Fences

See also: Decks, Retaining Walls & RockeriesSheds

What Is It?

FenceA fence is a free-standing wall used for privacy or protection; it may or may not be attached to a building.

What Permits Do You Need?

You don’t need a permit if you’re building a fence 8 feet high or lower that doesn’t have masonry or concrete pieces over 6 feet.

If you’re building a taller fence, you need a construction permit. Most fences require only a construction subject-to-field-inspection permit. For your permit application, you’ll need to submit an application and your scaled plans, including a site plan and section and detail drawings.

Research the Code

You can build fences almost anywhere on your property; they don’t contribute toward your lot coverage limit. This limit is the percentage of your lot that can be covered by a house and other buildings, such as garages.

Your fence height is limited to 6 feet, with an additional 2 feet of architectural features such as trellises. On a sloping site, your fence can be 8 feet high, if the average height between posts is 6 feet. If you want to build a fence on a bulkhead or retaining wall in a required yard, there are additional height limits. Read the Land Use Code for the complete requirements, use our Land Use Question and Answer Service, or visit our Applicant Services Center for land use coaching for more information.

If you want to build near an environmentally critical area, such as a wetland or steep slope, there are different restrictions you must follow.

Should You Hire a Professional?

Fence drawings rarely require a professional stamp (indicating they were created by an architect or engineer). You can prepare the drawings yourself or hire a professional to help you.