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Avoid These Costly Errors: 6 Mistakes to Sidestep When Building Your Fence

6 mistakes to avoid when building your fence

Building a fence can be a significant investment in your property’s security, privacy, and aesthetic appeal. However, the path to a sturdy and attractive fence is fraught with potential pitfalls. From improper post placement to neglecting legal requirements, the mistakes made during fence construction can have far-reaching consequences, both financially and practically.

Picture this: You’ve invested time and money into erecting what you hoped would be a durable barrier around your property, only to find it leaning precariously or warping within a few short years. The cost of a poorly constructed fence extends beyond mere dollars – it can lead to frustration, inconvenience, and the need for costly replacements or repairs.

The following six common mistakes can sabotage your fence-building efforts and result in costly repercussions.

Mistake #1: Failing to Locate Underground Utilities

You might be astonished by how many utilities can be lurking beneath the surface in and around your property. The implications of inadvertently striking one of these underground fixtures could be financially ruinous, ranging from hefty repair bills amounting to thousands of dollars to grave bodily harm. In the worst-case scenario, a brush with a buried electrical line could even prove fatal.

Prioritizing the location of your underground utilities before embarking on your next fencing project is not just a matter of prudent caution but also a safeguard for your financial well-being and physical safety. 

At FENCEMasters, we arrange for utility locating services on every one of our installation projects, sparing you and your wallet the potential consequences of an avoidable mishap. Your peace of mind and your bank account will thank you for it.

Mistake #2: Neglecting Property Line Verification

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to rely on assumptions about property lines based on existing fence lines or structures, but this can be an unwise gamble. To safeguard against such pitfalls, obtaining and consulting your property survey is a prudent and essential step in ensuring a smooth and trouble-free fencing process.

By verifying property lines with a survey before construction, you mitigate the risk of costly repercussions down the line. Incorrectly positioning your fence outside your property line could necessitate its removal and relocation, an expensive and regrettable outcome we’ve witnessed before.

At FENCEMasters, we strongly advise taking proactive steps to ensure the accuracy of your fence installation. We encourage everyone to obtain a copy of their property survey, as it serves as a crucial tool for our crews to precisely locate your fence. Failing to accurately identify property lines before commencing fence construction can lead to potential disputes with neighbors or even legal entanglements.

Mistake #3: Understanding Legal Fence Heights in Ottawa, Ontario

Building a fence without adhering to local zoning regulations can lead to significant consequences, including fines, mandatory removal of the fence, or legal entanglements.

In Ottawa, like many municipalities, there are specific regulations governing the height of fences in residential areas. Typically, these regulations specify maximum allowable fence heights for various parts of the property, such as the front yard, backyard, and side yard.

Before undertaking any fence construction or modifications, we recommend you consult the official guidelines provided by the City of Ottawa. By understanding the legal requirements upfront, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure compliance with local ordinances.

To learn more about the legal requirements for fence heights in Ottawa, Ontario, the City’s website provides comprehensive information and resources related to zoning regulations, permits, and building codes pertaining to fences. You can access this valuable information by visiting the City of Ottawa’s Fence By-law page.

Mistake #4: The Pitfalls of Partial Repairs

Attempting to salvage a worn-out fence can often become a costly and labor-intensive endeavor.

Picture this scenario: You’ve spared no expense in replacing the decayed elements of your fence, investing both sweat equity and financial resources into the project. Yet, despite your best intentions, you find yourself faced with a sobering reality – the same worn-out fence panels that plagued the original structure remain intact. Despite your efforts to fortify the foundation, the overall appearance and functionality of the fence remain compromised.

In essence, attempting to salvage an old fence by focusing solely on its foundational elements can often lead to a misguided allocation of resources. While it may seem like a more cost-effective solution in the short term, the long-term implications of investing in a patchwork fence can far outweigh the initial savings.

Sometimes, replacing one or two posts can suffice, but if the damage extends beyond that, investing in repairs may not be cost-effective. Rather than sinking valuable time and money into a futile endeavor, homeowners are often better served by investing in a comprehensive solution that addresses both structural deficiencies and aesthetic concerns.

By opting for a complete fence replacement, you can ensure a durable and visually appealing barrier that enhances the beauty and security of your property for years to come.

Mistake #5: Inadequate Fence Post Depth

One of the critical factors in ensuring the stability and longevity of your fence is the depth at which the fence posts are buried. Neglecting to bury the posts deep enough can result in a host of issues, from uneven fence lines to structural instability.

Proper depth ensures that the fence post reaches below the frost line, a crucial consideration in Ottawa’s freezing temperatures. By burying the post at least 40 inches deep, you create a stable foundation that is less susceptible to frost heave. Additionally, adequate depth helps prevent the post from being pushed upwards over time by the expansion of soil due to heat, maintaining the integrity of the fence line.

A shallow installation depth can lead to uneven fence lines that resemble a winding path. This unsightly appearance detracts from the overall aesthetics of the fence and compromises its functionality and security. Moreover, shallow burial depth exposes the fence posts to greater risk of damage from external forces, such as strong winds or ground movement.

To avoid the headaches and expenses associated with shallow fence post installation, prioritize proper depth when erecting your fence. Investing the time and effort to ensure adequate burial depth pays off in the long run.

Don’t cut corners – dig deep to build a fence that stands tall and straight for years to come.

Mistake #6: Opting for Pre-Built Fence Panels

Using pre-built fence panels from local home building stores can lead to a series of aesthetic and structural shortcomings. These panels typically lack the flexibility to contour to the natural terrain of your yard, resulting in an uneven, stair-stepped appearance that detracts from the overall aesthetics. Instead of achieving a custom look tailored to your yard, you’re left with a generic and unappealing end result.

By choosing to have your fence built on-site, you gain the advantage of accommodating the unique contours and obstacles present in your yard. This approach allows for a seamless integration with the natural landscape, ensuring a visually pleasing and cohesive appearance.

Gate construction is particularly critical, as gates serve as the primary access points to your yard. Improperly installed gates are a common source of callbacks for contractors, as they are prone to leaning, warping, or twisting over time. This instability compromises the functionality and security of the gate, necessitating costly repairs or replacements.

At FENCEMasters, we prioritize precision and customization by constructing fence panels on-site. This approach ensures an exact fit and allows for customization options tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Don’t settle for a cookie-cutter solution – invest in a fence that’s built to last and designed to complement your property’s unique features.

Avoid Costly Fencing Mistakes

From unstable structures to legal headaches, the potential consequences of these errors can be a costly waste of time and money. By steering clear of these missteps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a sturdy, long-lasting fence that enhances your Ottawa property for years to come.

Contact us today for a free estimate. Get started on your hassle-free, expertly installed fence project and enjoy peace of mind knowing it’s done right. Let’s bring your vision to life together!

Fence Masters Ottawa is your number one choice for quality products, installation, and after sales service.