If you’re thinking of building a fence around your property, it might seem like a straightforward thing: Do the measurements, buy materials, and use a local service like Fencing Companies Hanover to install your brand new fence. However, if you have neighbors on either side of your property, the business of putting up a simple fence can easily become complicated. As someone living with neighbors, you always want to stay on the best terms possible with the people you share your neighborhood with. Oftentimes it’s as simple as saying ‘hi’ when you’re both out doing yard work or shoveling out their portion of the driveway in bad weather. When it comes to building your dream, fence, it also involves constant communication. If you’re thinking about building a fence on your property, here’s what you need to do to keep your neighbors happy.
1. Talk to Your Neighbor
As with any decision you make about your property, talking about it with your neighbor to keep them in the loop is essential for a good relationship. Although you might not technically have to keep your neighbor updated about minor aesthetic changes, anything that involves loud, potentially long-term construction, physical changes to the land, or an ongoing project that could end up changing the value of the property you share, should be talked about early and often. Even if your fence doesn’t separate your property from theirs, they’re going to have to deal with it and look at it every day. That means that if you don’t keep it properly maintained or choose a look that they consider to be an eyesore, they have to deal with the repercussions. Don’t take any chances when it comes to your neighbors. Tell them what you plan to do, and ask if they have any questions or concerns. Once they’ve voiced their issues, you can work on finding a mutually-beneficial solution.
2. Figure Out Where Your Property Ends
If you live on a city block or a suburban street, where your land starts and your neighbor’s begins might seem pretty obvious. However, if you live in an older town, it’s entirely possible that the shifting nature of property deeds and ownership created an awkward split on your property, making it so that your home technically overlaps with your neighbor’s property or vice versa. This shouldn’t be a big deal if you’re in communication with your neighbor about it. However, if you’ve had a tense relationship and your neighbor feels strongly about not building a fence, they could be legally able to stop you from building what is technically their property. A simple way to avoid this is to look at the land you actually own and stake out what’s yours. After that, you can figure out where your fence can go while still remaining on your property.
3. Consider Their Position
If your neighbors really don’t want you to build a fence, it might seem like their reasons are silly or trivial. But hear them out: There are lots of reasons why your neighbors might be hesitant about dealing with the construction and eventual presence of a fence near their yard. They could have doubts about whether or not you’ll be able to take care of it properly, or they could have problems with the way it looks. Whatever their stance, it’s important to hear them out rather than dismissing their concerns. Keeping up good neighbor relations should always be your first priority. If you’re on good terms with your neighbor, chances are you’ll be able to come up with a compromise that doesn’t put anybody out of joint.
4. Give Them the “Good Side”
When building a fence, the side that presents itself to the world is considered the finished side, or the “good” side. The other side, which shows more of the handiwork that’s gone into the building process, is considered the less pleasant side to look at. Most homeowners present the ‘good’ side their neighbors out of courtesy. This is up to you, of course, but if your neighbors are already hesitant about the idea of a fence, this is one simple thing you can do as an easy compromise.
5. Keep Up with Maintenance
Whatever you do, you don’t want your neighbors to have to stare at a weathered, rotted, or warped fence the longer it goes untended. It’s your job to keep your fence looking great and doing its job all year round. That means putting in the time to treat and clean your fence each season, especially if it’s made of a more weather-sensitive material like wood.