When looking for a new home, everyone has their list of criteria: a bigger kitchen with granite countertops, a certain number of bathrooms and bedrooms, carpet or not, and so on. 


However, does anyone really consider residential fences and gates? With the incredible amount of fence styles available to us nowadays, a new homeowner should be well informed about residential fences and gates before even buying a home. Learn more as we go over the things listed below to the few things you should think about before building a fence.


Important Tips To Consider Before Building A Fence


  1. Research and understand city bylaws before putting that first shovel/auger into the ground. Different cities have different bylaws in regards to what you can and can’t do when it comes to fencing your property. You may find you need a building permit to complete your fencing project.
  2. Contact a land surveyor before you start your fencing project to have them stake out your property. You want to make sure the fence you build is built ON the dividing line between your property and your neighbor’s, or better yet, built on your side of the property line.
  3. You know the old saying, do unto others. Be sure to let your neighbors, who may be affected by your new fencing, know about your plans in advance. This could help prevent neighborly problems in the future.
  4. Consider the types of fencing for your specific needs/skill level. For example, wood fences need regular maintenance such as staining and sealing, and they may rot over time. On the other hand, vinyl fencing is low maintenance. You could even consider something like a “living wall” and plant a line of cedars, trees, or other bushes, but remember, this type of fencing requires a unique type of annual maintenance (pruning). If price is a concern, you can always look at mixing and matching these options.
  5. Call before you dig! This may sound like an obvious tip, but one that many people forget about. Those gas lines are buried pretty deep underground, but you don’t want to risk hitting one. Your gas company should provide a free service to mark your property for lines, so you know where NOT to dig.
  6. Be sure to include an entry/exit into your yard when planning your new fencing. For safety and convenience, it’s best to have two access points to your yard. This may seem obvious, but sometimes people neglect to include plans for this important part of building a fence.
  7. Don’t forget to plan the size of your entry/exit points. Can you fit large machinery through them? Your snowblower? Your patio furniture? Other equipment?
  8. Have a clear idea of WHY you are building a fence. It is to keep dogs in your yard? If so, perhaps all you need is a chain-link fence. Is it to have privacy or block noise? Then a taller, solid wood fence may be the answer to your fencing needs.
  9. Make sure you have all tools and materials, required to build your fence, on hand before you start your project. There is nothing worse than being immersed in your project, all sweaty and dirty, and realizing you forgot to pick up an important piece of material or equipment.


Installing a fence is an investment that will offer many things in return, including privacy, security, and beauty. If you are in the planning process or tossing around the idea of putting a fence on your property, there are some things to consider beforehand that will help you along in your decision-making strategy. It is best to be thinking about these things before you look at options for materials to ease the process.