Pro Advice

When your new fence borders a neighbor

Yes, it’s your property, but when you’re looking at building a fence, you have neighbors to contend with. This actually can be a good thing though. In this blog, we’ll discuss the ethics and finances of sharing a fence line.

Sharing a fence with your neighbor can save both of you costs.

Should I tell my neighbor I’m building a new fence?

In a word, yes. It’s the polite thing to do and nothing can build walls faster between neighbors than a newly installed fence that was not handled well beforehand. Give your neighbor a heads up prior to construction day – both as a courteous gesture, as there is always some degree of noise involved, and as part of the preparation process, as AMM Fencing workers will need access to their yard and for pets to be inside.

Good neighbor fences and other things to consider

Most of our fences are “good neighbor fences” with each side bearing an identical look. Others are nail on fences where the boards are nailed to one side of the rails. When AMM installs this type of fence, you will need to decide which side faces out. We can alternate sections of these nail on fences so each neighbor has both views of the structure, or our homeowner can choose a singular direction for the board side to face.

Shared fences and property lines

Before installing a fence, you should know exactly where your property line begins and where it ends. A plat – or drawing of your property – will give you this information. If you do not have a plat, you can obtain it for free from your county’s records.

Holding this information is crucial. You typically can install a fence without seeking approval if the fence is entirely within your property. However, if you choose to install a fence on your exact property line, the fence is considered a shared fence or a “boundary fence.” In this case, you must obtain your neighbor’s permission ahead of time to avoid potential legal disputes.

But the good news is many times, neighbors choose to create their own fence in turn and are happy to share the boundary fence cost with you.

It’s a win for all.

How AMM simplifies the process

AMM offers a service to eliminate the hassle of splitting costs between neighbors. Through this process, we can contractually bill customers and neighbors separately. Not all fencing companies do this, but it is a convenience that AMM is proud to offer.

This is how it works:

  1. You propose sharing a fence with your neighbor(s) and ask if they would be willing to split the cost of the boundary fence.
  2. If they agree, neighbors complete the split invoice form and forward it to AMM Fencing within three days of installation.
  3. After installation is complete, AMM bills your neighbor(s) separately and pursues them for payment if necessary.


Additional Q&A about our split invoice program

Q: What happens if I sign my contract and schedule the work and my neighbor(s) never return their split invoice form? Can I cancel my job?

A: If we never receive a split invoice form, the contracted party gets billed for the full amount. To avoid any fees associated with cancelling a project or getting stuck with the full bill, AMM recommends having your neighbor(s) complete the split invoice form prior to signing the contract. That way, there is no need to worry about being liable for neighbor portions.

AMM Fencing makes it easy to share costs with our unique split invoice program.

Q: Will AMM reach out to my neighbors directly to ask for or negotiate payment?

A: No. It is the responsibility of the contracted party to approach neighbors with split invoice forms and negotiate payment. That said, AMM is always happy to answer questions your neighbors may have and assist them with completing the form.

Q: Will AMM complete the split invoice for me and my neighbors?

A: Once you and your neighbor(s) have confirmed the scope of work and decided who will pay what, AMM is happy to help explain the breakdown of costs and confirm totals so you and your neighbors can complete the forms correctly.

Q: Will AMM let me know if my neighbor hasn’t completed a form, or if the forms were filled out incorrectly?

A: Yes. When confirming your project and receiving a start date, AMM will notify you of any missing split invoice forms or any forms filled out incorrectly and provide clear deadlines. AMM will continue to follow up to ensure we have everything we need before the project starts.

Q: If I am the contracted party, do I need to complete a split invoice form?

A: No, only neighbors need to complete the form for any portions they plan to pay for.

A neighborly project

Talk to your neighbors before fence installation day arrives. You will definitely keep the peace and very possibly save significant costs.

Let us know if we can help.


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