Main Content

Make friends with fences

This time of year, homeowners focus more on outside projects. If you are considering putting a fence around or in a section of your yard and are looking to put it on or near your property line, there are a few things you should consider.

First, be sure you know your property line(s). The only way to be 100% sure of your property lines is by the surveyors’ pins or cement monuments. It is common for properties not to have the markers in the ground, or leaves or grass may have covered them. You can use a metal detector to try to locate them or hire a surveyor to survey and pin your property.

If you cannot find the pins or monuments, you should talk with your neighbor(s) to confirm that you agree on the property line. The last thing you want is to put up a fence and find out the neighbor believes you put it on their property. Not only will that make for unnecessary tension, but it could also be a problem when you sell the home if the fence is encroaching on their land. And who knows, maybe they would like a fence too and would be willing to chip in and share the cost.

Before installing the fence, you should check the zoning bylaws of the town you live in to see if there are setback requirements. Some towns require the fence to be set in from the property line and other conditions like specifications on the height and the direction the fence faces and if a permit is required. These requirements can vary from town to town. Most towns post their bylaws online, or you can contact your building inspection department if you have questions.

Fences can make for great neighbors if done correctly and if they are included in the process.

Skip to content