Building a fence seems like a simple thing. You get some posts, some rolls of barbed wire, a wire stretcher, some fasteners and then you start digging holes, right?
Well not quite.
In a finer points of fence building presentation at a recent field day sponsored by the Kansas Livestock Association and Kansas State University, a few more things came up.
Here are five things to think about BEFORE you start digging holes:
1. If you are building a boundary fence that separates your property from that of another landowner, he is required by law to pay for half of it, and that means you need to talk to him and let him weigh in on the plans.
2. You need a new survey because where the technology of 1940 thought the property line was might not be where modern GPS says it is.
3. Get everything down in writing. It will be a lot easier later if a dispute arises about what was agreed to.
4. About that talk with your neighbor -- how well did it go? Is he happy about paying for half? You probably should call the "Fence Viewers" who most likely are your county commissioners. They will come out and give you a bunch of decisions including what kind of fence you legally need to build -0- three-wire, four-wire or five-wire. They will also tell you where the fence needs to go, set a deadline for when it needs to be built, decide how the cost of construction should be divided and outline how reconstruction or maintenance should be handled. They will also verify that all the paperwork is filed with the register of deeds.
5. If you have gotten everything done and paid for and the neighbor still won't pay his share, you may have to be prepared for legal action. If you have to go there, you will be really, really glad you did steps 1 through 4.
For more about fences, pastures and watering systems, be sure to look for your October Kansas Farmer, coming soon to a mailbox near you.