Be A Pal: Proper Fence Etiquette Between Neighbors
Be A Pal: Proper Fence Etiquette Between Neighbors
A friendly neighbor leaning over the fence and saying hello, adhering to proper fencing etiquette

Be A Pal: Proper Fence Etiquette Between Neighbors


So, you want to install a fence. A new fence can be the perfect addition to your property, adding that extra bit of security, privacy, and curb appeal you’ve been looking for. However, before you get on the phone and call Hohulin Fence, you might want to call your neighbor first. But why would you do that? Well, if you share a property line, you won’t be the only one who gets to enjoy your fence; so will your neighbor! As such, while conferring with your neighbor over a fence on your property isn’t required, it’s a common courtesy. Additionally, discussing your fencing plans with your neighbor and doing a few checks beforehand can save you potential headaches later. Here are some suggestions for proper fence etiquette with your neighbor in mind.

1. Find Out Who Owns a Fence

Your ideas of a beautiful new fence along your property lines might be moot if you don’t already own the existing fence. Thus, the first step to talking with your neighbor about a new fence is determining if the fence along your property is yours or theirs. If a fence’s “good side” faces the outside of your property, there’s a good chance the fence is yours. However, if it’s not, and your neighbors own it, any talk of taking it down and replacing it must include their input. Establish early with your neighbors why you believe a new fence might benefit all parties so you have a higher likelihood of your neighbor going along with your fencing plans.

2. Determine Property Lines

Whether there’s already a fence in place or not, it’s best to check the accuracy of your property lines. You can only install a fence if it’s on your side of a property, so determining where that is plays a crucial role in fence installation planning. Even if there is an existing fence, there’s no telling whether it was installed in the correct area. To best determine your property lines, you can request your home’s survey report from your local county’s record office. However, if no such report exists, you can order one by hiring a land surveyor.

3. Talk with Your Neighbor

While you aren’t obligated to discuss a fence on your property with your neighbor, abiding by fence etiquette shows your neighbor great respect and encourages a happy, friendly, and collaborative living experience. Explain to your neighbor the reasons for wanting a new fence (privacy, security, increased property value, etc.) and how they can also benefit from a new fence addition. Go over the logistics of your fence, such as which way it will face, who is paying for what, what fence styles are preferred, when the fence will be installed, etc. Once in agreement, you avoid potential disputes arising from an “unexpected” fence installation.

4. Choose “Neighbor-Friendly” Fencing

Again, you are not obligated to appease your neighbor with every decision and fence etiquette. However, you might find a particular fence type between you and your neighbor that you both can enjoy! The rule of thumb for most standard fences is allowing your neighbor to see the “good side” while the opposite side faces inwards towards your property; that way, your fence still contributes to your home’s curb appeal. Although, there are other types of “neighbor-friendly” fencing that everyone can appreciate equally. For example, modern horizontal fences share the same look on either side, as do most lattice and shadowbox fences.

5. Alert Your Neighbor to When Fence Installation Will Begin

When you schedule your fence installation, don’t forget to let your neighbor know! It might seem “extra,” but a simple heads up or warning about when contractors might be trapesing through your and your neighbor’s yard will be significantly appreciated.

6. Take Care of Your Fence (Or Determine Shared Responsibility)

Once a vinyl, composite, or chain link fence has been installed, there’s not much left to do but enjoy it! However, a little more upkeep is required for wood and cedar fences. That means deciding when to clean, stain, seal or repair your fence and who is ultimately responsible for the care. If the initial fence installation is an expense shared between you and your neighbor, you can come to a joint agreement as to who covers what in terms of maintenance. However, if you paid for the fence entirely out of your pocket, you will be solely responsible for its maintenance.

Homeowners painting their fence to show proper Fence Etiquette Between Neighbors

7. Leave Installation of Your New Fence to the Experts

The last thing anyone wants is a shoddily installed fence falling over or falling apart a year from being placed. You won’t be happy, and your neighbor certainly won’t. Thankfully, when you have your fencing installed by the professionals at Hohulin Fence, you can guarantee a beautiful fence that will last a lifetime. We go to great lengths to ensure all gates are balanced, posts are firmly in the ground, and only the best materials are utilized. Rest assured, you (and your neighbor) will fall in love with a new wood, vinyl, metal or chain link fence from Hohulin.

To learn more about fence etiquette with your neighbor, our fence products and services or to request a quote from our team, call Hohulin Fence today at 309-965-2241. We are located at 116 S Harrison St, Goodfield, IL 61742.

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