Fences, To Build or Not to Build

Fences and retaining walls are an essential part of property boundaries, security, and aesthetic appeal in any community. Understanding the whereabouts of your property lines before you build can save you a lot of head headaches in the future.


Property Line location

The potential for building a fence or retaining wall in the wrong area is huge and using the old fence as a reference can be highly inaccurate. The simplest way to know for sure where your property lines are is to have a Land Surveyor locate and mark your property lines for you.

A second option is to use the most current and updated Real Property Report for the property. This will show the home’s property boundaries and should also provide a clear measurement from the property boundaries to the dwelling. Simply measure off the distance from the dwelling to the property lines that are shown on the Real Property Report. This will give you the whereabouts of your property lines. If you are not comfortable with this process, then definitely have a Professional Land Surveyor mark out the property lines for you.


City regulations 

When it comes to fence building, the City of Calgary has regulations for fence height and placement that should be followed. For instance, if you live on a corner lot, the front corner of your fence cannot exceed 0.75 meters in height. This is so that your fence will not impede traffic visibility. Be sure to check out the regulations online at the City of Calgary. Below are a few of the most common fence building regulations for the City of Calgary.

  • Fences cannot exceed a height of 2m in the back yard
  • Fences cannot exceed a height of 1.2m in the front yard
  • Fence height at the front on a corner lot cannot exceed a height of 0.75m
  • Gates cannot exceed a height of 2.5m

Check with your city, municipality, or condo association for fence building regulations before you build.


Don’t build on City property…

Be careful not to build your fence on city property. Always check your most current Real Property Report to see how much land the city owns in the front and at the back of your home. Building a fence into city property is a common mistake and can end up costing you a lot of money in the future when you sell the property.


Purchasing a home?

Before purchasing a home always check the most current Real Property Report to see where the fences are located. Are they on the property line? Or do they intrude into your neighbors’ yard or onto city property? Either scenario can spell trouble for you down the road. The previous owners might have unknowingly built their fence into the neighbor’s yard, or in some cases well inside their property line, thus limiting the use of your future property. Be sure to have the current homeowners acknowledge this or make the necessary corrections before you buy.


 Plan it out 

Whether you’re building a fence yourself or hiring it out to a professional company, always be sure to locate with accuracy the property lines before you build. A little more time spent upfront will save you a lot of headaches and money in the future.

To learn more about Property Line Surveys click here.

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