You might have done a lot of thinking about what kind of fence you want, where it’s going, how long you want it to be or maybe you’ve even talked it over with your neighbor and had a handshake on the decision. Before you break ground, it’s paramount to be aware of any City Council Fence Rules or HOA and POA standards and whether or not they apply to you.
If you live in a small neighborhood where everything seems to have a similar look (particularly the fences), you are probably either subject to a Homeowners Association (HOA) or a Property Owners Association (POA). Your home might even fall under a Municipal Utility District (MUD) enforcement of fence standards. Chances are, one of these groups would like to have a say about the specifics of the fence you’re putting in. Here’s a few of the things that might be required and why you should confirm before you start building.
There are some cities, neighborhoods and developments that were planned around certain themes. For instance, there are German-themed towns across the U.S. where the windows and roofs of every building were built in a Bavarian style to make it look and feel as though you are actually in Germany. Even large chain grocery stores have to adhere to these standards. The theme or standard in your area might be far less obvious, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. It could be as simple as a type of wood, or simply only wooden fences period. Sometimes wooden fences have a required height or are only allowed if they have a certain color of stain. Make sure to identify who calls the shots for your local fencing and have it settled before you start digging post holes.
Property Lines Matter
Typically, it’s expected that you build the fence on your property, but there are instances where you can build a fence directly on the property line. Your HOA may prefer that you build on your side of the markers to avoid conflict with deciding who’s responsible for maintaining the fence. Perhaps your HOA or POA prefers to have good neighbor fences along the property lines. A good neighbor fence is one that alternates which side the pickets are on. They usually appear in sections of 8 feet before alternating. If you are on a main road or have a sidewalk in front of your house, Texas residential fence laws require the fence to be 5 feet back from the edge of your property. You may have to hire a surveyor to come out and locate the ground pins that serve as property line markers
Whether you’re building your fence or you’re hiring a contractor, it is required by state and federal law as well as neighborhood HOA rules to call 811 and have a utility company come out to your property and mark any line associated with public utilities with either spray paint or small flags. These markings will help you steer clear of digging into any electrical lines, gas lines or internet cables. Where you want your fence may coincidentally be near or on top of a utility easement, in which case you’ll be very glad to have these lines marked.
Save the trees!
If putting up a fence requires you to remove a tree, make sure that there are no laws in place to protect the tree and that you have the full legal right to cut it down. Check with your HOA or POA to see if they have any major restrictions on nature preservation, because many of them do. You also might not be able to attach the fence to the tree and will have to creatively build around it.
your hOA may not have as much say as you think
If your HOA has told you that you can’t build a fence around your house, you now have the right despite the desires of any HOA thanks to the passing of Senate Bill 1588. According to the bill, a property owners’ association can’t restrict you from building or installing security measures including, but not limited to, a fence. Even though the law allows you a fence, an HOA is still allowed to have requirements regarding the fence (as mentioned above) and the ability to enforce them. It’s best to be clear in your understanding of what’s required and aim for pleasing all parties involved or else it might lead to a mess of court battles.
Whatever type of fence you would like to build, Butler Contracting can get it done. We’ll also take care of calling 811 and getting those utility lines marked so that we can build your new fence safely and soundly.