What to Consider Before Getting a New Fence

What to Consider Before Getting a New Fence Your neighbors may be wonderful people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to be able to see into your yard, walk on over anytime, or getting confused about where exactly their property ends and your property begins. Fences are the perfect way to establish those well-needed boundaries. But whether you’re looking to replace an existing fence or want to put up a brand new one, taking the time to plan the project out properly will ensure the project goes smoothly.

Why Do You Want a Fence?

Before you get started, ask yourself exactly what you want your fence to do. Do you want a privacy fence to prevent neighbors from seeing into your yard or do you just want something that will establish your property line or keep your dog in your yard? What you want your fence to do will have a big impact on the type of fence you should have. If you just want something to establish your property lines and aren’t particularly concerned about privacy, a simple chain link fence could be just what you need. But if you want a privacy fence, you’ll have to get a taller fence that has very small gaps between the planks.

How Much Maintenance Do You Want?

The amount of time and effort you’ll have to put into taking care of your fence will largely depend on the type of materials you use for your new fence. There are lots of different options for fencing materials, so whether you want something that requires virtually no maintenance or don’t mind some level of upkeep, you’ve got lots of options to choose from.

Wood fences look very nice, but can be damaged by water over time and will have to be painted or stained every now and then. Vinyl and composite fences come in lots of colors and can even have a convincingly wood-like appearance, but don’t require the upkeep that real wood fences need. Chain link fences are another very low-maintenance option.

Do Your Research

Doing some research before you get started building your new fence can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. First of all, you’ll want to be completely certain you know exactly where your property line is. You may even want to have your property re-surveyed to be completely sure you know for where your property ends. You certainly don’t want to end up getting into a dispute with your neighbors because your fence was built just slightly over your property line.

Finding out what rules your city has regarding fences is also another essential step in the planning process. Many cities have rules about things like how tall fences can be and how far they should be from the property line.  Corner lots might have special rules to prevent problems with visibility. If you have to deal with a HOA, they might have very specific rules about what types of fences you can have, how tall they can be, or what materials they can be made out of.

If you hire someone to build your new fence for you, they’ll be familiar with the building codes in your area and will get any permits necessary for the job.


As a courtesy, it’s nice to let your neighbors know about your new fence plans. After all, it’s something they’ll have to look at, too, and you’ll want to make sure your new fence won’t have a negative impact on their home in anyway, such as by blocking a nice view. Plus, they may appreciate the warning that you’ll have people working in your yard so close to their property in the near future. And, of course, make sure the finished side of your fence faces outward so that your neighbors don’t have to look at unfinished planks of wood or support beams.