Splitting fence cost with neighbor

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miamivice
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Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by miamivice » Thu May 30, 2019 3:12 pm

Yesterday, my wife noticed that our fence was leaning. Sure enough, the posts are rotten and it is time to replace it. We're trying to decide how to approach the neighbors about the cost.

The total cost of a professionally built fence, including removing the old one, removing and replacing the posts, building the panels, and staining, is approximately $5000. I have estimates where I buy the materials for approximately $1,200.

I am trying to decide how to approach the neighbor regarding cost. Based on the lack of tools in his garage, and the absence of ever seeing him work on the house, I believe it is a safe bet that he is not interested in contributing manual labor.

So, my preference would be for him to buy the materials and I contribute the labor, and call it even. In my opinion, $1200 is still way less than 1/2 of the professional built fence ($2500), so he is still getting a bargain.

My wife thinks that it would be more fair to split the materials 50/50 with him, and then I contribute 100% of all labor to build the new fence. I think that if he got a new fence for $500 with no labor contribution, he'd really be coming out ahead.

I am curious if any other Bogleheads have discussed this subject with neighbors, and what you have done in the past? We live in a community where people keep to themselves. I don't know my neighbors well (I like that about our neighborhood). I want to be fair with them but also fair to our family as well.

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8foot7
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by 8foot7 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:17 pm

Does your neighbor have a fence on the other three sides? What about your neighbor on the other side?

Is the fence on your property exclusively or does it straddle the property line?

Goal33
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by Goal33 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:17 pm

It’s clear you don’t know how easy your neighbor will be to work with. He might not be willing to contribute anything at first.

I’d propose the professional first.
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sjt
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by sjt » Thu May 30, 2019 3:19 pm

Whose property is the fence on - and how much of the fence do you "share"? I don't have a fenced yard, but my neighbor has a rectangular backyard with the house being one side and the fence being the 3 other sides. If he approached me about sharing the cost of his fence rebuild, I would contribute exactly $0.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by barnaclebob » Thu May 30, 2019 3:19 pm

I'd approach him with what you said here and see what he says. I split the cost of the fence with the neighbor even though he and his friend (who was a pro) did most of the labor. They wanted to replace it prematurely IMO so I don't feel too bad about that and was a new homeowner. They actually owned the fence but it was mutually beneficial so I didn't put up resistance to splitting the cost especially because they had to give me the good looking side.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Thu May 30, 2019 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MrBobcat
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by MrBobcat » Thu May 30, 2019 3:21 pm

My father in law has run into this many times over the years as his backyard intersects with 4 different neighbors, most have been willing to split material costs. One neighbor said I don't have any money and don't care if I have a fence. All you can do is ask. I'd do it open ended rather than come right out and throw an offer on the table. ie are you willing to help out with replacing the fence and if so what do you think is fair?
Last edited by MrBobcat on Thu May 30, 2019 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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miamivice
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by miamivice » Thu May 30, 2019 3:21 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:17 pm
Does your neighbor have a fence on the other three sides? What about your neighbor on the other side?

Is the fence on your property exclusively or does it straddle the property line?
We live in a Suburban community that has fences on all sides. Our community was built about 15 years ago and I figure that all of the fences will start falling down in the next 2-3 years.

The cost of the fence is just for the one side that I share with the neighbor. He (and us) will have more sides that have to be replaced as well. I am asking this about how to approach with all neighbors. I figure that the total cost to professionally replace all fences to be $22,000, which we do not have.

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miamivice
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by miamivice » Thu May 30, 2019 3:22 pm

sjt wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:19 pm
Whose property is the fence on - and how much of the fence do you "share"? I don't have a fenced yard, but my neighbor has a rectangular backyard with the house being one side and the fence being the 3 other sides. If he approached me about sharing the cost of his fence rebuild, I would contribute exactly $0.
The fence straddles the property line and our HOA documents call it a "party fence". They documents require that both homeowners share in the cost to maintain.

