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Dear Dale

Privacy Method Needed for Window Facing Public Area

January 13, 1985

Question: Perhaps you can help me solve a problem. I would like to put functional louvered shutters on my bedroom window, but all the shutters I have seen allow those outside the room to see inside from one angle or another. The window faces a public area in my apartment complex. In the summertime I open the window for ventilation, but a shade or curtains--while preserving privacy--restricts the flow of air. Do you know of any shutters with baffles having a chevron cross section, spaced to allow air to pass through but preventing passersby from glimpsing the resident reading in bed?

Answer: I struck out on this one. You add in your letter that you would like to hang the shutters on sliding-door hardware attached to a shelf above the window. During the day, the shutters would be pushed out of the way, letting in light. All the shutters I've seen have horizontal louvers. If you could locate shutters with vertical louvers in units about a foot wide, you could attach them to the shelf and possibly get more privacy than the horizontal-louver units provide. If anyone out there can help this privacy-seeking San Gabriel Valley resident out, drop me a line at the address below. IN THE MAIL: This is positively the last letter on birds nesting in tile roofs, I promise!

Mary R. Whelen of La Canada-Flintridge writes: "Some years ago when I was in Outer Mongolia, I had occasion to visit the monastery of Erdene Dzu at what was once Karakorum, the capital of the Mongolian Empire under Genghis Khan. As you can see from the enclosed photo, there were numerous nesting opportunities offered by this particular architectural style. The photo doesn't show it, but the problem of nesting birds was solved by covering potential nesting sites with hardware cloth."

If it's good enough for Genghis Khan, it's good enough for me!

Dale Baldwin will answer remodeling questions of general interest on this page. Send your questions to Home Improvement, Real Estate Department, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Baldwin cannot answer questions individually. Snapshots of successful do-it-yourself projects may be submitted but cannot be returned.

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