Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

How do you feel about privacy fences?

Asked by john65pennington (29192points) August 2nd, 2010

Wife and i have lived 40 years in the same paid-for home. new neighbors have moved in to one side and behind us. both neighbors are very nice people. each one wants to install privacy fences and each asked if this was okay with us. they did not have to do this, by law. i appreciated their upfront respect for us. wife and i totally agreed with both neighbors that its their property and to do as they wish. i have had an afterthought: did the new neighbors have something to hide or is their privacy really that important to them?

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31 Answers

MissA's avatar

Hopefully, it is just for privacy.

cookieman's avatar

If I could afford it, I’d put an eight-footer around three sides of my property (the front is good at four-feet).

YARNLADY's avatar

Our houses came that way. We have fences around every yard. Some people are not satisfied with the height requirement, and have planted trees, bushes and hedges that can grow as tall as you want.

My front yard fence, hidden by the bushes is the regulation 4 feet high, but the bushes soar at least another 20 feet above that.

MissA's avatar

I don’t live in an area that warrants privacy fencing. However, if your two neighbors feel that you do, perhaps consider your fencing free with the exception of your back side, which wouldn’t take that much. Are you unhappy with the fencing idea? How does the fact that you own your home come into play here?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

They are going to hold “Pants-Free Saturday” in their backyards from now on! Avert your eyes! giggles

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

* They may have pets or children that they want to restrict to their yard.
* They may have plans on installing a pool or pond that they want to keep others from wandering into when it is not being watched.
* Maybe they want to sunbathe or use a hot tub in the nude and don’t want to be arrested for public exposure.

I agree though…It was hospitable of them to ask.

FutureMemory's avatar

I’m all for privacy fences. My back neighbors are nosy – I’ve spotted them trying to stealthily peek over the wall more than once, and I know they listen to whatever conversations they can overhear with great interest. They also try to talk to anyone that goes in the backyard – that’s right, if they hear anything happening they come out of their house to “investigate”. Nosy bastards.

MissA's avatar

@FutureMemory Do you have a privacy fence or a regular one? I wonder how one would go about privacy regarding nosy listening.

john65pennington's avatar

MissA, privacy fencing normally pertains only to single dwelling houses. i have seen some around certain apartment complexes.

MissA's avatar

@john65pennington Yes, I am aware of privacy fencing and single dwelling houses. I’m not sure I understand where you’re going here though. Sorry, John. I’m trying to get to the ‘nugget’!

FutureMemory's avatar

@MissA Actually what we have is just a plain wooden fence, about 5.5 feet high. If I had my way I’d put up a 10 foot brick wall with a gun tower and flood lights.

perspicacious's avatar

They’re groovy.

MissA's avatar

@FutureMemory Does the neighborhood warrant it or do you simply enjoy total privacy?

Buttonstc's avatar


Maybe your neighbors are fans of the viewpoint expressed in the Robert Frost poem:

“Good fences make good neighbors”


woodcutter's avatar

one hand washes the other, If my neighbor wants to pony up a few thousand bucks to put up a fence it will also be my fence too, at least the side facing me.

anartist's avatar

Wars have been waged over them.
I know after 7 years of litigation.
And things aren’t over yet.

FutureMemory's avatar

@MissA Directly over the back yard fence is where their house begins.

DominicX's avatar

Here in the SF Bay Area, every house has a fence, no matter what size, no matter where you are. It’s just how it’s done here, so it’s kind of all I’ve ever known. I like them. I don’t want other people’s dogs or kids coming into my yard. Back when I lived in Vegas, our front yard had no fence and our next-door neighbor’s dog would go to the bathroom in our yard all the time; it was disgusting.

Buttonstc's avatar


Maybe that’s why Robert Frost wrote his poem. Too many of other people’s animals crapping in his yard :)

NaturallyMe's avatar

What exactly is a privacy fence? Here in South Africa, just about all houses have walls (or at least pallisade fencing) built around their property. I like it that way, the more private the better. If i want to skinny dip in my pool, or walk around in my yard with my uncombed hair and jammies, i want to do so without people looking at me. I don’t like to have people being able to look into every area of my property, i like privacy, so the higher the walls, the better too.
So i don’t think they have anything to hide, it’s just personal choice.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@NaturallyMe It is the same thing, only a fence (wood) is cheaper than a wall, in most cases.

@Buttonstc Mr. Frost thought it humorous that neighbors felt the need to build a wall in order to be a good neighbor…but you have a point.

@john65pennington I just thought of another reason your neighbors might have mentioned to you about their desire to build a privacy fence. When I bought my house, it came with a fenced-in back yard. According to someone in the area, if an adjacent neighbor has their own fence built and it attaches to my existing one as one of their walls, then they should offer to pay me money.

I have no idea if it is true or not. Both the household next door and the one behind my property use my fence as part of theirs. Personally, I prefer sharing it than their consuming additional wood just to be proper.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

If the neighbors had something to hide, I doubt they would have even considered asking if you and your wife would mind. Privacy is nice once in a while, especially depending on where you live. In some places, houses aren’t built more than 4 feet apart anymore.

partyparty's avatar

As the American poet Robert Frost wrote “Good fences make good neighbours”.
We all need privacy at some time.

Cruiser's avatar

I hated it when my new neighbors wanted to put up their castle wall and felt I lost a nice open feel of my yard. Butt now that they have turned out to be total dick-heads the fence is 4 feet too short! Put a black dome over the yard for heavens sake!!

CMaz's avatar

Privacy fence – Every homeowner should have one.

Aster's avatar

I like the privacy of one but it blocks any view you might like. They keep dogs in (important) but a 6’ wooden one becomes so ugly. We are only allowed black wrought iron where we live. They look so nice, keep dogs inside if the dogs are big enough and I can see the backs of the houses & grass up and down the road (short, winding road) which are strangely attractive.
But there’s no privacy with a hottub.

john65pennington's avatar

Both of my new neighbors are in their mid-thirties. one has a new swimming pool and the other a new custom-built patio. both have lots of parties. they both want their privacy and i understand this. i guess what i miss is their friendship. in the past, all of us have been friends and now it seems the wall has truly separated us. i guess this was my real point in asking this question.

BoBo1946's avatar

hey, would not have one problem with it. Privacy is a huge issue to most people. @ChazMaz vote for his answer.

Buttonstc's avatar


Too bad it’s that high. He wall between Tim and his neighbor Wilson was just the right height to allow for conversation, but conveniently obscure the lower part of Wilsons face, which became a running joke for the duration of the series :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think they’re fine.

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