If you are looking to replace an old garden fence that adjoins your neighbour's garden, then you typically need to make an agreement with your neighbour on the type of fence that will be erected and its costs. Depending on the state you live in, you'll typically legally share the costs with your neighbour unless you both agree otherwise.
This makes choosing a fence a two-way decision. While you and your neighbour may agree on the basics, such as the type and height of fencing you're going to use, you may find that you reach an impasse on smaller details, especially if you're buying a fence that has one flat side and one with posts on it. How can you decide who gets the flat side of the fence in their garden?
Make an Informal Agreement
To save time and fuss, it's worth trying to decide on which garden gets which side of fence with your neighbour if you can. You can have your fence facing either way as long as you both agree.
Try to work out why each of you prefers the flat side and whether there is any advantage to either of you having the side that shows posts and supports. For example, if you are a keen gardener, you may actually prefer to have the posts on your side of the fence as these can be useful supports for plants and plant supports.
If neither of you can find a reason to want to have the post side of the fence in your gardens, you could come to a financial agreement. For example, you could offer to pay a little more towards the overall fencing costs to have the flat side of the fence face your way if you really want to. Alternatively, you could investigate other types of fencing that don't have two different faces.
Look at State Fencing Rules
If you can't reach an agreement on who gets the flat side of the fence, you may need to use state regulations to decide which way the fence should face. Each state has acts or legislation that dictates fencing responsibilities. These may give you some guidance on who gets what side of the fence if you can't come to an agreement with your neighbour; however, it's worth bearing in mind that these guidelines may not work out in your favour.
For example, in some locations, the rule of thumb if you can't choose sides for yourselves may be that the flat side of the fence should appear on the same side as it did on the previous fence. This only works if the fence you're replacing had flat and post sides, however. If it didn't, then you may be expected to locate the flat side of the fence in the position where there will be more weather impact.
If you and your neighbour can't work out which side this would be, your fencing contractor should be able to advise you on this. If this still doesn't solve your problem, you may need to contact your local council to find out how to get official mediation to help you come to a decision.