Any good ideas on how to signal the person inside when someone comes
into their backyard? It has a 3 1/2 foot fence around it, with gate
that latches or can be locked with a padlock.
I have a townhouse and the people next door want to build a six-foot
fence around their back yard, so their 4 year old daughter can play
alone or with her sister in the backyard.
They need my signature to build the taller fence, but I would rather
pay for something, up to maybe 150 dollars, if you guys can tell me
what would work well.
Or any other helpful suggestions to keep them from being angry at me.
I don't want a 6 foot fence next to my yard -- it would be like
living in a prison -- especially since
a) mothers tell me a little girl shouldn't be left alone anyhow
b) she's in day care, and later will be in school five days a week.
c) she's gone all day sunday every sunday.
d) stranger kidnappings are very rare (although there was one last
summer somewhere within 50 miles of our house.
e) She get older, or they will move, and I'll be stuck with that
f) No one ever goes behind our houses (a row of 8 townhouses) except
homeowners to get their lawn mowers from their back lawns to their
front, and the cable guy, when someone makes changes in their cable
service. There is no housing behind our houses, only woods, a
stream, woods and a street 150 feet away.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
If you're handy kinda guy, without anything special you can rig up one
using motion sensor light fixture. From this you can devise
visual or aural signal when some is in the back yard. There could be
many gadgets based on electronics.
What Tony said - use a motion detecting exterior light (PIR) but connect
the output to a noisemaker of sorts. Cheapest way probably.
It would also be useful as a standard motion detecting light fixture!
I must be missing the point here. You don't want the 6' fence. Say
no. You don't have to build some signaling device for them. If you
did, and it failed, where are you then?
Their idea is stupid. Don't feed into it.
I've had neighbors like that. I try to get along with neighbors, but
only to a point. If they start making demands, I have no obligation to
compromise my well being for their demands. If neighbor gets angry
because he can't have what he wants, it's his problem, not mine. That
type of neighbor already doesn't have any regard for me so why should I
care if he likes me?
A german shepherd? Pretty much any dog can be trained to yap at
intruders plus it will scare away an intruder more than a light will.
A loud bell rigged to the gate? (Electric or mechanical)
Teach the kids to scream and have a 'baby monitor' or intercom.
A fence will not keep out anyone really intent on doing damage. I agree on
the prison part and I'd not sign it either, Just point out that you'd have
the downside all the time when they are benefiting only an hour or two a
week. Better they should be PO'd at you or just move away than you have to
live with that sort of fence.
If they want an alarm, suggest they try a local security company or Radio
Shack for ideas.
I'm really not clear on which yard you want this for, but I'm assuming
you're looking for an alternative that you can suggest to your neighbor. If
so, they make all kinds of motion sensors that set off alarms. Some are
wireless and can activate a remote alarm, video cameras, or computer
monitor. If your neighbor installs one high enough, it will not be set off
by their daughter. If they don't like that idea, then they have an ulterior
motive for the 6 ft. fence. Either way, don't sign anything. Not only do you
not want the fence, but it can decrease the resale value of your house.
Google motion sensors.
If you want the motion sensor, check out the X10 products. They make
a small wireless motion sensor that transmits a signal that is received
by a tranasceiver that plugs into any wall outlet. The transceiver
picks up the wireless signal and then sends an X!0 signal down the
powerline. That is compatible with a whole list of devices,
everything from simple plug in modules that can turn lights/appiances
on/off, to X10 wall switchs that you can place anywhere you want within
But, I have to agree with many of the comments already made. First, a
motion sensor is very different from a fence. I don't think it's
unreasonable for parents with a toddler to want a fenced in backyard.
And I don't think kidnapping is the main issue. The main problem with
toddlers is they can wander off if a parent is momentarily distracted.
A parent could be in the backyard with the child, get distracted, and
the kid could wander off. A motion sensor isn't going to easily or
effectively solve that problem, but a fence will greatly reduce the
chance of that happening. I doubt you will get anywhere in convincing
the neighbor to use a motion sensor.
Another issue is the condo documents. What do they say about fences?
If they say they are allowed, not much you can do about it. If they
say they are, but need some type of approval, ie neighbors, board, etc,
then you can object and may prevail. Or they may prohibit them
altogether, which can be the deciding factor, even if others have put
up fences that have gone unchallenged.
True, but does the fence have to be 6 feet high? If my neighbor wanted a 6'
fence, I'd object especially in his small townhouse yard. Fortunately for
me, the nearest fence to me is 500 feet in one direction, non existent in
the other three directions.
I live in a rural area. The nearest fence is for cows and has an electric
charger on it. Another neighbor has an invisible fence and he has collars on
his dogs. I've seen some brats that could benefit from one of those.
wrote in message
If a parent is worried about someone coming into the yard, they should put
up a sensor. If they are worried about a toddler wandering off, they make
sensors for that also. Here's a link to one that tells a parent when the
toddler gets too far away, has an audible button the parent can push to find
the child, and also has a button the child can push to alert the parent.
On 29 Jan 2006 05:03:38 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
Yes, using X10 protocol. NOT those made by X10, those are cheap and
unreliable. You can expect to find something better at
http://www.smarthome.com/ . Wireless can add convenience but lowers
You are a nice guy....
You are willing to "contribute" your money to allow your neighbors
child to play without supervision...rather then let your neighbor
build a "fort" and make you feel like you are in prison...
