Proper Etiquette for Sharing a Fence with a Neighbor

metal fence

Don’t think only about yourself when you plan to build or construct a new fence for your home. This is especially important if you are going to share a fence with your neighbor. The border of the property is where you can get the fence constructed. But make sure that this will not affect your relationship with your next-door neighbor.

It makes sense to want to build an industrial fence or another type of fence between you and your neighbor. This is to protect your family from burglars and keep your pets and children inside your property. No offense meant to your neighbors, of course, but you have to make sure that your children and pets are safe.

Define Your Property Lines

Check your house’s plat. It’s a drawing that maps out your land. If you don’t have this document anymore, you can get a free copy from the local records office. The map will provide the measurement of your land—from beginning to end. You can also hire a land surveyor to clarify the borders of your property. As a neighborly gesture, make sure to have your neighbors check the report. They have to agree on where the fence will be built.

Talk to Your Neighbor

Even if the fence will be constructed within your property lines, it’s important to talk to your neighbor about your plan. Some may be offended that you want to put up a fence between your yards. It’s common courtesy to explain why you want a fence between your properties. This saves you the legal trouble if in the future the neighbor wants to dispute the fence’s location. Also, your neighbor might want to split the cost of building the fence.

Face the Finished Side of the Fence Toward Your Neighbor

man installing fenceSome fences have a good side and a bad side. The bad side is usually where the rails and posts are while the good side is smoother and more polished. It is common courtesy to face the finished side of the fence toward your neighbors. It is practical, too, since the fence’s good side should face the outside world. It would look like your fence is installed backward if the rails and posts are showing outside.

Don’t Let the Fence Become an Eyesore

Make sure to maintain your fence. Clean it and repaint it if needed. Don’t let it be an eyesore for your neighbor. Remember that this will be a shared fence. If it doesn’t look good to you, it won’t look good for your neighbor, too. It can affect your neighbor’s property if they decide to sell their home.

If you follow this common etiquette, you won’t have to get into a disagreement with your neighbors. As long as you consider what’s best for them, too, they won’t complain about this little project of yours. Communicate with your neighbors well so that you won’t have to suffer through bad neighborly relationships.

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