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Premier Fence Contractor of the Northern Virginia and Washington DC Metropolitan Area Since 1981
A fence is a fence is a fence, right? Just nail a few boards together and you’ve made yourself a fence. Wrong. Actually, a fence installation in Great Falls, VA, is more complicated than that.
Before building a fence, you need to be sure where to put it, what the zoning laws are in your areas if your neighborhood has regulations about appearance and height.
Here is a closer look at five areas to research before you start the process of a fence installation in Great Falls, VA.
Hal Co is a reputable fence contractor serving Great Falls, VA residents for nearly 30 years. We offer:
The first thing to be clear about is what makes a fence a fence. Did you know that hedges and trees that form a barrier between your property and the one next door are considered fences? Legally it is any type of enclosure that provides an adequate blockade around your field, whether it’s your yard or a field.
Take the time to decide what you want to accomplish with a fence installation in Great Falls, VA. Take into consideration neighborhood styles, how close you are to your neighbor’s house and the purpose of the fence.
If it is strictly to mark the boundary, all you might need is a short garden or picket fence. Split rail fences also work and add a rustic look. If you want to also give your yard security and prevent people from looking in, then a wood privacy fence is a good choice.
It isn’t smart to build a fence where you think your property line runs. If you’re off by inches or even feet, it will annoy your neighbors at the very least. If you position it incorrectly, you might be forced to take it down and rebuild it, at a large expense.
In the ideal world, it would be nice to have your fence installation in Great Falls, VA, done exactly on the border line between your property and your neighbor’s. That way each of you would own half of the fence and be responsible for half the cost and maintenance.
In many cases, that is an unreasonable expectation. Most property owners expect each person to be totally responsible for his own fence. To be safe, make sure you know exactly where the property line is. Then position your fence a few inches within that. Take full responsibility for both sides of the fence, keeping it painted and in good repair.
You need to see official documents that show where your boundary line is. Locate your house location drawing or your plat. This should be with your house deed or mortgage papers. If you can’t find it, you can check your tax assessor’s office, county land records office or county clerk. They should have a record of your plat that you can download free.
In areas that have been recently developed, you might find stakes at the surface level of the ground marking the boundaries. Some are wood and some are steel. Look closely because they are flush with the ground, so people don’t trip, and lawn mowers don’t break.
If it is difficult getting information, or if it is ambiguous or hard to decipher, you can commission your own survey. These usually cost $500 to $1,000, though sometimes they run as high as $2,000. A civil engineering company or a land surveyor can do the work. They do a thorough job of establishing who owns what property and the exact borders
A survey team knows how to research the history of your property, including easements, subdivision, and environmental restrictions. They use modern electronic devices that gather data about distances, elevations, and directions. They will then put a stake at the edges of the property, at corners and sometimes along the boundaries if they aren’t set out in a straight line.
They will present you with a plat made with computer software. This is an important document, which you should keep with your family records. If you ever refinance or sell, you will need to show it to the bank.
Many communities have ordinances that put limits on the height of a fence and the materials it is made with. Professional fence installation companies in Great Falls, VA, like Hal Co are familiar with all types of local zoning requirements. They understand which permits are needed for construction.
In addition to height and materials, regulations can dictate setbacks and rules for fences on corner lots. If there is a lot of traffic at that point, a fence can create a blind curve, impairing visibility and causing accidents. The fence installation company that you work with in Great Falls, VA, can discuss the various restrictions with you while you are still in the planning stages.
If you need a change to the zoning regulations, you can apply for a variance from the zoning board. You need a valid reason for the alteration. For example, you might want a higher than normal fence to block a noisy street. During the hearing for the variance, your neighbors will have a chance to comment.
Homeowners Associations, called HOA, often have guidelines that you need to follow. Your fence installer won’t be familiar with these. You need to do the research yourself and give him the relevant information. An HOA can tell you what style the fence should be, how high and how to maintain it. Even if they dictate a style of fence you don’t like, you don’t have a choice. You must follow their rules.
Good fences make good neighbors. It’s even better when you keep your neighbors informed about your fence decisions. Share your plans with them so they aren’t caught by surprise. This is the time to clear the air about any property line disputes.
On the other hand, you don’t have to share your design ideas with them. They aren’t paying for it, and they don’t get to decide what it looks like. It isn’t a decision by committee. You have every right to put up a fence as long as it follows zoning regulations and HOA guidelines, isn’t a community eyesore and isn’t dangerous.
But at the same time, you shouldn’t build an ugly fence. That will irritate your neighbors. Give the neighborhood something attractive to look at. If at all possible, make it match the predominant look of the area so it will fit in.
When you get a fence installation in Great Falls, VA, it is wise to put the best looking side, the one that is the most finished, facing out toward the street and the yards of your neighbors. That usually means the rail side should face inside, toward your home.
Make sure you build a sturdy fence. If you are a weekend handyman, be sure you get some help with construction. One that is carelessly constructed will not endear you to the people living around you. That’s why many homeowners prefer to trust the work to a professional fence installation specialist in Great Falls, VA, like Hal Co.
Be sure to keep your fence well maintained. Keep both sides clean and in good condition. For example, if you notice that a section is leaning, be sure to fix it or replace it. By maintaining it, you do your part for the appearance of the neighborhood, keep up property values and improve your own home’s curb appeal.
To last and to stay firmly on the borderline, your fence needs to be physically located in an area that is suitable. If you build a fence in the midst of a group of trees or alongside them, they will grow into the fence and damage it over time.
When you get the fence repaired, it might end up moved slightly. That means it will no longer show the true boundary line. That defeats the purpose of your fence. That’s why it makes sense to be practical when planning your fence.
If there are muddy areas or places that become a pond in winter, consider installing drainage before you construct the fence. The ground needs to be firm in order for the fence to last. Since you want to mark your boundaries for the years to come, plan your fence with an eye to its future.
The pros here at Hal Co have been serving Great Falls, VA, with fence installations and other outdoor projects for over three decades. We value our reputation for superior craftsmanship and quality materials. We offer our customers a range of standard designs for fences and other projects that can add curb appeal and value to a home. We also do custom design work to highlight the architectural style of your property.
People in the community know when they get a fence installation in Great Falls, VA, done by Hal Co, it will be built solidly and last for years to come. We have competitive prices and take pride in staying in communication with each client during a project. When you work with us, you don’t have to worry about unwelcome surprises about deadlines and cost overruns.
Hal Co handles many outdoor projects, both commercial and residential, including:
Call Halco today for a free, no-obligation quote for your fence installation in Great Falls, VA.