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Dear Dale:

Block Out the Great Outdoors When Outdoors Isn't So Great

November 10, 1985|DALE BALDWIN

Question: What do you do when you have a nice house but a lousy view, short of moving the house or the view? The innocuous view I am referring to is a three-story apartment building across from my backyard. There's a cinder block wall along the back of my lot, but it (or something else) would have to be 17 feet higher to hide the apartment building. Trees of that height would be expensive or would take a long time to grow to a sufficient height. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Answer: Instead of thinking about what to do outside, why not consider what you can do inside to block the view? For instance, could stained glass be used in some way in the windows? If you need the light, stick to pastel colors, and you might not need to do the entire window. If you use stained glass at only the top half of the window, you'd retain your view of the backyard.

Awnings attached to the outside of the windows might block the top part of the building, and many awnings today are attractive enough to enhance the beauty of your house and yard. Choose a color or colors that will go with both the interior and exterior of the house, even if it means double fabric. And if light is a factor, and the view could still be blocked, you might have a clear insert at the top of the awning.

Planting trees is probably your best long-range solution, but don't plant them at the cinder-block wall. Plant them instead as close to the house as you can without having the worry of roots causing problems with underground pipes. The closer the trees are to the house the sooner they will block the view. And, of course, check with your nursery for fast-growing trees that will grow well in your area.

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