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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by sjt » Thu May 30, 2019 3:25 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:22 pm
sjt wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:19 pm
Whose property is the fence on - and how much of the fence do you "share"? I don't have a fenced yard, but my neighbor has a rectangular backyard with the house being one side and the fence being the 3 other sides. If he approached me about sharing the cost of his fence rebuild, I would contribute exactly $0.
The fence straddles the property line and our HOA documents call it a "party fence". They documents require that both homeowners share in the cost to maintain.
In that case, I would expect that you have a good approach. Sounds like your proposal of building it would save your neighbor money also vs hiring a professional. :D
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Flobes
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by Flobes » Thu May 30, 2019 3:25 pm

Whose fence is it?

Is it neighbor's fence, which is a visual nuisance for you, and you're willing to contribute to its repair? Nice guy!

Is it your fence, and you're hoping neighbor pays for some of its relacement? Good luck!

Who has the "pretty" side and who has the "utilitarian" side?

Twenty years ago my neighbor built a wood fence, blocking my beautiful view. Now that fence is badly aging, soon to be falling into disrepair. He expects me to pay a fair half of its replacement. Not gonna happen!

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MrBobcat
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by MrBobcat » Thu May 30, 2019 3:27 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:22 pm
sjt wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:19 pm
Whose property is the fence on - and how much of the fence do you "share"? I don't have a fenced yard, but my neighbor has a rectangular backyard with the house being one side and the fence being the 3 other sides. If he approached me about sharing the cost of his fence rebuild, I would contribute exactly $0.
The fence straddles the property line and our HOA documents call it a "party fence". They documents require that both homeowners share in the cost to maintain.
How rotten are the posts? If starting to rot, but yet not too far gone, you can try shoring it up with some #10 X 6" wood screws. I did this about 5 years ago on one of my posts that was starting to crack/lean, it's held up pretty good. If it doesn't work you're not out to much $.
Last edited by MrBobcat on Thu May 30, 2019 3:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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8foot7
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by 8foot7 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:27 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:21 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:17 pm
Does your neighbor have a fence on the other three sides? What about your neighbor on the other side?

Is the fence on your property exclusively or does it straddle the property line?
We live in a Suburban community that has fences on all sides. Our community was built about 15 years ago and I figure that all of the fences will start falling down in the next 2-3 years.

The cost of the fence is just for the one side that I share with the neighbor. He (and us) will have more sides that have to be replaced as well. I am asking this about how to approach with all neighbors. I figure that the total cost to professionally replace all fences to be $22,000, which we do not have.
What I'm getting it is that if the fence is on your property, as your not-very-close-relationship-wise neighbor I may have little inclination to share the cost of replacing the fence that you will end up owning.

I also wouldn't find the "you buy all the stuff and I'll build it" to be a very compelling proposition; I don't know you; what if you do a crappy job? Why should I shoulder the entire expense of the fence materials? I'd be much more inclined to split the cost of a professional install or repair.

As for actual experience: I paid for all of our fence as it exists one inch inside our property line. We felt this was cleaner as it would then be our fence, our problem, and we could maintain as we felt necessary. One neighbor offered to split the cost of their side, but we declined out of good relations. Other neighbor moved in later and got lucky as both we and the homeowner on his other side already had fences, so all he had to do was close up the rear line. We did not ask him to share cost as we had already put the fence in months before he moved in. He did not offer, either, when he contacted us for permission to connect. (If he had offered, we would probably have accepted whatever he wanted to contribute given the fact he got 2/3rds of a fence for free.)

You might also check into a repair of just the posts that are problematic and/or leaning. Even some wood rot doesn't necessarily mean the whole length of your fence needs to be immediately replaced, and if you can get a year or two out of a simple repair while placing a mental flag in your neighbor - "ah, looks like I'll need to think about a new fence in the near term" - that may be best.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Thu May 30, 2019 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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G12
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by G12 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:30 pm

This is an interesting post as our neighbor, who we share a common fence line on the long part of each of our yards, sold her house 3-weeks ago and that run should be replaced. I'm betting the newcomers when asked would like me to pay for it, but it was initially neighbor's fence that the prior owner of our property tied-into. We replaced the other 3 parts of our fence 3-years ago as it was dilapidated and 1.5' shorter than the shared run.

