WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE BUILDING A FENCE

Why Should You Build a Fence on Your Property? 

Fencing can add a range of benefits to your property such as: 

  • Aesthetic Value 
  • Pet Protection
  • Noise Barrier
  • Home Protection 
  • Privacy
  • Ability to add a pool

Determining why you want to build a fence will help you decide on the size, materials, colours, and style of your fence. If you are trying to block out noise, then a high solid wood fence is best. To improve the aesthetic value of your property then a smaller fence would work well. If you would like to still see through the fence, but keep out unwanted guests (or pets inside the barrier), then a wrought iron fence may work well for you. 

Once you have decided on what type of fence you want, you can then lay out a budget and timeline. 

Common Challenged for Building New Fences

Here are some of the most common challenges people have faced when dealing with new fencing projects. 

Fencing Size

Knowing the fencing size will help determine your project’s timeline and budget. Larger fences will require more time and more materials while smaller fences require less time and materials. 

When deciding to build a fence, you should also keep your neighbours in mind as to not pose a potential hazard to their property. Depending on where your house was built, you may have neighbourhood regulations regarding the type of fence you are allowed to have. As well, many times the cost of fencing between two homes can be split between neighbours, and built between the property lines. This conserves the most amount of yard space for both sides of the fence. It is a good idea to check with your neighbours and see what their thoughts of building a new fence would be if this is applicable for your property.

Materials 

Choosing a material is one of the most important steps because you have to keep Calgay’s climate in mind to make sure it can fare well in our winters. The following are some common fencing materials: 

Wood is a popular fencing material and stands up well to Calgary’s climate. It also comes in a large variety of sizes and designs so it can be very customizable to match your properties aesthetic. To keep up its durability, make sure you use a waterproofing sealant. Without sealant the wood will rot and weaken faster. As well, depending on if the fence is painted or stained, it could require yearly maintenance to keep up its appearance. 

Vinyl, unlike wood, won’t fade or rot over time. It has great durability, very little maintenance, with no paint or stain required. Since it doesn’t hold paint very well, there are however a limited number of styles to choose from. Vinyl can also be more expensive than wood. 

Wrought Iron fencing is a great option if your main purpose is to improve the aesthetic appeal of your yard. It has high strength, durability, and good security with the iron points at the top. This material is more expensive than others, as it has to be custom made. This type of fencing also gives minimal privacy, and is not the greatest for keeping small pests like rabbits or foxes out of gardens as they can slip through the pickets. 

City of Calgary Bylaws

There are four steps laid out by the city for when you are planning on building a fence on your Calgary property: 

Step 1: Review the Rules for Your Fence

  • Typically a permit is required if any of these conditions apply:
    • In the rear yard higher than 2 m 
    • In the front yard higher than 1.2 m 
    • Inside a corner visibility triangle and higher than 0.75 m
    • Gate higher than 2.5 m
  • In most situations a fence doesn’t require a building safety approval (building permit). If your design or location does not meet land use bylaw specifications you will require planning approval (development permit) 
  • Any new fence construction is not permitted to extend onto City property. 
  • If you are planning to have a pool/spa/hot tub on your property additional features must be added in order to comply with the Alberta Building Code 
    • Height of fence should not be less than 1.8 m above the ground
    • Any opening to the fenced area must feature a gate that is the same height of the fence and has a self-closing, self-latching device and can be locked. 
    • The distance between fencing pickets is limited to 10 mm

Step 2: Prepare Your Application 

  • Using this Fence Permit Checklist you can determine the requirements for your application 
  • This checklist explains what needs to be written up on your site plan and elevation sketch which includes: address, property lines, location of fencing, fencing material, outline of any other structures on the property,etc

Step 3: Apply 

Step 4: Inspections and Managing Your Permit Application

  • Your permit won’t be given until your project has passed all the required inspections which verify the building safety or approval standards 
  • To book an inspection with the city visit Residential Inspections
  • If you want to change or cancel your permit visit manage your permit application

Always make sure you plan well ahead. Building a new fence on your property requires certain steps which must be followed for your safety. It also may take longer than you expect, so if you are serious about this type of project take your time and make sure everything is in order.

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.