pool area has two large sliding glass doors leading to our outdoor screened porch. Outside of the screen porch is the entrance to our dog pen, so the dogs spend a lot of time in this area of our home. With full view of the comings and goings of the neighbors, mostly to the pool house you see in these photos.
Not only is it unsightly but I swear our neighbors walk to that pump house to check on the condition of the saltwater pump and equipment nearly 10 times a day during the warmer months and my dogs bark at them. Every. Single. Time.
Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but they go to the pump house A LOT. My husband and I are considering installing a partial fence both for privacy and a sound barrier (we really do like our neighbors – just not the constant dog barking their presence causes). In the meantime, we found a simple and inexpensive way to block the view of their pump house and every little wild creature that crosses in front of the windows from the constant watchful eyes of our four legged companions.
Inexpensive Solution to Gain Privacy from the Neighbors
For this project you will need:
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Rolls of Window Film (I used a Milky Finish and it took four rolls)
- Window Cleaner and paper towels
- Yard Stick or Tape Measure
- Black Sharpie Marker
To start, I cleaned the glass doors with window cleaner to remove all of the dog nose art and paw smudges and allowed it to dry thoroughly.
For this project I didn’t want to just cover the glass doors with the window film and call it done. I wanted to somehow create a modern frosted pattern that was both decorative and functional. To design the pattern, I pulled out my drafting board, a t-square, and some grid paper and got to work.
My husband and I both decided we liked a block design in decreasing sizes to be the pattern we would install.
The rolls of window film I purchased had a grid on the back that made for easy cutting to the different sizes of my pattern. I highly recommend making sure whatever type you buy has a similar grid. It makes this project so much easier.
When you crave privacy but don’t want to install heavy drapery panels, a DIY window film installation is an inexpensive way to gain privacy from the neighbors.
The block sizes I cut for our project were 18″, 12″. 9″, 6″ and then 3″ for the top. I used a yard stick and a sharpie to make measurement ticks on the glass to align the placement of the cut film. (Sorry everyone but I was installing this alone and couldn’t hold a camera, the yardstick and the sharpie pen all at the same time.)
To apply the window film you first have to spray down the glass with water. Then peel off the paper back to the film section and place it on the glass using the black tick marks as a guide. Since the window film stays in place with static cling, it is very easy to move the film around as needed. Once it is in place, spray the film down with water again and use the squeegee to push out bubbles and excess water from underneath the film.
Of course the larger blocks of window film are applied to the bottom of the glass doors because that is the visual height of the dogs. The smaller blocks allow us to see out and over them while allowing in the natural light I crave. Stopping at this height does mean that my husband and I can still see the pump house but hopefully a fence and some landscaping will solve that problem later this summer. (fingers crossed)
March 2020 Update: This solution is still working very well for us, even though the bottom two panels would not stay on in the winter months with the vent blowing on them. So we just took those off of the windows permanently. We did eventually install some decorative fence panels in front of the neighbors pump house, but we still have the window film on the sliding glass doors and it is still working very well for us.
1 Corinthians 10:24 ESV “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”