Is It Rude to Put Up a Privacy Fence? (Yes And No)

The fence is one of a few structures that you must be considerate about when putting up. How will the neighbors interpret the move?

A privacy fence is normally an all-solid structure made of vinyl or wood that serves to secure and seclude property from the rest of the community.

Good fences make good neighbors. This is something Robert Frost, the poet, noticed as far back as the late 19th century.

If you have a privacy fence up between you and your neighbors, it means the best and long term relationship between you as none of you will be able to eat each other to know what’s going on in your homes.

The easiest way of preventing misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts is having a privacy fence between you and your neighbors regardless of what they may think.

Four Reasons Regarding Why It’s NOT Rude To Put Up A Privacy Fence

Here is why it is never rude to put up that privacy fence:

1. Marking of Property

Sometimes it may not be what the neighbors may think it is. Maybe you just want to mark where your property starts? Land is a scarce resource.

If the property on which your home stands is large and you’re nervous about encroachment, you will be compelled to put up the fence regardless of how you love your neighbors.

Encroachment disputes with neighbors often grow into expensive lawsuits that can drain your finances. The more proactive you are with it, the better.

Additionally, besides warding off the encroaching neighbors, a privacy fence lets you know the amount of space left on your property.

So, it goes a long way to help in planning other than preventing conflicts. If you are thinking additions or renovations, a privacy fence is a must-have no matter how much you adore your neighbors.

Maybe you have been thinking of adding a swing set or a sizable pool in the backyard for your kids.

2. Added Privacy

It is called a privacy fence for a reason. The purpose of the structure is to keep off the prying eyes of ever-curious neighbors who won’t stop poking their noses in the private activities taking place in your home.

Whether you are sunbathing naked in your backyard or chilling with your significant other on the patio, it’s just good nobody outside your home gets to know about it.

Also, no one will be interested in buying the property if it is not fenced properly.

Buyers want to be assured of their privacy even if the home is unique, so you better have the fence up before they show up to inspect the property.

Privacy fences can accord varying levels of security. For example, vinyl and wooden fences are preferable to, say, chain-link options if you want to ensure better security beyond a mobility barrier.

If you are thinking mobility barrier and not a complete obstruction, you will likely choose wire-link over all-solid.

Related: Are Above Ground Pools Trashy?

3. Safety Purposes

At times, the safety of your kids and pets is paramount to the relationship between you and your neighbors.

A privacy fence serves as a confinement barrier to prevent the kids, pets, or even livestock from wandering into your neighbor’s compound.

The same applies to your neighbor’s kids and pets. If they have been an annoyance lately, why not keep them away with a fence?

4. Seclusion

What if you don’t want anything to do with your neighbors at all?

It wouldn’t qualify as rude if you erected a tall and thick privacy fence after you had had a serious disagreement. One of the best ways of cutting all.

Privacy fences allow your family to have a secluded area separated from the rest of the neighborhood. Neighbors can be a headache sometimes.

Related: Are Free Online Home Improvement Courses Worth Taking? 

Five Reasons Regarding Why IT IS Rude To Put Up A Privacy Fence

It actually can be rude to build a privacy fence. A neighbor can be allowed to take legal action against you regarding the attempt to build a fence, its height, and location.

1. If You Have Been Friends All Along

Please imagine your friendly neighbor waking up one day and, out of blues, starting to erect a vinyl or wood fence between your properties without consultation!

That would be straight rude and may probably leave you asking yourself a lot of questions.

Most of us would never dare sneak through the other backyard trying to find out what may have occurred.

Yet that’s how unpredictable some neighbors can be, and there is nothing you can do if they are within all legal margins to do so.

2. Privacy fences that violate local laws

It is rude for you to build fences in clear violation of what your local codes may say.

Some county and city ordinances in the suburban and urban areas are very strict with the location and height of the fence.

Some of the laws used in some jurisdictions can dictate the type of materials you can use to build a fence. For example, most laws in suburbs and urban areas restrict front yard fences of residential areas to 4 feet and 6 feet in backyards.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with counties or cities but a subdivision code referred to as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs).

