You’ve just moved into a beautiful new neighborhood. You’re excited and nervous. What will the neighbors be like? If you’re lucky they’ll be around your age and interested in the same things you’re interested in. Maybe you’ll have them over during the week for dinner or drinks and over on the weekends for cookouts and football games. Maybe you’ll be best friends. Or maybe…just maybe…they’ll be AWFUL. Maybe they’ll be the kids who party all night and play their music way too loud. Maybe they’ll have 14 dogs who bark at all hours day and night. Honestly, new neighbors are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Cheesy but true.
Whether you are friends with your neighbors or mortal enemies, you share a property line which means that you currently or will share a fence in the future. Most of the time there will be few issues. The neighbor who decides to replace their fence pays for the entire project and gets the “pretty side” of the fence facing their yard.
Sometimes neighbors will come together and decide to split the cost on a “good neighbor” fence, which means the panels flip flop facing opposite directions.
Another option for neighbors wanting to split the cost and still have an esthetically pleasing fence is the “shadow box” fence. This fence alternates each picket instead of each panel.
Both of these options are great for neighbors who can come to a mutual agreement. But what happens when your neighbors are the nightmare neighbors? We’ve seen it many times. Our customer wants to replace their fence but the neighbor refuses to share the cost of their section and wants their demands met. Are you under any legal obligation to meet their demands? The answer is no, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be considerate in the process. Make sure to keep the lines of communication as open as possible. Inform your neighbor of the demo date ahead of time so that they have time to prepare for the containment of their pets. People get understandably cranky when their fur babies escape. It takes just a little common courtesy to avoid the Missing Pet posters.
It’s also a good idea to talk about the project ahead of time so that your neighbors know what to expect from the final product. If you’re ripping out an old fence and replacing it with a new fence that is exactly the same, you shouldn’t have an issue. However, this may not be the case if you plan to change the size or quality of the pickets, add cap and trim, or change the type of materials used.
In the end it is always a good idea to keep in mind that you are neighbors and whether you agree or not, you will still have to interact with each other from time to time. Being considerate and respectful of each other’s time, property, and opinions will certainly make things easier.
Remember…Happy Neighbors…Happy Life 🙂