A fence can be a wonderful addition to a home and has many benefits including increasing property value, providing privacy, keeping children and pets in and keeping unwanted visitors out. However, many homeowners aren’t aware that most cities and counties require them to have a fence permit before putting in a fence.
Whether or not you need a permit to build a fence depends greatly upon where you live. Fence permits are either issued by the city or the county in which you live and each location has their own rules and regulations. Some locations always require a permit while others only require one for special situations or certain types of fences. Other locations don’t require a permit at all, although more often than not you will need one.
The type of fence that you plan to build also may have some impact on whether or not you will need to get a permit. For instance, certain locations will only require a permit if you plan to build a fence that is taller than 6 feet, while other require a permit for all fences regardless of height.
Rural areas tend to have more lenient rules as far as what types of fence you can install. For example, a farmer or rancher would have a much easier time getting a permit to build a barbed wire fence than someone living in a city or an urban area.
Much like each location has its own rules as far as what types of fences require permits, they also have different requirements for the paperwork you need to submit to get a fence permit. Some cities and counties only require that you pay for the permit while others will ask you to submit your plans, sketches of the fence and photographs of the area where you plan to install it.
If your property backs up against your neighbors property many locations will also require you to get written consent from your neighbor before granting your permit. Depending upon your relationship with your neighbor this may be easier said than done.
On average fence permits run anywhere from about $20-30, although again, depending upon where you live they can go higher than that.
The best way to know whether or not you need a fence permit for your project is to contact your city or county offices and ask what the requirements and fees are for your area. Many times you can find this information on the city or county website as well along with detailed information on the application process.
If you are getting your fence installed by professionals they may be able to take care of getting the permit for you. Although you will still have to pay all the permitting fees it can save you a lot of time and energy by having them do it for you – especially since they are probably familiar with the process in your area and can handle it quickly and easily.