You can choose from several different fencing materials to finish your yard, but before the fence can be installed, make sure your yard is ready for fencing. Without the right preparations, you could make costly mistakes or even have trouble with the longevity of your fence.
Your fencing company can help you make sure that you have everything in order. Here are some things you’ll need to take care of before installation day.
Marking for Utilities
One of the most costly mistakes you can make when installing a fence is digging blind. You might think you know where specific utility lines are, and you might feel confident about digging holes for fence posts without calling for marking flags. However, failing to call can be costly and dangerous.
Even if you might think there are no utility lines running where you want your fence, you need to be absolutely certain. When you call your state number for marking, they will notify the following services who will come to provide lines and flags:
- Gas. Gas lines often run underground. Even if yours are not near the dig site, a main line can still run hidden through your property to deliver gas to neighboring properties. Hitting a gas line is serious. Not only will it cause thousands of dollars in damage, but you also risk fire or explosion.
- Water. Your city will not be happy with you if you hit even a small water line. The damage to both your property and surrounding property from leaking water could be substantial, and you could be responsible for repairs.
- Electric. If you hit buried electrical wires with a shovel or auger, you risk electrocution. These wires are smaller than other utility lines and often run erratically around the home and near the garage.
- Internet. Many different phone and internet companies may have wired your house for service throughout the years. You have no way of knowing where fibers might be hidden underground.
Sometimes, your state utility service will not be thorough. If you have buried lines that were not installed by official service companies, such as electrical running from the house to a detached garage, you may need to hire a private marking company to come and make sure that your fence will not hit any buried lines.
Different cities, towns, and counties have different fencing requirements, and you often need a permit to put a fence on your property. Your fencing company should know how long it takes to get a permit and what restrictions come with the permits for your specific area.
Permits can dictate the height, material, and even location of a fence. Some cities may not permit building fences around the front yard. Others will restrict heights for corner lots because the fence can reduce visibility for drivers who need to see oncoming traffic.
For example, in some designated historic areas, the city may designate a maximum height for a fence and the material that must be used. Research permit and fence restrictions before making final budget and material plans for your fence.
If you do not follow permit guidelines, you could be fined or be ordered to take down the fence. Removing a non-permitted fence can be costly, especially because the materials themselves represent a large investment.
Getting approved for a permit can take several days in many municipalities, so arrange installation with your fencing company in advance time so that if you need the fence by a certain date, you time to apply for and get permit approval.
Another costly problem that can come from too-hasty fence installation is boundary dispute. If you mark the path of the fence only to discover that the fence is encroaching on a neighbor’s property by inches or feet, the neighbor can sue to have the fence moved or removed because it did not follow legal property boundaries.
The best way to avoid boundary disputes is to pay for a professional survey of your property before marking the fence line. When you have the survey done, any complaints can be resolved with the proof you have from the property report.
You may not want to incur the extra cost of the survey, but it is much less expensive to get the boundary marked than it is to dispute fencing with a neighbor after the fact. Proper boundary confirmation can also help you order and prep the right amount of materials so you don’t come up short when the fence goes in.
Assessment of Trees and Obstructions
Finally, your fencing company will need to assess the path of the fence. Sometimes, old trees and outbuildings can be in the way of where the fence should go. You may need to invest in tree removal if the tree is in the path of the fence. Tree removal can take time, so discuss potential boundaries early.
For more information on what needs to be done in order to prepare your property for a fence, contact us at Town & Country Fence.