Many people mistakenly believe they can do whatever they like on their property and that this extends to fencing, which simply isn't true and can lead to major issues down the road. If you are thinking about putting in a new fence, there are several things you need to know so you don't violate local codes nor inadvertently upset a dear neighbor. The following guide can help.
Know your property lines and easements
A major error is to build a fence along your supposed property line, then in the future be forced to remove it due to a boundary dispute. It's important to verify where the exact property line lies, either by checking records with the county or by hiring a land surveyor to mark out the exact boundaries. Most fence installers also go a step further and install the fence a few inches to a foot within the boundary to further minimize the chances of future boundary disputes. It's also vital to check with your city or county about any easements they may have. For example, the city may have the right to access your property within a foot to a few feet of the curb in the event of road or other infrastructure maintenance. You want your fence installed so it doesn't encroach on any required easements.
Strive to be as unobtrusive as possible
Although it is your fence and your property, you can ease neighbor relations by making sure it fits into the basic design of your neighborhood. It's also important to make sure it's size and appearance also meets any local zoning regulations or HOA rules. For example, if you live in a conservatively designed neighborhood with lots of low, neutral fencing, putting in a bright orange 10-foot tall fence will likely ruffle some feathers—even if it is allowed by law. Also, consider your location. If you live on a corner lot, opt for a lower fence or a fence with open pickets so it doesn't obstruct the view of drivers as they approach the corner. The goal is for the fence to be a part of your neighborhood, not a nuisance or an eyesore.
Opt for the lowest maintenance option
Maintenance also needs to be considered. Wood fences, for example, require regular painting or sealing. They also need periodic picket replacement. If the fence shares a property line with your neighbor, then this could be a nuisance for them as their yard will also be bordered by the fence. Either they will have to do maintenance on their side, or you will have to get permission to perform it every year or so. While this may not seem like an issue with a current neighbor, people move and the next homeowners may not be as thrilled with the extra work. Instead, opt for low to no maintenance fencing options, like vinyl or aluminum. Even better, discuss your choices with your neighbor and settle on something you both approve of.
For more help, contact a fence company in your area.
I have loved cats ever since I was a child. My parents let our cat roam around the yard without a fence when I was a child, but when I adopted my first cat as an adult, I was much too afraid that she would run off to let her outside. After keeping her as an "indoor cat" for a few years, I decided to look into backyard fencing options that she might not be able to climb or jump over. I put a lot of research into those options, so I decided to start sharing what I learned on a blog to help other cat owners and anyone else who is looking for a fence for a specific need. I have been very lucky and my cat hasn't jumped over my fence at all and she now loves her fenced in back yard!