Should I help pay for fence?


Old 05-14-04, 02:22 PM
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Should I help pay for fence?

first time poster!

I just moved into my first new home (about 3 months ago). I am a big time DIY and have gutted and remodeled most of the home myself.

My neighbor knocked on my door and gave me a 24 hour notice (since I have a dog) that he is having a new fence installed. During the talk he did not mentioned anything about me helping out with the cost, but wanted to give me a heads up on the situation.

He is only having 2/3 of his backyard done (other side of his property already has a new 8' privacy fence). He knows that I am a big time DIY guy, and I asked him how much he was paying. He said the contractor was charging him a WHOPPING $6,0000. This is for a 6' cedar (board on board) with metal pole support.

He knows he paid to much, and I told him I wished he would of consulting me about the bids/project. I am thinking of building a new 8' fence, later this summer, and its probably only going to cost me about $1500 in materials.

I did mentioned that I felt like I owed him a dozen steak dinners or something, and he said dont worry about it.

QUESTION: Should I help pay, even though he did not ask? How much? The portion we share was about $3,000 for a 70 ft line of fence (which is outrageously priced). I could of built this same 70 ft line for about $500.

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Old 05-14-04, 03:43 PM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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Poor decisions on his part should not create guilt on your part.

As you said he did not even ask about installing the fence, much less asking you to participate in the cost. If he had you would have saved him a ton of money, more than your participation in his expensive project. His knowing that can be your compensation. Some lessons in life are more expensive than others.

It seems to me that your fair share would be $250. One-half of what it would have cost to have built the fence otherwise.
Old 05-14-04, 09:03 PM
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First, welcome to the fence forum of

You haven't told us where you are at. THAT will have a big bearing on the cost of the fence.

Around here, I charge about $20 to $25 per foot for a 6' high fence with metal posts. 70' at $25 per foot is $1750 -- your half is $875. Like Chris said though -- your neigbor didn't discuss splitting the cost of the fence with you. Doesn't work that way!!! Your neighbor agreed to whatever price for the fence with this contractor -- your neighbor bought it! You could offer him $500, or even $1,000 for your share. You would be OK at that. If he wants to hold out for 1/2 of the $3K, tell him it's a contract that you weren't party to. He hasn't got a leg to stand on.

You mentioned an 8' tall fence. you better do some research before you go there. Around here, any fence over 6' tall has to be engineered, and I have yet to see a 8' tall wood fence that an engineer will sign off on. They are ALL masonary. And will the CC&R's of your subdivision ALLOW an 8' fence??
Old 05-14-04, 10:00 PM
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thanks for all the info.

8' foot is pretty common in my neighborhood (approved by the home owners assos). I live in a very nice part of Dallas, TX.

From what I can see, the other 8" fences are all steel post (in cement) with board on board cedar (very popular around here). The distance between post appears to be 6', oppose to the 8' feet for 6' fences.

Not sure about the engineering questions. I guess the rules are looser around here.

Thanks again,
Old 05-15-04, 12:13 PM
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I tend to agree that you should feel no guilt or sense of responsibility for the cost of the fence. The neighbor contracted to have the work done without consulting you. Do check in with your local permit office, as some areas require a permit for any fence over 4' high.
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