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Fence Etiquette – Who Gets the “Good Side” of the Fence

4 foot custom picket style fence

You’re ready for the added privacy and security a fence gives you. But like any good neighbor you’re not looking to accidentally offend anyone next door. Learning proper etiquette when putting in a fence can ensure you’re invited to your neighbor’s next backyard BBQ.

Working with Neighbors When Installing Fence

Part of fence etiquette is keeping your neighbors informed. Even if your design meets HOA requirements, it’s common courtesy to give your neighbors a heads-up about your plans.

Most often, when replacing an existing fence, the new fence is installed along the same line as the old fence.  If there is any doubt, you can confirm the property lines by referring to your survey, a drawing that designates your property boundaries. If you no longer have one or can’t find it, contact your county’s record offices. If there isn’t a

survey on file, you may need to order a new one.  You can also ask your

neighbor for a copy of their survey for additional information.

Have a conversation with your neighbors about your plans. You may find they are also thinking of putting up a new fence.  It is common for neighbors to share the cost of the fence, but some neighbor’s may not be interested or it may not be a priority or in their budget at the time.  It doesn’t hurt to ask if they are willing to share the cost.

What is the Good Side of a Fence

Fences are typically replaced with the pickets facing their original configuration. Switching sides can sometimes cause unforeseen issues with landscaping, irrigation and maybe even property lines.

Many customers want the “good” side of the fence. There really isn’t a “good” side. Some customers feel that the smooth side or the picket side is nicer looking and so many prefer to see this side. It is important to note that any fence visible from the street should have the smooth side facing out toward the street.  Many if not most HOA’s require this. If security is an issue, we recommend facing the smooth side out as it’s the side that is harder to climb.  A well framed fence looks good from both sides, but many will disagree.  Either way, this should be discussed with the fence contractor and your neighbor.

There are some fence designs that look the same on both sides and others that alternate sides some of which are shown in our gallery custom wood fencing

If you need help picking out a fence design that both you and your neighbors will be happy with, please contact us today.



"Sierra fence created the most gorgeous iron railing fence for my new house. They were prompt, efficient and professional. It's the envy of the neighborhood, and the dogs like it because they can see other dogs through the bars."

Margaret-Anne
from Bee Cave

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