Most jurisdictions exempt ornamental fences from these rules and codes. An ornamental fence is an open fence that creates a barrier without necessarily blocking the view of the rest of your home.

This kind of fence can surface the often used 6-feet limit and extend to about 8-feet. But that’s only the case if it is located inside the property’s set back lines (often 5 – 10 feet).

Depending on where you live, flaunting these rules can be interpreted as rude and overboard by your neighbor.

3. Blocking View of Landscape or Traffic

If your home is located on a corner and your fence, however short it may be, is still too high for your neighbor to enjoy the beautiful landscape or road behind it, don’t be surprised if they get offended.

Some neighbors may forward the matter to authorities and compel you to reduce the height of the fence or even remove it completely.

4. Hedge and Tree Danger

If your fence consists of hedges and small trees, they can ruin your relationship with your neighborhoods if they get too tall outgrown as a result of bad maintenance.

Some neighbors might be opposed to the cultivation of hedge fences for fear of animals like snakes.

If hedge fences are not trimmed regularly, there is always a risk of leaning in your neighbor’s territory.

Fortunately, many communities have sets of ordinances to regulate what kind of hedge you can use as a fence and how it should be maintained.

Related: Is It Rude to Plant Privacy Trees, Hedges, And Shrubs?

5. Encroaching On Your Neighbor’s Yard

It is rude to erect a fence in such a way that it extends several inches onto your property.

The neighbor will be justified to demand total removal of the fence. The same applies to unruly bushes on your fence that may spread onto the yard of your neighbor.

Yard encroachment can be easily interpreted as a deliberate attempt to increase the size of your property.

However, most encroachment cases entail a homeowner not knowing the correct position of their property’s pins.

It just goes unsaid that you should consult the local zoning authority to locate the pins of your property. Better yet, you can hire a surveyor to do the job much faster.

That way, you will have an idea of where your yard stops and where your neighbor’s begins.

Related: Should Neighbors Split the Cost of a Fence?

The Best Approach

Unless you are sworn enemies who can’t see eye to eye, it is considered to be polite to first inform your neighbor about the impending fence project.

Relevant Authorities

Thereafter, check the property line with relevant authorities, finding out what local regulations say about new fences.

If you are on the receiving end, cooperate with the neighbor in finding the property and ask the intention of the project.

It is perfectly OK to ask all the involved professionals – the surveyor, fence builder, and local building codes inspection officers to review the fencing plans with you.

The idea is to keep the communication open and friendly throughout the process. Even with the fence, you’ll still be neighbors.

If an existing fence encroaches on your property, again, start with a friendly conversation with your neighbor (be ready to back it up with evidence) and see if you can come to a resolution.

If not, you can bring it to your town offices and ask for advice. Hopefully, it won’t get to the stage where lawyers are involved — and a soured relationship as a consequence.

If an existing line of fence encroaches your property begins with a friendly conversation.

You can involve a third party individual to act as arbitrator of the disagreements large enough to require administration officers.

Hopefully, it won’t reach the stage where the law enforcement structures and administration offices are involved.

Some areas such as Vermont have a special office called Fence Viewer to examine fencing lines between neighbors and identifying encroachers.

Even if you live in Ukambani be careful, you will be serviced with a sanitary company owned by someone from central and everything will be paid by the government.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you need a permit to put up a fence?

Yes, if the fence you want to build has a height of higher than 6 feet, or if it is a masonry fence of any height, then you are required to get a building permit.

However, if the fence is below six feet or is a non-masonry wall, you don’t need a building permit.

Q. What happens if you put up a fence without a permit?

If you start building or erecting a fence in an area that requires a building permit, and you don’t have a building permit, you will receive a Stop-work order that will remain valid until your permit has been processed.

Q. Does a fence add value to your home?

When compared to the costs of material and construction that you will incur, the fence will not add a lot of value to the home.

