Privacy and outlook Print

Design Outcome

Access to views, sun and good quality private open space is maximised while the neighbours’ rights to the same qualities are respected

​​​​​​The best way to address both privacy and outlook is to locate the house near the street, as this maximises the distance between houses.

Better Design Practice

Consider the neighbouring houses.
Note the location of windows, what rooms they service and the location of the private outdoor space. It is good design practice not to shade your next door neighbour’s main outdoor area. 
​Design to overlook the street, back yard or public open space. 
Houses should look front and back, not sideways into neighbouring houses or gardens.

Avoid locating the main living room windows directly across the side boundary where they will provide views into the indoor or outdoor living areas of the adjacent house. 
Consider locating courtyards next to blank walls or service areas like garages of the adjacent house, in order to maintain privacy. 
​Be particularly careful about the location of upstairs windows and decks.
They should look down into the private outdoor space to the front or rear of their own property, not over the side boundary. Views over the neighbours’ private outdoor space should be screened. 
​Use planting as screening between neighbouring houses.
Select and locate trees carefully, considering summer shade and winter sun, as well as the shadow they will cast when fully grown. Try to avoid shading over the boundary.

Rules of Thumb

Living room separation distances.

Try to maintain a distance of more than 12 metres between the main living rooms of neighbouring houses, to give sufficient privacy.  That distance might be reduced if there is screening between the houses by trees, walls, other landscape elements or accessory buildings.​
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