Are you thinking about installing a new fence or updating your old one? The process of choosing, planning for, and installing a new fence is exciting. A new fence changes the visual landscape of your backyard, can create safe and comfortable places for children and animals to play, and can give your home added privacy. However, building a fence is a big project! There are many nuances to building a fence that you might not consider when you first plan to build. Building a fence doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful. We’ve compiled a list of three of the most important things to consider before you begin building a new fence so that you will mitigate conflict or tension down the road. These fence etiquette tips keep your neighbors, homeowner’s associations, and local governments happy, and ensure a long and prosperous life for your fence.
Fence Etiquette Tip #1: Respect Property Lines
When you begin planning for a new fence, it’s essential to take into consideration your property lines. You must build your fence within the bounds of your property, and respect the boundaries of your neighbors’ property around you. This is important not only because it will prevent you from creating tension or disputes with your neighbors, but also because if you build outside of your property lines, you could risk having your fence taken down. It’s crucial to construct your fence correctly the first time.
There are a couple of ways to figure out exactly where your property lines fall. You can study the house line drawing or property plan for your plot of land. Study it carefully to ensure that you are reading the drawing correctly and are able to discern where exactly the property line falls. Remember that sometimes tax assessor websites or other property line drawings are misleading, so it’s important to be careful when taking this route.
The other method for discerning exactly where your property lines fall is to have a land surveyor conduct a survey of your property. These will provide you with an accurate and up-to-date survey of your property and precise documentation of your property liens. However, these surveys can be fairly expensive, generally ranging between $400 and $1,000 dollars. As it’s important to ensure that your fence is constructed within your property lines, it can be a worthwhile investment and will prevent your fence from being taken down or issued a violation.
Generally, fence builders build fences about a foot inside the property line to ensure that there are no disputes between neighbors and to correct for any errors that may occur during the surveying process.
Fence Etiquette Tip #2: Communicate with the Neighbors
During the fence building process, it’s imperative to communicate with neighbors before you begin building a fence. Not only is communication with your neighbors a good practice and will lead to healthier relationships with the people who live around you, but communication can offset the possibility of problems like property line disputes or neighbors holding resentment about the appearance of your fence.
It’s important to remember that by constructing a fence, you are not only changing the landscape of your own yard or property, but also that of your neighbors. Therefore, it’s kind to include them in conversations about where your fence will be, what your fence will look like, and how long the construction process will take. The aesthetics that you choose for a fence will also impact their yard, so if they have strong hesitations about a choice that you are planning to make, consider how you can better compromise with them or have a conversation that will ease their worries about the fence.
It’s common courtesy to have the more finished side of the fence facing towards the neighbors or the street. This is standard fence construction, and it prevents the fence from creating an eyesore for the people who live close to you. In fact, some neighborhoods and localities even have regulations that require that posts face towards one’s home and away from neighbors or the street.
Remember that you are responsible for both sides of the fence, not only the side that faces your home. As time goes on, you are responsible for the upkeep of the fence as it falls into disrepair. When you’re choosing the material for your fence, consider the type of maintenance that the fence will require. Leaning, chipping, and fading paint are all your responsibility. You can offset this work by choosing a low-maintenance style of fencing. Fencing Direct carries a number of types of fencing that require little to no maintenance and last for years.
Low maintenance fencing styles include vinyl or aluminum fencing. They are durable, long-lasting, and require to little to no maintenance. In fact, they are so easy to clean that you can generally just hose them down when they begin to show dirt. They’re very difficult to damage. Choosing a darker colored fence shows less dirt, debris, and damage than a lighter one, and requires cleaning significantly less often.
Fence Etiquette Tip #3: Check Local Zoning Requirements
Each locality and neighborhood has its own regulations for fencing. Regulations can include limitations on height, colors, materials, setbacks, and other localized restrictions about how to build a fence. It’s fairly standard for local governments to institute restrictions about how hight to build a fence. Generally, localities limit fence heights to 6 feet for back and side yards, and 4 feet for front yards. Often, corner lots have more stringent restrictions for building, as fencing can create visual blockages for drivers. Before you begin planning, check these restrictions to ensure that your plan meets the local code.
Beyond local governments, homeowner’s associations or HOAs often also have their own restrictions for fencing. They often dictate how high a fence can stand and what color the fencing material can be in the neighborhood. Again, it’s important to find out what these regulations are and to communicate with the homeowner’s association early on to prevent any conflict after your fence has already been built.
You should also be sure to communicate the restrictions that you’ve researched with the company or contractor that is helping you to build your fence. While they might be knowledgeable about fence building, they may not know the intricacies of each locality or homeowner’s association’s rules regarding fence building. By checking in with them first, you can prevent any mix-ups that may cause problems down the road for you.
It’s Time to Build!
Once you’ve taken into consideration your property lines, the preferences and feelings of your neighbors, and your local zoning requirements and regulations, you’re ready to make a plan to build! Fencing Direct carries quality fencing in a number of different styles that will meet the specific regulations that you are hoping to fulfill. No matter how tall or short, bright or dark, colorful or neutral you would like your fence to be, we carry a style of fencing that will match your vision for your space. Fencing Direct has years of experiencing delivering high-quality fencing to customers. If you have questions about regulations, choosing the best fence for you and your family, or fulfilling requirements, we are happy to help.
Our fencing will help you create new functional spaces for your children, pets, and your family to spent time in.