It goes without saying that all of us want the best aesthetic for our outdoor space. While fences serve a practical purpose of providing a clear boundary between properties, there is the issue of which neighbour gets the ‘good side’ and when people don’t agree, things can get a little ugly.
Most people will replace the fences on the boundaries that they are responsible for, so for all intents and purposes, the fence belongs to you and you can install it however you see fit. That said, there is a bit of garden fence etiquette that could make things run much more smoothly.
What Is The Good Side?
There are two sides to a fence, the good side and the side that is considered to be a little less easy on the eye. This side usually features the supporting posts and the cross supports which doesn’t look as good as the smooth ‘good’ side. When it comes to installing your fences, you may want to think about the placement and who will be looking at the fence from the other side.
Who Gets The Good Side?
Giving your neighbour the attractive side of the fence may be something you wish to do if you want to be polite. But then, it really does depend on where the fence will be situated. For example, if you are going to be installing the fence in a rear garden to separate your space from your neighbour’s then you might decide to have the good side yourself. After all, you’re paying for the fence and it belongs to you, so why not make the most of its visual appeal when you’re out in the garden.
On the other hand, if the fence will be placed on a driveway at the front of the property, you might be better off having the bad side facing towards you. This is because, from the outside of your property, the bad side would give a less visually pleasing appearance and you want to resin the curb appeal of your home. In this case, we would say to let your neighbour have the good side.
Is There An Obligation To Give My Neighbour The Good Side Of The Fence?
For many people across the UK, neighbours are people that you can go to when you need to borrow some milk or who will keep an eye on your property when you go away. However, for some people, neighbourly disputes are the norm and if you don’t want to upset the people next door, you might consider giving them the good side. Of course, you don’t have to and there is no legal requirement for you to install the fence in any particular way, provided that it is safe. Your neighbour could lodge a complaint to the local council if the fence is considered to be a danger in any way.
You might also think about the financial aspects of the fence installation. If you and your neighbour have clubbed together to purchase the new fence, then there really is no right for either party to get the good side. In this instance, you would need to come to a mutual agreement with your neighbour before erecting the fence.
Finally, in terms of legal or moral obligations, you must make sure that there are no planning requirements for your fence. In some parts of the UK, such as conservation areas, you may be required to apply for planning permission to alter or replace fences, so be sure to check this before getting started.
Making It Fair For Both Neighbours
There are certain types of fence panels that look attractive on both sides. Of course, you may pay a little more for the privilege but the additional cost could be worth it to make sure that both you and your neighbour are happy.
If you do decide to give them the bad side, then it is a good idea to make sure that the fence is continually well maintained. Doing this will make sure that both sides look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. In the worst case scenario, if your neighbour really isn’t happy with having the bad side, they are at liberty to install another fence on their side to make things look more attractive.
If you want to keep your neighbours happy then making sure that any work you do on the boundary of your properties benefits both of you. This can be a sensitive subject but keeping your neighbour in mind is the courteous thing to do. While you are under no obligation to give them the good side of the fence, many people opt to do this to keep the peace. If you are installing a fence on the front of your property, it’s better to have the good side facing out so that the curb appeal of your property is maintained.