Alexander Graham Bell famously said: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” This is especially true of home improvement projects. If you’re wondering how to prepare for a fence installation, there are several important steps before you get started.
Addressing these issues can save you hassle and help avoid costly mistakes.
Confirm Your Property Boundaries
When building a fence, it’s critical to know your property lines. This is especially true when the purpose of your fence is to establish a boundary. A couple of inches here and there may not seem like a big deal. However, when it comes to property lines, the law does not agree.
A misplaced fence could create an issue with your neighbors. It may also cause you to run afoul of your HOA or with a county inspector. In such a case, you might have to take down your new fence and rebuild it within your legal boundaries.
That means huge, unnecessary labor costs that you can avoid with proper preparation.
Land surveyors use a protocol called the Rectangular Survey System. This system determines property lines, which you can find at the county courthouse.
Parcels of land subdivided into lots of five acres or less will also have a surveyor’s plat. Plats show the location and dimensions of multiple land parcels, such as subdivisions.
Find Your Plat
Most property lines are available online for a small fee. In Georgia, you can visit the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority to locate your plat.
Get the Right Permits
Building a fence on your property can involve getting the right permissions. It’s an important part of how to prepare for a fence installation.
Not all cities and counties require a permit to build a fence. In the Atlanta metro area, the cities of Atlanta, Milton, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Brookhaven, And Euharlee all require permits.
If you live in an unincorporated area, the county may have requirements regarding fencing.
Additionally, many HOAs have specific guidelines for the type and size of fencing you can install. Be sure to check any local building codes before starting your fencing project.
Locate and Mark Your Underground Utilities
A fence is more than an above ground structure. Setting fence posts requires digging a hole that is one-third to one-half the height of the post. For example, a six-foot tall fence would require multiple fence post holes at least two feet deep.
Most modern utilities are run underground. Power cables, gas lines, water pipes and more lie beneath the surface of your yard. To avoid the risk of damaging these lines, it’s critical to know where they are before you dig. Even more importantly, it can help prevent bodily injury.
A utility locator can determine and mark the location of various utilities on your property. This ensures that your new fence will be constructed in the safest way.
In Georgia, Georgia811 is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preventing damage to Georgia’s underground utilities. They will come out and mark your lines free of charge. You can find more information here or give them a call at (770) 623-4332.
Clean Up Your Yard
Whether you’re building the fence yourself or using a fencing contractor, it’s helpful to clean your yard before installation. Things like lawn furniture and children’s play equipment create obstacles that can make the job more difficult.
The more room you can give yourself or the installation crew, the more efficiently everyone can work.
It also helps prevent valuable items from getting damaged during the construction process. For fixed or permanent structures or decorations, try covering them with a tarp for protection.
Clear the Fence Line
A clear fence line is of particular importance. Remove landscape debris like fallen limbs, rocks, and other impediments. If landscape plantings are in the way, you can relocate them to another area.
Large bushes or trees may call for shifting the fence line, or removal. When removing trees, be sure to grind the stump and roots. That way, they won’t grow back and damage your fence.
Talk to Your Neighbors
“Good fences make good neighbors” is a popular saying. Since a new fence can alter your neighbors’ landscape as well as yours, you should talk to them before you build.
This is especially important if your neighbor has small children or pets who may be disturbed by a professional fencing crew. Letting your neighbors know when to expect installation allows them a chance to make necessary arrangements.
In some cases, neighbors may offer to split the cost of a fence installed on your mutual property line. However, a shared fence involves mutual responsibility for upkeep. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get an agreement in writing if you decide to go this route.
How to Prepare for a Fence Installation: Contact Us
First Fence of Georgia has been metro Atlanta’s trusted fence company since 2004. We are experienced in all types of fencing materials, and with the fencing installation process.
Homeowners can expect personalized solutions, industry expertise, and unmatched professionalism. We install wood fencing, metal fencing, chain link fencing, and more.
If you have additional questions about getting your yard ready for a new fence, give us a call at (770) 422-9996.