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A Guide to the Etiquette of Building a Fence January 22, 2019

Middletown, Orange
A Guide to the Etiquette of Building a Fence, Middletown, New York

Building a fence provides privacy and security, but it also affects your neighbors. While you may not need to involve surrounding property owners in the process, discussing the project and ordering a property line survey beforehand can prevent neighborhood disputes and expensive consequences later. The steps below will minimize conflict, preserve relationships, and reduce your chances of getting involved in long, costly litigation.

What to Know About Building a Fence

Discuss the Project With Your Neighbors

Before construction begins, you may want to talk with your neighbors and let them know that you plan to install a fence. Depending on the quality of your relationship with your neighbors, you might solicit their design advice to make them feel involved. This conversation also gives them the opportunity to point out any issues you may not have considered.

Order a Property Line Survey

property line surveyEven if you’re fairly sure you know where the border is, a property line survey is the only way to guarantee you’re building on your own property. Otherwise, you may have to demolish the fence and rebuild if a future survey reveals that you’ve actually built on your neighbor’s lot. It’s also wise to have an official survey in the event your friendly neighbors sell their home and litigious strangers move in. 

Be Considerate When Choosing Materials

A classic design out of standard materials will be aesthetically pleasing, and may even increase your neighbor’s property value. If your material is double-sided, the more attractive, finished surface should face outward to avoid creating an eyesore. To keep your neighbors satisfied, consider an easily maintained material like vinyl or metal instead of wood, which has to be stained or painted on a regular basis.


If you’re installing a fence or building a new home, call Fusco Engineering & Land Surveying, P.C. for the high-quality, accurate boundary surveys you need. They serve homeowners throughout New York’s Hudson Valley with state-of-the-art technology and prompt, reliable surveys for a wide variety of projects. Visit their website for more on their services, or call (845) 344­-5863 to request an estimate or order your property line survey.

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