Monday, August 20, 2012

Should a new home builder care about Fences

As a new home owner should we care about how our fence is put up considering it affects both you and your neighbour? Word of warning to anyone building, you may be shocked about how things happen.

The sad thing is that so many people fall into the category of having your builder supply everything. Everything including your fences. Now imagine this. Your builder  installs a fence. Without any consultation with your neighbour and with no discussion with yourself. They'll install it as per the council rules. 1.8m from the level of your yard.

A few problems with this....

1. You actually are at a lower point then your neighbours, if you install your fence first then its likely your builder won't raise the fence for your neighbour so they end up with a 4-5 foot fence, a fence they can look over without any issues at all.

2. Your neighbour actually needs to put in a retaining wall which you actually maybe responsible for. If your fence is installed before hand your giving your neighbour a lot of work to try and retrofit it, he may also have to cop the wall on his property fully rather then on the fence line. Council states that if the land is altered then the difference is covered by each owner, relevant to how much the owner changed the land. So if I made no change to the levels then I'm responsible for zero. If I change my land by 20% then I pay 20%.

3. Your neighbour may start organising quotes and the builder just goes ahead anyway, waisting a lot of time by different people.

I'm sort of going through this at the moment and have a few good examples of this. Yet....I could do what everyone else is doing and simply put up a fence and take no consideration of the neighbour and make it there problem. After all that's what the builders seem to do. Unlike me I didn't ask the builder to do it so I could check what my neighbours wanted. Not sure if I should have bothered with how things have gone on.

Take a look at this photo, perfect example of the problems this is going to cause. The back fence has been dug down to install without contacting any neighbours, the back fence defiantly needs a retaining wall and to top it off the fence installers have put all the dirt onto their neighbours property. They have also excavated my property and affected my levels.

So......should we worry so much, looks like no one else is?






20 comments:

  1. Hi Luke,

    I think all neighbors should know what's going on even yourself.
    We were kind of same boat as you. The right of me wanted a fence I said no problem I'll get a few quotes couple days later I got a fence guy out to give us a quote, before he could he rang me saying the fence has started going up. I was so annoyed and in shock that my neighbor(builder land and house package) he put the all the fence up retaining wall online with fence but there was one problem he has cut himself 200ml short. As we are on zero lot he has to go with gutter I spoke to lendlease about the situation they said 2 things they dont deal with that and another we dont pay it cause we are held responsible.
    Council was no help Either they told me not to pay it as he didnt provide me with 3 quotes, not on boundary. Etc

    So the builder gives my husband an invoice of 630 bucks he reckons without retaining wall yeah right lol... His dreaming right!! I told him I refuse to pay til he does the fence the right way and never heard from him since. And I'll pay what it cost the left of me which was near what h is asking for.


    But the left of me and behind were all good I provided them with quotes and they were happy.

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    2. Oh and another tip, takes lots of photos when you get your land. And of the neighbours. I have a tonne of photos that proves they built their land up.

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  2. Hi Luke
    Totally understand your frustration. My DA got delayed by a month because of a fence...
    Basically I am on a corner block and the council I'm in stipulates that the fence for a corner block facing the (my right side ) secondary boundary (street ) must NOT be constructed of sheet metal (colourbond).

    And guess what my neighbour has... a colourbond metalsheet fence. And 3 houses down the next corner blocks both have Colourbond metal fences...

    When I was talking to council about it. I pretty much showers them photos of the other corner blocks. And they said we have to lodge a complaint. Before council can tell them (the owners to do anythIng.


    I must admit fencing is and was the last thing on my mind during DA. And even today fencing is a sticking point for men

    And now the neighbour (OWNER builder) on the left who started construction same time as me. Has done so much Cut right along the boundary that he needs a retaining wall. And thing is I suspect his not gonna do it, because the aim of his build is to sell it as soon assist done. (He openly admitted that to me) and I don't quite understand the need for so much cut. Not sure what's going on with his place. But he has not progressed from slab in the last 6 weeks it's just been dormant.

    Anyways I'm after fence quotes too.

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    1. Sorry for Typos auto spell on tablet

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  3. I hear you Luke. I have 2 kids and a dog.

    I hope I all goes well for you. Hopefully move in soon and officially meet you all. :-)

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  4. I think is would have been easier for everyone for Lend Lease just to have put the fences up for everyone and just added the cost to the land prices especially when they are specifying the type of fence to go up.

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    1. That would have been good to, including retaining walls, I've heard of other new estates doing this, would have been much easier.

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  5. We are having problems too our nab went put up fences no contact at all than gave just a invoice but we need retaining walls underneath as our land is higher and they can see straight over the fence luckily behind we have 3 nab and we all meet together and agreed before we started and yes we are doing retaining walls as its needed and it will sit 300 higher than our right nab fence.

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    1. Thats crazy, looks like fences is going to be an issue for everyone. As for paying the invoice for the nab that gave you an invoice make sure they present you with 3 quotes and then get your own. Because they failed to consult you get a fence person out and ask how much it would have costed etc and pay the cheapest amount from all the quotes only.

      If they don't want to do that then simply don't pay the invoice perhaps. Out of curiosity was the retaining wall expensive?

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  6. Retaining wall we have treated pine, as in some areas are 2 high Or 3 onside it was 200.00 the back was cheaper as I needed less. It shouldnt be that expensive. Who were you thinking of going with for the fencing?


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  7. Retainng wall cost is for 2 200x 50 sleepers giving an extra height of 400 with the 1.8m fence on top $35 incl gst per Metre and color bond fence is $63 per Metre a total of $98incl gst per Metre

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  8. as per design guidelines Retaining Walls at the boundary or in the front yard are to be constructed of textured or coloured masonry, brick or concrete including render

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  9. If you have a fence that doesnt require being raked or stepped i have a guy who will install colourbond for $53 a lineal metre

    His name is ron and he can be reached on 0400812093 i had him out to my place in glenmore over the weekend and he quoted exactly as he said on the phone $53/m and only $340 for a 1m wide gate

    Pretty sharp pricing and only 1 week lead time :)

    Both myself and my neighbour have pet dogs, so i am going to work with him on levels as my place is approx 200mm higher... I plan on living there for a while so it might be a good idea to be amicable from the get go

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  10. Thanks James - I may give him a ring.

    I've had a bit of a win, the neighbour to my left I rang their builder and they sorted all the stuff out, putting the fence up to give me the right privacy and they even put a retaining wall in for the back of the property for their sake. It pays to make some calls and try and sort it out.

    Got a call form the guy behind today also. Working through the details now.

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