MW Fence Company

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Fence? What about a Survey?

Published by MW Fence Company on 1-31-2024

Building a fence can be a great way to enhance your property's privacy, safety, and aesthetic appeal. However, before you embark on this project, it's important to understand the legal requirements involved. One of the most commonly asked questions is whether you need a permit to build a fence. In this blog, we'll address this and other related concerns, such as the need for a survey. So let's dig in!

Do I need a Permit to Build a Fence?

If you live outside city limits in your area, you likely don’t need a permit. But if you reside within city limits, or inside a residential area with a Property Owners Association or Homeowners Association, you will likely have restrictions to what you can do for fencing on your property, and be required to obtain a permit. There are many different municipalities within our service area, and the building codes and regulations can be different within each one. It is crucial to check with your local city office before starting any fence construction, because the style of fence you want, or where you want to put it may not be allowed in your area. Nearly all municipalities in our service area classify fence installation as construction work, and as such require permits, inspections, and compliance with codes. By enforcing these regulations for safety, quality, access, and aesthetics, local authorities can ensure that the structures are built to code, are visually appealing, do not infringe on the rights of others, and do not pose any risks to public health or safety.

Here are a few common restrictions in various municipalities:

  • Fences more than 4 ft in height are not allowed in front yards and must be see-through in design, such as chain link, ornamental, or spaced picket.
  • Solid privacy fences are not allowed closer to the front of the property than the back corners of the residence and can not be more than 6 ft in height.
  • Fences less than 6 ft in height do not require a permit but must follow applicable restrictions.

MW Fence Co maintains all required licenses and insurance in all of the cities in our service area. We take the stress of the research out of your hands, making sure what you want is allowed where you live, and submitting the required permits for all of our customers’ projects!

Do I need a Permit to Replace a Fence?

Replacing an existing fence usually does not require a permit, as long as it is the same type of fence and goes back in the same footprint as the previous fence. However, it's crucial to note that these regulations can vary. Some jurisdictions might require you to obtain a permit, even for a fence replacement. It's always best to consult your local building department to ensure you comply with all relevant regulations. Again, MW Fence Co does this legwork for you.

Do I Need a Survey to Put Up a Fence?

Before installing a fence, you should ALWAYS know where your property boundaries are. While many residential property owners have a general idea of their boundary lines, it is crucial to have your property pins identified and exposed before installing a fence.

The purpose of a survey is to precisely identify and mark property boundaries with property pins so the property owner knows exactly what belongs to them. Property pins are varied in materials used but are mainly long steel stakes driven into the ground. They are usually 3 to 6 inches below ground level, so they don’t get disturbed and can be exposed easily when needed. With the property pins exposed, MW Fence Co can place string lines from pin to pin to ensure your fence stays on your property, protecting your investment. 

Though not usually required by law, a professional residential survey typically costs $400 - $600, which is far less costly than the cost of legal disputes with neighbors due to encroachment onto their adjacent properties, or removing and/or relocating a fence! If you want to maximize your fenced area and your property pins are not exposed, MW Fence CO. HIGHLY recommends a survey!

Do Fence Companies Survey?

Most fence companies do not offer land surveying services as it is a completely different professional occupation. MW Fence Co refers our customers to local surveying companies who deal with our customers efficiently and affordably. Once the property pins are exposed, we can run string lines from pin to pin. This visually creates the boundary line, allowing us to drill holes that are as close to the edge of the property without digging into the neighboring ground.

Being Prepared with MW Fence 

Overall, whether you need a permit to build a fence depends on your local building codes. It is always best to consult your local municipality to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations. Replacing a fence may or may not require a permit, depending on the area. Fence installation is typically considered construction work and may require permits and inspections. While obtaining a survey is not legally required in most cases, it is advisable to have one done to accurately determine property lines and avoid potential conflicts.

Remember, when hiring MW Fence Co for your fence project, all the permitting legwork is done for you! But if you are installing a fence on your own, it's essential to consult the appropriate authorities before proceeding with any fence construction or replacement. With MW Fence Co, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience, adding value and functionality to your property. If you want to know more about the process of constructing a fence around your property, reach out to MW Fence Co today!