Understanding Your Fencing Options

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Should You Get a Dividing-Line Fence or Keep the Fence Wholly on Your Property?

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Properties have a dividing line between them, and if you want to build a fence, you can build one either on your property only, or you can build one along the dividing line. However, fences built on the dividing line become shared property between neighbours. Many people negotiate with their neighbours and come up with a good agreement about payments and how the fence maintenance will be handled between the two owners. Other times, though, the relationship isn't that good, and building the fence on your own property only is a more peaceful solution.

How Much Will Your Neighbour Agree to Contribute?

If you build a fence on the dividing line between you and your neighbour's property, your neighbour and you have to contribute pretty much equally. You can negotiate, such as when you want a more expensive feature that your neighbour doesn't want to pay for. But contributions should be essentially equal. If your neighbour doesn't want to contribute at all, then you need to keep the fence on your property only, build it so the "nice" side faces the neighbour, and let the neighbour know that because the fence is wholly on your property, then both sides are technically yours. (Although, do find a friendly way to say that.)

Were You Hoping to Attach Things to the Fence?

When the fence is shared by both neighbours, there's a general rule that you're not supposed to attach anything to the fence (e.g., carport legs) without the neighbour's permission, and vice versa. When the fence is solely on one neighbour's property, then that owner can attach things, but the other neighbour can't unless they have permission. If you and your neighbour tend to be at odds about clotheslines, trellises, and other fence attachments, you may want to make that fence your own. You could lose a few inches of property (not really lose, but they'll be covered by the fence and not open for other use), but you'd be able to have a trellis without getting your neighbour's permission.

Are You Set on a Particular Type of Fence or Are You Willing to Compromise?

If you share fence costs with your neighbour, you're both going to have to agree on the fence. If you yourself have your heart set on a particular type of fence, though, and you don't want to get anything else, then you may want to entertain the idea of building the fence all on your property and not the common boundary line. You'll still want to ask your neighbour; maybe they like the same type of fence. But be prepared to build the fence all on your property instead, just in case.

Whatever the result, the fence you end up with should be sturdy, well-built, neat, and in line with all council and state regulations. Speak with fencing contractors to learn more.