A properly-installed fence can add the finishing touch to a nice garden. Conversely, an old and rotting fence is an eyesore and can cause problems with the neighbours.

Despite the fact many of us prefer our gardens to be fenced in, there is no requirement in law to erect a fence along a boundary. A row of properties might have a rule or unofficial agreement whereby each householder is responsible for the right- or left-hand side fence as they view their back garden. However, this is not always the case, and again, it is not usually enshrined in law.

The only exceptions would be for properties where there is a hazard by not having fencing. For example, if you own a farm and you have livestock that could go wandering off your property, fencing will be a necessity. This would also be true if you were close to deep-level mines or other potential hazards.

But for most of us, this won’t apply. So, what do you do if you know your neighbour erected the fence on one side of your garden, and that fence is now failing? Would you know what your next move is?

Have a chat and see if you can resolve things

Most people are reasonable enough and it’s worth chatting with the neighbour to see what their position is. You may find they are about to replace it anyway. If so, you can find out what they have in mind.

In some cases, neighbours have spoken about getting a new fence and even shared the cost of doing so. It’s a good idea to get anything agreed in writing so you have a record of what was done and when. This might be useful if you ever sell your property.

Offer to replace the fence at your own cost

This is another solution you might want to consider. Sometimes a neighbour will be responsible for maintaining a fence and would love to have a new one installed. However, they may not have the means to pay for it. When you chat with them, you might discover the dilapidated fence is causing them as much bother as it is you.

If you are happy to foot the cost, why not ask them if they would like you to get a new fence installed? If they are happy, show them what you intend to have done and have them agree to it before you begin work. All they would need to do is to paint or stain their side of the fence and they’ll be delighted.

Two fences, one boundary?

Let’s say the fence you want to replace does belong to your neighbour, but they don’t want to or can’t afford to replace it. They are within their rights not to do this, because the law states they don’t have to.

However, you could still have a new fence installed right next to it in your garden. This means your garden will be secure – important if you have children or pets – and you will have a nice fence to look at too.

Lap Fencing

Lots of new fencing possibilities

If you are going to replace a fence, look through the various options before deciding on the one you want. Gravel boards and concrete posts are the best option, because they last much longer and protect the bottom of the boards from going rotten while sitting on wet grass and mud.

There are lots of different types of fence panels, too, from shorter panels to taller six-foot ones. You can get lap panels, feather-edge panels or hit-and-miss panelling. If you want a higher panel but still want to have some light coming in at the top, consider getting panels with a trellis section at the top. Some of these have a wavy top instead of a traditional flat top, which makes the fencing look even more appealing.

Pick your ideal day for delivery

Getting fence panels in your car is an impossibility. So, rather than go to the trouble of hiring a van to collect them, why not choose our free UK mainland delivery service to have them delivered to your door? You can choose the best day for delivery and they’ll be with you when you need them.

Fences fail for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes a heavy storm is enough to take down fences along an entire road. Sometimes, adverse weather conditions over the space of a few years, not to mention unprotected fences that were never stained to begin with, will lead to a dilapidated fence.

But by keeping things friendly with your neighbours, it will be easier to get an old fence replaced when the time comes. A brand new and good-looking fence could be just what you need to cheer up both your gardens.