Who gets the good side of the fence

When building a fence who gets the good side ?

Sheridan fencing - Dave Relf

When you invest in a new fence, it's important to note that it won't have a uniform appearance on both sides. One side will typically have a clean and consistent look, while the other will feature horizontal struts running along its length. This contrast in appearance can be a source of concern because, regardless of who purchases the fence or initiates the installation, someone will inevitably end up with the side that is considered less visually appealing, often referred to as the "ugly side"

While the final decision regarding the orientation of your fence is ultimately up to you if you're the one responsible for it, it's essential to consider the principles of good neighborly etiquette. What you should do in this situation may not be the same as what the law allows you to do. We recommend that you face the more attractive side of your fence towards your neighbor, and here's why:

  1. Enhances Neighborly Relations: Orienting the better-looking side of the fence towards your neighbor demonstrates consideration and fosters good relations. It's a small gesture that can go a long way in maintaining a positive and harmonious neighborhood, a tradition often observed in Kent.

  2. Aesthetic Appeal: A fence with the clean side facing your neighbor's property contributes to the overall aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood. It can create a more visually pleasing environment for everyone in Kent.

  3. Avoids Disputes: By facing the "good" side towards your neighbor, you reduce the likelihood of disputes or disagreements over fence aesthetics. This can save you from potential conflicts down the road and is a practice commonly followed by residents in Kent.

  4. Common Practice: Many people in Kent, as in other places, follow this unwritten rule of fence etiquette, so aligning with this convention can help you fit in with the neighborhood norms and expectations.

  5. You Paid for the Fence, Choose for You: It's essential to emphasize that you're the one who invested in the fence, and your preferences matter. While neighborly considerations are significant, the fact remains that you've financially committed to the installation. Choosing the orientation that aligns with your vision for your property is a valid and important aspect of the decision-making process.

  6. Open Communication with Neighbors: Before finalizing the fence's orientation, engage in open communication with your neighbors. Discussing your plans and explaining the reasons behind your decision can help build understanding. In some cases, neighbors might have preferences or concerns that can be addressed through mutual agreement, fostering a collaborative and amicable approach.
  7. Explore Compromise Solutions: If there's a strong preference for the "good" side from both sides of the fence, consider exploring compromise solutions. This could involve adding decorative elements or landscaping features that enhance the appearance of both sides, ensuring a visually appealing outcome for everyone involved.

  8. Local Regulations and Homeowner's Associations: Check local regulations and any guidelines set by homeowner's associations regarding fence installations. While they may not dictate the orientation of the fence, being aware of any specific requirements can help you make an informed decision that aligns with both legal and community standards.


In navigating the decision on your fence's orientation, balancing personal preferences, neighborly considerations, and the fact that you've invested in the project is key. Remember, you've paid for the fence, and your vision for your property holds weight. Engaging in open communication with neighbors, exploring compromise solutions, and staying informed about local regulations contribute to a decision-making process that respects both your individual choices and the harmony of the community.

Ultimately, whether you opt for the aesthetically pleasing side facing your neighbors or prioritize personal preferences, the goal is to create a living environment that reflects your vision and fosters positive relations within the community. Your investment in the fence is not just about property boundaries; it's a contribution to the overall atmosphere of the neighborhood. Balancing these factors ensures that your decision is well-considered and aligns with both your personal preferences and the principles of good neighborly etiquette.