It's a classic battle: fence repair vs. new fence. There is no straightforward winner. Sometimes…
Fence etiquette is an important consideration when installing a new fence on your property. You don’t have to include your neighbors in the process, but you’ll make your life a lot easier if you do. Here are some fence etiquette tips to keep your neighbors happy.
Define Your Property Line
The last thing you want to do is invest in a fence on the wrong property line. This can lead to a legal dispute and could cost you a great deal of money. Before you get a new fence, make sure you know exactly where your property line runs. Don’t rely on the property line from the existing fence because there’s no guarantee that is accurate. If you approach this project well-prepared, you’ll have a rock-solid defense against neighbor disputes.
Forewarn Your Neighbors about Your Fence Project
Good fence etiquette includes letting your neighbors know when your fence is going to be removed, replaced or installed. This is particularly true if your neighbors have dogs or children. Your property will be without fencing temporarily, and they need to be aware so they can adjust their safety measures. Let your neighbor know about the fence project well in advance, and keep them updated if any scheduling conflicts arise. They’ll appreciate the heads up.
Verify HOA Fence Requirements
If you are part of a homeowner association (HOA), you need to talk to them before getting a new fence. Find out what materials, heights and colors the HOA permits, along with any other guidelines you need to abide by. This is not a situation where it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. Most HOAs will not budge on their requirements, and you’ll be forced to redo the fencing to their standards. Save yourself time, money and hassle by complying with regulations from the start.
See If Your Neighbors Want to Share Fence Expenses
If your neighbor is due for a new fence, he or she may be willing to split some of the costs for you. Your fence company can give you a quote for both properties, and you can split the cost of the shared fence line. Your neighbor will appreciate the extra discount, you’ll save a little money, and you can improve both properties at the same time!
Face the Good Side of the Fence towards the Neighbor’s Yard
The flat side of a wood fence is considered the ‘good side,’ and it’s common fence etiquette to face that towards your neighbors’ yards. With that in mind, there are times when you may need to face the ‘ugly’ side towards your neighbors. If you have a dog that could easily hop the fence, having the smooth side facing inward could reduce that risk. If your neighbor has the ‘ugly side’ for the other parts of his or her fencing, they may want to maintain consistency along your property line. You can always talk to your neighbor in advance to determine how you want the fence oriented.
Make Fence Repairs Promptly
Damaged and leaning fences don’t just impact your safety. They affect your neighbors as well. As part of your fence etiquette, make sure you repair your fence as quickly as possible. These issues are not going to go away on their own. In fact, they’re liable to get worse over time. You can take action to protect yourself and the folks next door.
Work with a Licensed and Insured Fence Company near You
What does your fence company have to do with fence etiquette? Uh…everything! A licensed, insured and experienced fence contractor is going to treat your property and your neighbor’s property with respect. If an accident occurs or any sort of issue arises, you know that your fencing is going to get done right. Your neighbors can feel confident about the workers on their property, and you can rest assured that your investment will pay off in the end.