Should Neighbors Split the Cost of a Fence? (It Depends…)

“Sorry but we are not in a position to afford it, we are working on way too many projects at the moment and a fence structure is nowhere on our list.”

It can be hard to convince a neighbor to contribute to the cost of building and running a fence.

The definition of a fence alone makes it sound like something that should be set up through mutual understanding between the two neighbors separated.

Most of the time, however, it takes just one neighbor to erect and maintain the fence structure.

If you are the worst affected by the neighborhood’s marauding pets, chickens, and kids, then you need a fence more than anyone else hence more likely to be willing to finance it.

So, Should Neighbors Split The Cost Of A Fence?

Yes, but it depends. Firstly, fences are expensive to erect nowadays. While having two well-off neighbors with plenty of money can be pretty tough, it only makes sense that both of them agree to split the cost of the cheapest fencing method they can figure out. Thirdly, fences are no longer as simple to build as they used to. Tastes can vary as well. Splitting the cost can mean agreeing on the height and design. Because these factors will affect both parties’ experience, you are more likely to find common ground than disagree.

It Can Depend

If the preexisting fence structure sits on the property line, the cost should be shared between the involved neighbors, so you will need to get an agreement from all your neighbors if you want to build/replace it.

The agreement may entail the type of fence as well as the fraction of the cost shared by each neighbor.

If the preexisting fence is located on your property, it would be pointless to ask the neighbors to contribute anything.

You are free to replace it with any type or design of fence you please – you will shoulder all the expenses.

However, you must let your neighbors know of the plans in advance.

Or, you can choose to ask the neighbors whether they are okay with willing sharing the costs of building and/or replacement.

Four Reasons To Share The Fence Construction Costs

There are definite benefits to the strategy of splitting the fencing costs.

1. Reduced Chance for Disagreements

Although neighbors tend to agree most of the time when one person wishes to build the fence, there’s a chance the other neighbor may take offense from the project.

It doesn’t matter whether the neighbor does not like the height or look of the new fence, or they are just offended by your wish to put up the fence, issues are made to arise.

However, if you take a collaborative approach by asking them to share the cost of the fence and also have a say on such factors as height and position on the property line, you ensure they are happy and excited about it.

2. Save Some Money On the Whole Project

The best and probably the most obvious reason why you should share the fencing cost is to save yourselves some money.

It would be redundant to build two fences side-by-side – instead, just pool your resources and let one person complete the project.

After all, you will both get to use it, therefore it makes sense for both of you to save money on the project.

3. Share Maintenance (If You Must)

While there are plenty of cheap fencing options out there – you can choose the cost-effective vinyl or aluminum fencing options – even then, most of the affordable options will need regular annual maintenance to stay strong.

If both of you split the overall maintenance cost and even the cost of acquiring quality cedar or pressure-treated woods fence, you can also gang up to handle the annual re-staining meant to keep the structure looking amazing.

4. Afford a Better Deluxe Fence

Aluminum and Vinyl fences are considered to be the deluxe fencing options based on their quality and sleek looks (which may include faux wood options), ultra-low maintenance benefit, and decades-long lifespan.

The only reason why a person may NOT go for either option is their high prices.

However, if both of you make up your mind to share the cost of the fence, you easily can get any of the premium options you both want.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

A considerate neighbor should realize the impact and benefits of the decision to contribute towards the building of a common fence.

However, not all neighbors will be considerate to join you in pooling the resources for the project.

Your neighbor might not see the value of the whole plan.

Or, the neighbor might not care at all whether there’s a fence or not.

Either way, the best and most obvious thing to do is to start a conversation. Your leverage here is that there’s no requirement that anyone contribute financially.

You must avoid taking a confrontational approach or hostile tone, to begin.

Start by saying something like, “I’d be glad if you contributed a fraction of the cost of fencing, and since I’d like all sides to match, let us try to settle on a style and height that will work perfectly for all of us.”

This should make it clear that you are not demanding or unreasonable to ask for a contribution.

You should also think about contacting your neighborhood association (HOA) if your property is located in a planned or gated community that’s governed by one central authority.

Many neighborhood associations, especially those in small suburban communities, tend to have very rigid regulations regarding the height and design of common structures as fences.

The aim is normally to create an aesthetic uniformity between homes so that one cranky chain-link fence is not followed by a marble brick or white picket barrier and then immediately followed by a quickly-erected post-and-rail wood fence.

Your neighborhood association probably has a few more styles to satisfy the wishes of your neighbor and yourself.

If these approaches fail to work for you or your neighbor, your fallback option can be to call off the collaboration.

Situations Unfavorable for Cost Sharing

If you are of opinion that the neighbor will have a hard time keeping up with the maintenance costs of the fence, then it would be great to leave them out of the plans and go alone.

However, this can work well, as aforementioned,

if the fence line is entirely located on your property.

Even if the fence line is situated on the property line where both of your contributions would be okay, you are not going to force it through if the other party is uncooperative.

Also, if you are the only permanent homeowner and the neighbors tend to change often, you’d choose to finance the entire project all by yourself.

Summary

Should neighbors split the cost of a fence? Yes, but it can depend.

If the current fence structure sits on the property line, the cost should be shared between the involved neighbors, so you will need to get an agreement from all your neighbors if you want to build/replace it.

The agreement may entail the type of fence as well as the fraction of the cost shared by each neighbor.

If the preexisting fence is located on your property, it would be unnecessary to ask the neighbors to contribute anything.

You are free to replace it with any type or design of fence you please – you will shoulder all the expenses.

There are several reasons why you, as a neighbor, should share the cost of fencing with your neighbors:

  • Firstly, there’ll be a reduced chance for disagreements – if you take a collaborative approach by asking each other to share the cost of the fence and also have a say on such factors as height and position on the property line, you ensure they are happy and excited for it
  • Secondly, you will save some money on the whole project if you collaborate than if you decide to go all alone: It would be redundant to build two fences side-by-side – instead, just pool your resources and let one person complete the project.
  • Thirdly, if you share the cost, you will afford a better and more deluxe fence than if you didn’t – Aluminum and Vinyl fences are considered to be the deluxe fencing options based on their quality and sleek looks.
  • If both of you make up your mind to share the cost of the fence, you easily can get any of the premium options you both want.
  • However, not all neighbors will be considerate to join you in pooling the resources for the project.
  • You must avoid taking a confrontational approach or hostile tone, to begin with.
  • You should also think about contacting your neighborhood association (HOA) if your property is located in a planned or gated community that’s governed by one central authority.
  • If you are of opinion that the neighbor will have a hard time keeping up with the maintenance costs of the fence, then it would be great to leave them out of the plans and go alone.
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