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Whether you are looking for a little privacy or trying to keep your children or pets in the yard, a new fence can benefit you and enhance your property. While it may seem like an overwhelming project, installing a fence is easier than you think. Planning ahead is one of the most important parts of any project, so by making sure that everything is in place before you begin, you can be certain that your fence will last long into the future.
First, check with your municipality and apply for the necessary permits. If you have a homeowners association, be sure to check with them as well to find out if there are any rules or specifications you need to be aware of, such as the materials you are permitted to use and height restrictions. If you need help deciding what height fence will work best, try making a cardboard cutout of your proposed fence and have someone walk around the perimeter of your yard to give you a visual idea of how the actual fence will look.
Contact your municipality or use a plot plan to identify exactly where your property lines are. Lot lines are not always even or straight so it may be helpful to run wooden stakes along your property lines to ensure that the fence installation stays within those boundaries. It’s also a good idea to talk to your neighbors and make sure that there is no conflict over property lines or fence lines – and who knows, they may even offer to help with the costs!
Once you have purchased your materials and have determined your installation date make sure to contact Diggers Hotline at least 3 working days before beginning the work. After the markings are in place, and you have waited until your legal start time has passed, you may begin installation. Typically corner posts are set first and the remaining posts should be spaced no more than 6 to 8 feet apart. It's best to install your fence posts at least 18 inches away from any utility marks. If you need to place a post closer than 18 inches you must dig that hole carefully using only hand tools because powered equipment is prohibited within 18 inches of any utility marks.
By spending a little extra time planning your project and paying attention to the utility marks, your project should go smoothly and be completed safely.