Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby Lobby12 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:32 am

We moved into our house a few months ago and the fence between us and a neighbour, which we own, was in a very bad state of repair, full of holes, bits falling off, etc. It was also not entirely straight, one post in particular was wonky by about 3 inches giving the fence a noticable, but not huge kink. The other posts were more or less in a straight line (maybe less than an inch out maximum). We advised our neighbour we would be replacing the fence and he was initially happy. Now we are part way through he has complained the new fence is looking wonkier than the old one. We are using some of the original posts and where we have replaced rotten posts we are using exactly the same holes. We have repleced the post which is out of alignment in the same place as that is where the hold was and we didn't want to dig new holes or change the boundary. It is also next to a sewer drain and there is a lot of concrete in this area so it would be very difficult to move the post here from the original hole anyway.

Our neighbour admits the fence has been wonky from before he moved in over 13 years ago. My question is are we correct in just replacing the fence in the same place as it was before or can he make us move it? There is no mention of any boundary dispute on the deeds or on our survey.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:46 am

Hi Lobby,

are we correct in just replacing the fence in the same place as it was before or can he make us move it?

if you put your new fence in the same place then it's going to cost him an awful lot of time, effort and money to have a crack at proving you need to move it, and from what you've described he'd fail because the old fence was there long enough to establish it belonged there.

has he actually asked for the fence to be moved?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby Lobby12 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:53 am

Mac, thanks for the response. No he hasn't actually asked us to move it yet. He cornered my husband last evening as we were welcoming a visitor to our house and started raising his voice about the wonkiness in the street. My husband agreed to talk to him at a more convenient time. I just wanted to check where we stand before this 'chat'. We are keen not to fall out with anyone but we're not going to move the fence if we don't have to. We know the previous owners of our house very well and they have said the fence was in the same position since before they moved there in 1993.

I suggsted to hubby that we try to reassure him that when we have finished the fence will look good, even height posts, all capped, etc. but it will have the same line as the original fence.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby Lobby12 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:57 am

There is also one panel which doesn't fit flush to the post so is a gap at the moment but we will fill in with an appropritely siezed piece of wood. He may also be concerned about this but I assume as it's our fence we can patch it if required. We've spent over £500 so aren't going to delibrately make it look awful!
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:20 pm

Hi Lobby,

I suggsted to hubby that we try to reassure him that when we have finished the fence will look good, even height posts, all capped, etc. but it will have the same line as the original fence.

that's what I'd do and if he starts claiming more than aesthetics - eg you've nicked some of his land - don't argue with him but instead reiterate the fence will be the same line and explain how you've made sure this will happen.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby arborlad » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:55 pm

Lobby12 wrote:We moved into our house a few months ago and the fence between us and a neighbour, which we own, was in a very bad state of repair, full of holes, bits falling off, etc. It was also not entirely straight, one post in particular was wonky by about 3 inches giving the fence a noticable, but not huge kink. The other posts were more or less in a straight line (maybe less than an inch out maximum). We advised our neighbour we would be replacing the fence and he was initially happy. Now we are part way through he has complained the new fence is looking wonkier than the old one. We are using some of the original posts and where we have replaced rotten posts we are using exactly the same holes. We have repleced the post which is out of alignment in the same place as that is where the hold was and we didn't want to dig new holes or change the boundary. It is also next to a sewer drain and there is a lot of concrete in this area so it would be very difficult to move the post here from the original hole anyway.

Our neighbour admits the fence has been wonky from before he moved in over 13 years ago. My question is are we correct in just replacing the fence in the same place as it was before or can he make us move it? There is no mention of any boundary dispute on the deeds or on our survey.



It sounds like you're doing this a bit piecemeal and following previous errors, you're not really going to get a fair line like that.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:10 pm

if he starts claiming more than aesthetics - eg you've nicked some of his land -

Hi Mac,

Just to wind you up ... if a fence leans, who owns the ground between verticle lines dropped from the top of the fence, and a line drawn between where the posts emerge from the ground?

Perhaps it's best if I just get my coat.

John W
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby Lobby12 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:26 am

The post doesn't lean over either ours or the neighbour's land. It is upright, but just not in a straight line.

We appreciate we are following the previous non straight line but the post which is creating this issue is next to a sewer drain and there is a lot of (steel reinforced) concrete here. We don't want to spend more time and money digging through this for the sake of moving a post a few inches just to please someone who doesn't own the fence. In an ideal world we would make it straight but from investigating the drain it looks like this is not possible and this it is very liklely that is why the post was put here in the first place. If we acidentally damage the sewer drain which would leek into his garden I expect this would be a much greater concern.

We could errect an ugly industrial looking or chain link fence with weeds growing up it, or one of those in a horrible garden paint colour then refuse to let him stain it any other colour, etc. We are not like that at all, however, It is OUR fence. We have chosen to erect a new one which is in-keeping with the other fences around and also has a trellis on top so as not to block the light into his garden and conservatory - we are being more considerate than we need to be.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby arborlad » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:33 am

Lobby12 wrote:
We appreciate we are following the previous non straight line but the post which is creating this issue is next to a sewer drain and there is a lot of (steel reinforced) concrete here. We don't want to spend more time and money digging through this for the sake of moving a post a few inches just to please someone who doesn't own the fence..



One spur would fix that, the spur located where you are able to dig and the post located where it should be.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby Lobby12 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:43 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Arborlad but there is already a spur doing that for this post. It really is a mass of concreted sewer and steel down there!
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby arborlad » Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:54 pm

Lobby12 wrote:Thanks for the suggestion Arborlad but there is already a spur doing that for this post. It really is a mass of concreted sewer and steel down there!



Is this on your land or your neighbours?

While it is acceptable to place concrete on your neighbours land to allow the correct placement of a boundary feature, this must not be reinforced with steel.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby Lobby12 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:03 pm

The concrete overlaps the boundary. The reinforced steel was already there on the neighbours land from before we both moved in (13+ years ago). We have not used any steel reinforcement in replacing the fence and have just used concrete to hold the post. We have not removed all of the previous steel reinforcement, just what we could get to, as this runs under his patio and would mean digging part of this up. Whilst it is most likely it was put there to hold the post in the past neither us nor the neighbour could be 100% certain of this. The neighbour has no issue with the remainder of the steel being under his patio.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby arborlad » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:22 pm

Is there a possibility that what you are finding is the remnants of a concrete post, which would have been reinforced with steel.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby Lobby12 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:42 pm

That may be possible. The old post was wooden into a spur and the reinforced concrete was flush up to it on the neighbours side so I assumed it was for this post, but an older post there could have been concrete. There is no way of knowing though as it would be before us and the neighbour moved in.
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Re: Fence Wonky by approx 3 inches

Postby arborlad » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:32 pm

Possibly a bit academic now, but a good rule of thumb is if the rods run vertically they're posts, horizontally part of something else.
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