Have you ever heard the old saying “good fences make good neighbors”? It may feel a little awkward, but making a plan for how to ask a neighbor to share fence costs is a great way to make sure your relationship stays solid.
How to Ask a Neighbor to Share Fence Costs
If you have a neighbor you share a fence with, you probably already know that things can get awkward sometimes. If a shared fence falls into disrepair or needs replacement, it can be hard to determine who should invest the time and money to fix it. Learn how to ask a neighbor to share fence costs, and you’ll end up with a neighbor you like and a fence you love.
Should Your Fence Be a Shared Responsibility?
It may seem like common sense for neighbors to share the cost of building and maintaining a fence between their properties. After all, both parties typically benefit from its presence. However, the question of who is financially responsible comes down to where the fence is built. If the fence is between the two properties, it’s customary to split the costs between the property owners. However, if it’s solely on your property or theirs, whoever owns the property the fence is located on should expect to pay the total cost of installation and maintenance. Be sure you know who is responsible for what costs before approaching your neighbor.
Do Your Research First
If you determine it makes sense for your neighbor to contribute, it’s a good idea to research costs before you approach them. Reach out to some reputable fencing companies and get some quotes on how much the project will cost, and try to nail down as many other details as you can before the conversation. The more transparent you can be with your neighbor, the more they’ll be able to contribute to the process.
Start the Conversation
Once you have an idea of the time and money involved in your fencing project, it’s time to talk to your neighbor. To keep the conversation productive, stay focused on the practical details:
- If you’re initiating the project, you should be prepared to handle most of the cost. While it’s customary for expenses on a shared fence to be split as much as possible, if your neighbor cannot contribute, you may still need to find a way to complete the work without them.
- Share as many details as possible. Your neighbor will want to know when the work is taking place, what will be done, what the costs will be, and what timeframe is expected for the complete project. They may also want to offer feedback on things like fence color and design. Be ready to work with their feedback if you ask them to contribute.
- Since there are a lot of technical details you’ll need to share in this process, it can be helpful to put things in writing. You can use a letter template to help you if needed. In addition, be sure to provide copies of quotes and any other relevant material.
Get the Agreement and Keep Them Informed
If your neighbor can contribute, and you both can agree to the terms involved, it’s time to schedule the project. Be sure to keep your neighbor in the loop on costs, delays, and any other factors affecting them and their property.
Sharing fencing expenses with your neighbor can be a hassle, but it’s important to remember that both households should benefit from the end product. If you need help planning your fencing project, call us.
When you need an expert who can help you check your measurements, select a new railing, or browse railing accessories, MMC Fencing & Railing is here for you. In our online shop, we sell aluminum and vinyl railing in various styles and colors. So no matter what you’re looking for and no matter how large or small your budget, you’re sure to find something beautiful. Give us a call at 866-931-5002 to get started or to ask about installation options. We look forward to hearing from you!