The key to negotiating a new fence with your neighbours is communication and an understanding of the fencing laws. There are council laws in place to help maintain harmony and avoid potential disputes to help keep neighbourly relations positive. As boundary fences can become contentious, particularly if you can’t agree on the type of fence required, a considered approach with your neighbours is recommended.
The council laws stipulate that the cost to build or mend a ‘sufficient’ fence – one that meets council laws – should be split 50-50 unless one neighbour would like to install a fence that is more expensive. This is where things can become tricky, particularly if neighbours don’t know each other very well or one neighbour prefers to mend a fence rather than replace it.
Nick Holden, Founder of Modular Wall Systems, suggests initiating a casual conversation with your neighbour to gauge their thoughts on the current fence and to discuss different fencing options.
“There are many new and innovative products on the market today that provide a range of benefits beyond what commonly used wooden paling and steel fences offer. For instance, Slimwall™ by Modular Wall Systems is a beautiful new contemporary fencing solution that has brilliant acoustic qualities. With noise often a source of friction in suburban areas, blocking out noise can be a major benefit. Slimwall™ has been designed to reduce noise by up to four times compared to traditional fencing solutions.
To help take the stress out of negotiating a boundary fence with neighbours, Modular Wall Systems offers the following tips:
- Start by having a conversation with the neighbours about the condition of the fence rather than simply presenting them with a quote. This can be a good time to talk about new fencing solutions on the market. Talk about the issues and benefits of using a product, for instance like Slimwall™ that is designed to reduce acoustic noise and requires little maintenance.
- Research the different fencing options and obtain quotes on different types of fencing products to determine the best solution for your needs. You may be surprised by what is available and that the costs may not be as expensive as you think.
- Agree upfront with your neighbour on the fence details and put them in writing. This should include the quotes, final agreed contractor, materials, colour, height, timeframe and which neighbour will be responsible for liaising with the contractor.
- Know your property’s official boundary line. If there is any dispute over where a boundary fence should go, land title documents can be sourced from your local council and surveyor costs considered.
- There are legal avenues that can be taken to settle a fencing dispute but legal action should only be used as a last resort as it is costly, time consuming and there’s no guarantee you’ll get the desired outcome.
- By selecting an architectural style fence like Slimwall™ your fence can be painted in any colour swatch therefore can be painted the same colour as your house. Your neighbours can then paint their side a different colour to match their house colour scheme. You can even paint a SlimWall™ fence with a textured style paint such as Dulux AcraTex Sand that delivers a fine grain, raised effect.
For those looking for a cost-effective fencing solution, consider teaming up with your neighbours to get the job done yourselves. Slimwall™ by Modular Wall Systems is an easy DIY solution that can be installed by anyone with basic handyman skills. It can even be used on sloping or difficult access sites and its durability benefits ensure this is a lasting investment that adds value to both properties.
Modular Wall Systems is the original inventor of the modular wall system and is 100 per cent Australian designed and manufactured. With 20 years of experience in the modular wall and fencing industry and thousands of residential and commercial projects completed, the company is the unrivalled industry leader in acoustic boundary walling and fencing solutions. Innovation, precision engineering and customer service excellence are key to Modular Wall Systems’ operations.
For further information contact 1300 556 957 or visit www.slimwall.com.au