One of the most common questions we get is…
How close to the property line can I build a fence?
Along those same lines, our customers (and their neighbors) may ask things like:
- Does a new fence get installed along the same line as the old fence?
- What are the setback requirements for my new fence?
- How do fence companies locate property lines?
- Can my neighbor build a fence on the property line?
- Can a new fence straddle the property line with my neighbor?
In this article, we are going to discuss some of these questions to give you an idea of what to expect when it comes time to replace your fence.
Let’s dig right in.
Fencing on Your Property Line
And in what might be considered a typical situation in the absence of HOA rules and regulations.
When you purchase a new fence for your backyard or side yard…
You are allowed to build the fence right up to your property line.
The posts, rails, pickets, chain link and other fence components can touch your property line, but not extend past the line.
The City of Tulsa Planning Office states clearly that… “fences can be built up to your property line.”
Surrounding communities have similar provisions.
With that in mind…
Your fence cannot be built to straddle the property line between you and your neighbor.
Your fence can be built up to but not over the property line.
Can We Build The New Fence On The Same Line As The Old Fence?
If you are replacing a fence that clearly sits on your property, then we may be able to install the fence along the same line.
If, however, the existing fence sits on your neighbor’s property, we will not be able to install the fence in the same location as the old.
Your new fence will need to be positioned on your property.
Speaking of neighbors…
It’s always best to talk to your neighbor and advance of installation of a new fence.
Ideally, during the planning stage.
This helps them know what to expect.
Especially if they have pets or children to be concerned about.
It’s good to be on good terms with neighbors about your fence project.
Sometimes we get asked.
If we can split the billing cost for a new fence between two different neighbors.
Unfortunately, we are not able to do that.
If you’ve worked out a shared cost arrangement with your neighbor, that’s great.
Legally, our fencing contract is made with a single property owner.
For that reason, we need to install the fence on the property owned by our customer.
How Do Fence Companies Identify The Property Line?
As a fence company, there are three methods we generally use to identify the property line for installation of your new fence.
1. Property Pins
We start by trying to locate the property pins. Property pins are usually installed by the original survey crew when they platted the property. As long as they have not been moved, these provide an accurate way to identify the borders of your property. We will run a string line between pins and build your fence up to that.
2. Plot Plan
Your plot plan can help to identify the borders around your property. If your fence contractor cannot first locate your property pins, then the plot plan can assist in finding your property lines.
3. New Survey
If you don’t have access to either of the above (or if the property line is in dispute), you can order new survey. A surveyor will measure and mark property boundaries. Keep in mind this could cause a delay to installation of your fence, depending on how busy your surveyor is.
What Are The Setback Requirements For My New Fence?
There are certain situations where setback requirements dictate the location of your new fence.
Your Homeowners Association may have specific requirements in terms of fence style, height and location for where you can install the fence on your property.
In addition to that.
Your local community may have specific requirements…
…in terms of how far back your fence needs to be from the sidewalk in your front yard.
Your home’s location on the street will also affect where your fence can be located.
A side yard fence installed adjacent to a sidewalk must be located a certain distance away from the sidewalk.
Additionally, corner lots must maintain a clear “line of sight triangle” to prevent obstructing the view for automobiles traveling on public streets.
This visibility line of sight triangle usually calls for trees, shrubs, signs and fencing to be 42″ or shorter in this area to make sure drivers have a clear view of traffic when approaching an intersection.
Distance and size of the triangle vary by location.
Do Easements Affect Where My Fence Can Be Built?
Yes, they can.
Some easements dictate areas of your property that must be left clear of any structures (including fencing).
For instance, you can’t build your fence in a roadway ditch.
Dictate that the utility company can exercise their right to remove sections of your fence if the fence is in the way of the area in which they need to work.
It is not uncommon for utility companies to remove a section or two of fence when working on a project in someone’s backyard.
In addition to fencing, easements can affect landscaping, pools, sheds, driveways, etc.
Be familiar with easements that affect your property before starting your fence project.
When it comes time to build your new fence, you can generally build right up to your property line.
The area has setback requirements associated with front yards, corner lots or other areas adjacent to a public right of way or easement.
If you need help planning your new fence, give us a call!
That’s what we’re here for.
Contact Empire Fence
As a regional leader in privacy fence design & installation, Empire Fence of Tulsa is here to help… by providing professional service at an affordable price.