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Fence Height, How much is too much?

For many people who are seeking to erect a new fence or replace their existing fence, the question of fence height often comes to mind. "How high can I go?"

To modern families and households, security and privacy is a major concern. If possible, many people will choose to go as high as they can when it comes to fencing.

Well, to determine a proper fence height, there are few factors to take into considerations:

1. Local Fencing Bylaw

Most cities have fencing bylaws that dictates the maximum height for a fence on the property. Here are the general rules of thumb for residential housing: Max Height on back side of property: 1.8 – 2.0 metre (6 – 6.5 ft) Max Height on the interior lot line (the two sides up to front of house): 1.8 – 2.0 metre (6 – 6.5 ft)*Up to front of house, not property Max Height on the exterior lot line (the two sides up from front of house to front of property): 1.0 – 1.3 metre (3 – 4 ft) Max Height on front of property: 1.0 – 1.3 metre (3 – 4 ft)

Each City may have slight variation in terms of height and location restrictions, it is always a good idea to visit the local government website and check out the fence height restrictions under By-Law.

2. House Location

Depending on the location of your house, there may be additional considerations required in terms of fence height.

Corner House: If your house is at the corner of a street, there are additional requirements for the fence in the corner. Usually, cities would require you to keep maximum height of the fence to less than 1 metre (3 ft) for a distance (measured from the corner) up to 6 metre (18 ft) on either side. This is to minimize view obstruction for vehicles. Also, some cities may require the fence flanking the street (besides the street) to have a max height of only 1.3 metre (4 ft).

House besides Highway/Major Roads:If your house is beside a highway or a major roadway, you may be able to go higher on your fence height restrictions. This would be area specific and you would need to find out more information from your local municipality.

House besides commercial/industrial zones:Houses besides commercial/industrial zones may be able to increase its maximum fence height depending on the type of operation in nearby zones. Please check with local government for such eligibility.

3. Costs and Availability

One thing to consider when wanting to go for a higher fence is cost. Since 4, 5 and 6 ft high fence is the market standard height. The material pricing of these fences is usually very competitive and economical. You can likely find many fencing suppliers and contractors who have inventory stocked. Typically, going higher than 6’, the material price of the fence escalates drastically as they become non standard and may require customization. So keep in mind that you may require a much bigger budget for a fence going over 6 ft.

So what if you are determined to have a fence beyond the height restrictions? Typically, cities allow you to apply for a variance permit that allows for a higher fence on your property. In the application, you much state clearly the reasons you require a higher fence. Once approved, than you can hire contractors to build the fence. Since a new fence is not a small purchase, many fence suppliers and contractors may offer flexible payment options; this is especially beneficial for those opting for a higher fence.

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