Once you decide to add value to your property by putting in a new fence, you may think the next step involves installing your fence. However, planning for a fence is a complex process and there are a few important details you need to iron out first.
Planning for a New Fence
Fences improve the safety of your home and boost its curb appeal. However, you do need to check that your plans to install a fence don’t cross any lines, both physically and legally. Use this checklist when planning to install a fence:
1. Research Local Fencing Regulations
Before you call any contractors, research any local fencing regulations. This can be done by contacting your homeowner’s association if you have one or the local building code department. This way you can determine if there are any restrictions or requirements in the neighborhood on fence installation.
It isn’t uncommon for neighborhoods to regulate fence styles, the fence materials, the location of the fence, or the height of the fence. When you have a clear understanding of your fence options, you’ll be able to begin planning for a new fence.
2. Determine the Fence’s Primary Functions
After learning the regulations for fences in your neighborhood, determine the reason why you want your fence. Deciding what the fence’s primary purpose is will help you choose the best type for you.
For example, homeowners that are planning for a new fence to keep pets and children safe may want to consider a chain link or metal fence, and if privacy is the main goal, it’s best to consider a tall wooden fence with no gaps. If the fence is purely aesthetic, a classic white or wood picket fence might be your best option.
3. Select the Fence Materials and Type
Once you’ve decided on the function of your fence, you can choose the materials and type of fence you’ll install. During this time, you’ll want to get a few estimates from different companies. Be sure to determine how much maintenance is required with each material that you are considering. Another point to consider is the climate in your area and which fencing materials could best handle the weather.
4. Take Measurements and Sketches for the Fence
While you can do the measuring and sketching of your fence yourself, most homeowners have a fence contractor do this for them. When planning for a new fence, you want to get the most accurate measurements and sketches possible. These will help you to visualize how the fence will look and will also help to identify potential obstructions.
These measurements are important when it comes to establishing the boundary of your home. Your fence should not exceed your property lines, as you may get into trouble with your neighbors or homeowner’s association if it does. If you don’t know where your property boundaries are, look at your deed and plat.
5. Inform Neighbors of the Fence Installation
When planning for a new fence, you’ll want to be sure to let your bordering neighbors know. Most neighbors want to take their own measures to make sure that their property lines are respected. In some cases, neighbors make the decision to contact land surveyors to have the property line clearly defined so that the fence installation goes smoothly.
As you gear up to begin preparing for your fence installation, be sure to follow these five tips. Taking care of all of these steps first will help your fence installation go smoothly and without conflict.