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How can I cooperate with a neighbor's fence project in the smartest way?

Post date: 2020-10-23 17:25:06
Views: 11
My backyard is fully fenced with a 6' privacy fence, "pretty side" in, fully installed by the previous owner of my house and now fully owned by me. My neighbor wants to make a change, and I'm trying to figure out how to be neighborly and still do what's best for my property. I'm not trying to spend money wantonly, but I want to make the smartest choice for aesthetics and future property value, and if that means sinking some money into the project then so be it.

One section of the fence that separates me and Neighbor X (about 6'-8' in length) was partially damaged by a recent storm - it is still standing but is crooked/leaning and will need to be removed and repaired or replaced. This is a standard wood privacy fence that was professionally installed but is made of fence board like you would get at Home Depot, nothing fancy. It could use a wash and a stain, but it's in sturdy condition (except for that one part) and could be expected to give years more service with minimal effort.

The damage was caused by a huge tree in the neighbor's yard (sitting on the fence line) that uprooted during the recent storm. The uprooting/falling tree knocked this section of the fence out of place. We are sharing the cost of having the root removed, which I am fine with even though the tree was technically on his side -- my half of that cost is relatively low and I am willing to pay that to be neighborly and to get the giant root ball out of my yard. I am prepared to pay to repair the section of my fence, probably can get some friends to fix it for me.

While we are doing this, neighbor X wants to enclose his yard with an 8' privacy fence, which he wants to have installed by a reputable local fence company. He has suggested removing the entire line of fence along our shared property line and replace that with an 8' fence, which he would own and be responsible for maintaining. This would leave me with a 6' "pretty side" fence everywhere around my yard except on that one side, where it would be an 8' "ugly side" fence.

He's going to fence his yard no matter what -- if he doesn't replace my section of fence, he will build an 8' privacy fence on his side, which will leave me with 6' of "pretty side" and 2' of "ugly side" showing above that. And the rest of the fence around my yard will still be 6'. That would look terrible, and if I ever did want to sell the house (no current plans) it would be a problem.

I am, in principle, reluctant to give up control by removing my fence altogether -- yard containment is critical for me because of my dogs, and I don't want to rely on anyone else to ensure that the space is secure.

Assuming that I keep (and repair) the fence on my side, is there some way I could make it taller? Could I keep the existing fence posts and get new, taller fence boards all around? (Do those even come in different sizes?) Could I somehow add 2' of lattice to the top of the 6' fence on all sides? That would cover Neighbor X's additional 2' of height and would raise the height all around to make it uniform on all sides.

I am perfectly happy to have 8' of fence all the way around, just not sure how to achieve that.

Is there some other logical solution to this situation that I'm not seeing?
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