I would like to fence in my back yard. Nothing super fancy, just a black metal fence like you see everywhere. I got some quotes from some contractors and they wanted $6k+ (!!) to build the fence. I was shocked at the estimate prices given that my neighbors on both sides have already built fences, so I'd only have to do the back of my lot plus a little on the sides with a gate on one side (see dotted red lines below).

How hard would this be to do myself? I don't want/need to run a fence along the sides, so how would I go about integrating with my neighbor's fences? I didn't think it was possible to set the end posts right next to their fence as it would disrupt their fences, though I can't tie into their fences as they aren't mine (and presumably aren't on my property).

Also, what is the best way to match up the fences, given the height disparity?

enter image description here

  • 3
    You're going to want to contact your local government, and find out what the local laws say about fences. You'll likely need a permit, and possibly a land survey to determine where the actual boundaries of the yard are.
    – Tester101
    Oct 29, 2013 at 11:29
  • This question is rather broad. "how hard" will it be for you to do it is dependent on a ton of factors.
    – DA01
    Oct 31, 2013 at 22:14

2 Answers 2


A general rule (not sure if your neighbors abide to it) is to build the fence 1-2 feet inside your property line. You mention that the fence post is presumably in their property so even butting up to it would be in their yard. You best option is to ask them to join your new fence to it and get a simple contract to protect yourself. Either that or put up all four sides in your property.

You may also need to get a permit or permission from city/municipal/HOA depending on your location. Your neighbors could have even blocked you from getting a fence because of easement right between yards, all things to look up before this endeavor.

As for the height difference, it's more personal preference than anything else. Personally I'd recommend one size fence for the front of your preference and one size in the back of your preference which may or may not be the same. Like if you want front privacy but have nature in the back, it allows you to get away with 6ft in the front and only 4ft in the back. I'd mainly recommend the same size in both front sections if your yard is level otherwise it will look off from the street.

In the front you may want to fade the height difference but I wouldn't even bother in the back. Could be a nice design feature if it fades into a gate post or something.

*Adding images: enter image description here enter image description here

  • I'm pretty sure that their fences are on/really close to the property lines. Are there standard contracts for connecting to the neighboor? How would a contractor have gone about building the fence? Do you have any examples of height fading? Oct 29, 2013 at 17:16
  • Added 2 images, 1 really nice but impractical for most people and another more practical approach which is just cutting down a tall fence board at whatever angle you like. I was thinking more of a 1/4 panel (~2ft) between the 6' fence and a 4' post for a gate.
    – Jason
    Oct 31, 2013 at 20:43

I would speak with both neighbors before installing anything.

Then, I would start by establishing how close to the property line the neighbor's fences are, and set end posts about the same distance inside the line. You could then add a small "make-up" piece to fill the gap, or if the posts are nearly against each other, perhaps a decorative panel, trellis, or similar could be used to cover the small gap.

This way, if a future owner on either side decides to remove their fence, the integrity of your fence will not be affected, and the corners will be in the right place to add a run down the your side of the side property lines.

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