Good fences make for good neighbours (2023)

FOR privacy, safety and demarcation, the boundary of most houses demand some sort of proper fencing.

Examine all the options to balance budget against something that will give the garden and house a stunning lift.

Stone walling

Pros: Properly installed with the skills of a mason, the ultimate walling. Cladding products available.

Cons: Expense and technical challenges.

Beautiful, monumental and hand built to flow around bends, stagger up hill and compliment your house, stone and brick walling is the ultimate gift to a property, but it comes at a high price.

Few of us have the necessary skills to install a block wall never mind finished stone walling, so at as much as €120-150 a metre supplied and installed, this is an investment, quality buy.

A reputable, experienced stone mason will bring a range of high skills to the job, including the building knowledge and technical ability to ensure permanence and safety.

He or she should have a strong aesthetic to bring to the design to profile and pattern of the wall and any pillars. Choose stone sourced locally where possible as it will sit in the landscape with a metaphysical ease.

There are a number of wall cladding products in a natural veneer and a conglomerate stone panels that applied to a block base are almost indistinguishable from solid stone.

They are light and don’t require footings or ties and are said to reduce wastage by as much as 80%.

Prices start in the area of €65 a metre (excluding installation). A wide range of colours, designs and finishes are available, so again, try to match the colour of the indigenous stone familiar to your area.

If the block base is A1, you could attempt installation of this cladding if your general DIY skills, include mixing mortar and cutting and handling heavier materials.

Roadstone have just introduced a new reconstituted Keltstone with three coursing options: random bond, coursed bond, random brought to course.

(Video) "Good Fences" movie

Top tip:Finish brick or stones on both sides of a front wall if possible, rather than skinning one side of a supporting block wall- you will see it from the house as well as the road.

Wood Fencing

Pros: Light fencing can be handled DIY. Biodegradable and sits well in natural surroundings.

Cons: Annual maintenance, degrades and varies wildly in quality.

Good fences make for good neighbours (1)

Wood fencing provides a warm visual frame to a garden together with enough structural strength (well chosen) for that essential sense of enclosure, privacy and protection.

You can choose from a mixture of elements, with concrete rails and upright posts holding softwood panelling, to a variety of boards used in horizontal or vertical arrangements for blind cover.

Rustic or urbane, it’s essential to choose a dipped or pressure treated timber intended for outdoors from with FSC accreditation.

Look for boards and posts without a peppering of knots which can structurally weaken the timber. Nails for cheap lap fencing are a superior finish to stapling.

If you don’t need to hide behind the fencing, and intend to back up say a front garden fence with hedging, picket or post and rail is attractive if completely penetrable.

Flat picket boards with a round or ‘candle’ top start for as little as €1.75, or €18 for a 1.8m wide 0.6m high panel, but heartier pressure treated posts with a fancy notch can cost as much as €30 a piece (€6-€8 more for a finial ball).

If you’re aiming to impress, look at a price fully installed from a fencing specialist who can handle landscaping challenges and grounding heavier fencing in concrete footings of 600mm.

Panel fencing can be given additional height (up to 2m to stay within planning) with a top section in trellis work that not only softens the line, but provides a target for climbing plants such as roses and clematis.

What’s termed ‘hit n’ miss’ or double sided picket style fence is comes in two panels for a closed effect and again is great for vertical planting and support. Buying four sections of more will generally save you money.

Dipped wood will not have the longevity of pressure treated panels and posts but will save you in the area of €4-€6 a piece.

(Video) English Tutor Nick P Proverbs (267) Good Fences Make Good Neighbors - Origin

Expect to pay from €30 for simple feather board panels (1.8m²) to as much as €80 for a panel with thick, capped boards and capped rails ex. installation.

Many sawmills offer nationwide, free delivery, so hunt online for the best deals. Adding a stain or paint will obviously push up the price further, as will planed timber over rough.

Top tip:Leave a 5mm gap between the base of the fence panel and the ground over hard surfaces. This allows water to wash off and away from the timber.

PVC Fencing

Pros: Lightweight to install, maintenance free, variety of colours and grains, cleans down with a hose.

Cons: Unnatural as a garden inclusion.

Thought you never would choose PVC? Well, a few decades of slapping up the stain, can change anyone’s mind. PVC boards are largely made from recycled materials, so not as environmentally damned as you might expect.

They are light, durable and matched to dedicated metal core posts pounded into the ground can withstand significant wind. At a distance, and carrying a woody grain, it’s unlikely you would immediately identify them as not being real wood.

A 1.8m² PVC board weighs in the area of 5 kilos, considerably lighter than a quality wood board fence panel.

If you have existing concrete posts, some products are designed to replace old wood panels. Sections (faking three of four horizontal boards), simply slot into each other between your existing posts.

A good example of pricing for PVC is €22.50 for a 1.82m wide section, .3m deep. Decorative tops are priced from €42 (Shanette Fencing). PVC fencing requires no maintenance, because when damaged it cannot be maintained, only replaced.

Top tip:

Ensure you measure your post distance to pin-point accuracy when plotting a DIY job.


(Video) “Mending Wall” Video Summary

Pros: Soft, attractive indigenous feel.

Cons: Time required to establish. Lack of security.

