View Full Version : How to prevent people from looking into my window

05-08-2002, 07:11 PM
I don't want to tint the window but would like to make it so people from the street can't (easily) see into my house (esp at night w/ interior lights).

Is there something I can apply to make my windows more like one way glass? Will installing outside lighting help by creating glare?

05-08-2002, 07:17 PM
You got something against curtains?

05-08-2002, 07:17 PM
There are some miraculous new products these days created expressly for this purpose:

Drapes? Curtains? Blinds? :confused:

05-08-2002, 07:20 PM
Are curtains (tm) or Venetian blinds (tm) not viable options?

I have a friend who has special blinds in their home that can cover any part of the window. So if they're worried about someone walking by and being able to look in, they just move the blinds to the bottom part of the window, and no one can see in. Otherwise, they function as normal blinds. Someone may come along shortly and provide a name for these marvels of engineering.

P.S. Outside lighting would add some glare, but if you have interior lighting, people would most likely still be able to see into your home.

05-08-2002, 07:24 PM
wow I didn't know that, Where can I get 'curtains'

no really, I have these great windows and want to use them. Also one is over the stove and curtains would be a fire hazard (my cooking is hazardous enough w/o flamiable cloth right over it).

butter pie
05-08-2002, 08:22 PM
Are you cooking in the buff? The bathroom I understand, but in the kitchen? Just plant some big bushes that cover the window. It'll be easier to see out through them then to see in from the street.

You could always get curtains that tie back while you're cooking, or mini-blinds that you could pull up to the top of the window.

05-08-2002, 08:33 PM
I didn't want to go into details but it looks like I have to. I have a front to back split home. the upstairs hallway overlooks the dinning room and kitchen. so by standing on the street you could look up and see the upper level hallway.

05-08-2002, 08:39 PM
What about shutters? They provide privacy, look great, and at least one I've found (http://www.hunterdouglas.com/palm_beach/product_overview.html) is flame retardant.

Boyo Jim
05-08-2002, 09:10 PM
Let's see, you've rejected curtains and tinting. The jury is apparently still out on flame retardent shutters.

I see two other options:
1. Buy all the property around you, and fence it off, so nobody can get to a vantage point. A cheaper, but less civil, method -- landmines in the "view zone". Be sure to post it out of consideration for your neighbors. :D
2. Reposition your house. If you want to maintain a similar view, I suggest putting it on stilts. Jack up the house 2-3 stories, no more problem.

Anybody know about a one-way mirror NOT based on which side the light source is on?

I think that about covers your options.

Duck Duck Goose
05-08-2002, 10:23 PM
Put shutters on the outside of the house, then they don't need to be flame-retardant. And if you keep them closed all the time, the kids in the neighborhood will decide that you are a character out of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In The Castle and will leave you strictly alone at trick-or-treat time. :D

hey, just put some plastic mini-blinds over the stove window, on the inside.
they don't have to be flame-retardant, since they won't be drooping over where the flames are, but good luck dealing with the grease problem.
if you're really worried about fires, this is why you keep a little home fire extinguisher under the sink.
who puts a stove in front of a window anyhow?
It's a rental house, right?

Ms. Lois
05-08-2002, 11:13 PM
You could replace the glass windows with the one-sided mirrors used in police stations for their interogation and line-up rooms. You could see out, no one sees in.

Of course these types of mirrors loose some effectiveness if their back-lit, as they would be at night, but you could put a light outside to equalize the lighting.

And you get the benefit of permanently blinding the neighbors as the sun reflects off the mirror. Over time, as your neighbors lost their sight, the need for this type of glass would deminish.

05-08-2002, 11:24 PM
Many German homes have a peculiar type of rolling shutters known as Rolladen. They are usually placed inbetween the two panes of double windows, so they never need cleaning. Perhaps you might like some of these.

05-09-2002, 12:45 AM
The outside shutters seems a good idea. I've seen a similar and cheaper method. Get some sun shade material, which is a sort of screen material made of nylon and can be seen through. Just staple it to the window sills for a test. If you like it, a better attachment might be arranged.

