To avoid disputes with neighbours, it’s important to practice good etiquette on building a fence. Closely observing zoning regulations and sharing basics with neighbours before the process of building starts, you’ll be able to erect a fence and at the same time stay in good terms with the people next door.

Important Things To Do

Observe property lines. Never risk having to put down your fence by going even an inch over your boundaries. Review the blueprint of your house or line drawing or obtain a new survey from your land surveyor to be sure of the boundaries. Fence contractors often install a foot inside the property line, to ensure that they build on the safe side.

Respect the limits. Fence builders get necessary permits and should be aware of regulations of local zoning on height of the fence, setbacks, distance from a street, and other building restrictions. Typically, height limits are six feet for the back and side yards, four feet for the front yards. Often, there are more restrictive rules that apply to the corner lots, where blind curves could limit visibility of drivers. To avoid any dispute, ask about restrictions before you choose the type of fence to construct.

Observe the HOA rules. It’s your job to know the do’s and dont’s of home owners associations (HOA), not the fencing contractor. To avoid suffering from committee wrath, engaging in a dispute, it’s important to observe HOA guidelines. These guidelines could dictate the fence height, style, and maintenance.

Nice Things to Do

Share the plans you have regarding your fence. Nobody likes unpleasant surprises; so before building a fence, save yourself a dispute and talk to your neighbours. If there are already issues regarding boundaries, be sure to resolve them before building a fence. You do not have to show them the design you want for your fence; it will only invite trouble. They simply have to live with your personal choice unless it poses danger or reduces property values.

Put the best fence face outward. Putting the more finished side of the fence on the yard of your neighbour or facing the road is a common practice.

Maintain. It is your responsibility to clean and take care of both sides of the fence. If a section starts to age and lean, make necessary repair or simply replace it.

Good Things to Know

The word “fence” includes hedges and trees that make barriers.

If you have a compelling reason for wanting to erect an extra high fence, to block a noisy street, or an unsightly view, apply to your local zoning board for variance. Your neighbours can comment regarding your request during the hearing.

If your neighbours are creating damage to your fence, capture photos and work it out with them before doing anything else. If they disagree to make the repair, consider taking this dispute to a small claims court.