Shared Backyards: Brilliant or Bad Idea?

Living 2012/06/17 00:06:42
Add Photos & Videos
Robert Frost said that good fences make good neighbors. But these days a growing number of homeowners are knocking them down in order to create larger communal backyards.

Joining your backyard with your neighbor’s means there is more room for gardening and entertaining, children and pets and can run around more freely, and you may even be able to build that swimming pool or tennis court you’ve always dreamed of. But the extra space doesn’t come without added difficulties.

Gardening expenses can be split evenly, but who pulls the weeds and who gets to pick the fruit? Post a sign-up sheet for use of the communal table? Or is there an always-room-to-share policy? What happens when one neighbor wants to sell?” asked Anne Marie Chaker of The Wall Street Journal.

Many of the individuals who have opted for shared backyards explain that they are are hammering these details out in monthly decision-making meetings and in legal documents. The potential risks are evident, but if you actually like your neighbors and are willing to give up some of your privacy, yard-sharing seems like a fantastic option. (That is if you live in a neighborhood that hasn’t prohibited the practice.)

So, what do you think SodaHeads? Is yard-sharing brilliant or a bad idea?

Read More: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527023037...

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • YOUR EARTH ANGEL'S REDEMPTION 2012/07/13 05:18:36
    Bad Idea
  • P. Sturm 2012/06/26 06:56:15
    P. Sturm
    As long as you get along with each other.
  • Tennessee3501 2012/06/24 17:49:47
    I would love to share a backyard with Sandra Bullock!
  • Packersgirl 2012/06/21 16:20:49
    more room to play sports and get to hang out with the neighbors. plus i remember being a kid and losing a ball over the fence and have to climb or go all the way around to get it and u felt bad for going into their yard. this way theres no climbing injuries (yeah i was a clutz) and u dont have to lose the ball, disc, or whatever, to a neighbor u dont know. like in the Sandlot. :)
  • flyingseaturtle BN 2012/06/20 02:07:50
    Bad Idea
    flyingseaturtle BN
    Undecided... Depends on the neighbor and the use of the yard. It can be good or ugly ;-)
  • Prime Time Lime 2012/06/19 16:30:26
    Prime Time Lime
    It is a great idea,one can get to know their neighbor's better,and few people know their neighbors these days.It creates more space for each neighbor,and if they wanted a vegetable garden,it could be big enough so they could grow their own vegetables and save on groceries.In my area there are many communal gardening spots where people pay a small fee to get a spot to grow vegetables.
  • Santiago Paez 2012/06/19 15:45:05
    Bad Idea
    Santiago Paez
    imagine i just have a party and you found all the backyard full of drunk people sleeping, bootles, and guess what your partens are in house!!!! we need some privacy, maybe i want something different for my backyard like a football field (soccer) and you want tomatoes!!! WOOOO is that simple!!!
  • KarenInKenoshaWisconsin 2012/06/19 14:24:25
    Actually, a binary answer menu doesn't quite cut it.

    Whether it would work or not depends on the world views, maturity level, active listening skills and communication skills of any participants.
  • Lizzy 2012/06/19 09:00:48
    Bad Idea
    I have nut jobs either side of me, i have a 6ft fence + no way would i take it down + have my garden ruined or have them on my property.
  • Haruko.Haruhara 2012/06/19 08:45:35 (edited)
    Bad Idea
    Bad idea yo, what the hell is this?, I don't want to share my backyard, some people are complete slobs, heaven forbid if they have a dog then they don't have to pick up the poo.

    And you just happen to step in it.

    No I want my privacy thank you.

    And the worst part is if they happen to have a party, guess who's cleaning up the mess?
  • stranger 2012/06/19 06:50:50
    Bad Idea
    stupid idea! i mean, you can have your neighbors visit or you can visit them! sharing a yard, to much difference of opinions, maybe you don't like parties but they do, can't have both ways!

    this sharing yards will make many more enemies and anymosity then friends im sure
  • La 2012/06/19 05:36:14
    I think it's a *good idea* but I wouldn't want to do it myself. I don't like either of my neighbours much and we know our backyard is safe for the dogs, they can't get out, etc.
  • stranger La 2012/06/19 06:44:04
    ah yes brilliant for other suckers but stupid for you! no you think its brilliant you lead the way!
    its a stupid idea!
  • La stranger 2012/06/19 07:42:57
    *shrug* I don't think it's stupid. I think it's a good way to foster community spirit. Bigger space to entertain in, the kids can play together, etc. Evidently it works for some people. In other circumstances I would consider it, but not living in this house on this block of land with these neighbours.
  • stranger La 2012/06/19 16:50:43
    you'll wind up hating your neighbors by sharing your yards like that!

    if you like your neighbors invite them over! but sharing a yard? both of you will have different opinions on how to maintain the yard! both of you will have different opinions on how many frinds you can have in the yard!

