The title of this post may surprise you. After all, how can building a barrier between your properties foster any kind of community and collaboration? Shouldn’t building a fence be something so stressful that you put it off for ages and ages and then are annoyed when your neighbours beat you to it and erect a visually unappealing solution? Neither of these scenarios particularly appeal to the team at Taylor Fencing and for good reason. We got into the fence and gate installation business, because we are not only passionate about our products and services, but we know how important a good fence is. We do know that the aforementioned scenarios are common, especially putting off any work to do with your home. We assume it will be lengthy, we assume it will be costly, and we cannot stomach the idea of strangers tromping through our homes. This is due in part to many nightmare stories, both in real life and on the silver screen. While many of these stories are rooted in some degree of truth, when you work with a team like that at Taylor Fencing, they’re totally avoidable.
Taylor Fencing has a lot of core values that we ensure that our team members stay true to. They include respect, collaboration, creativity and more. We’re going to focus today on the first – respect. It’s paramount in everything that we do. We believe that if we teach our team to act a certain way, they should then radiate out the learnings to everyone that we come in contact with. First and foremost, that means our customers. We want you to have a top-notch experience from beginning to end. Our friendship begins the second you pick up the phone, click “send” on an email, or open the door to meet us in person. Our friendship continues to answer any questions that you might have, to field concerns that you might have, and to provide updates as regularly as you like. Our friendship lasts long after the work is done, when we can answer questions about enhancements, updates, maintenance and potentially adding a new product to your property. We know that when we treat you with respect and when we ensure you treat others with respect, our reputation remains of the same vein.
In Australia, there are specific rules and laws and regulations for installing fences. Many of the clauses and pieces of the regulatory language have to do with how you partner with your neighbours. These rules differ across the country, so it’s worth doing your research, but there are some baseline best practices and parameters that remain the same.
It’s the letter of the law that your neighbours need to agree with you on the fence, that it needs to be in the middle of your properties and in the vast majority of cities and areas, the cost is split between the two parties. These things are all cut and dry, but emotions and conversations aren’t always this way. We have a lot of advice here and it continues to go back to our core value of respect. Let’s walk through a scenario.
So, you’ve just purchased a new home. It’s finished, it’s beautiful, and you can’t wait to join a neighbourhood that you’ve heard such great things about. You move in and realize as an afterthought that there’s no fence between your land and the land of those adjacent to you. While this might not be a big deal for some, you have a young puppy that definitely feeds some sort of fence to ensure that he doesn’t run rampant through the neighbourhood.
There are two different ways to go about this, and we’re pretty sure that you know the right one to pursue. You could get really excited and energetic, immediately drive to the local hardware store, pick out a garishly bright shade of yellow that you think will add a “pop” of colour to the house, return home and build it by yourself in a day. Well… there are a few things wrong with this scenario (and one impressive thing – building a fence in a day, well done!). Ahem, that’s beside the point. You missed a pivotal step in the process and you may pay the price later.
You see, because you didn’t converse with your neighbours about the fence, a few different things have gone wrong. You’ve already hindered a budding friendship with those who could have been your first line of defence whenever said puppy went missing or you needed a cup of flour. You’ve also cost yourself an arm and a leg and lost a day that you’ll never get back, because your neighbours now have every right to tell you to tear down the fence.
You grimace, you frown, you cry and you whine, but you’ve done the wrong thing in this situation.
Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin. Your poor puppy still needs a fence, but you know the right thing to do. You take (freshly made) baked goods, (okay, they don’t need to be freshly made) next door on either side to get to know your neighbours. You get bonus points if you journey across the street as well. Don’t broach the subject of the fence right away. Instead, learn a little bit about them. You don’t want your first interaction to be one of want and need, with your own agenda. No fence is worth losing the friendship of those who could become some of your nearest and dearest.
When the time seems right, bring up the topic of the fence. You have every right to want one and have one, your neighbours just need to weigh in. They may completely remove themselves from the situation and let you make all of the decisions. If so, great! Either way, you’ve done your homework and avoided a potentially awkward situation in the future.