Fences and Screens: Understanding Fencing Guidelines and Etiquette


American poet Robert Frost once said, good fences make good neighbours. However, though there is truth to such saying, it can’t be denied that it’s also a familiar cause of dispute.

Although fences and screens are installed primarily to add border to your property, sometimes, they are also used exclusively for aesthetic purposes. If you consider putting up your own fence, the first thing you need to understand is that this home improvement entails a guideline that is meant to keep you in good terms with your neighbours.

In this article, House of Bamboo, discusses your rights concerning a fence between your property and your neighbour’s. It also outlines the fundamental fencing etiquette to avoid getting into a dispute with them.

Basic Fence Guidelines

The term fence identifies anything that creates barriers including trees, hedges or privacy screens between two properties. If you are the fence builder, listed are some of the basic rules you need to practice:

  1. Check if you need permits. Before constructing any fence, it’s crucial to determine if you need to obtain any permit. Building permits may have different requirements depending on the area and type of fence.  
  2. Observe boundary line. Then, you need to figure out your property line so you’re sure that you’re not building the fence beyond it – unless, of course, if you and your neighbour have come into agreement to share equal spaces.
  3. Follow fencing rules. Prior to the construction, ensure that the fence you plan to install meets all the requirements such as height limit, material and color, if there’s any. A fence is typically required to be between 0.5m and 1.8m high and made of prescribed materials such as:
    1. Wood
    2. Bricks
    3. Metal
    4. Chain wire
    5. Concrete blocks
    6. Rendered Cement
    7. Hedges or Privacy Plants  

Proper Fence Etiquette

Talk to your neighbour – Even when your fence is built within your property lines, it’s still a courtesy to inform your neighbours of your intention. You never know, a divider between your lawns may actually be something they are considering and they may even be willing to pay half the cost.  

Face the good side outward – It’s a standard practice to place the finished side of the fence in a manner that it’s facing the street. This way, you are not only being polite to your neighbourhood, but also making sure that your property looks refined when viewed outside.

TIP: If you can’t imagine having the wrong side of the fence in your yard, you can always opt for a double-sided privacy screen that offers a finished look on both sides.

Maintain your fence – finally, it’s your responsibility to keep the both sides of the fence on top condition – unless, you and your neighbour have agreed to contribute equally on the cost of repairs. After all, any damage to the fence can create an eyesore to both properties.

Final Thoughts

Alternatively, there are other cases that you may encounter concerning fences.

Existing Fence

In a case where an existing fence trespasses on your property, an open conversation with your neighbour can also help you come to a resolution. Try as possible to keep things to the stage where authorities are not necessary as it will definitely lead to a soured relationship.

Damaged Fence

If, on the other hand, your neighbours are ruining the fence, get evidence by documenting the damage. Then, bring up the issue with them and try to work it out together. Ideally, they should agree to shoulder the repair costs.

Whatever your reason for building a fence may be, following these guidelines will help you make the most out of your home improvement without having to deal with conflicts with your neighbours.

Did you find this information useful? Let us know by commenting below.

Author Bio:

George Katsoudas is a Digital Marketing Professional. He works as the Managing Director of Low Cost SEO, a digital marketing firm in Sydney and a Digital Media Manager for House of Bamboo, offering Australia the most varied collection of classic and new natural materials.

Company Bio:

House of Bamboo is Australia’s trusted source of eco-friendly and high quality natural materials that can be integrated into contemporary setting. Our range encompasses high quality bamboo fencing, bamboo ceilings and shadings, timber screens, privacy screens, decorative screens, rattan cane webbing, fence panels, and pool certification.