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Safety, Zoning, & Utility Considerations for Your Next Fencing Project

by Judy Knowler

When you have your own property, it may seem like building a fence is a simple process. You head to the area you want to fence in, measure it, place some posts and wire, and call it a day.

However, there are many steps you need to take before you can even begin your fencing project.

If you want to place a new fence on your land, you first need to consider safety, zoning, and utility factors. These elements can change a lot about your project, so let’s discuss them today.

Safety Considerations When Building a Fence

Safety should be top priority anytime you build a fence (or take on any other project) on your land. Whether you’re working with a buddy or working on your own, it’s critical that you take care to protect everyone and prevent any possible injuries.

Take time before beginning your fencing project to make sure you have ALL the proper tools for the job. This will include both work tools and protective gear like the following:

Proper Protective Equipment

The protecting equipment you’ll need to build a fence are:

  • Safety glasses: These will protect your eyes from damage should any fencing materials (like wooden posts) break and fly towards your face.
  • Work gloves: Often, building a fence requires you to grab onto sharp pieces of wire. Gloves will give your hands an extra layer of protection.
  • Protective boots: No one wants to deal with the consequences of dropping heavy posts on their toes. Make sure you have a pair of sturdy boots on your feet.

Proper Tools

In addition to safety equipment, you need to make sure you have the right tools to put up your new fence. Some must-have tools include:

  • Fencing pliers: These are the “jack of all trades” for fencing projects, and they are a must-have. You can use fencing pliers to hammer staples into posts, grip wires for twisting and splicing, or even cut through wires that need to be repaired.
  • Wire cutters: If you don’t want to use your fencing pliers to cut your wire fencing, wire cutters are going to be necessary on the job. You’ll need to cut your wire fencing several times throughout the project, and these will make the task a whole lot easier.

Zoning Considerations When Building a Fence

Once you have the right tools at your side, you’re still not quite ready to start working. Next, you need to check out the zoning laws in your area, as these can have a major impact on the fence you want to build. Zoning laws vary from state to state, but they typically place limits on things like the project’s appearance, location, or size.


Depending on where you live, the appearance of your fence may not be a big deal. However, if your property happens to be in a subdivision, there are often CC&Rs (that’s Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) that put restrictions on the way your fence looks.


Simply put, your fence needs to be located on your property. Make sure you are completely clear about the boundary lines between your land and your neighbor’s, or you might run into real trouble with your neighbors and your local zoning laws.


This is often the most straightforward zoning law on the books. As we mentioned earlier, this rule changes from state to state — but they also vary depending on your purposes. For example, while most states set a height limit on residential fences between 4 and 6 feet, agricultural fencing can typically reach a maximum of 8 feet before it violates zoning laws. Check with your local laws before you begin your fencing project.

Utility Considerations When Building a Fence

The last thing you’ll need to do before you start your fencing project is calling your utility company. There is always a chance that a water pipe or electric wire is buried under your property, and if you hit it while placing your fence posts, you could be responsible for hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damages. Make sure you talk with your local utility services about your plans, and get the green light before you dig a single hole.

If you keep these factors in mind, you’ll be able to build your fence safely, lawfully, and without damaging the city’s water main. And if you need high-quality wire fencing for your project, we’re here to help. Check out Red Brand’s excellent selection of wire fencing today.

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