Backyard Wood Panel Privacy Fence

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Who gets the good side of the fence?

  • Flip a coin with the neighbor to see gets it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    136

cycloner29

Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2008
5,601
3,885
113
Ames
Putting in a privacy fence on two sides of our property. First thing I did was call to get the utilities locate (was surprised by there first question if I was using explosives or not.)

It got me thinking though on which side of the fencing should be on your side or on your neighbor's side. The finished side or the side with the supports. I know the height limit is 6'. Since I live in Ames there is no permit needed for installing a fence.
 

Clonehomer

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
12,489
5,155
113
The neighbor gets it. Also prevents someone from using the support beams to climb it.

Another option is to use a shadowbox style fence so the slats alternate on each side. Allows for some air flow and both sides get the same appearance.
 
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Brandon

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
4,726
4,468
113
Near Ames
Putting in a privacy fence on two sides of our property. First thing I did was call to get the utilities locate (was surprised by there first question if I was using explosives or not.)

It got me thinking though on which side of the fencing should be on your side or on your neighbor's side. The finished side or the side with the supports. I know the height limit is 6'. Since I live in Ames there is no permit needed for installing a fence.
I've installed fences in ames, the good side is always out
 
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CYdTracked

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2006
13,068
3,350
113
Grimes, IA
Neighbor gets the finished side you get the side with the posts and supports. It's not even negotiable it's code. Also since you share a property line with your neighbors it's common courtesy to at least let them know of your plans to put up a privacy fence. Doubt you will get any pushback but I know when my backyard neighbor did he wanted to make sure I was OK with removing the chain link fence portion we shared which all I said was make sure you don't leave a gap anywhere. The odd thing is his lot backs up against mine and the neighbor to the East which they don't talk at all due to issues with the dog of the neighbor putting up the fence constantly would get into their yard so he left that part of the chain link fence intact and built right up against it, lol.
 

cycloner29

Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2008
5,601
3,885
113
Ames
Neighbor gets the finished side you get the side with the posts and supports. It's not even negotiable it's code. Also since you share a property line with your neighbors it's common courtesy to at least let them know of your plans to put up a privacy fence. Doubt you will get any pushback but I know when my backyard neighbor did he wanted to make sure I was OK with removing the chain link fence portion we shared which all I said was make sure you don't leave a gap anywhere. The odd thing is his lot backs up against mine and the neighbor to the East which they don't talk at all due to issues with the dog of the neighbor putting up the fence constantly would get into their yard so he left that part of the chain link fence intact and built right up against it, lol.
I did finally look it up on the City of Ames website and found this response under the FAQ section.

"Another concern is aesthetics. Is there a rule that requires the "nice" side of a board fence to face outward? The answer to that is also no."

My neighbor a couple of houses down just had someone put one up for them and put the good side toward his property. I just want to make sure I'm doing it the right way.
 

Clonehomer

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
12,489
5,155
113
Other than cost, would there be any reason that you couldn't finish both sides? I don't know if you'd get a buildup of dirt and crud between the slats that might lead to problems.
 
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cycloner29

Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2008
5,601
3,885
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Ames
Funny after talking with the City of Ames residential project manager who goes, "That is a good question." He transferred me to the city planner who also said, "That is a good question." I told her what I found on the City's website and she was like "OK" there is no code for this.
 
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CYdTracked

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2006
13,068
3,350
113
Grimes, IA
I did finally look it up on the City of Ames website and found this response under the FAQ section.

"Another concern is aesthetics. Is there a rule that requires the "nice" side of a board fence to face outward? The answer to that is also no."

My neighbor a couple of houses down just had someone put one up for them and put the good side toward his property. I just want to make sure I'm doing it the right way.
Let's just say that if I was your neighbor and you didn't discuss this with me and you put the "nice" side facing you so that I had to see the side that you should be seeing I probably would not be very happy about it. May want to drive around your neighborhood and see what everyone else has done as I don't think I've ever seen someone install their privacy fence with the nice side facing in. I'd want to install my fence the same way everyone else in your neighborhood has so you don't stand out.
 
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CtownCyclone

Loves a rainy night
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Jan 20, 2010
14,447
6,271
113
Where they love the governor
My neighborhood requires the shadowbox style if you're putting in wood fence. It's not a bad look.

My previous neighborhood, the developer alternated sections between fence posts. That looks really bad, in my opinion.
 

cycloner29

Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2008
5,601
3,885
113
Ames
Let's just say that if I was your neighbor and you didn't discuss this with me and you put the "nice" side facing you so that I had to see the side that you should be seeing I probably would not be very happy about it. May want to drive around your neighborhood and see what everyone else has done as I don't think I've ever seen someone install their privacy fence with the nice side facing in. I'd want to install my fence the same way everyone else in your neighborhood has so you don't stand out.
So if my neighbor has an open compost pile including food items behind their storage shed that I have to see, I should give them the good side of the fence?

When your neighborhood uses lilac and other types of bushes as a "fence, three different heights of chain link fence, and wood fences that have good side facing them and others have that the good side out, it's like a free for all.
 

Psyclone

Active Member
Mar 18, 2006
957
190
43
Oakland>Ames>Cedar Rapids
If you live in a neighborhood where you can give your neighbor the bad side, you should find a better neighborhood. :D

Seriously the look depends on your property. If you can see the fence as you walk or drive by the property, it would look really crappy if your home were "framed" with the bad side of the fence out.
 

cytech

Well-Known Member
Apr 10, 2006
6,468
226
63
Hiawatha, Iowa
If the neighbor wants the good side ask him to share in the cost. Otherwise it should be the decision of the person paying for the fence.
 

BCClone

Well-Known Member
Sep 4, 2011
28,924
20,995
113
North Iowa
Do you EVER plan to sell? If you go against the norm and out good side in, then when people drive by to look at the house they will have a poorer image of it and that could be what keeps them from even looking.
 

BoxsterCy

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
Sep 14, 2009
30,985
22,368
113
Minnesota
Doesn't have to be stark good side vs bad side. My city zoning codes say "good side" out but it was not that big a deal for the styles I picked.

Alley fence is shadowbox with window pane topping. Both sides are identical. 90% of the time I am coming and going by car via the alley so wanted something nice since I see more of the outside than inside of the fence (inside is kinda screened by big white cedars.
shadowbox with window pane CF scale.jpg

Side yard was shadowbox without the window pane topping. The "bad" side includes the horizontal support board, the side facing the neighbors is sans this board. Not a biggie in my retired landscape architect opinion.

shadowbox fence cf scale.jpg