Building a fence is such a simple, common thing to do that many homeowners are appalled when they break ground only to find they’ve opened a Pandora’s box of legal disputes, property quarrels and neighborly vitriol. People pay a lot for homes these days and can become aggressive about defending them.
Fortunately, when armed with the necessary information, homeowners can easily head off most disputes at the pass by keeping the neighbors in mind when planning a new fence build. Common situations that tend to incite disputes with neighbors include:
- A fence suddenly appearing out of nowhere, with no advance notification.
- A fence that blocks the neighbors’ view or otherwise interferes with their regular activities.
- A fence built directly on boundary lines.
- A fence considered by the neighbors to be an eyesore.
Based on our 30 years of fence building experience, we’ve got plenty of tips to help you avoid these situations. For advice on building a fence that’s pleasant and useful for everyone involved, read our recent article about Good Neighbor fences, which are the epitome of neighborly cooperation. Good Neighbor fences look the same on both sides, so there’s no “good” or “bad” view.
It might seem odd to give the neighbors so much consideration when planning a fence that will be built on your private property with your money. After all, it’s your land, so you should be able to do what you want, right? But the truth is, an unhappy neighbor can do a lot to make your new fence build as difficult and costly as possible. It’s crucial to keep relations as healthy as possible from the outset.
Here are some other resources to help you take a more conciliatory approach to building a new fence:
- How to approach your neighbors about your fence build.
- Properly assessing your property lines to avoid stepping on toes.
- Preventing legal disputes over your new fence.