The Good Side of the Fence

Getting new fencing is not simply choosing what you want and building it, or having it built. What about the neighbours? If the local council regulations allow the type of fence you want, you probably feel like it’s okay to build it. Unfortunately, while the fence might be in your yard, or more likely on the boundary, the neighbours will be seeing one side of it every day. Like everything else, there is etiquette involved before you get all enthusiastic and start putting up that fence.

Common Boundaries

Even if you are replacing an existent fence, you need to have the property line checked again.

Your land titles should clearly indicate where everything starts and stops with regard to boundaries, but make sure. Get a surveyor to stake the property again so the fence goes in exactly the right position. Additionally, a surveyor can place stakes along the boundary, giving you a clearer idea of exactly where your fence can go.

Communication with the Neighbour

You cannot erect a fence in this country without having the neighbour agree to the design and cost, particularly as they are usually liable for half the cost anyway. Maybe the neighbour was considering a new fence anyway. It’s just common courtesy to have a nice neighbourly chat about it.

What Side of the Fence do you Live?

Some fences have a “good” side that appears smoother because the rails and postings are on the other side. You should erect the fence with that good side toward your neighbour. It’s a polite thing to do as well as being the standard way of installation.

Many fences have been made to look the same on both sides and for that reason are referred to as “good neighbour fences.” If you really don’t like the way the fence looks on your side, then you can try for a double-sided privacy fence.

Fence Maintenance

You should always maintain your fence and keep it looking good. Painting or staining and keeping it clean so the wood does not rot. Not only does regular maintenance add life to the fence, you won’t have the neighbours complaining about it if it becomes an eyesore. Wooden fences require a lot of maintenance, so there are other alternatives you can choose. Colorbond, aluminium or vinyl are all lower maintenance. Consider the colour of the fence as well. Darker coloured won’t show the dirt as easily as a light-coloured fence.

Sometimes having a fence is a necessity rather than a pleasure, but at least by following the guidelines and etiquette, you will have a lot less stress. Communication with your neighbours is important so that the fence-building project can continue smoothly to the end. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that the neighbours are happy to help as much as they can.