If you have noticed an issue with your home’s fences – perhaps a few of the palings have come loose or a recent storm has caused some damage – you might be wondering whether you can undertake the repairs yourself or whether you are better off calling in the professionals. Whilst there is nothing wrong with doing your own fence repairs, it is important to understand that some situations call for a professional and it’s often not just
your opinion that matters.
What side of your property does the fence border?
If the issue lies with your front fence, you are solely responsible for the cost so can do whatever you want in terms of repairs. When it borders a neighbouring property, however, it becomes a little trickier as your neighbour will be responsible for paying half of the cost. If
the neighbouring property is land owned by the federal or state government, you
will be responsible for the full cost in most cases (so can theoretically do
whatever you want).
Does my neighbour always have to pay half?
Whilst the answer is yes in most cases, there are some situations where your neighbours will not need to cover half of the fence repairs. If you want a more expensive fence than your neighbours, for example, you must cover the extra amount. If the damage was caused by your own
intent or negligence, you must cover the whole cost. And if you have not tried
to reach out to your neighbour before going ahead, you will have to cover the
What if the repairs are urgent?
In some cases, you might need to urgently make repairs (if you or the neighbour have a pet that could potentially escape, for example) and not have the time to reach out to your neighbour first. More often than not, you will be able to recoup some of the costs from your
neighbour once works have been completed. This can get a little murky, however, as they may require you to prove that the fix was urgently required and drag their feet on paying.
So, do I need a professional?
With so many things to consider before even tackling the fence repair, it is understandable that many homeowners just give up on wanting to deal with the issue and turn it over to the professionals. The added bonus of doing so is that the works will be carried out by an unbiased third party, which increases the chances that both you and your neighbour will
have no complaints. Having someone be the go-between can be useful if relations
Is this all that a professional is good for?
Besides this, if the damage is quite extensive, it can actually be safer for a professional to tackle the repairs for you. The last thing you want is a heavy fence panel to fall onto you or for
you to accidentally become impaled on one of the materials being used. Workers
employed by a fencing company have extensive experience with these sorts of
tasks, so you can rest assured that they can tackle the whole thing as safely
and quickly as possible.
We hope that the information provided above has answered all your questions regarding fence repairs and who should undertake them. If the issue affects a fence on a neighbouring property, it is of the utmost importance that you speak with your neighbour before doing anything. If they don’t agree to the works or are being difficult about them, you can contact your local council to help mediate or have a fencing notice issued.