Fences serve different purposes on your property depending on your needs. They protect your kids and pets by keeping them safely enclosed, limit access for intruders, and they can establish property lines. A fence can also add curb appeal to your property. Here are four important things to do when you plan for a new fence.

Plan for a New Fence Responsibly

Though you own your property, there are limitations when it comes to adding new features. Any type of construction may be subject to zoning laws, building permits, inspections, and other regulatory conditions set by your county or city.

Before you buy any materials, talk to local authorities about what is allowed on your property. Make sure you give yourself enough time to submit plans and provide any necessary documentation they may require.

Account for Buried Utilities

Overhead lines for telephone and electricity are easy to spot, but that’s not the only place you’ll find utilities. There may be cables and pipes buried just a couple of feet beneath your yard.

Buried utilities are in widespread use throughout much of the country, and even your best recollection of their locations may not be accurate. There may also be others that you don’t even know about.

Contact the nationwide number 811 to have all nearby buried utilities located and marked in your yard. Take this important step so that your fence construction project doesn’t run into a dangerous and expensive interruption.

Verify Property Lines When You Plan for a New Fence

Sometimes the purpose of the fence is to divide two areas that belong to the same owner. In most cases, though, fences are meant to separate two pieces of property.

The situation can turn quite contentious if you accidentally encroach on your neighbor’s property, so refer to your deed or other documentation as you plan for a new fence.

Locate and mark any stakes or other reference points and review them with your adjacent neighbors before starting work. It might also be good to get a written agreement with your neighbors to confirm your shared understanding of the property lines.

Choose the Right Type of Fence

The purpose of your fence will play a big part in what fencing material you choose. For privacy, planks of vinyl or wood will block the view beyond the fence. A chain-link fence may be best for pets, but it may require extra materials at the bottom to prevent dogs from digging under it.

Ornamental fences can be brick, wrought iron, pickets, or even split rails. Get an accurate measurement of the total distance your fence will cover and get a breakdown of the price of the materials, including gates and bracing. Make sure to include labor costs when finalizing your budget.

As you plan for a new fence, remember that it’s a long-term investment for your home’s privacy, beauty, and value. It’s important that you are in agreement with your neighbors and are following local ordinances. Good planning will help you build a fence that will serve your family for years to come.

Robertson Home Inspection offers home inspections to the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. Contact us to request an appointment.