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Tips For Building a Good Neighbor Fence

Tips For Building a Good Neighbor Fence

Establishing boundaries between neighbors is an essential way to show respect, for them as well as for ourselves. A variety of fence styles exist to fulfill the need for boundaries, but one in particular was specifically created to show respect for one’s neighbors: the Good Neighbor fence.

A Good Neighbor fence combines equality with cooperation. Whereas most cedar fence designs feature boards affixed to one side of the supporting rails, resulting in a uniform “good side” and a less attractive back side, these fences have boards that alternate on each side of the rail for a fence that looks the same on either side.

Advantages of Good Neighbor Fencing

Most homeowners cite privacy as their primary reason for building a new fence, and six-foot privacy fences have become staples in many communities. A Good Neighbor fence combines the seclusion of a privacy fence with additional benefits.

Looks equally good on both sides. Deciding who gets the good side of a cedar fence can be a point of contention between neighbors. Some neighborhoods even insist that homeowners build privacy fences with the smooth side facing the neighbors, which makes your home look more attractive from the street. With a Good Neighbor fence, such squabbles become irrelevant.

Allows wind to pass through. The gaps between boards allow wind to pass through your fence, which gives it extra resilience against powerful gusts.

Building Tips for Good Neighbor Fencing

Just like any other home construction endeavor, installing a Good Neighbor fence takes careful preparation. The more planning you do before building, the better your project will go. Here are some tips to help you out:

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Discuss it with the neighbors. A Good Neighbor fence is all about showing thoughtfulness towards your neighbors. The first step in building your fence should be to discuss your plans with those who share your property lines.

Understand property line regulations. Check into your city and neighborhood fence construction codes to determine which ones are relevant for your new cedar fence. Some cities require property owners to split maintenance and costs when building a fence on a shared property line. If you want to retain full control over your fence, consider building it a minimum of two feet within your property boundary.

Design your fence. There are plenty of options for personalizing your fence, including choosing the height and the width of the gaps between boards. For example, you can overlap the boards to create extra privacy.

Consider maintenance. All cedar fences require regular maintenance in order to get maximum life from them. To increase your fence’s longevity, choose high-quality cedar for the boards, use pressure-treated posts and rails, and treat your fence with a weather-resistant finish. you’ll need to retain your fence every few years to keep it protected from the elements.

~Ben Nystrom, 2010