If it were me being asked, and it was easy to ascertain/validate the replacement quote and given the "party fence" clause, I would fork over the $1,200 and be happy I had an agreeable neighbor.

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lthenderson
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by lthenderson » Thu May 30, 2019 3:31 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:22 pm
The fence straddles the property line and our HOA documents call it a "party fence". They documents require that both homeowners share in the cost to maintain.
I would lead off with quoting that section of the documents and then proposing your first suggestion.

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tyrion
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by tyrion » Thu May 30, 2019 3:33 pm

Let's see. I had a few fence 'deals' at my last house.

1- Neighbor who we shared about 6' of fence with had a handyman out to repair some of the slats - kept existing posts. We offered to pay half, he declined.

2. Neighbor who we shared most of the back fence (60ish feet) with took down the fence without telling us. He and his son replaced one post, a couple of 2x4 cross beams, and said they would finish the rest soon. After 3 weeks I gave up, put in the last needed post and some more cross beams and reattached all the verticals.

3. Side neighbor wanted me to pay to fix a retaining wall, then he would pay to put up a fence. Turned out the retaining wall was solely on his property and had been built by his father in law years and years ago. We agreed to cut down some trees that may or may not have been impacting the retaining wall, he put up a home depot sectional fence after we moved out.


In your case, I would start with a conversation. Mention the fence is in bad shape. See what he thinks and suggests.

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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by 123 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:34 pm

A lot could depend on whether the neighbor has any use for the fence. Does the neighbor use the area protected by the fence (dogs, kids, maintained yard, etc) ?

Depending on the condition of the fence you may be able to handle it entirely yourself. One alternative is to put 2 inch steel fence posts in concrete next to the existing posts and clamp them together. This could allow you to straighten the fence with minimum expense and effort.
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miamivice
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by miamivice » Thu May 30, 2019 3:37 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:27 pm
miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:21 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:17 pm
Does your neighbor have a fence on the other three sides? What about your neighbor on the other side?

Is the fence on your property exclusively or does it straddle the property line?
We live in a Suburban community that has fences on all sides. Our community was built about 15 years ago and I figure that all of the fences will start falling down in the next 2-3 years.

The cost of the fence is just for the one side that I share with the neighbor. He (and us) will have more sides that have to be replaced as well. I am asking this about how to approach with all neighbors. I figure that the total cost to professionally replace all fences to be $22,000, which we do not have.
What I'm getting it is that if the fence is on your property, as your not-very-close-relationship-wise neighbor I may have little inclination to share the cost of replacing the fence that you will end up owning.
All of the fences in our community were installed by the original builder / developer. It is neither "his" fence nor "my fence".

I also wouldn't find the "you buy all the stuff and I'll build it" to be a very compelling proposition; I don't know you; what if you do a crappy job? Why should I shoulder the entire expense of the fence materials? I'd be much more inclined to split the cost of a professional install or repair.
Agreed that one could take that position, especially if one didn't want to pay at all. If one was motivated to pay and was already flabergasted at the cost of a new fence, one might be more than willing to buy the materials if the neighbor installs it.

I think the best option is to wait until he approaches me. He needs to be in the mood to spend the money to fix the fence for me to be in a good negotiating position.

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tyrion
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by tyrion » Thu May 30, 2019 3:42 pm

What do you mean 'in the mood to spend money'.

I thought your homeowner docs established that the fence is the responsibility of both owners to maintain?

Get a quote to fix it. See if he wants to get one as well. Then talk options (fixing yourselves)

mayday23
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by mayday23 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:43 pm

I'd quote the document and say the initial estimate is $5K. Let him gnaw on that for a week or two, then you can propose other cheap options.

Unless you enjoy building the fence, i wouldn't give my time away as free. Then you run the risk if he doesn't like something, he comes to you to fix it.

livesoft
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by livesoft » Thu May 30, 2019 3:43 pm

I have four other neighbors who share parts of fences with me. Whenever a neighbor has asked me to help pay for the fence I have always said, "Happy to do so! Just send me the invoice and I will pay my share based on footage of the shared fence line." One neighbor did not ask me to pay, but just replaced the fence bit on his own. OK, with me.

I didn't have to go through the hassle of contacting fence people and getting bids, so that was a plus.

Thus my suggestion is to ask the neighbor to pay half and not be in a rush about it. Maybe they even have a sister-in-law in the fence business?
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu May 30, 2019 3:47 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:22 pm
sjt wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:19 pm
Whose property is the fence on - and how much of the fence do you "share"? I don't have a fenced yard, but my neighbor has a rectangular backyard with the house being one side and the fence being the 3 other sides. If he approached me about sharing the cost of his fence rebuild, I would contribute exactly $0.
The fence straddles the property line and our HOA documents call it a "party fence". They documents require that both homeowners share in the cost to maintain.
Well there you have it. Either the neighbor splits the cost of professional replacement or shares in the work.

BUT it may be that he does not agree that the fence needs to be maintained yet. One man's falling down is another's slight lean. You might need to wait for a directive from the HOA.

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miamivice
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by miamivice » Thu May 30, 2019 4:18 pm

Thanks all.

I definitely see that there is no easy answer. I also see from personal experiences that the more motivated neighbor is the one that pays for the fence...

Appreciate the responses.

jimmo
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by jimmo » Thu May 30, 2019 5:22 pm

Approach it like a conversation to gauge neighbor interest and position. Sounds like your HOA may even force his hand a bit, but best to be neighborly.

I don't particularly care for fences and prefer more natural privacy barriers such as trees or hedges. Fences all end up in various states of disrepair and chop up the neighborhood. The point being, everyone has a different view on fences.

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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by ohai » Thu May 30, 2019 5:29 pm

I don't know if neighbor is going to take the cost of the materials himself. That means, he's paying you, some random DIY, $600 to build a fence for him. More likely, he'd want to split the cost of professional installation or you need to pay for half or some of the materials. In any case, it would be best to first present him with the professional price so your alternative will seem like a good deal. This is assuming he even cares about the fence in the first place.

likegarden
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by likegarden » Thu May 30, 2019 5:31 pm

I have a house with fences all around the backyard for 32 years. I paid for all the fences, except for a 30 ft wooden fence on one side. All of my fences are chain-link or aluminum picket type, except for that wooden piece, the chain-link having plastic slats inserted.
That wooden pressure treated fence also has a post rotten underground. Since that neighbor is new, I did not bother talking to him, but bought a 5 ft metal fence post, hammered that into the ground avoiding the cement of the wooden post (under an angle) and bolted it to that wooden post. That wooden fence is now stable again, cost me only a few $ at HD.

About the comment that you do not need fences. We put fences around our backyard because a very nice neighbor had a poorly trained German shepherd dog who took my elbow into his teeth when I came home from work, also ripped a tee shirt from an 8 year old neighbor boy, and we had teenagers look into our windows and knock on them at night, and we had a 9 year old son to protect, and we live in a nice neighborhood.
Last edited by likegarden on Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by retire2022 » Thu May 30, 2019 5:38 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:22 pm
sjt wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:19 pm
Whose property is the fence on - and how much of the fence do you "share"? I don't have a fenced yard, but my neighbor has a rectangular backyard with the house being one side and the fence being the 3 other sides. If he approached me about sharing the cost of his fence rebuild, I would contribute exactly $0.
The fence straddles the property line and our HOA documents call it a "party fence". They documents require that both homeowners share in the cost to maintain.
Miami is there a recorded survey? I have property on four sides, the stone wall is middle from what my lawyer/surveyor told me prior to closing, the middle of the stream is marker between my neighbor and the edge of the road on my side of the road is on my side of the property.

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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by GerryL » Thu May 30, 2019 6:20 pm

Approach first with high, professional cost, stating understanding that according to community docs this is a shared expense. Then offer up the lower-cost proposal. It will seem like a deal. Of course, he is welcome to get his own estimate.

