Fence facing etiquette

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When I was young I learned that fence facing etiquette is to have the pretty side of the fence facing outward towards your neighbors. My questions:
(1) Is this a law in places? (2) Is this the same etiquette in the UK?
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Yes. Even if the neighbor *prefers* the other side.
My brother's neighbor put up a stockade fence with the horizontals on my brother's side. He asked his neighbor if he minded if he minded if he used those horizontals to hang some plants on the nice south-facing vertical surface. The neighbor was happy with his smooth side-- my brother was happy with the easy to use horizontal slats- and then the building inspector stopped by. He made the guy take the fence down and switch it around! Luckily it was along a level spot so the fence was salvageable as-is.
Jim
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I can understand the reason for the law. In your case, you brother didn't mind, but , if and when he sells his house, the new buyer might. In general, ordinances for appearance are based on what the property looks like to people who pass by, rather than the preferences of the owner. for instance, nobody cares if you paint the inside of the walls pink with polka dots, but trying that on the outside will probably result in lawsuits. While the "fence facing" is a minor thing, it needs to follow the proper considerations for the rest of the neighborhood, whether the present neighbors care or not. some of them may care, but decide not to object to keep the peace. It is for this reason that a municipal ordinance comes into play, so the matter is settled before the fence, or whatever, goes up. The city inspector can be the "bad guy", and the neighbors can breathe a sigh of relief at avoiding a confrontation.
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wrote:

I tend to agree, though our fence (at least on two sides) is facing us. The builder put it there so that's the way it is.
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He should have just given the fence to your brother. ;-)
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

There are actual LAWS governing the orientation of fences?
Must suck to live in such places.
In my city, the only fence law of which I'm aware is that concertina wire topping must be at least six feet above the ground. I'm not sure about the rules on mines...
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There are not only laws governing the orientation, but also the height. In my town the fence can be 6' high from the rear property line to the back line of the house, 4' from the back line of the house to the front line of the house with no fence past the front line of the house to the street.
For those with corner lots or other odd sized lots (or houses) this can be a real problem and often requires a long drawn out exception process. We have a friend that lives on a corner lot which has been fenced in since before the ordinance was put into place. When a drunk driver destroyed a large portion of the fence, he went to the town to get permission to replace the entire fence since the remaining sections were pretty old and wouldn't match the new sections.
The town pushed back and said that the only reason that they were going to allow him to replace the destroyed sections was because he was grandfathered in, but replacing the remainder was considered a new installation and would have to meet existing codes - meaning no fence at all. They reluctantly relented when most of the neighborhood showed up at the board meeting and convinced them that we did not want to look at half an old fence and half a new one. One neighbor actually put together a photo-shopped poster of the 2 versions - making the old/ new combination look really bad - which probably helped sway the board.
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I think the meaning of "law" is being sstretched. That sounds like building code violations. A real "law" will have an RCW (in the state of Washington) (Revised Code of Washington) which spells out what is a violation, penalties, etc.)
Harry K
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wrote:

It will be a Bylaw
By-law (sometimes also spelled bylaw, by law or byelaw) can refer to a law of local or limited application passed under the authority of a higher law specifying what things may be regulated by the by-law. It can also refer to the internal rules of a company or organization.
In the context of local laws, "by-law" is more frequently used in this context in Canada, the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, whereas in the United States, the words code, ordinance or regulation are more frequent. Accordingly, a bylaw enforcement officer is the Canadian equivalent of the American Code Enforcement Officer or Municipal Regulations Enforcement Officer.
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Sucks even more to need a fence. Nearest to me is four properties up. Never had a problem with dogs or kids.
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Good fences make good neighbors. OTOH, there are only two houses on this street (and large lots anyway) so I have no neighbors to improve. ;-)
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Ed Pawlowski wrote the following on 10/19/2012 11:10 PM (ET):

A fence is required by local code in some places when an in-ground pool is installed. The only fencing I have is around my pool with a 6 foot high wooden privacy fence at the property line setback and 4 foot high plastic picket type fencing around the other sides of the pool area. The fencing is to keep little kids from wandering into the pool area. The 4" picket type doesn't keep the deer out if they want to get in there. Just for keeping on the original topic, the 6 foot high fence I had along the property line was a double sided fence (no bad side). I had the pool and fence installed 20 years ago per setback code at 6 inches from the property line. The pool was setback at least 10 feet per code. 20 years later, I had to replace the wooden 'fabric' between the 4"x4" PT posts due to it starting to fall apart. This new wooden fabric was one-sided with the bad side facing my side. At that time, the setback had been increased to 3 feet from the property line. Since I had not removed the original posts and had left them where they were installed 20 years before, I was 'grandfathered' at the 6 foot setback.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Your point is well taken.
A wooden fence can, however, act as a modest deterrent to the goblins that prowl in the night as well as blocking the sight of unplesantness taking place on either side.
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wrote:

Could have just said he built the fence for his neighbour (your brother) and called it a day.
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On Fri, 19 Oct 2012 12:29:23 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Not when the twit of a building inspector was measuring the distance to the property line, too. [I think it had to be 2'- which really crowded the guys driveway & wouldn't have bothered my brother if it was right on the line-- but rules is rules.] The neighbor was aware of that rule-- [and maybe the other one too, but just figured if they were agreeable it would be OK]
Jim
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wrote:

So they require a 4 foot corridor between property fences???? Who mows that? Who looks after it? And they want taxes on it too????? Maroons er Macroons - no MORONS - that's the word I was looking for!!
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On Fri, 19 Oct 2012 22:12:03 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Sounds like it is for deer control. There are three ways to fence deer out:
(1) Make it too tall and they can't jump over.
(2) Make it opaque. They won't jump if they don't know what is on the other side.
(3) Have parallel fences with no space for them to land in between, and wide enough that they can't clear both in the same jump.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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An actual "law"? I doubt that, part of HOA agreements, city ordinance and the like I can see but to have such nit-ppicking written as an actual law seems to be stretching the "The Law is an ass" concept.
Harry K
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-snip-
I confess to using the term 'law' to include local ordinances in this case.
It is *the law* in this house that you clear your plate--- but no legislature has ever deliberated upon it as far as I know.
Jim
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I don't see the objection to using the term law. Requirements for fences are typically part of zoning ordinances that are passed by the governing body, eg town council, township committee, etc, and have every bit as much enforceability as those that set the speed limits on various roads do. Just because it's one small part of all the zoning doesn't mean it's not a law.
Now if a fence rule is adopted by a HOA, then I would agree that it is not an actual law.
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