“Good fences make good neighbors.” We have all heard this saying or something very similar. As someone working in the surveying profession, I have heard it many times. Often, the saying is spot on as long as the fence is installed after a boundary survey is complete.

Here are some thoughts and suggestions from a land surveying professional to keep in mind as you begin your fencing project.

Talk to your neighbors. Let them know your plans for the fence. See if your understanding of the property line is the same. Get their input and see if they have any concerns.

Talk to your local municipality to see if there are any local ordinances regarding fencing (i.e., distance off property lines, height restrictions, etc.).

Get a survey done. Even if you and your neighbor agree on the property line location, a boundary survey will put everyone’s mind at ease. Our typical boundary survey includes clearly marking the existing corners and setting corners not found. We also mark property lines so you and your neighbor can walk the line and see where any fencing should be placed.

Oftentimes, our clients are surprised by where the line is, and I often hear, “Glad we got this done because that is not where I would have put the fence.”

A question often raised by our clients is, “Now that I know where the property line is, where should I place the fence, on the line or inside the line?” This is an excellent question, and unless required by ordinance, there is no right or wrong answer. If you place the fence right on the line, you and your neighbor will always know where the line is. The only drawback is that if you and the person next door ever become “unneighborly,” maintaining your fence could become an issue.

Good fences can make good neighbors. Let us help you ensure the fence is in the right place. No two jobs are the same; provide us with as much information and background as possible and we will make your fencing project a success.