I share fences with two neighbors. One is easy-going and cooperative. The other one, not so much. Negotiating with her was a lot more fraught, especially since she wanted the old wood fence to be replaced with a bright, white vinyl fence. I knew that if she dug in her heels, I could afford to pay the full cost of the fence and she could not pay for her own vinyl fence, but I kept that to myself. We finally came to an agreement, and it was not vinyl. (She later got a shorter stretch of vinyl on the street-facing side.

whomever
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by whomever » Thu May 30, 2019 7:16 pm

"Hey, Joe ... have you noticed the fence is starting to lean? Apparently the HOA docs say it's a shared fence. I'm wondering if we ought to be thinking about fixing it up before the HOA people come after us. I got a quote from Frank's Fencing for $5000, or $2500 each. That's a lot of money, and I've built fences before, so I priced out the materials at $1200. We could go halfsies on that and then work on it together. Or if you preferred, one of us could do more of the labor, and the other buy more of the materials. What's your preference?"

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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by 8foot7 » Thu May 30, 2019 7:20 pm

whomever wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 7:16 pm
"Hey, Joe ... have you noticed the fence is starting to lean? Apparently the HOA docs say it's a shared fence. I'm wondering if we ought to be thinking about fixing it up before the HOA people come after us. I got a quote from Frank's Fencing for $5000, or $2500 each. That's a lot of money, and I've built fences before, so I priced out the materials at $1200. We could go halfsies on that and then work on it together. Or if you preferred, one of us could do more of the labor, and the other buy more of the materials. What's your preference?"
“Hey, Ray. I think if we put a couple of $10 posts up the fence’ll stop leaning and that’ll be good enough for me. I’m going to try that and see how long it lasts.”

Teague
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by Teague » Thu May 30, 2019 8:05 pm

Here's a thought:

Send an anonymous note to the HOA board, complaining that the fence between such-and-such lots is leaning and has become an eyesore. This, I think, will result in a letter from the HOA to both you and to your neighbor, stating that the fence must be fixed. You could then pow-wow and commiserate with the neighbor about how to solve this "surprise" mutual problem.
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by Hitchcock_Fan » Thu May 30, 2019 9:28 pm

I had a neighbor approach me about splitting cost of replacing a 4-5 foot privacy fence. It was his fence. He said he was going to replace it with a 3 foot open fence, but he would get an equivalent privacy fence if I paid the difference. I declined because I couldn't afford it at the time, and to be honest, didn't really care. We both sold and moved out not too long after that. Moral of the story... Can't hurt to ask. And offer a trade-off decision that your neighbor can make. Best case he accepts and shares the cost. Worst case he declines but is ok with a smaller less expensive fence.

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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by Sandtrap » Thu May 30, 2019 10:04 pm

Teague wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:05 pm
Here's a thought:

Send an anonymous note to the HOA board, complaining that the fence between such-and-such lots is leaning and has become an eyesore. This, I think, will result in a letter from the HOA to both you and to your neighbor, stating that the fence must be fixed. You could then pow-wow and commiserate with the neighbor about how to solve this "surprise" mutual problem.
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stumpy
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by stumpy » Fri May 31, 2019 1:07 am

Had a big wind storm couple months back and knocked down fence panels on all 3 sides. Being recently retired and a DIY’r did it myself. 2 of my neighbors are widows the other works 7 days week. They were more than happy to pay for half the materials. Just talk to them the worst they can say is no. Some thoughts though. Is the whole fence shot or just the posts? I reused quite a bit of the slats and some cross beams. I would also recommend using galvanized posts. Never have to be replaced. I pull the old post out of the concrete, drop the galvanized post in. Put some concrete around it and u r ready to go. Then lag 2x4’s to the post to tie the cross beam to.

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miamivice
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by miamivice » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:16 am

UPDATE:

Well, I haven't talked with the neighbor yet, but decided to work on a different part of my fence this summer that is 100% my responsibility, about the same size as the leaning fence. Purchased about $1500 of material last May and have spent the entire summer (about 1/2 of evenings and 1/2 of weekends) rebuilding the fence. It's been a huge project, and way more time consuming than I expected.