    fact of he matter it won't work! you'll be at each others heals for one thing or another! and make what could have been a good relationship between neighbors g dowwn south! and go sour!
  • La stranger 2012/06/20 11:04:29
    "It won't work" ~ erm, so you're saying this could never ever work for anyone? 'Cause ya know, this article was written because people have started doing it, so clearly it works for someone.
  • stranger La 2012/06/20 15:34:31
    yeah but they got to have meetings every month, they have to renew contracts, they got do thi and do that! thats a real pain in the arse to live comfortably imo!

    if yo want to do something together in a communal space go to a park, much easier!
  • Maleficent 2012/06/19 01:52:40
    Bad Idea
    hell no!
  • Sonny 2012/06/19 00:44:54
    Bad Idea
    I skinny dip a lot in backyard pools, wouldn't want my skinny ass to be see in full HD by my neighbors,
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/06/18 21:31:10
    Bad Idea
    Margaret Jacobson
    when something is yours ALONE, you can have MRE control over it ... IF you want close off an alley and you and your neighbors caqn share that communaly
  • La Margare... 2012/06/19 05:36:51
    Maybe you need a spell checker >.>
  • Wayne 2012/06/18 21:10:18
    Bad Idea
    I value my privacy, besides I like being alone sometimes, and if I share a backyard with someone else, I can't be alone whenever I want to.
  • JuliaLoren 2012/06/18 20:27:24
    depends on the neighbors, i've had some awesome neighbors, so i wouldn't mind for the most part, as long as we discuss "rules" :) but, dogs could play together, kids could play together, parents could sit n talk, college kids sharing could have parties... people could garden together...
  • stranger JuliaLoren 2012/06/19 06:45:29
    can do all that and have your own yard! if anything sharing a yard will create tentions that might never have happened otherwise!

    its a very bad idea!! one of you is bound to break a rule, and one of you is bound to snap! can't avoid it!
  • JuliaLoren stranger 2012/06/26 15:32:06
    i have always lived in doubles and triples, always sharing a yard, i dont even understand how people can "snap" over a yard! what is wrong with you people?! be nice! respect your neighbors! smile! its not that hard to be neighborly!
  • stranger JuliaLoren 2012/06/27 04:32:19
    oh i have hedge (tall) all around my yard and i get along with my neighbors just fine!
  • Taxman 2012/06/18 20:01:49
    Bad Idea
  • Lacey Bunn 2012/06/18 19:55:20
    Bad Idea
    Lacey Bunn
    Terrible. I would not let someone I don't even know run around in my yard at any time. Too many issues, and no privacy.
  • 13_JunkyardDog 2012/06/18 19:08:00
    potentially brilliant, but also potentially disastrous. It would be like a park instead of a backyard, but who pays for what?
  • Soojin 2012/06/18 19:02:45
    Sounds like a great way to bond with your neighbors and improve a community feel.
  • stranger Soojin 2012/06/19 06:46:24
    oh and what if you neighnor invites 50 of his friends? or many friends? and they trample over your garden? is it still brilliant?
  • Soojin stranger 2012/06/19 15:42:20
    Well, come on, that's why you have a working relationship with your neighbors. Sure, maybe he'll have a backyard party one day, then you can have a party another day. It's just about respecting one another. Why are you so cynical?
  • stranger Soojin 2012/06/19 16:52:49
    if i want to have lots of people over i don't want to have to sit down with my neighbors and work it out! waste of time! or what if i hate parties and don't lik eseeing lots of people at a time? does that mean i have to leave my home evry time he has a party?

    NO! its a bad idea! the both of you will have differing opinions on how to maintain the yard, friends being over, it will be a pain in the arse
  • Soojin stranger 2012/06/19 17:53:53
    Then don't do it. And boy am I glad you're not my neighbor. You sound like a terrible person to get along with.
  • stranger Soojin 2012/06/19 19:50:26
    well say what you want you don't know me at all! im just saying i don't want to consult with neighbors to do stuff with my yard! im sure they woul dno tappreciate always having to come to me to do stuff in their yard! just because i strongly disagree that we shoudl share yeards does not make me a hard person to get along with!
  • Prime T... Soojin 2012/06/19 17:12:01
    Prime Time Lime
    I agree,neighbors can get to know each other and good things can result in a good community to live in.
  • BoardinOK 2012/06/18 18:55:54
    In a metro area...it's a great idea. Hell where I live you can buy a vacant lot 50' x 120' for $50 from the county... it prevents them from having to mow it. lol
  • Michael Hertel 2012/06/18 18:44:39
    Michael Hertel
    How often does one family use a backyard?
  • BigKwell 2012/06/18 18:14:21
    Bad Idea
    You gotta have a space of your own.
  • 1wickedwitch 2012/06/18 17:52:11
    but only for a vegie garden
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 9 Next » Last »

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.


2016/02/05 22:21:33

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals