Nicole Glazer McKee

(949) 636-3659
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Jennae Wilsey

(949) 709-5422
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25950 Acero Street, Suite 100
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

What Homeowners Should Know Before Putting Up a Fence

February 25, 2019

Everyone needs their own space, and fences can provide homeowners with just enough privacy to enjoy their homes without feeling like they’re constantly on display. Fences also help specify exactly where property lines run between lots so there’s no confusion about what belongs to whom.

A fence can also provide your home and your family with security, keep unwanted critters out, and even boost your home’s curb appeal.

But before you put up that fence you’ve been planning, there are a few things you should know first.

Your Property Should Be Surveyed First

Before you start thinking about putting up a fence, make sure you determine exactly where your property lines end and where your neighbors begins. The last thing you want to do is encroach on your neighbor’s property, as this will almost certainly result in litigation.

At the same time, however, you also don’t want to lose any piece of your land either. But you will if the fence is erected too far back on your property from the border with your neighbor.

To avoid any potential issues, call in a licensed surveyor to have your land surveyed. You might be confident about where your land ends and where the property line is, but a surveyor will be able to tell you with more certainty.

Determine What You Want the Fence For

Some homeowners might want complete privacy, while others are looking for security with their fence. Others might just want a fence to keep their small kids or pets from escaping, while others are looking to add some curb appeal to their home’s exterior.

Determine the exact need for your fence, as this will determine the fence’s type, size, materials, and functionality. While an average-height chain-link fence might serve one purpose, a tall, solid fence might be more suitable for full privacy and security. Whatever its intended purpose, you should decide what you’re looking for so you choose the right fence for you.

Consider the Materials

There are all sorts of different materials that you can construct a fence out of. Wood, aluminum, wrought iron, steel, bamboo, and vinyl are all examples of fencing materials that you can choose from. Consider the durability, longevity, and maintenance of each before making your decision.

Find Out What Your Local Bylaws Say About Fence Regulations

Your local jurisdiction will have specifications about fence construction. The height, material, and aesthetics of the fence will all be regulated by the city’s bylaws, as will the distance that a fence must be setback from property lines and sidewalks.

You’ll also want to find out if a building permit will be required to build your fence. Make sure you’re in compliance before you start construction.

Check With the HOA

If you live in an HOA community, you’ll have to check with your HOA before you build, as every HOA will have its own regulations. 

Be Considerate of the Neighbors

Before you start your fence construction, talk to the neighbors about it first. After all, the construction will affect your neighbors’ lives temporarily as construction is being carried out.

Be courteous and ask them about what they think about the type of fence you’re planning to build. Also, be considerate of what the fence will look like on their side.

Consider Your View

You might want your privacy, but take into consideration your view. You might be secluding yourself in your yard to the point where you’ll be left with no view of the outside.

Call the Utility Companies Before You Dig

If you’re building your fence on your own, be careful about where you dig for your posts. There may be gas or water lines running underneath your yard that you might not be aware of.

If you dig in the wrong place, you could cause a disaster. That’s why it’s important that you call the city first before you dig to find out exactly where these lines are running.

The Bottom Line

Fences can give you the privacy and security you’re looking for. They can also improve the look of your home’s yard. But before you start construction, be sure to consider all aspects of erecting a fence to make sure you’re in compliance with the city and that you’ll be satisfied with the end result.