Clearly, splitting materials 50/50 and me contribution 100% of the labor is not an even split. I would be fine with him buying materials and me expending the labor to install it.

Looking at his property, I am pretty sure he will not be interested in that. He doesn't do a lot outside his house (painting, landscaping, staining fences) and honestly I have seen little maintenance activity around his place.

Looking at the rest of the neighborhood, I can say that it is rare for folks to replace their entire fence. I have seen people replace a post, or a panel here and there, or re-stain over the rot, but not replace the whole fence.

I'll probably take next summer off fence work and then approach the neighbor the following summer.

chevca
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by chevca » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:25 am

Personally, this is the type of job I would pay someone to do. Even if it was just us and not split with a neighbor.

As you found out, doing fence work is not easy. You can stretch this out over however many years... and the amount of your own time your out... or pay the pros every however many years to do it. I'd pay the pros.

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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by miamivice » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:55 am

chevca wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:25 am
Personally, this is the type of job I would pay someone to do. Even if it was just us and not split with a neighbor.

As you found out, doing fence work is not easy. You can stretch this out over however many years... and the amount of your own time your out... or pay the pros every however many years to do it. I'd pay the pros.
The cost is the reason why I am doing it myself.

We have approximately 320 linear feet of fencing on our property. The cost of hiring a professional was approximately $70 per linear foot for a turn-key project, or $22,000. This is simply unaffordable.

If we can get the neighbors to pay for materials and I contribute labor, then our total cost might be $1500, or a $20,000 cost savings.

(I've actually enjoyed the project as well. Will finish it in the next week or two and am proud of the work done.)

chevca
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by chevca » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:09 am

We have a large lot and fence similar in size to yours. We paid the pros about 1/4 as much as you're saying to put in out fence. What is your fence made of, gold? :happy

They're robbing you guys if that's the going rate where you live.

mrc
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by mrc » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:51 am

miamivice wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:16 am

Looking at his property, I am pretty sure he will not be interested in that. He doesn't do a lot outside his house (painting, landscaping, staining fences) and honestly I have seen little maintenance activity around his place.
That's enough to alert the HOA "architecture committee" or whatever your inspection unit is called, right there. There are no doubt requirements to maintain the home's exterior.
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miamivice
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by miamivice » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:06 pm

chevca wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:09 am
We have a large lot and fence similar in size to yours. We paid the pros about 1/4 as much as you're saying to put in out fence. What is your fence made of, gold? :happy

They're robbing you guys if that's the going rate where you live.
It is what it is. Our builder installed complex geometry fences, hence the $1500 material cost for 75 linear feet of fencing. At this moment I am thinking that a simpler cheaper fence would have been just fine, but we're expected by the HOA to maintain the architectual standards of the community.

More on point, if I am cringing at the cost - and we tend to spend heavily on maintenance and upkeep on our house - I know that the rest of the neighborhood won't follow suit, including my neigbhor next door. More than likely, I'll end up spending the money to rebuild the shared fence because it's more important to me than him to keep it in good upkeep.

squirm
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by squirm » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:45 pm

When we lived in the city I repaired all our fences. Don't expect anything from neighbors. My neighbors didn't pay squat but I wasn't surprised.

tibbitts
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by tibbitts » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:20 pm

squirm wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:45 pm
When we lived in the city I repaired all our fences. Don't expect anything from neighbors. My neighbors didn't pay squat but I wasn't surprised.
Same here. I have the "pretty" side of the fence and it seems that the person who has that built the fence initially and therefore is responsible for it.

criticalmass
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by criticalmass » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:48 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:21 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:17 pm
Does your neighbor have a fence on the other three sides? What about your neighbor on the other side?

Is the fence on your property exclusively or does it straddle the property line?
We live in a Suburban community that has fences on all sides. Our community was built about 15 years ago and I figure that all of the fences will start falling down in the next 2-3 years.

