Which Direction Should a Fence Face?

The inside of a fence has horizontal slats which, if facing outward, would make a perfect ladder for a thief!

The inside of a fence has horizontal slats which, if facing outward, would make a perfect ladder for a thief!

If there was ever a fence question which brings out the ire in some people, it’s which direction a wood fence should face. Most experts agree that the nicer side of a fence should be the one displayed and that the inner side, with the horizontal frame pieces, should be inside the homeowner’s yard. In other words, ‘pretty side facing out.’ This is also known as the ‘good neighbor’ fence.

Some homeowners disagree, especially those who don’t care for their neighbors. The ‘my fence, my choice’ attitude is certainly in force. But, before we go rushing into anything beautiful, let’s consider the reasons for the fence:

A good neighbor fence makes a home the pride of the neighborhood.

A good neighbor fence makes a home the pride of the neighborhood.

Security and Privacy 

Many times, fencing is necessary for security and privacy. Security is easily breached if the inner side faces out by a thief who can use the horizontal beam to help hoist himself over. 
The homeowner who wants privacy is in an equally difficult situation. If the horizontal beam is on the outside, it’s easy to use as a step to see what is going on in the backyard.


The professional will tell you frankly that a fence with the beautiful part on the inside will make your yard look like it’s wearing the fence inside out, much like the seams on an article of inside-out clothing. If you want your home to look well cared-for and immaculate, showing the pretty side of a fence out is always the way to go.

Working with the neighbors

Sometimes a neighbor will happily pay for part of a fence if he will reap the benefits. Sometimes, they can’t afford it, don’t want to, or have other priorities. Looking at neighbors from an opportunistic viewpoint, even if they will reap the benefit of a fence, isn’t a wise move. They may not care for the type of fence you’ve chosen but will have to live with it anyway, so that’s a consideration.


Arizona Law

If you’re in the process of replacing an existing fence, though, here is what the state of Arizona has to say about it:

Boundary fences are considered mutually owned, so both parties are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the fence. If the neighbor's dog destroys part of the fence, technically you'd both be responsible for the cost of repair. However, your neighbor would be liable for any damage the dog caused to your property. The shared nature of a boundary fence also means that no one neighbor can remove or modify an existing fence without the other neighbor's permission.

So, if you already have a fence in place, you’re mutually responsible for it, and you’ll need the neighbor’s permission to modify or replace it. It’s also at a shared cost, but he they need to agree. https://statelaws.findlaw.com/arizona-law/property-line-and-fence-laws-in-arizona.html


If you live in an area which is regulated by an HOA, the HOA may have a rule in place for fence facing. Neglecting HOA regs can end up being a costly mistake, resulting in fines and eventually having to reinstall the fence. It’s something to keep in mind.

We hope we have given you some points to ponder on the topic of fence direction. Regardless of which direction your fence faces, if we build it, both sides will look great, and it will offer security and privacy for years to come.

If you're considering a fence or gate project in the Phoenix area, Sereno Fence builds custom fencing, fence repair, custom gates, gate repair, RV gates, horse corrals, pool fence, pool gates, custom welding, and wood fences. For more information call (602) 481-1298 today!