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Be A Good Neighbor: Tips To Proper Fence Etiquette

May 11 2022   |   By: Mike Dominique   |   Posted in: Fence Maintenance


No one wants a nightmare neighbor or wants to be one either. There are so many ways to be a good neighbor and one of these ways is to perform proper fence etiquette. Here are some tips and recommendations about proper fence etiquette and how to be a good neighbor. 

Know Your Boundaries and Limitations

Property line location is often the source of friction between neighbors. Knowing where your property lines ends and handling property disputes thoughtfully can make the difference between enjoying your property and dreading to venture into your own back yard. To avoid an expensive mistake, carefully consider fence placement near property lines. Having a fence placed over the property line can result in the fence being relocated but installing the fence too far from the line can also be expensive.

For example, a homeowner decided to fence in his back yard to contain his dog. He left a gap of two feet between the new fence and his property line to avoid encroaching on the property next door. Eventually his next-door neighbor installed an identical fence right on the property line, which resulted in a narrow strip of grass between the two fences that could not be easily mowed or trimmed. The only option for the first homeowner was to move his fence two feet up to the property line. This created the odd looking situation where two identical fences were touching each other back to back. Surely, it would just be easier to discuss the fence plans prior to installation.

Property or neighbor disputes can often lead to the construction of, what is called, ‘the spite fence’. A spite fence is a fence that is installed for no purpose, other than to annoy or in some way harm a neighbor. One homeowner recently inquired about installing the ugliest fence possible just so his neighbor would be forced to look at it. Remember that a spite fence could not only make a neighbor dispute worse, but it may also be illegal. Many areas have state or local laws against spite fences. And, in areas where these laws do not exist, legal action can still be taken under the common law practice of private nuisance.

Remember, good fences make good neighbors.

Listen to HOA Guidelines

Fencing companies won’t typically know your specific HOA dos and don’ts so you need to learn those before installing a new fence. Unless you want to deal with committee persistence, and engage in a dispute, follow your HOA guidelines. HOAs can regulate style, height, and maintenance. Unfortunately, if your HOA wants all structures to match, you won’t have as many creative options.

Many local municipalities require building permits for fence installation. The homeowner is responsible for obtaining any required permits. In addition, local municipalities or homeowners associations may restrict fence style, height or location. For example, back yard privacy fences may be permitted as high as 6’ while front yard fences may by limited to 4’ high. Knowing the local codes may save the expense of paying a fine or moving/replacing a fence.

Talk to Your Neighbors

Talking to your neighbors before installing a home fence can save you from upsetting disputes, awkward property lines and competing fence styles. If property line issues exist, resolve them before installation. No need to show neighbors the design—that’s just inviting trouble. They have to live with your choice unless it lowers property values or is dangerous.

Keep up with Maintenance

Having dirty or damaged fencing is not only unappealing for you but it affects the neighborhoods appeal as well. When it comes to fence repair, preventative maintenance is key. Whether it is a fence for privacy, for the family pet, or for home security, fences are both useful and beautiful. However, owning a fence also comes with fence maintenance and repair. Monitoring and maintaining your fence is the best way to keep small problems from becoming major disasters. Read our blog “Fence Repair & Maintenance Tips for Homeowners” to learn the best ways to maintain your fence and keep your neighbors happy.

Southington Rustic Fence | CT Fence Company

Southington Rustic Fence Company has proudly served all of Connecticut for over 67 years. We are a CT fence company that offers full installation services as well as direct materials sales to contractors and DIY homeowners. We have an endless assortment of CT fence styles and options; many of our products are hand crafted in our workshop here in Southington. Established in 1948, Southington Rustic Fence Company offers quality fencing, outdoor furniture, swings and other quality custom crafted products.

If you've decided to start weighing your options for a new fence, contact us today and we'll work with you to design a solution that meets your needs and fits well within your budget. Want to peruse through our many options? Look no further.

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