Things To Consider Before Building A Fence

As a homeowner, several situations may inspire you to fence in your backyard. You may want to clearly establish your property lines, or you may desire privacy from prying eyes. Perhaps you have children and pets to protect. Whatever the reasons, you cannot just install a fence on a moment's notice. You need to follow several steps before you proceed with your building project. 

Check the Rules

You will need to check with both the city and the homeowner's association about their rules for building a fence. Some cities or municipalities will require that you obtain a permit before you build. Some areas will limit the kind of material you may use for your fence and also require you to keep the "pretty" side of the fence facing outward. In many cases, you will be required to limit the height of your fence to six feet in your backyard and four feet in the front.

Boundary Fences

If you are going to "use" a neighbor's boundary fence, you may become responsible for half of the upkeep of the fence, and, depending on state law, may owe the neighbor half of the fence's cost. For instance, when you attach your fence to the neighbor's in order to enclose your yard, you are considered a user of the boundary fence and may be held partly responsible for its upkeep and value. You need to consider that responsibility before you begin construction.


Your choice of material will depend on several factors, including whether or not you want privacy. If you do, a wooden fence is often the best option, although some vinyl fencing may also serve your needs. If you are trying to keep your pets and children in the yard, an aluminum fence should suffice, as long as it's tall enough to keep your dog from jumping over it and prevents your child from climbing it. Remember that your HOA and municipality may forbid the use of some materials like barbed wire and other less attractive options.

Before you build your fence, check the rules and regulations that govern construction in your area. You may need to get a permit before you proceed with your fence. Also, consider if you will be sharing a fence with your neighbor since doing so may make you responsible for part of the upkeep of an existing boundary fence. Finally, choose the best material for your fence's purpose. Once you have taken these steps, you are free to begin building your fence yourself or hiring a contractor like Landmark Fence & Deck to do so.