The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:34 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Can I build a wooden privacy fence right against a chainlink? And how?

That's pretty much it. There is already a chain link fence between my back yard and the neighbor's, but I'd like to have a privacy fence...they probably would too, since my boxer can climb the existing fence like a monkey. They have moved out and have their house for sale, so sharing a new fence isn't going to be an option. (I've offered.)
So, can I build one myself, against the chain link? I'm concerned about how to orient it, where to put the posts, etc, in relation to the current fence.
Thanks!
k
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:41 PM
SirRay SirRay is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Sure, our neighbors had a wooden privacy fence against our chainlink fence for years, until their fence decayed (it wasn't exterior grade), and they took it down.
In our muncipality, the person building a new fence must face the "finished" side (the side opposite the one with the struts, beams, and hardware) toward the neighboring property, but I'm guessing something like a plastic panel fence would have in effect 2 finished sides, so it wouldn't matter.
Of course, it's a pain in the butt cleaning out leaf litter, trash, weeds etc from between the chain link and the privacy fence - could the privacy fence have a few inches gap were you could access and clean this space.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:43 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ottawa Valley, eh.
Posts: 16,035
Have you considered installing privacy slats in the chain link fence? It would no doubt be cheaper, easier and also fix the climbing boxer problem, I would think.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:46 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: KS, US
Posts: 4,217
Have it surveyed, first. You don't want to assume that the existing fence is the property line. If for some reason it's cheating into your neighbor's hard, and you end up building a fence on their property, a new neighbor who decides to be an asshole can take it down and waste your work.

And check your local building codes...you may not be allowed to build a solid fence over a certain height. Depending on the length-height-material of the fence, you may need to pull a permit either way.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 05-02-2013 at 02:48 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:48 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Will do...I don't want a crazy fence, though--just the standard 6' I see around the neighborhood.
Those slats are pretty snazzy too, but I'd have to clear it with the owners first...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:49 PM
Motorgirl Motorgirl is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Boston Metro
Posts: 3,815
Do you know who owns the chain link fence? Where I live there is no such thing as a shared" fence. It belongs to one neighbor or the other. If it is your fence, you should be able replace it at will.

It is courteous to have the "nice" side facing out and as SirRay mentioned, it may be mandated by law in some places.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:52 PM
Tethered Kite Tethered Kite is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
To add to Six Ate's contribution, speak directly with your city's building inspector before you make any changes. Be very clear about what you intend to do. Bring pictures perhaps.

It doesn't hurt to have something in writing as well verifying that you have city approval.

Sounds like overkill, but it will save you money and headaches in the long run.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-02-2013, 03:06 PM
Bumbazine Bumbazine is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Privacy slats might or might not stop a climbing Boxer, I dunno.

In any case, check with your local building department, or whatever it's called where you live. They should be able to tell you way more than you wanted to know about what you can and cannot do.

I built a 6 foot tall wooden fence about 6" inside the chain link between our yard and the apartment building on the other side. The only problem I had was spacing the 4x4 posts so that they were away from the chain link posts. There's a big chunk of concrete around the bottoms of those.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-02-2013, 03:13 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
It's only "shared" in that it is common to both our backyards. And the neighbor (who has moved) was always kind enough to call it "our" fence. But it does belong to the neighbor--otherwise I'd just replace it altogether with something prettier.
Anyway, I'll call Town Hall and see if Joe or Ed or someone is in charge of such things. Probably the same guys that shuts off my water if I forget to pay my bill.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-02-2013, 07:53 PM
JBDivmstr JBDivmstr is offline
Member
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by papergirl View Post
It's only "shared" in that it is common to both our backyards. And the neighbor (who has moved) was always kind enough to call it "our" fence. But it does belong to the neighbor--otherwise I'd just replace it altogether with something prettier.
Anyway, I'll call Town Hall and see if Joe or Ed or someone is in charge of such things. Probably the same guys that shuts off my water if I forget to pay my bill.
(bolding mine)

Just out of curiosity... How did you determine that it 'belongs to the neighbor'?
I've always heard that if the posts are on 'your' side of the chain link, then that would make it your fence. This is not always the case, though. YMMV

And, as other posters have already pointed out, it would probably be a good idea to determine where the actual property line is located and what the local building codes/regulations have to say about the subject, before building anything.
Just sayin'....
__________________
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-02-2013, 07:59 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 3,222
If the poles are on your side of the chain link there is a good chance it is your fence anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:24 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBDivmstr View Post
I've always heard that if the posts are on 'your' side of the chain link, then that would make it your fence. This is not always the case, though. YMMV
The fence belongs to the parcel on which the posts sit.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:39 PM
JBDivmstr JBDivmstr is offline
Member
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
The fence belongs to the parcel on which the posts sit.

Technically, this is correct.
Which ever side of the property line the fence is on, determines who it belongs to.
No matter which side the posts are on.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-03-2013, 02:26 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
I know (in my unofficial way, I mean) that it's my neighbor's because it is connected to their house. The only part I "share" divides our back yards--in other words, it surrounds their yard, not mine. I had to build a privacy fence at the sides of my house to complete the fencing around my own yard. Plus the realtor told me when I bought my house, as did the neighbors. Which is not exactly written in stone and I haven't had it surveyed or anything, because I'm fine with it being their fence. I'd just like to have a wooden fence between us to keep my dogs from bothering whoever moves in next.
The previous neighbors had two boxers of their own, and no one minded an extra dog or two in either yard, but other people may not be so appreciative of Hot Rod suddenly turning up at their backyard cookout, I'm guessing.
I'm going to have the same issue with the back fence, which separates my yard from the cemetary. The dogs don't jump that one, but it would be nice to eventually fence it in as well.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-03-2013, 05:34 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Plan B:

Now I'm thinking of dividing the back yard and building the wooden fence a fair distance from the existing one. It would give the dogs a somewhat smaller yard, but it would also give me a second area to garden. There would also be the added benefit of a two-gate system to minimize the dog escapes. (Doesn't happen often, but it's easy for meter readers, etc, to not quite latch the gate, and my dogs are no dummies--it's the first thing they check when they go out.
And it would eliminate the weedy strip I envision appearing between two close-together fences.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:08 PM
Stinky Pete Stinky Pete is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Go Green Option Maybe

Since your neighbor moved out then I would add privacy slats and bet that no one would ever notice nor would any who did say anything. I have installed chainlink fence professionally and if someone actually did complain then the privacy slates could be removed just as easy as installed. Privacy slates will be much easier to install with two people (one pushing and one guiding leading edge).

Another option for privacy is grow a hedge. Or grow a creeping vine plant that will climb the fence and thereby give privacy. Want to keep dog from climbing the fence? Then make sure these plants have spikey spines or grow a cactus garden in front of fence. Of course any plants you grow have ongoing maintenance issues.

Last edited by Stinky Pete; 05-03-2013 at 08:12 PM.. Reason: misspelled word correction
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.