Honestly I would just say no... tell them the honest truth.. that you
would feel fences in.. and drop the ball back into thier court... .
I feel like your neighbor should respect your feelings NOT the other
Thank you all for the helpful advice. I was planning on calling a
burglar alarm company on Monday.
But before I did that, I wanted your suggestions and there have been a
lot of good ones, some that might involve the company and many that
(They have an alarm already, I don't know the brand, but add-ons
could be any brand, or they could go to their company and I'd pay for
that, (see below).)
On Sun, 29 Jan 2006 10:38:41 -0500, Bob G.
I am, but that's not the whole story.
This is as good a place as any to give more details, for any who might
The husband, with whom I talk regularly, approached me almost shyly,
months ago, and said somethign about a taller fence, and when I said
something like "no one goes back there...and: I didn't think a tall
fence was a good idea" he backed off and hasn't said another word. So
far, it's not like they are forcing this on me.
And indeed, I would have to sign a permission slip.
Unless the president (for life) of the HOA decides to violate the
rules (or "to make new rules" as it is said, both in Congress and
So far they have, but a) I would like to see the kid be able to spend
more time outside. When I was her age, I wanted to watch tv all day
Saturday, and my mother insisted that I spend an hour outside every
Saturday. It was good for me. And it's probably one of the reasons
I've spend so much time outside in the rest of my life. In addition
to play period twice a day once I started school. (I hear the schools
don't have play period anymore, and that they start teaching them to
read at 4 or 5 instead of 6 like it was in the 50's.
b) I don't want them angry at me, even if I'm right. There are so many
ways for people to retaliate (or some word weaker than retaliate), as
little as promising to take the advertising out of my fence (I have a
fence also.) and then not doing that well, and a burglar will realize
I'm not home (and my alarm has to be replaced at the moment.) Or
playing their radio loud (which normally I can't hear at all.) Or
refusing to sign permission for me when I want to enlarge my deck or
put something underneath it. Or replacing his roof or putting on
siding without consulting me. (We already did the roof together, got
a better price for two houses, and chose the same color. It worked out
well.) Or someone comes to visit me and I'm not home yet, not
inviting them in to wait or use the bathroom. The difference between
being friends and being enemies, and all the spots in between.
c) I really am willing to spend the 150, but the odds are I wouldn't
have to spend anything. It's a lot easier to suggest gifts I'm
willing to give them than to suggest money that they should spend.
"Why don't you buy this. Why don't you buy that. and that and that"
and one or both of them will be thinking, Why don't you let us put up
our fence when that would solve everything?". That's not a good
scenario. Instead, I can say, "How about I buy you this? How about
I buy you that, and that and that." At least they will listen. They
may decide my suggestions are good enough, especially some of them
(Come to think of it, that makes even the ideas offerred here that
don't really work in this particular case as valuable as the ones that
might work, because they show I've been putting effort into this.
And then they may pick one of your suggestions -- their choice -- and
I'd be surprised if they let me pay a thing. And we'll all have what
d) The woman was the original owner of the house, when she was
single, and she did show me respect. My mother lived a couple miles
from here, and she was old when she died, but the combination of her
death and more importantly things related to it left me depressed for
a couple years. I mowed my lawn maybe once or twice a summer and it
looked terrible. I didn't repair the fence after some teenager
damaged it. During this same time, she tried to sell her house and I
wouldn't be surprised if my lawn and my fence were the reason it
didn't sell. But she never said a word. When I recovered, and
cleaned the place up, and went to her to apologize for being a bad
neighbor, she didn't say an unkind word, she didn't say a word about
the difficulties of selling her house, and she only expressed
sympathy, concern, and encouragement (all in one or two sentences.).
During my depressoin, I didn't read my mail. I didn't miss much, --
an awful lot of junk mail -- except that I was routinely late on my
utility bills, and got my phone cut off more than once, and my
electiricity once.. Some time after the depression, after I mowed the
lawn, and fixed the fence, etc. I set to processing all the unread
mail, stored in cartons by now. Three or four of them were addressed
to her address and after she got them from me, only then did she get
angry. They were rsvp's for her wedding. She said that when she
didn't get rsvp's, she called the people, and that there was enough
food and place settings for everyone, but she was still angry. I
hear women are very tense when planning their weddings. Different
things make different people angry. But she said the wedding did turn
out well, and everyone who planned to, attended.
Now her husband moved into her house, and because of the high tranfer
taxes etc, it was maybe financially a good thing that she hadn't sold
the house. (Well, also depending on where she had wanted to move to.)
So like most things this is pretty complicated, and I'm more concerned
about gettting a good result than standing on my rights. And even if
one just weighs rights, who's to say that I don't still owe her?
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
Just to throw in a thought that I haven't seen mentioned yet.
The kid will not be small forever.
The fence is a permanent solution.
An alarm system that can be easily removed when it is no longer needed is
the better answer.
The existing 3 1/2 foot fence is adequate to keep the kid confined.
And finally, if they were willing to pay for the fence, they should be
equally willing to pay for the alarm.
How can you build a device that would distinguish
between the little girl and someone else coming
into the yard? If, ok with you, let them build
the 6' fence in back but not between houses.
Otherwise just say no. That's why other residents
need to get permission from their neighbors. No
hard feelings, just No. Besides if it for
protection of the little girl it is essentially
useless, the fence might even act as an attractant.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.