Fence Etiquette: Sharing The Good Fence With Your Neighbor

Fence Etiquette: Sharing The Good Fence With Your Neighbor

Are you a homeowner considering installing a fence? You’ve come to the right place! Fences are an excellent way to either enhance your property or add privacy from neighboring homes. However, before you start the installation process, it’s important to consider who gets the “good side” of the fence. But with good communication and understanding, you and your neighbor can make sure these fences don’t cause any animosity.This blog post will discuss all you need to know about proper fencing etiquette and ensuring your neighbor’s on board when it comes time for installations and repairs.

Ensure Your New Fence is Built Within the Boundaries of Your Property

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 (the cost is $500).  You can also ask your neighbor for a copy of their survey for additional information. When installing a fence, it is common practice for fencing companies to place it slightly inside the property line for added precaution.

Understand Your Local Fence Regulations

Before building your fence, it’s essential to understand local regulations. Fencing companies handle permits and stay on top of zoning regulations, including height limits and setbacks. Typically, side and back yards have a height limit of 6 feet, while front yards have a limit of 4 feet. Corner lots may have more strict rules due to blind curves and visibility concerns. To ensure a smooth process and avoid any disputes, discuss all the restrictions with your fence company beforehand.

Follow Your HOA Guidelines on Fences

You’re responsible for knowing your HOA’s rules, not the fencing companies. ​​So, make sure you follow those HOA guidelines closely. They can decide the style, height, and color of your fencing. And if your HOA insists on everything matching, you won’t have much flexibility.

Work with Your 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.

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 neighbors may not be interested, or it may not be a priority or in their budget.  It doesn’t hurt to ask if they are willing to share the cost.

Make Sure Your Neighbors Get the Good Side of the Fence

Many customers want the “good” side of the fence. The smooth side or the picket fence side is nicer looking, and so many prefer to see this side. A common courtesy is to share the good side with your neighbor. It is important to note that any fence visible from the street should have a smooth side facing out toward the street.  Many, if not most, HOAs require this. If security is an issue, we recommend facing the smooth side out as it’s the side that is harder to climb. 

Some fence designs look the same on both sides, and others alternate sides, some shown in our gallery custom wood fencing. Either way, this should be discussed with a residential fence contractor and your neighbor.

Some Neighbor-Friendly Fences

Discover the perfect fence solution: the “good neighbor” fence. With two appealing sides, this option is a delight for you and your neighbor. No more fence dilemmas! Here are a few popular good neighbor fences to consider:

Horizontal Wood Fence

Make our fence stand out on both sides with a horizontal double-sided fence. Made of cedar wood, horizontal fences are known for their unbeatable durability and versatility. 

Shadowbox Fence

Introducing the striking and one-of-a-kind cedar horizontal shadowbox fence. This fence style not only adds depth to your outdoor space but also allows natural light to brighten up your backyard.​​

custom fence cedar horiztonal shadowbox

Lattice Fence

Add charm and elegance to your traditional home with lattice fencing. This perfect backyard addition not only provides privacy with a solid-panel fence, but also maintains an open feel. 

cedar privacy fence with lattice top

Vinyl Fence

Experience the​​ ultimate combination of durability and low-maintenance with vinyl fencing. With a choice of classic white or stunning almond colors, vinyl fencing saves you the hassle of repainting, unlike wooden fences.

Aluminum Fence

Aluminum fences are reliable and offers durability, low-maintenance, and rust resistance.

Majestic 2 Rail Black Metal Fence

Maintain Your Fence 

Take care of your fence to ensure it remains safe and appealing. If the fence starts leaning or has broken pickets, consider replacing the broken parts. Also, different materials have different maintenance needs. A wooden fence, for example, needs to be stained every three years to stay looking good. On the other hand, vinyl or aluminum fences require less care. Furthermore, an iron fence will appear cleaner and need less frequent cleaning since it’s made of darker materials. Remember, you are responsible for cleaning and maintaining both sides of the fence, not just the side facing your neighbors.

Conclusion on Proper Fence Etiquette

Ultimately, if you are looking to install a fence, it is important to consider how the “good side” of the fence will affect your relationship with your neighbors. With ample communication and a little understanding, you can make sure that installing a fence doesn’t have a negative effect on either party. As long as everyone involved is well-informed before deciding on items such as where to place the fence and who gets which side of it, there won’t be any problems. To ensure fences make your yard look great and don’t cause any animosity, approach installation in collaboration with your neighbor and think through these points of etiquette carefully. The decision about a new fence could be a productive step toward bettering or maintaining relations between neighbors–take advantage of this opportunity today!

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

Richard Novigrod Sierra Fence

Richard Novigrod | Owner at Sierra Fence, Inc.

Richard is a successful sales professional with over 30 years of experience in the Fencing Industry. In 2012 he started Sierra Fence, a company specializing in fence contracting for industrial, commercial, and residential purposes. He is passionate about the fencing industry and enjoys helping readers understand the importance of quality fencing and how they can enhance a property’s security and value.