How To Separate Your Front Yard From Your Neighbors
Homeownership is an exciting part of life, but along with it comes a lot of responsibility. When you own a home, it is important to know your property lines and maybe even more important to ensure that your yard looks nice no matter what your neighbor has going on in their lawn. Keeping a well-maintained, lush and appropriate lawn can definitely help keep the peace with your neighbors but it also can make sure that any violations aren’t erroneously charged to your home.
How To Separate Your Front Yard From Your Neighbors
The first thing that anyone will think of when talking about separating two yards is going to be a fence. Though fencing isn’t the only way to separate your front yard it is definitely the most common, especially in the backyard but some use more stylized fencing in their front lawns as well to create these barriers. There are many other feasible options that can make a clear divide of you and your neighbor’s yards. It will also make maintaining your landscape easier, for a beautifully maintained lawn.
Before you get started with any landscaping or lawn project, be sure to check with your homeowners’ association, speak to the community manager or email the community to ensure that your plans are within the guidelines for your neighborhood. Most often before making any changes regarding fencing or yard decor you will need to seek ACC or ARC approval. This process usually involves filling out a form, providing detailed plans and occasionally photos of the proposed changes. RealManage can help you with these forms but it’s important to note that *RealManage* has no authority to approve or deny these requests and that responsibility is exclusively under the purview of the board of directors and the committee members. Always review your plans prior to making any changes to keep yourself from having to pay any fines or fees in the future, and as a bonus your neighbors won’t be alarmed or surprised by the new additions.
Fencing - Traditional or Decorative
A fence can be a great way to separate your yard from your neighbors. It can demark the property lines and more traditional wood plank fences can even give you some more privacy. chain link or wrought iron fences don’t provide the same privacy benefits but they can keep your neighbors (or their kids and pets) from trampling your lawn.
Building a fence can be time consuming and the materials are expensive, unless you are planning a DIY fence project, may also need to factor in the cost of a professional for installation. Prior to adding any new fencing, your ACC will likely require a survey as well to ensure that not only are you staying within your own land boundaries but that your plans won’t interrupt any hidden underground utility lines.
Planter / Flowering Garden Beds
Plant beds are a gorgeous way to separate your front lawn that are often less of a time intensive project as the fencing options. Many people are opting for wildflower or local plants highlighted by the Xeriscaping trend. These easy to care for plants do well in your climate with little assistance from you and can be a beautiful way to showcase the native vegetation and attract butterflies and other wildlife.
Planting native wildflowers is a wonderful option that will also support your local habitat. By staggering flowers, bushes, and even trees, you will create a visually appealing border between you and your neighbor. If you are planning to use any raised beds that are visible from the street, it’s still important to speak to the HOA about your plans since any kind of changes can violate a rule you may not be familiar with in your CC&Rs.
Natural and Shaped Hedges
Hedges are an elegant and effective way to separate your front lawn from your neighbors. Though they require maintaining, hedges can look beautiful when planted in your yard. They can even help cut down on noise if you have loud neighbors by providing a bit of a buffer between your homes. Again these types of plants are lovely and make a unique line of demarcation but it’s important that you discuss the exact type, size and placement of these plants with your HOA or ACC members to ensure that they meet all regulations and guidelines.
Depending on the type of shrubs you choose, they can range anywhere from a couple of feet to more than 12 feet!. When planting your hedges, be sure to make sure to plant it far enough on your property line so that when it grows, it is still on your property. Remember that most of these kinds of “row hedges” are meant to grow in very full and do require attention to maintain their shape and health.
Evergreen trees are becoming more popular in recent years as a replacement for the more prickly to grow and step on (ouch!) Holly varieties that have long been a staple of garden hedges. There are several variations of evergreen trees that are capable of growing in different regions and different heights, so do a bit of research and see what types are best suited to your environment before you make the investment.
Lawns are something a majority of homeowners must deal with and while some love and enjoy the planting season and a perfectly manicured bed or st. augustine, others are happy to let someone else manage the yard and aren’t too concerned with what flowers are in season. No matter what your style, having options for your yard is just one of the creative ways you can ensure your home is inviting and pleasant for the neighborhood.