Good fences make for good neighbours (2)

In many countries, including the US, many front gardens do not include any form of hard fencing, relying instead purely on screening with shrubs and hedging for privacy and wind breaks.

There are varieties of hedging which are aggressively spined and which over time will rise up in a formidable defence, including hawthorn, pyracanthus and berberis.

Still, this can take up to five years, during which you may feel somewhat exposed at the edge of any kind of busy road.

In a semi-detached or closely nestled estate, the need for formal division and blinding will probably steer you towards a combination of hard fencing softened by hedging on your side of the boundary.

A stone wall with a planting recess can carry hedging over a wall. Contemporary choices if you don’t want to go native with say green or copper beech (it holds it leaves over the winter), include newcomers such as the turkestan elm and bay.

For ultimate coverage go for dense green evergreen hedging with a low clipping rate to keep the maintenance to a minimum once established.

Leylandii is a thug — what about yew?The cheapest way to install a hedge is to choose bare root plants (not box, unless you have 30 years spare to watch it reach any height).

Measure up the space and price them using three per linear metre.

Top tip: Ask your local garden centre or nursery to give you ideas for composing a gorgeous mixed hedgerow.

Canine shock tactics

Good fences make for good neighbours (3)

Here in Ireland, you can drive around any town and see the most magnificent and presumably expensive breeds of dogs roaming free.

Invisible fences, linked to a shock collar are one way for dog and even cat owners to attempt to keep their animals in the garden and off the roads and other people’s land.

(Video) Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. || Sermons by Pastor Randy Skeete.

These products are widely available in Ireland from around €200, however, their use is mired in controversy as it is argued by some welfare organisations that the system utitilises pain, fear and dominance to keep the dog on the property.

The system, wired and wireless is banned in Wales, with a fine of £20,000 (over €28,000) for known offenders. The RSPCA is petitioning for the same to happen in other parts of the UK.

In its terms and conditions for re-homing a dog, the ISPCA say that the use of radio fences is ‘not acceptable’.

Those not in favour of this training aid, argue that only pet-proof fencing can effectively and humanely keep a cat or dog at home.

This makes sense as once a dog does breach a radio operated ‘correction’ fence, it cannot easily get back, or be encouraged to do so.

Sinead Falvey, MVB, of Cloyne Veterinary Clinic, has a balanced attitude, recognising that for some families who take the time to train the dog correctly, an invisible collar can be appropriate and safely used: “I would like to see companies selling these products regulated closely by governing veterinary and welfare bodies to ensure adequate training instructions and warnings are given to the owners.

"Ideally each dog should be individually assessed by a qualified behaviourist and if deemed suitable, then be professionally trained.”

The bounds of the law

If you are considering putting up massive fortifications to shield your family from the ghouls next door, it’s useful to know what is generally permitted.

The regulations surrounding boundaries are contained in Class 5, Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001. Any fence or wall must be constructed inside your property line obviously.

Without applying for planning permission you can have and maintain a back garden fence or walling of no more than 2m in height, 1.2m for the front garden.

Gates should be no more than 2m in height. Security style metal palisade fencing is not permitted. The height measurement is taken from outside the site.

If your house is on a ridge overlooking the neighbour, be reasonable as adding full height ramparts may seriously overshadow their property. If you have capped 2m walls or wooden fencing (by law stone walls should be capped), adding a trellis is adding height.

There is currently no legislation regarding the height of hedges used as boundaries, but there is a nebulous ‘right to light’ which could be fought out in court if a hedge is blocking necessary, established light to a neighbour’s window.

(Video) Trond Hjorteland — Good Fences Make Good Neighbours

If there’s a lath style fence on the neighbours land, or right on the boundary skirting yours, and you slop up paint or stain on your side — chances are it will bleed through creating a drooling mess on the other side. Ask first and see if you can come up with a good compromise to maintain the fencing together.

The law states ‘a landowner may cut off any tree branches which over-hangs his/her property (or invasive roots) without giving notice to the owner of the tree, but may not cut down the tree or enter on to the land of the tree owner without permission’ (Tree Council of Ireland). Far better to have a chat before causing warfare over a delicate specimen’s unfortunate roam.

If you genuinely think a tree on the boundary is dangerous, and your neighbour is uncooperative let the local authority handle it.


1. “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”: Ai Weiwei on His NYC Exhibition Exploring Borders and Nationalism
(Democracy Now!)
2. "Mending Wall" Robert Frost listen to poet himself recite his poem
(Tim Gracyk)
3. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours - Trailer
(Cobb International Film Festival)
4. Good Fences make Good Neighbours - Essay Discussion
(Essay Course for UPSC | Prashant Kaushik )
5. Mending Wall || Good fences make good neighbours || write-up
(R S Home Study)
6. "Good Fences Make Good Neighbours" Creepypasta
(Creepy Ghost Stories)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Last Updated: 30/08/2023

Views: 6317

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Birthday: 1992-02-16

Address: Suite 851 78549 Lubowitz Well, Wardside, TX 98080-8615

Phone: +67618977178100

Job: Manufacturing Director

Hobby: Running, Mountaineering, Inline skating, Writing, Baton twirling, Computer programming, Stone skipping

Introduction: My name is Wyatt Volkman LLD, I am a handsome, rich, comfortable, lively, zealous, graceful, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.