Do I Need a Permit for My Fence?

 

“Do I need a permit for my fence?” Hmm that’s a good question. The other question may be “Do I need a permit to replace my fence?” Let’s start with the question my kids ask me all the time.

Why Dad? Why This? Why that? Why you ask? Well, let me tell you the government’s answer.

Yes, you need a permit to make sure the fence materials, design structure, size/height and location meet or exceed the code requirements. If you live in an area that gets a lot of high winds or storms like me a hurricane zone, then you probably think you know – and maybe you do. It’s so your fence doesn’t hurt anyone or destroy someone else’s property while it breaks free and flies with the greatest of ease during a wind event. Think of it like this; would you climb up on a weak wobbly ladder? I sure hope not, and I know I would not.

So, for your protection, of course your city, county and state elected officials are always looking to engineers to tell them what is needed to keep our property and us safe. Every few years they revisit and revamp the rules and laws to assure that fences are able to withstand certain amounts of wind. In short, it is for your protection. Well, and maybe to keep you from filing less claims against your insurance company.

Now that you got all that, lets address the 2nd question. “Do I need a permit to replace my existing fence or damaged fence?”

Yes, you do. The only exception is, in most places, if you are repairing a section of your fence (Wink 😉Wink 😉) then you won’t need to get a permit for an existing fence that was installed properly and with a permit. However, none of that comes in to play if you have a homeowner’s association (HOA). They have their own rules and laws called bylaws. We cannot go into any of their rules here, as each HOA has their own. There will always be those nosey HOAs that are always looking to blast you with a fine for anything they can. Someone please tells them to get a life and mind their own business. If you’re putting up a new fence, you’re helping the community look better, aren’t you? Oops. I’m sure tomorrow I will get one for putting out my garbage 1 hour too early because I wrote this. Well, someone must tell them how we all feel. So now on to the DIY of this process…

“Can I get my own permit, or do I have to pay a contractor to do it for me?” It depends, is the answer.

Why DAD? Rules I say! Rules! You CAN file for an “owner-builders” permit and DIY for your own fence. I say your own fence because you must be the homeowner to file for it this way. If you have not done this before, then I still might say to hire someone to help you. If you want to update yourself on all those smart guys created rules of engagement to appease the man, I say go for it! Go down to your local building department or on their website and download an application. It’s not that hard. It will require some basic drawing and making sure you buy the right materials so when they come to inspect your work you don’t get any surprises. Let’s lay it out in a little more detail.

There are multiple requirements you will have to complete to have a permit application accepted. Each city is different and some of them include filing a notice of commencement, getting waivers from easement holders (that area of your property the utility company can use to get to their wires etc. on your property), in some cases providing an approval letter from your HOA, and maybe obtaining a permit first from a drainage district.

Now, for chain-link fencing and wood fencing. A basic drawing showing how the fence will be built (including how far apart the posts will be set and how deep they will go underground), what materials the fence will be constructed of and a survey showing where on your property is required. For an aluminum fence and for PVC/ vinyl fencing, engineered drawings are required, verifying that the materials used and how the fence will be constructed, will meet the wind-load and other requirements.

There are costs associated with all these permitting processes and they vary by your local city ordinances. All of that will be available on your local building department site. Also, the process can take some time and must be done right to get accepted, before you proceed with the building of your fence.

Below you will find some resources to get started on a fence permit in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County – or you can just ask us here at Exclusive Custom Fence and Repairs to handle all the hard work and we will take care of it and let you relax on your day off while we make your home look amazing with one of our many choices of quality gates and fences. Our quotes are free, and we make sure to get you one within a day or two after visiting your home. The quote is headache free, so why not give us a call to schedule your appointment today?

We can’t wait to meet you and come out to serve your needs. Please visit us at www.exclusivefences.com or call us at 786-899-6043 and ask for Mayra. She is the big boss and gives the best deals in South Florida! 

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