Fence Installation: Legal facts to know before you DIY

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Fence installation is more than just sticking a few boards in the ground. While there are many “do it yourself” websites and forums out there that show the process, there are many more things to consider than just color and how to put it up. You might be surprised to hear that there are regulations and permit requirements for some fence installations as well as property laws that need to be considered when installing a fence.

Let us start off with the one many people don’t know; there is a legal height limit for fences installed by property owners without a permit. Yes, this is real and yes this is not a joke. In most states, the legal height for fences installed by a homeowner without a permit is 3 feet in front and 6 feet on the sides and back. Any taller and you will require a permit to construct or conduct the fence installation.

There is another little caveat to this; if a fence is built on your property line, it is technically both yours and your neighbors. As such, it is also important to check the rules and regulations of your area or county as it varies area to area the legal distance from your property in which you can build a fence. It may seem a bit extra all things considered, but it is necessary when considering that a property will be sold at some point or another and that if the fence is on the boundary line, it is technically encroaching on your neighbor’s property.

Another thing to note is that when replacing or repairing a fence, you may require a permit based on the state in which you reside and the total repair or replacement cost for the fence. Some states, such as Miami, has legal requirements for anyone repairing a wooden or concrete fence that has a repair or replacement cost of $1000 or higher in a residential area. Fence installation in industrial or business areas may also require a permit to erect or repair.

Finally, while a DIY fence installation can fill you with pride, it can also hurt your wallet. Should your neighbors not be happy with your fencing or you build it on the boundary dividing your properties, they can file an injunction order. In some states, this may require you to pay your neighbor up to half of the fence’s value and yes, this is legal. So it is always advised to gain permission from your neighbors before doing a fence installation.

Want to avoid all this? Feeling a headache after reading all the legal issues? No problem! As registered fence installers we have all the legal paperwork and experience to make sure that you avoid any legal or technical troubles without issue or fuss. While DIY is widely used, it is important to remember that when working on your property, it is best left to the professionals. Give us a call today and we’ll sort out all your fencing needs!