Do I Need A Permit To Replace a Fence

By Mike

February 10, 2021

A new fence will add so much character and style to your home. It also can add safety and privacy if you are replacing a fence that is falling apart and not serving its purpose correctly. Before taking the plunge to replace a fence in your backyard, many people wonder if they need a permit to replace their fence.

Overall the answer is yes you do need a permit to replace the fence in your yard. The good news is that if you are hiring a contractor, most of the time they take care of the permits for you. If you are deciding to replace a fence yourself, you will have to research and figure out what permits you need as well as how much they are to obtain them.

In the article below, we will cover when it’s necessary to get a permit to replace your fence. We will also cover the important steps you should take to obtain the right permits for a fence replacement in your area.

Do I Need A Permit To Replace a Fence

While many places require you to obtain a permit to replace a fence, the permits and rules greatly differ by the area that you live in. For example, living in a subdivision where there is a strict HOA will typically have more restrictions and rules you have to adhere to when it comes to a new fence.

Taking the time to research and figure out the permits you need to replace your fence will save you plenty of time and money in the long run. Deciding to replace your fence without obtaining a permit is not a risk you should be taking and can run you into plenty of problems that can be a costly mistake.

So yes, overall, you need to obtain a permit to replace your fence, and you should always consult with city hall before adding anything to your yard.

Do I Need A Permit To Repair a Fence

No, you typically do not need a permit to repair a fence. You may be thinking that slowly repairing your fence to the height and style you want is a way to get around permits, but that is not the case.

You cannot change the type or style of wood on your fence without prior approval from the homeowners association in most subdivisions. Necessary repairs do not require a permit, but that typically means you must replace the board with the same board of the same style and wood type.

If you are replacing an entire section of your fence because of damage over the years, you will likely need to obtain a permit to proceed.

What Happens if I Build a Fence Without A Permit

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a homeowner is assuming that you don’t need a permit and then getting caught later. If you decide to begin building a fence without a valid license, you can be looking at many fees that could have easily been avoided and prevented.

More often than not if you do any type of construction or repairs on your home, especially in a subdivision, you must obtain a permit. If you fail to do so, you will likely be asked to get a permit within a certain number of days. You may also be asked to deconstruct or disassemble what you built that was not approved, especially if it’s a safety hazard.

There is also a high possibility that you will be fined if you continue not to follow the rules and get a permit.

How Do I Obtain A Permit To Replace A Fence

There are some essential steps to take when working to obtain a permit to replace a fence.

Calling your local city hall or building inspector and explaining what you want to do is a great start to know what permits you need. They will likely define the codes you need to know and most likely charge you for any permits required.

You will then need to work through your property lines and sketch out your desired design to ensure that you meet expectations and follow the permit’s rules.

It is imperative to discuss any property lines with any neighbors to ensure everyone is on the same page. If you decide to proceed without consulting the neighbors that share a fence with you can end up in a significant legal dispute that can be costly of both time and money.

What Steps Do You Take to Replace A Fence

If you plan to replace your fence by yourself, you must take plenty of steps to ensure you follow the rules and correctly install your fence.

Consulting the city hall in your town before taking any steps is a great idea to make sure you are following rules and will not get in trouble later.

After you have obtained the correct permits, you can begin to sketch out your design and approve it for building. Don’t forget to consult with your neighbors before you start building.

A common mistake homeowners make when replacing their fence by themselves is assuming that they can move the fence a few inches in one direction and running into wires or cables underneath. One thing you don’t want to have happen is to prepare to dish out money for a new fence and then have to hire someone to fix a cut wire or cable.

You can then figure out if you need to replace your entire fence or just large sections. If you notice that your fence’s main beams are in excellent condition, you may be able to salvage them and use them as a frame.

Once you figure out how much of the face you will be replacing, you need to figure out what type of wood you will use and any HOA rules concerning the style and type of wood you can use. Tackling a fence build yourself may take you plenty of time and energy, but it is a budget-friendly option and will allow you to customize your fence just the way you want it.

Conclusion

A fence is an amazing addition to your yard and gives you your own little area for you and your family to enjoy. Over time, your fence may start to warp or begin to fall apart. After a while, you may have to make the decision to replace your fence.

You can either decide to replace the fence yourself or have a contractor do it for you. If you decide to go with a contractor, you will likely not mess with permits because they will do it for you. If you want to do it yourself, you absolutely must obtain permits.

Needing a permit for your fence replacement depends on your location and whether you are in a subdivision or not. More often than not, subdivisions are a lot more strict and have more restrictions that come from the homeowners association.

Whether you decide to replace your fence yourself or hire a contractor, consulting your city hall for guidance is a great step to give you accurate information to follow.

About the author

Hi I'm Mike! I'm the owner, writer, and sometimes editor of Foundedproject.com. Being a new homeowner can be a little daunting, which is why I created this blog. I write about problems that a new home owner might run into. 

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