How to Build a Neighbor Friendly Fence

A neighbor friendly fence is designed to eliminate the unsightly "back side" of a fence by using an alternating board design. This provides both neighbors with an attractive fence as well as privacy.

Here's how to build a neighbor friendly fence.

Step 1

Determine the length of fence you will be building. Accurately measure the distance.

Step 2

Calculate the wood needs based on the length and height of the fence. For sturdiness, plan on a 4 x 4 x 10 fence post every five feet. Include a 2-inch overlap when calculating the number of boards you need from the top of the fence to the bottom.

Step 3

Dig the post holes, spaced at 5-foot intervals, at least three feet deep, preferably four feet for stability and sturdiness.

Step 4

Place two fence posts at either end of the fence length. Pour in the concrete mix, and then slowly add water. Use the level to make sure the posts are centered in the concrete, and not angled in any way. Allow the concrete to set and cure for at least 24 hours.

Step 5

Measure, cut and attach a length of string that stretches from the top of one post to the other. This gives you a reference point to ensure all the posts will be set at the same height and angle.

Step 6

Place the remaining fence posts, making sure they are even with the string. Note that the top of a post can be trimmed off to be even with the string if you are unable to dig far enough down in a particular post hole. Use the level to make sure the posts are centered in the concrete, and not angled in any way.

Step 7

Add the concrete to each hole, and then slowly add water. Allow the concrete to set and cure for at least 24 hours.

Step 8

Measure 12 inches from the top of each post, and mark where the bottom of the first board will be.

Step 9

Insert a screw at each mark about 1/4 inch into the wood. This provides a temporary bracket on which to rest the boards.

Step 10

Cut the boards to the necessary lengths, planning that the end of each board will "end" at the center of a fence post. For best fence strength, if possible, alternate where the boards "end" on the posts.

Step 11

Place the top board resting on the temporary screws. Screw in three screws, evenly spaced, at each point the board is to be secured to each fence post. Remove the temporary screws.

Step 12

Measure down 10 inches (this creates the overlap of boards), and mark the fence post. Using a combination square, mark a corresponding line on the back side of the fence.

Step 13

Repeat Steps 9 – 12, alternating from side to side with each board, until you have completed the fence. Note that depending on the height of the fence, you may need to do partial board at the bottom of one side or the other to make sure you maintain the privacy.

Step 14

Seal the fence (optional). Use an environmentally friendly sealant to weatherproof and protect the fence.