With the pool sorted and block surveyed, levelled and pegged, it was time to get started on the fence. Exciting huh?

 

Well it was… it was progress.

 

Digging out the footings for the boundary fence

Digging out the footings for the boundary fence

Packs of Midland Bricks

Packs of Midland Bricks

You can see in the images from the last blog post about the pool that we removed a fence on the northern boundary – it was an old fence that wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing to look at. It was also quite a low fence, which meant we really didn’t have a lot of privacy from the double storey house next door. It was something we didn’t actually realise when we purchased the property as there was a lot of built-in lattice screening in the backyard entertaining area. We quickly understood why.

 

So in chatting with our neighbour and his family, we agreed that a new brick fence would be built, and that we could go to 2.4 metres high. As it was something we were wanting, and with the existing fence being old but not really in any disrepair, we agreed to undertake the project at our cost. Happy customers all round.

 

Now on a side note, we have to mention here that our neighbour is a gem. He’s a lovely Italian man who reminds us of our own Nonno (in his younger days)… he’s also the amazing sausage making man at our favourite butcher too – Torre in Northbridge! Score!

 

So with the agreements and approvals in place, the footings were laid for the looooong fence, all 42.75 metres of it!

 

Then, literally within days, we were laying the first bricks on the site and the excitement really kicked in. Dad and his team worked pretty quickly to get the wall up and we were really happy with the end result. We’re rendering our side of the wall, so not too fussed about the look of it at the moment, but Dad was pretty neat on the neighbour’s side as he was leaving the brick as is.

 

The ceremonial laying of the first bricks on site - progress...

The ceremonial laying of the first bricks on site – progress…

The wall goes ups... you can see the double brick retaining sections which won't be visible later down the track

The wall goes up… you can see the double brick retaining sections which won’t be visible later down the track

Brick by brick indeed

Brick by brick indeed

Built in sections, expansion joints are also included at specified points to minimise movement and cracking

Built in sections, expansion joints are also included at specified points to minimise movement and cracking

It's a big one!

It’s a big one!

 

It was at this point that we actually started to realise the true benefit of owner-building – being able to be completely flexible and dynamic on-site as you’re building. The original fence height we planned at 2.4 metres wasn’t actually necessary, so we stopped just over 2 metres… and not a variation cost in sight.

 

This wasn’t going to be last change in full flight either… but we’ll update you on those as we continue to document the journey.

 

So before we finish up this post, how about some helpful tips on fences? The discussion of dividing fences can make or break a neighbour relationship and it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

  • Discuss the project with your neighbour. Generally speaking, if the existing fence is in working order, the onus is on the person wanting a new dividing fence to pay for the lot… unless it’s a mutually agreed upon project.
  • Be sure to get council approval on the height of the fence, particularly if it is going to exceed the regulation height. Incorporate these into your plans if you can before you get started, and always, always get the neighbour to sign a copy of the plans so that they’re aware and understand what’s being done.
  • Again, generally speaking, if you’re the one building the fence (a brick fence in this instance), the supporting columns must be on your side of the property.
  • If you have the space on your block, avoid any encroachment or boundary issues by building the fence entirely on your side of the boundary.
  • And finally, be nice. Be open. Be honest.

 

For more handy hints and tips, check out this publication available through the Department of Commerce (Building Commission) – it’s a great little guide to help you through the process as each case is very different.

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