Are you thinking about building a fence around your property? Building a fence can be more complicated than you think; residential fencing needs to follow local rules as well as legal regulations. Here are a few things you might want to ponder before you begin your renovations.
1. Homeowner's Associations May Have Fence Limits
If you live in an area with a homeowner's association, you will absolutely need to check on their bylaws before you install a fence. Almost every HOA has regulations on what types of fence can be built, where they can be built, what color they can be and even what height they can be. Some stricter HOAs may even require that you go through a specific contractor for your fencing.
2. Dividing Line Fences Often Need Neighborly Acceptance
If you're building a fence between two plots of land, you often need the acceptance of your neighbor. This is especially true in rural areas. Even if you don't legally need your neighbor to accept your fence, it's generally considered polite to talk to them about it -- the work will be going on directly next to them and they may want to check the dividing line themselves.
3. Fences Can Change Your Property Line
You need to be absolutely certain of your property line before you build a fence. If you build your fence too close to your home and your neighbor begins to make use of the property on the other side, your neighbor may eventually be able to claim some of your property as their own. (The opposite is also true; if your fence falls into your neighbor's yard and remains that way uncontested for some time, you may eventually be able to claim that property as your own.) Consequently, you should double check your documents first.
4. Fences Need to be Safe
As a fence is on your own property, you might be tempted to think that its structure doesn't matter. But a fence should always be built by a residential fencing company because it still needs to be safe. If your fence is dangerous, it could be a liability; should a visitor or neighbor be injured by your fence, you could be considered liable for their medical costs.
The easiest way to determine your local laws and regulations regarding fencing is to contact the residential fencing company (such as Town & Country Fence) themselves. Many of them will be able to direct you to the information that you need.