How High Can a Fence Be?

How High Can a Fence Be?

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When you’re planning a new fence, one of the most common questions you’re likely to ask is how high a fence can be.

Many people, whether they’re fencing a commercial property for security or a private yard for privacy, wonder how high they can go with their fencing. Here’s what you need to know.

Local Building Regulations

If you live in a city or town, the answer to the question of how high your fence can be is usually determined by the local building department.

Municipal building departments set the rules about how high fences can be, and also, in cases like pool fencing, how high they must be.

In some cases, if you need to have a higher fence than what is allowed by the regulations, you can apply for permission, which is also known as a variance. However, you usually need to have a very good reason for this, and it can be a costly and time-consuming process.

Fence Type

Sometimes, the height of your fence can be is determined by the fence you’re installing. Many types of fences, like chain link, can be manufactured to suit most height requirements, but some, like vinyl fences and panel fences,s are only available in certain heights.

Of course, you can make changes to the fence by installing them differently or adding an overhang or extension, but sometimes, the standard height of the fence product itself will limit your height options.

Your Neighbors

Sometimes, the height your fence can be is determined by your neighbors if you need to get their permission for the fence. Often, if a fence will obstruct a view or create other problems for your neighbours, they might not give their permission when asked.

However, usually, if a neighbour will benefit from the new fence you’re installing, they will be only too happy to say yes!

Fence Height Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the rules when it comes to fence height limits.

High-security sites like military facilities and prisons are often exempt from ordinary local regulations. Instead, their fence specifications and requirements are usually governed by a higher level of government and override local regulations.

Different Fence Lines, Different Restrictions

Our final word on how high your fence can be is that it’s not always a single answer. Often, particularly when the fence line is adjacent to public property or a road, the regulations for fence height will differ based on where it is. So, some of the fences on your property line might be as high as 6’ or more, while other areas might only be able to go up to 4’.

If your fence has these kinds of changes, you will need to install what is known as a “step down” fence that changes height along the fence line.

How Can You Find Out for Sure?

If you’re still not sure how high your fence can be, a fence company that works in your area can probably give you a good idea, but most fence companies don’t apply for permits or submit building plans to the local municipality. That’s usually the job of a property developer or architect.

So, if there’s any doubt about what height your fence can be, the best thing you can do is put in a call to the building department at your local municipality, tell them where you live, and what kind of fence you want to install. They’ll be able to give you accurate, up-to-date information, so you can make the right decisions.

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