What To Know Before a Fence Installation

Checklist for Installing a Fence

Homeowners install fences for privacy, visual appeal, or for the safety of pets and children. When deciding to install a fence in your yard, you first need to do the following:

  1. Decide where the fence will be located in your yard.  Determine how much of the yard will be fenced and how much privacy you are looking to gain by adding a fence to your yard. Obtain a copy of the plat for your property.  It is very helpful in determining property lines for fence placement. If you do not have a copy with your closing paperwork, you can obtain a copy of the plat map from your local planning office.
  2. Check with your HOA. You may not have much of a say in the height or type of fence that you install.  Make sure you are within the guidelines of your HOA covenants. Many HOA’s require an approval process before constructing a fence.
  3. Decide the need of the fence. Think about what you are looking for in a fence.  Is privacy our main concern or is it decoration. How many gates will you need?  Do you need walk through or drive through gates? Do you have or will you be getting a pool? If so, additional pool restrictions will apply. Do you have very small pets? If so you may want to consider double pickets if you are interested in aluminum fencing, as this will decrease the spaces between pickets. Do you have a common area or view that you want to keep visible? You might want to have a privacy fence on the front and side with a more open style in the back.
  4. Decide on the height of the fence. You may build a 6-ft. high privacy fence only to find that the next-door neighbors can easily see over when they’re lounging on their deck. Or you may find that your 6-ft. tall privacy fence only needed to be 4 ft. tall because surrounding areas slope away from your yard. Either way, you’re wasting materials, money and time building a fence that doesn’t suit your yard.
  5. Consider Fence Maintenance. How much time do you want to spend maintaining your fence? Wooden fencing requires the most maintenance but it can making your yard more aesthetically pleasing.  Aluminum or vinyl fencing requires little upkeep and makes this option a very appealing on.
  6. Pick the design of your fence.  A solid, high fence may wall off prying eyes, but it also walls you in. Your fence doesn’t have to be one continuous design, height or even material.
  7. Plan to have an entire panel removable.  At some point you will probably need to get something big into your backyard.  Make sure that one of the panels will be easy to remove or that there is a big enough opening to fit large objects through easily.
  8. Many cities require a permit before constructing a fence.  Check with your local planning officer or zoning department to determine if you will need a permit to install your fence.
  9. You may want to check with your neighbors to see if they might be interested in getting a fence.  You can share the cost of the shared side line and save some money. Or, if they already have a fence, get permission to connect to it and save money as well.
  10. Keep in mind that the fence price you are quotes is subject to change due to material and fuel costs. The only way to lock in the price is to sign a contract.