Gap Between Neighbors’ Fences – What Homeowners Need To Know

A fence is needed to deter thieves or ensure your little ones or pets don't wander out into the open. Properties that are side to side also need fences to demarcate each homeowner's territory. What do homeowners need to know when it comes to putting up fences and the gap in between. We sought expert opinions and found the following feedback.

The regulations, laws, and codes will differ with each locality. The basic things homeowners should understand are:

  • You can build a fence two to eight inches inward from your property line.
  • Homeowners should inform their neighbors before they start constructing a fence.
  • You should be aware of the building codes of your locality.
  • Homeowners should have their boundary lines surveyed before building any fences.
  • You should pick the right kind of fence.

There seems to be a lot of information about fences and the gaps. Don't worry! Continue reading as we decipher this information.

White clapboard house with a white picket fence - Gap Between Neighbors' Fences - What Homeowners Need To Know

What You Need To Know About The Fence Gap Between Neighboring Fences

Fences might seem trivial but could turn into a bone of contention between neighbors. New homeowners should be aware of the following factors to avoid issues with the local authorities or fellow homeowners.

2"-8" Gap Between Fences

Most localities require a 2- to 8-inch gap between residential fences. Residential fences should not be directly on the boundary line to avoid any issues with the law. The gap is convenient when repairing an old fence.

Moreover, the fence should be constructed into the homeowner's yard and not outwards. Any residential fence close to the boundary line is subject to laws that govern that specific area.

The downside to having a gap is that weeds can grow rampantly and encourage rodents to hide there.

Inform Your Neighbor

You might not be friendly with your neighbor but you should be cordial. When you want to construct a fence, inform your neighbor in advance. Ensure that you also give them a timeframe for the project.

Building codes and regulations don't require this, but it's a friendly and respectful gesture toward your neighbor. Take into consideration that some neighbors could have home offices or little ones. Loud machinery and constant movement in their vicinity might cause your neighbors some discomfort.

neighbors middle aged man and woman chatting near the fence in the village

Know The Laws

Building codes and regulations are made to suit each specific locality, area, and vicinity. Familiarize yourself with the local codes and regulations.

Homeowners can visit the local authorities' offices or request information from their real estate agents. New homeowners should ask if previous ones had given their neighbors easements.

Invite A Surveyor

Ensure that you know the boundary lines of your home. Experts strongly recommend homeowners use the services of a surveyor. Surveyors assist in getting the right permits for fence construction.

The surveyor could also advise you on the type of fence and the recommended height. The services of a surveyor might be costly. You might decide to do all the necessary paperwork all by yourself to save some money.

Choose The Right Fence

Not all fences conform to the regulations of the local codes. There are different types of fences available. You might purchase a natural or man-made fence. Fence materials differ in height and characteristics.

Can You Share Fence Construction Expenses

Yes, you can! If your locality allows the construction of fences on the boundary lines, then you can share the expenses with your neighbor. However, this does not give you any special privileges regarding the construction.

Before you decide to pair up with your neighbor, ensure that you are on friendly terms with one another. If the relationship is neither here nor there, build your fences independently. In this case, you can't construct your fence on the boundary line.

What Role Does Your Fence Play

Fences are important, and they have several uses.

A fence on your property could:

  • Keep wandering animals and people from trespassing on your property.
  • Mark property boundaries. Beacons can mark the territory. But a fence will stop neighbors from encroaching on your land.
  • Provide privacy. Homeowners want as much privacy as possible on their property. Therefore, a high enough fence will provide that privacy.
  • Decorate and beautify the compound. Beautiful fences are attractive and give the property a cozy atmosphere about them.
  • Add property value. Any lovely fence makes your home inviting when on sale.

The right fence will give the right impression.

What Elements Are In A Fence

Fences have several components that either come separately or in a set. The key components for any type of fence are:


Posts are what fences stand on. Whether wooden, wired, or metallic, the fences' vertical posts are the backbone. They have to be strategically placed at intervals to hold the weight of the fence in place.

Check out these fence posts on Amazon.


Beautiful decorative cast metal wrought fence with artistic forging. Iron guardrail close up.

Both wooden and metallic fences have rails that connect one post to another. They are at the top and the bottom of the fences. Sometimes they might be located in the middle for additional support.

Slats And Boards

Also known as pickets, boards and slats are the body of the fence, especially wooden fences. Wooden fences need boards or slats to fill out. Otherwise, the fence will not have a body.

On the other hand, metal fences won't require these since they only use vertical rods or posts. The space between the rods or posts should be minimal.


No fence is complete without a gate. Gates are an access point through the fence. Gates for fences come in various shapes and sizes. Ensure that you pick a gate that suits your fence. Please note that heavy gates won't be suitable for lightweight fences.

Check out this vinyl fence on Amazon.

Additional Components

Other items that will be visible and necessary for any fence are:

  • Fasteners
  • Post toppers
  • Mounting brackets
  • Gate locks and hinges

The array of additional components for your fence will depend on the type of fence you choose to erect around the property.

Types Of Fences

Depending on which side of the fence you are on, you can pick from the following types of fences to erect on your property.

Evergreen Fences

These are living fences from different types of shrubs. Evergreen fences are beautiful and eco-friendly. They are a superb way of defining your property and keeping to the rule gaps between fences.

There are a lot of shrubbery species to choose from for evergreen fences. Some also act as a deterrent to trespassers because they can be itchy or thorny.

A long row of spring green decorative shrubs near a public city building

Wood Fences

Wood fences are eco-friendly, secure, and offer more privacy. Your budget will determine if your wooden fence will be plain or intricate. They are sustainable for all climates when treated.

Vinyl Fences

These are durable fences and easy to maintain. Vinyl fences could also be in sync with your home facade. They cost more than most fences, but they are long-lasting.

Wrought Iron Fences

They are beautiful, and they can have different ornamental details. Their pickets provide enough security but not privacy. Wrought iron fences are very durable with the proper care from rust and corrosion.

Wrought Iron Fence. Metal fence

Chain Link Fences

They are not elegant but are a cheap and economical option. Surprisingly, chain link fences are very durable and practical.

Aluminum Fences

Although aluminum fences can withstand weather changes, they do not provide security.

In Closing

A gap between neighbors' fences is a must in most states. Where homeowners are allowed to build on the boundary line, they can share the cost and maintenance responsibilities.

A first impression should be a lasting one. Therefore a well-erected fence shows the homeowner's discipline and dedication. Choose a fence that will be an asset to your home!