Credit: Thalia Ruiz via Unsplash

Building a fence can give you a sense of privacy and enclosure in your front or backyard. Replacing an old, faded, or collapsing fence will breathe new life into your home, improve its curb appeal, and make you feel happier and prouder about your home.

A fence is a reliable investment that will improve the value of your home and help you get more out of your outdoor space. However, a misstep can quickly turn into a headache.

Before you get started, you need this guide to everything you need to know before you start building a fence on your property.

What Are the Rules Around Fences in Your Municipality?

In most places in North America, you will not need a building permit for a fence, but it doesn’t hurt to double check.

More commonly, you’re going to run into a lot of rules about fence building. Municipal bylaws can regulate how tall your fence can be, and in some towns or neighborhoods, they may regulate the materials and colors you use for your fence. This is especially true in heritage districts or neighborhoods regulated by an HOA.

Where Is Your Property Line?

The single most important thing you can find out before you build your fence is the exact location of your property lines. Don’t guess, and don’t assume. Just because there’s a fence in place now doesn’t mean that it’s within your property line.

As a general rule, if you build your fence within your property lines, you can put up whatever you want. If you build it on the property line, it becomes the shared responsibility of you and your neighbor. A shared fence can quickly become a nightmare for neighbors if they disagree about it.

However, if you are on good terms with your neighbor and have a similar idea in mind, you can split the costs with a shared fence.

Get Technical Drawings from Your Contractor

Don’t leave anything up to chance. Make sure your contractor provides you with technical drawings of the project before they begin.

On, you can find technical drawings ready to go for their standard fences and styles, but the company also provides custom deviations if your project needs them. These drawings should show you all of the details you need to know about the fence you’re going to get. 

Choose the Right Materials

The materials you choose for your fence will impact not just the cost of your project, but also its appearance and the kind of maintenance you can expect to deal with. Wood fences will have to be stained every few years, and they can warp or rot over the years.

Low-maintenance materials that you may want to consider are vinyl, steel, aluminum, and bamboo.

Get a Detailed Quote

As with any major home improvement, you want to know your costs. The main determinants of the cost are going to be the amount of fences you need and the materials you choose. Both the total length of the fence and its height will determine how much you need for materials.

With these tips, you should be prepared to build a new fence or replace an existing one.

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