Building a Fence? What to Know About Property Lines and Regulations

Anyone building a fence knows that the bureaucratic process regarding property lines, local ordinances and communicating with neighbors can feel like a complicated, confusing hassle. Each jurisdiction has laws about height requirements, how far back an owner must build a fence and more.

What are your responsibilities, according to local regulations? What should you do about property line confusion?

Take a moment to pause and research. Doing so will be a huge relief.  You’ll realize the process isn’t complicated as long as you understand and obey local laws.

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Here’s what you need to know:

Property Line Guidelines

Many homeowners choose to install fences directly on their property lines to ensure maximum yard space for pets and kids to play, gardening and more.

Building a fence directly on the property line involves your neighbors, which could mean that responsibility must be shared between you both. You have to decide who pays what, and which neighbor gets the nicer side. Open dialogue and clear communication are important so that you come to an agreement that suits both sides.

In some cases, building fences directly on property lines is prohibited. When this isn’t allowed, local jurisdictions have laws about how far back from property lines fences need to be set. This ranges from two to eight inches from the property line, depending on where you live.

Since every jurisdiction has different rules, don’t make assumptions; always check local ordinances about fence placement.

Fence Height Regulations

Fence height regulations are set by local ordinances called Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). Most fencing laws put limits on fence height. Typically, in residential areas, fences are limited to four feet tall in front yards and six feet tall in backyards. Sometimes, natural fences made up of rows of trees, shrubs and bushes are regulated if they meet the neighbor’s property. Natural fences typically can’t be taller than five to eight feet.

Know About Forbidden or Required Fence Materials

Usually, people choose materials like wood, vinyl or chain link fences for their yards. Sometimes, though, fences are made of materials like barbed wire, which will most likely be forbidden due to safety hazards.

Additionally, some towns only approve certain types and styles of fences in order to maintain consistent aesthetics throughout the neighborhood. While this is rare, make sure your materials are approved of by local ordinances.

Hire a Surveyor

If you’re still not sure about local fencing regulations, that’s okay. Ask a professional to survey your property, clarifying issues such as property line confusion. Doing so will save you the stress of possibly making a mistake and having to re-install your fence down the road.

Call Utah Fence Warehouse

While we aren’t surveyors, at Utah Fence Warehouse, our experienced design consultants are familiar with most local codes and are happy to help any way we can. Give us a call today to chat logistics to get you one step closer to installing a beautiful new fence!

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