The cost of the fence is just for the one side that I share with the neighbor. He (and us) will have more sides that have to be replaced as well. I am asking this about how to approach with all neighbors. I figure that the total cost to professionally replace all fences to be $22,000, which we do not have.
I would still get some quotes for reference. It may be a lot lower than you think. I've found fence company prices to be all over the place with some of the higher quality small companies quoting a fraction of the high bidders. Per foot prices are very malleable.

jakegoodman
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by jakegoodman » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:00 pm

Hey folks - lot of helpful info here, but hoping I can get some input on a curious sitch I found myself in.

I just moved into a new construction subdivision. Our house is surrounded by homes on all sides and all 3 sides of the fence were built within the last year, i.e. before we were even looking at purchase. One of the neighbors came over last week - it was the first time even meeting each other - and after some awkward small talk he asked if I'd like to pay for half of the fence side that both of our houses border. He said he's lived there for nearly a year now, so it must have been built quite a while ago.

What's the etiquette here, if any? We clearly didn't talk about it when he went to have it built, so now it just feels like he's trying to recoup some of the cost after the fact, while also putting me in an awkward position of wondering if I'm creating an enemy next door if I say "no." He said it was $1500 to do that side of the fence, so is asking me for $750.

Thoughts?? Any help is appreciated!

HomeStretch
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:29 pm

Deleted (didn’t realize fence was built already!)
Last edited by HomeStretch on Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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greg24
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by greg24 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:34 pm

jakegoodman wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:00 pm
Hey folks - lot of helpful info here, but hoping I can get some input on a curious sitch I found myself in.

I just moved into a new construction subdivision. Our house is surrounded by homes on all sides and all 3 sides of the fence were built within the last year, i.e. before we were even looking at purchase. One of the neighbors came over last week - it was the first time even meeting each other - and after some awkward small talk he asked if I'd like to pay for half of the fence side that both of our houses border. He said he's lived there for nearly a year now, so it must have been built quite a while ago.

What's the etiquette here, if any? We clearly didn't talk about it when he went to have it built, so now it just feels like he's trying to recoup some of the cost after the fact, while also putting me in an awkward position of wondering if I'm creating an enemy next door if I say "no." He said it was $1500 to do that side of the fence, so is asking me for $750.

Thoughts?? Any help is appreciated!
I wouldn't pay half. He built it a while ago because he wanted it. Now he wants you to pay half, well after the fact. Unseemly, if you ask me.

Retired2013
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by Retired2013 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:50 pm

jakegoodman wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:00 pm
Hey folks - lot of helpful info here, but hoping I can get some input on a curious sitch I found myself in.

I just moved into a new construction subdivision. Our house is surrounded by homes on all sides and all 3 sides of the fence were built within the last year, i.e. before we were even looking at purchase. One of the neighbors came over last week - it was the first time even meeting each other - and after some awkward small talk he asked if I'd like to pay for half of the fence side that both of our houses border. He said he's lived there for nearly a year now, so it must have been built quite a while ago.

What's the etiquette here, if any? We clearly didn't talk about it when he went to have it built, so now it just feels like he's trying to recoup some of the cost after the fact, while also putting me in an awkward position of wondering if I'm creating an enemy next door if I say "no." He said it was $1500 to do that side of the fence, so is asking me for $750.

Thoughts?? Any help is appreciated!
The fence is on their property. Sorry but no. He has total control over the fence. If he wants to take it down, he can without your permission. In our area, the fence increases the value of the property which increases the property taxes. Will he then want you to pay a portion of his property taxes also for the fence?

He could have waited until you put up a fence but decided not to wait and see if you were going to put up a fence. What if you don't want a fence. Can you take the fence down?

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:54 pm

Wouldn't consider it. It should be 100% on his property, not yours. You have zero obligation to pay a dime.
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:24 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:12 pm
Yesterday, my wife noticed that our fence was leaning. Sure enough, the posts are rotten and it is time to replace it. We're trying to decide how to approach the neighbors about the cost.

The total cost of a professionally built fence, including removing the old one, removing and replacing the posts, building the panels, and staining, is approximately $5000. I have estimates where I buy the materials for approximately $1,200.