If there is a real need for the fence, like security, then it does add some value to the home.

Q. How long does a typical privacy fence last?

Typically, a wooden fence will last for approximately 15 years.

However, if the right care and maintenance are taken, it can last for 20 years.

Related: Can You Put A Fence In Front Of A Gas Meter?

Q. Can you put a fence up next to your neighbors?

So long as the fence you want to erect is not higher than 2 meters, and you are doing so on your side of the fence, you can do so.

Q. How far does a fence have to be from a property line?

Fences are typically installed between two and eight inches from the property line.

There are areas where you are allowed to have it exactly on the property line.

Q. Which way should a fence face?

The smooth side of the fence should face outwards to maintain the aesthetic beauty of the home.

Q. How tall can the fence be?

The height of a fence should be determined by the guidelines specified by the homeowners’ association or local law of the area.

Typically, it is 4 feet for the front of the home and 6 feet for the back of the home.

Q. Is a vinyl fence better than wood?

In many ways, it is. It lasts longer, required a lot less maintenance, if any, and cannot be destroyed by pests that normally attack wood.

However, it is a bit more expensive.

Q. How close to the sidewalk can you build a fence?

It is to be placed two to eight inches from the sidewalks or property lines.

Q. How high can your fence be at the front of your house?

Your fence is typically supposed to be not higher than four feet at the front of the house.

Q. How much does it cost to fence a backyard?

The price will depend on the material you choose to use for the fence.

For an average yard, fence installation typically costs between 1500 dollars to 3000 dollars.

Even when you factor in other components like tie wires, galvanized posts, metal stakes, and brackets, chain links are almost always way cheaper than wood fences.

Q. Are fences covered by homeowners’ insurance?

Fences are considered other structures, and if the insurance policy does have other structures coverage, you can be assured that your fence is covered in the event of damage.

Q. What are the best nails for a privacy fence?

Hot-dipped galvanized nails are the standard option since they have more resistance when compared to hot-galvanized or electro-galvanized.

However, the best option is stainless steel nails if you are using pressure-treated wood.

Q. When putting up a fence who gets the good side?

It is standard for the finished side to face your neighbor.

Q. Should you paint a fence that isn’t yours?

The only person that is allowed to alter the appearance of a fence is the owner who installed it.

The only exception is when the fence has crossed over to your side of the property.

Q. Does adding a fence increase property taxes?

Yes, the fence may increase the assessed value of the property and thus higher property tax.

Q. Can animals climb privacy fences?

This will depend on the animal or the type of fence you have. Vinyl fences are smooth and offer very little grip for the animals.

Q. Do privacy fences block noise?

A well-constructed privacy fence will reduce noises that may be bothering you. That being said, no yard is soundproof.

Q. Should the fence and storage shed be the same color?

Yes, for aesthetic purposes. Painting your fence and shed will make the shed blend in.

Q. Do you need to leave a gap between fence boards?

Yes, you should have about half an inch or more between them.

Q. Do fence companies offer to finance? Do they remove old fences?

Yes, fence companies do finance the material and installation of the fence.

Removing the existing fence will depend on the fencing company, so you first have to check with them.

Q. Should your fence match the neighbor’s fence?

Fence etiquette dictates that you should match your neighbor’s fence on their side of the fence.

If you still want to have a different color, then it is paramount that you ask for their permission first.

Q. Should a fence be level or follow the ground?

For ground with gentle slopes, you can have your fence level in all areas. However, if it has a drastic incline, you can follow the ground.

Q. Can your fence in your front yard?

Even though most locations allow fences, you will have to check with the residential codes of the region to make sure that it is allowed in your neighborhood.

Q. Can your neighbor hang stuff on your fence?

If the fence is on your side of the property line, your neighbor cannot hang things on your fence.

If it is theirs, however, they are free to do as they wish.

Q. Do fence posts rot?

As a result of exposure to moisture from the soil, wooden fences tend to rot quickly. It is thus essential that you pick the right posts to mitigate this.