There is a saying: fences make good neighbors. Disputes regarding fences often result in neighbors falling out with each other, and if the dispute is not resolved, then you get ‘neighbors at war’ and more candidates for a reality TV show of the same title.
The process of planning, design, choosing the materials and constructing the fence can be challenging for neighbors, especially when they have to agree on everything, including the cost which is shared. However, once the ordeal is over with the fence built, the neighbors can enjoy the benefits, including safety and privacy.
Plus fully fencing your property (house and land) adds value to your number one asset – your home! In this article, we look at some of the challenges with building residential fences, including choosing fence materials.
The cost usually dictates everything from design, height and length of the fence. Thankfully, you can get inspiration from other homes nearby or even check free online resources. Look for a cost calculator so you can get an estimate of the investment required. Most suppliers of fencing material have showrooms, and some will have online galleries showcasing different fencing projects. You can make use of those as a guide for choosing the best fence for your home and if you want to make the fence project a true collaboration with your neighbour invite them to the showroom too. The law will let you know your rights on sharing the cost of the fence with your neighbor.
Check the Law
There will be a fence law for your region so check it out. How high can your fence be? Are there other restrictions? Plus know where to place the fence, if you build on your neighbor’s property, you will have a dispute to deal with, and the fence will need to be moved at your cost. The neighbors can also sue you for trespass. A surveyor will let you know exactly where the boundary between properties is and the ideal fence line. Now we move onto what your fence should be made of including wood and vinyl options.
There are many different types of materials used for commercial and residential fences. However, in this article, we mention a few popular types.
Using a natural, sustainable material like natural wood is a popular choice, and there are many different types of wood. Choose a hardwood, so it stands the test of time. Softwoods are cheaper, for example, a pine that grew quicker, was milled and ready for sale while the wood is not fully dry.
Over time the wood will dry out and shrink up to 20 per cent, so watch the gaps between the planks as they will increase over time, and the result will be less privacy. Softwoods cost less so your neighbors will elect for the cheaper material so be prepared to pay the difference if you want a to have quality hardwood which will also provide a better aesthetic.
Chain-link, or link-chain, on the other hand, is very long-lasting and it requires little maintenance, but you may have to pay more for the material than the cheaper softwood. Choose the rust-resistant material. Not all link chain is equal, choose your product carefully, first do your research and the elect to purchase from a reputable supplier. Consider a product that comes with a warranty.
Remember link chain fences are see-through, so privacy is not an option with this material. They do however prevent pets or children from leaving your property, and they can deter burglars too, particularly those who are opportunistically looking for a ‘dash and grab’ robbery of your precious valuables.
Plastics are used everywhere, so why not for fences too! The good news is they last a very long time, and look good also. Plus vinyl fences can look like wood however, they are made of PVC.
They are deficient maintenance, excellent in bad weather like wind, rain, snow, and there are affordable options, especially if you choose a picket fence design.
Once you have the chosen the fence materials shop around for a quote for construction. Share the quotes for constructing the fence with your neighbor, remember transparency and consultation will your neighbor every step of the way will avoid disputes over costs and keep the peace.
Building a fence between properties is a collaborate process to remain neighborly and thus avoid disputes. Fences add value to homes and while there will be some upkeep the positives for having them far outweigh any negatives.