I am trying to decide how to approach the neighbor regarding cost. Based on the lack of tools in his garage, and the absence of ever seeing him work on the house, I believe it is a safe bet that he is not interested in contributing manual labor.

So, my preference would be for him to buy the materials and I contribute the labor, and call it even. In my opinion, $1200 is still way less than 1/2 of the professional built fence ($2500), so he is still getting a bargain.

My wife thinks that it would be more fair to split the materials 50/50 with him, and then I contribute 100% of all labor to build the new fence. I think that if he got a new fence for $500 with no labor contribution, he'd really be coming out ahead.

I am curious if any other Bogleheads have discussed this subject with neighbors, and what you have done in the past? We live in a community where people keep to themselves. I don't know my neighbors well (I like that about our neighborhood). I want to be fair with them but also fair to our family as well.

Do you ever just go over and have a beer with your neighbor? I don''t understand why people don't talk to their neighbors any more. A simple conversation over the condition of the fence should be easy and then proposing out some options of professional install to you being willing to do the work.

also specifically who owns the fence? He might think it is your fence all together. Perhaps he's wondering when you are going to replace your fence...

all kinds of answers.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by Mr. Rumples » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:14 pm

jakegoodman wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:00 pm
Hey folks - lot of helpful info here, but hoping I can get some input on a curious sitch I found myself in.

I just moved into a new construction subdivision. Our house is surrounded by homes on all sides and all 3 sides of the fence were built within the last year, i.e. before we were even looking at purchase. One of the neighbors came over last week - it was the first time even meeting each other - and after some awkward small talk he asked if I'd like to pay for half of the fence side that both of our houses border. He said he's lived there for nearly a year now, so it must have been built quite a while ago.

What's the etiquette here, if any? We clearly didn't talk about it when he went to have it built, so now it just feels like he's trying to recoup some of the cost after the fact, while also putting me in an awkward position of wondering if I'm creating an enemy next door if I say "no." He said it was $1500 to do that side of the fence, so is asking me for $750.

Thoughts?? Any help is appreciated!
Its not only etiquette but your state may have laws governing this. In Virginia, we still have "fence in" and "fence out" laws in some jurisdictions which can trace their origins back to the first fence laws of 1631, 1642 and 1646. In some cases, a neighbor can compel the adjoining property owner pay 1/2 the cost of either a new fence or to maintain a fence. In 2004, such a dispute got so bad in Caroline County, one neighbor murdered the other and that was after they had exhausted the court system with the State Supreme Court making a ruling on their argument.

My POA's home is part of three lots which are still zoned agricultural even though they are in the middle of a residential neighborhood (not an HOA); this is due to how it was granted...her neighbor still has the land grant from King Charles II (1630-1685), the land, and this is the last part which has not been sold, has been in the family for centuries. They are in discussions on what kind of fence its going to be since they have to pay half.
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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8foot7
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Re: Splitting fence cost with neighbor

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:18 pm

jakegoodman wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:00 pm
Hey folks - lot of helpful info here, but hoping I can get some input on a curious sitch I found myself in.

I just moved into a new construction subdivision. Our house is surrounded by homes on all sides and all 3 sides of the fence were built within the last year, i.e. before we were even looking at purchase. One of the neighbors came over last week - it was the first time even meeting each other - and after some awkward small talk he asked if I'd like to pay for half of the fence side that both of our houses border. He said he's lived there for nearly a year now, so it must have been built quite a while ago.

What's the etiquette here, if any? We clearly didn't talk about it when he went to have it built, so now it just feels like he's trying to recoup some of the cost after the fact, while also putting me in an awkward position of wondering if I'm creating an enemy next door if I say "no." He said it was $1500 to do that side of the fence, so is asking me for $750.

Thoughts?? Any help is appreciated!
That's nuts. I'd have looked at him like he had two heads. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
"Let me get this straight. The first thing you do when you meet me, your new neighbor of 3 days, is ask me to pay for half of the fence you installed a year ago?"

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