What style of fence would look most attractive?

BhamsterApril 8, 2013

We're planning to move within 1-2 years but are taking our time fixing things up. Because of a dispute with our neighbor, we want to put in a fence that would run from this masonry wall to the back drain (ours is the upper yard, theirs is the lower yard with the 6-foot fence). The elderly lady of the house is obsessed with this line between our properties and I'll often look out to find her at the top of this slope hacking away at something. She has cut down several plants we've planted in the corner by the drain, and I'm tired of finding her in my yard.

It's tempting to put a 6-foot stockade there, but I want it to look attractive to potential buyers. At this point we're contemplating a picket fence that would go along this property line to just slightly up the hill in the back. We would have the fence turn in towards the back corner of the house with a swing gate--that would be where you see the tall green plants at the right edge of the photo.

A picket fence won't give us a lot of privacy from them but would definitely keep anyone from crossing over into our yard.

The other option I just started considering would be trellis panels that would stand free (no connection to the side of the house with a gate). I would put a row of planter boxes beneath and plant vines.

Since 4 feet seems kind of short for a trellis, I would do 5 or 6 feet on this--but wonder if that's too much for our small yard.

Any ideas? We have to have treated wood and are not allowed metal or vinyl, unfortunately.

Oh, and if you were going to suggest plants: the ground is really hard and compacted there and would be a headache to plant. Plus we'd have the same issue we had with our neighbor who blamed the roses we had planted there as killing her flowers.

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What is used elsewhere in the neighborhood and your area in general? In my many neighborhoods that look similar to yours in TX a 6 ft privacy fence is considered a positive vs. any see through fences when buying a house. Often they are built with the nice side facing the ones who pay for it, but can often be done if the cost is shared with every other board on each side so the "good" and "bad" sides are shared.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Almost everyone in this particular subdivision has the shadowbox style that our neighbor has. One or two have picket fences; only a few have privacy fences and that's usually those who have larger yards that face on to woods. But in one case there must have been a neighbor dispute because in that situation there are two parallel 6-foot privacy fences about 2 feet apart from each other. Looks very odd.

A 4-foot shadowbox is $500 more than the 4-foot picket, so that's why we figured we'd go with the picket. A 6-foot privacy fence, however, is only $300 more than the picket, so it IS tempting to have full privacy.

So here's another question as relates to selling the house: do you think potential buyers would mind if we did a 6-foot privacy fence with the bad side in (facing our yard)--but then I would put in planter boxes and trellises to cover the bad side with evergreen vines?

The other side of the yard--where we have a slope that goes up just like these neighbors below us--we are planting with shrubs that will create "an impenetrable barrier" as the nurseryman told us. But of course that's going to take some years to fill in.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Never understood why you would face the "bad" side toward your own property. If I'm putting in a privacy fence it's because I don't like you. You didn't pay for the fence, so too bad.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:06PM
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daveho where I live, installing a fence requires a permit and inspection to make sure the fence meets height and setback (from the sidewalk) requirements and, IF there is a good and bad side, bad side is to face the installing property. This is to protect a homeowner from having a neighbor install a fence, bad side facing them. In my suburb, lots are not huge - most

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:59PM
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If you do a 6' shadowbox like she did you both get pretty sides. It would come out similar since you would not have to buy plants to cover up a bad side.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 4:59PM
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First, check to see if you have any deed restrictions as to what kind of fence is allowed. Some subdivisions do have restrictions which can be quite detailed as to what is allowed.

In your situation I would put up a 6' privacy fence.

In any event I would probably put up a 6' fence even if it was a different type. For us, it is important to us as we have the type of dogs where we need a 6' fence. When we were buying, we preferred houses that either already had a 6' fence or had no fence. We least liked those with a fence less than 6' as we knew we would have to tear it out.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:37PM
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The most desireable fences around here are the white vinyl ones--if you're thinking of selling, that's going to be far more attractive to a buyer than one of those wooden ones that looks old and dilapidated after only a few years.

Second--as you've having a dispute about the property line, I'd invest a few extra $$$ and have the area you're fencing surveyed and marked by a reputable surveyor--will save you hassles and $$$ down the road.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:25AM
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As mentioned by others if a 6' privacy fence is allowed that is what I would use and do a survey before putting it up just to be sure and eliminate anything that could come out of it otherwise.

It just sounds like you guys would enjoy the privacy fence more and I don't think a buyer would object to it. They may even like it and consider it a plus as compared to other houses. Particularly if they have pets or small children.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Personally, I would also want a 6' privacy fence, and that is by far the most common in my area (large city with small lots). I also have dogs, and agree with a PP that I totally factor in fencing when looking at houses because I would need one.

If you don't want/need the privacy, though, something like the linked pic might be worth looking into (though all of the commenters seem to think it's for a dog run, so maybe not, ha ha). No idea as to cost but I imagine it would be less than a 6' wood fence.

Here is a link that might be useful: Houzz Fence Example

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:45PM
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I vote for 6' privacy fence, standard pressure treated wood, with bad side facing inside your yard. This is standard...most county code requires the good side facing out and most folks do it this way unless they don't know any better.

The white vinyl can get discolored over time from dirt/mold/water. Also white really stands out and it draws the eye away from everything else and directly to the white fence.

the nice thing about getting a pressure treated wood fence, it will naturally gray out by the time you sell. This will make it look very nice and fit well with the area.

People like privacy in their yard and a privacy fence will do this.

i was selling awhile back and didn't have a privacy fence and got comments from buyers that the yard was not private enough from other properties. I am sure a privacy fence would have solved this, and wished I had one prior to putting the home on the market.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:32AM
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Hey everyone,

I completely forgot about this thread because we've had a problem with our heat pump and so I've been on the hvac sites for the past few days. If we end up having to get a new condensing unit, the fence is going to be out. :-( On the other hand, if we get a home equity loan to help with this unexpected expense, we might still go for a fence.

I'm quite surprised that so many of you voted for the 6' privacy--I thought it might look like overkill, esp. only having it on one side of the yard. It certainly would take care of the neighbor issue, though, and if we ended up staying here might be the best solution to our problems with her. The neighbor has already been up at the top of that slope putting in new plants (lilies of all things)--RIGHT SMACK on what appears to be the property line.

And yes, speaking of the property line, we are getting a survey done--even if we don't get the fence.

Azzalea, I would LOVE the white vinyl, but we're not even supposed to paint our wood fences. One neighbor has painted his a dark brown, which I am tempted to do myself. Since no one has made him strip the paint off his, I don't see how they could make me either.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Instead of paint you could stain it.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:41PM
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"This is to protect a homeowner from having a neighbor install a fence, bad side facing them."

Let them share the cost then.

Sounds like the entitlement mentality at work.

"I should not have to look at the 'bad' side of your fence, even though I had nothing to do with its installation."

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:01PM
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"The elderly lady of the house is obsessed with this line between our properties and I'll often look out to find her at the top of this slope hacking away at something. She has cut down several plants we've planted in the corner by the drain, and I'm tired of finding her in my yard."

This woman sounds like she has too much time on her hands. I'd wouldn't like it if my neighbor cut down things I planted.

If you can't afford to fence the entire area, how about a little at a time?
Perhaps you could start with the 6' stockade fence on the line between your back yard and hers. If that isn't high enough then plant some Leyland Cypress.

At least you will have a barrier that makes it clear what plants are hers and which are yours.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:16PM
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