Custom cottage fence

Fencing Photos

Explore photos of various new fencing styles to inspire your next renovation

The different types of fences include chain-link, ranch style, panel or picket fences. The installation required for all fences is similar to each other. Additionally the design you want for your home is unlimited. The best way to determine what type of fence that you would like in your yard is to drive around the neighbourhood, looking through books and magazines-these will give you good ideas.

It is important though that if you have a homeowners association, check with them prior to having a fence installed to ensure that there are not any restrictions or that you have to submit plans prior to any digging occurring on your property. Homeowner's rules and regulations vary-not all of them are the same or contain the same rules and regulations from association to association.

You will also want to find out how close to the property line you can build, in addition to checking for buried cables, pipes, or other utilities. If you have the blueprints for your home, it would be a good idea to know where the property lines are and have a surveyor stake your lot so that there are not any problems.

When you are ready to have your fence installed, the layout is fairly easy. After you have staked out where the fence will go, use a string between the stakes. This will help to guide your installation of the posts.

Now you are ready to dig the holes for the post. There are a couple of different ways to dig the holes and will largely depend on the type of ground you have - if the dirt is very hard or is mostly clay, you may want to rent a power auger. This will save you time and your body. A clamshell digger is a good tool to use if the dirt is fairly easy to work with.

Also ensure that the posts are dug down deep enough - they should be below the frost line to ensure that the posts will stay in place when the ground freezes.

When you are ready to set the posts, using redwood, cedar or treated posts is a better option as they will resist rot and decay. Regardless, it would be a good idea to put in about six inches of gravel at the bottom of each hole. The gravel will help the water that collects at the bottom to drain more easily. When setting the posts, it is always a good idea to use concrete. This will help them to stay in place better. This is also a good idea for metal fence posts if you have chosen to have a chain-link fence installed.

Fences and the Law

They say good fences make good neighbours, but is it really the truth? Before you hire a fencing contractor to install your fence, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that may be imposed upon your fence. This way, you're sure to make the right choice when you install your fence so not only are you happy, but your neighbours are as well. Use these frequently asked questions about fence laws to help you make an informed decision about what type of fence you want (or can have) installed in your yard.

Q: I want to repair an old fence between my neighbour's property and mine. Can I tear it down and replace it?

A: Before you touch any fence, you have to be sure who owns it. If a fence exists ON the property line, it's up to BOTH homeowners to repair or replace the fence. Neighbours can simply agree on each paying for half of the repairs. Finding the property line is the first problem to solving any disputes. The most common solution if an agreement cannot be reached is to simply build the fence onto your property. A copy of your plot/survey map may be obtained for a fee from your local courthouse or property tax administrator. In some cases, the map may be outdated and a new survey will have to be done.

Q: I have noisy traffic on one side of my home. How high can I build a fence to block out the noise?

A: That depends. Typical fence heights are six feet in the rear of the home and four feet in the front. That certainly limits your possibilities of a fence to block out noises. To further compound the situation, if traffic view to the adjacent street, i.e. around the corner, is blocked, the fence can be fined and demanded by DOT or other local traffic authorities that the fence be removed. ALWAYS check with your local building and transportation department BEFORE you make any plans to build a fence to block out noise, traffic, views, etc. A variance can be requested in many cases and the plan will go before the building officials top planners to see if the idea is feasible. In most cases, the plan is accepted.

Q: I live in a subdivision where the homes are very close together. Can I build a vinyl privacy fence around my yard?

A: It is more than likely if your home is very similar to other homes in your subdivision, then you probably have deed restrictions. And those restrictions almost certainly contain some sort of limit to what type, style, color and size of fencing you are allowed (if at all) in your yard. When you build a new home in a subdivision, the homeowners association must approve it first, and that includes fencing. ALWAYS check with your local homeowners association before building any fence to find out what deed restrictions there are about fencing in your subdivision.

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