05-09-2002, 01:11 AM
Move :D It's the only viable solution

05-09-2002, 01:57 AM
I want windowpanes that alternately go clear or frosted when you flip a switch. How do those work, anyway? Why don't they put them in houses?

05-09-2002, 02:25 AM
I caught the tail end of a History Channel- Modern Marvels?,I think, last night and that segment was about exactly that.

Somebody's working with a type of glass that changes shades (sorta like the eyeglass lens),except a current is used to change shade/hues.

Might check their website for a show description or links.From what I saw it isn't mass produced yet.

05-09-2002, 03:09 AM
It's a crystal thing, and they are mass produced. They're expensive, though, which is why they're usually only used in smallish bathroom windows and such.

05-09-2002, 03:28 AM
I've seen windows inside an office that would allow you to see through them only at an angle (maybe 45 degrees or less). If you stood perpendicular to the glass and tried to look straight through, all you would see is a sheet of opaque glass. A very nice feature for the boss, who, sitting far back in his glassed-in office, could pick his nose without fear of being seen by people strolling by.

Probably not cheap, but then again, neither is installing outside lights and paying the electric bills year after year.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
05-09-2002, 06:50 AM
If the only issue is lighting, use glass bricks.

They're fairly easy to install, can be fitted with a small vent for air near the stove, don't require screens, are more burglar-resistant than any regular window, & block any view from outside.

05-09-2002, 07:42 AM
What's wrong with net curtains?, perfect unless you have the lights on inside, but if that's the case, it's probably dark outside so you could close the shutters, blinds or curtains.

Roller blinds are good as they roll up to nothing when you don't want to use them.

I know that net curtains look a bit crap but they give great privacy and are cheap. They can be taken down easily so you almost have portabe privacy whilst allowing light in.

05-09-2002, 10:34 AM
At night you want it so people can't look in? Why would you want to see out at night?

05-09-2002, 11:23 AM
How about specialized window tinting films like this (http://www.gilafilms.com/Residential/products/privacymirror.html)

I did some windows in my house with it, costs about $10 for

05-09-2002, 11:25 AM
watch those tab keys kids...

$10 for a 3'x4' window

05-09-2002, 05:16 PM
I use window frosting, it comes in a spray can & it makes my bathroom windows so light comes
in but completely private. One thing about it is that it stinks incredibly until it is dry. It also
can be washed off.

Duck Duck Goose
05-09-2002, 07:24 PM
How about the biggest display of window clings on the block? Seasonal, religious, Disney, Warner Brothers, the possibilities are endless...


05-09-2002, 10:14 PM
Tall cedar hedge at the sidewalk.

05-09-2002, 11:16 PM
Come on, we know the real reason is because you're actually Boo Radley.

Mort Furd
05-10-2002, 05:35 AM
Do you have screens on the outside of these windows? If you do, then paint the side of screen that faces the street white, and the side towards the house black (and make sure not to over do it and plug the openings in the screen.) It works like a one way mirror, but is a lot cheaper.

Mort Furd
05-10-2002, 05:41 AM
Do you have screens on the outside of these windows? If you do, then paint the side of screen that faces the street white, and the side towards the house black (and make sure not to over do it and plug the openings in the screen.) It works like a one way mirror, but is a lot cheaper.

05-10-2002, 06:37 AM
Our city library has polarized glass for windows.

In daylight, the glass is dark. At night, when the library is closed, one can see in (good for the cops).

I'm fairly certain the reverse can be true, although I do not know the cost of the glass

05-10-2002, 09:25 AM
"Do you have screens on the outside of these windows? If you do, then paint the side of screen that faces the street white, and the side towards the house black"

Mine do this without painting them. But the screens are rather old.

05-10-2002, 09:29 AM
Also Fort, at night you can see clear through my screens, how about yours?

05-10-2002, 09:47 AM
Serves you right for hanging out nekkid in your "dinning" room.

Like Handy mentioned, there's a frosted glass spray you can use to increase the opacity of your panes. I used it (when he was away) to decrease to glare from my neighbor's backyard lights.

You could cover much of the perimeter butt leave a "visi-rectum" to peer through if, of course, you're so inclined.