Fencing Etiquette 101: How To Be A Great Neighbor

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Being outside with friends and family is the perfect way to spend warm spring and summer days. If you live in a townhome or subdivision, you might find your property lines particularly close for private get-togethers. Installing a new fence not only provides security and safety for pets and children, but its a great way to keep social gatherings intimate and minimize disturbing your close neighbors with lights and noise. Before you schedule an appointment with a trusted fence installation company, there are a few things to consider to avoid becoming the neighborhood nuisance.

Follow the Lines: First, you'll want to study your house line drawing or plat, or order a new survey from a land surveyor, to be sure of boundaries. This may seem like an overwhelming task, but some fence installation companies will offer customers a survey service at very low cost. Without an official survey, it’s safer to just install a foot inside the property line.

Communicate Early: No one likes surprises, especially when it comes to an exterior home renovation. Save yourself a potential property line dispute by having a conversation with your neighbors on the opposite side of your planned fence line. You don't need to share your design plans — that just may open a can of worms — but a friendly “heads up” will go a long way!

Know Your Limitations: Fencing companies obtain permits and must know local zoning regulations for height, setbacks and other restrictions. On average, height limits are six feet for side and back yards and four feet for front yards. Waterfront properties and corner lots require building permits and may have other height restrictions. Plan on discussing any limitations with your fencing company before you get your heart set on a certain design and style.

Follow HOA Rules: On a related note, a homeowners association most often dictates the style, height and maintenance of neighborhood fencing. If your HOA wants uniform structures in your community, unfortunately, you won't have much creativity with your design plans. You can avoid gossipy neighbors and conflict with your HOA committee by following HOA guidelines from the get-go.

Show Them Your Good Side: You’re investing in a new fence, so you should get to look at the good side, right? It’s actually common practice to put the more finished side of your fence facing the street and your neighbor’s yard! Be sure to keep it clean and properly maintained throughout the year as well. Your neighbors will appreciate it!

For nearly 30 years, Fence & Deck Connection has designed and installed high-quality fences and decks for families in Anne Arundel County and beyond. Contact Fence & Deck Connection at 410-757-5511 or stop by its outdoor showroom at 8057 Veterans Highway in Millersville to learn more about its many fence and deck options customizable to your needs.

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