Fence FAQs

Take a minute to review our fence FAQs featuring the most frequently asked questions by our customers. We tried to provide an answer to everything you might be wondering about when it comes to purchasing a new fence and the fence installation process. Can't find what you're looking for? Feel free to give us a call or send us an email.

What do I need to prepare for my fence estimate?

There are a few things that will help our sales staff be able to provide you with a quick and accurate estimate for your fence the day they meet with you. 

1.) Have an idea of what type of fence you are looking for. Often times the purpose of the fence will help to dictate the style and height. What is the fence going to be used for? For example, is it to contain pets or is it to gain privacy from neighboring properties?

2.) Let us know if you live in a community governed by a homeowners association. Many times HOA's will have certain restrictions on what types of fences are permitted and how tall they can be.

3.) Know where your property lines are located. If you do not have exposed survey pins, a mortgage or title survey will suffice. Many people have these located in the mortgage paperwork they receive when purchasing a home. If not, try a call to your title company. Many times they can provide one. If none of these methods are an option, try discussing your plans with your neighbors to see if they have any insight on where the property lines may be located. 

4.) Please pickup excessive dog waste or mess before the scheduled appointment. Our sales associates walk through and use measuring wheels or measuring tapes in your yard in order to get accurate measurements. They will greatly appreciate avoiding having their tools or themselves covered in dog waste due to the excess.

Do I need a survey?

A pin or stake survey is always recommended when there are no other ways to establish the location of property lines. However, some cities make it a requirement to have an updated survey before approving fence permits. In some cases, a survey can be avoided if the existing survey pins are visible or can be located. Another way some cities will approve a permit without a survey is by having the owners of the adjoining properties sign a permission slip agreeing to the location of the fence line. 

Do I need a Fence Permit?

Yes. In almost every city we work in, a fence permit is required for a new fence installation. Sometimes, if an existing fence is being replaced with the exact same style, height and material, a permit is not required. Fence repairs normally do not require fence permits. 

Do I need to tell my Neighbors I'm getting a fence?

It is common courtesy to inform your neighbors of your new fence installation. However, it is not required by law. If there is an existing shared fence that will be removed between neighboring properties, it is good practice to inform the adjoining neighbor of when the fence will be down and for how long. This is especially important when the fence is used for pet containment, security or pool safety. 

I live in a community with an HOA. Will that effect my fence?

Many times Homeowners Associations will have bylaws or rules that limit the styles, materials and height of fences. You should always check with your HOA to make sure the style and height of fence you desire is allowed before scheduling an estimate for your new fence. Furthermore, before your fence permit will be approved by the city, an approval letter from your HOA will be required. Customers are responsible for obtaining HOA approval letters. However, we will be happy to help you with any drawings you may need in order to do so.    

How long does a fence take to install?

Most fence styles require two days for installation. For wood and chain link fences, there is normally one week between the two days to allow the concrete used for post footings an adequate amount of time to dry. Aluminum and vinyl fence installations are usually installed in one or two consecutive days. The posts for split rail fences do not get concreted. However, split rail gate posts do. This results in most split rail fences only taking a day to install with the gates being hung a few days later. 

What happens to the dirt from the holes?

Most fence installations will have left over dirt spoils resulting from the post holes that are dug. We are happy to transport the left over dirt to a location on your property without a charge. If the dirt spoils must be removed offsite, customers will incur an extra charge to haul the dirt spoils away. 

What is an Easement? Can I build a fence on one?

An easement is section of land within your property lines that give a legal right to another identity to use the section of land located within the easement. Most easements found in residential properties are used for public or private utilities and or drainage. Sometimes, easements are established in order to maintain green spaces or wooded areas. Every city handles easements differently. In some cases a fence can be built on or crossing an easement with the assumption that if the fence should ever interfere, it will be removed upon the homeowners expense. For more information on building fences in easements, Click Here.

What is a post hole inspection?

A post hole inspection checks the depth of a fence post hole before the concrete is added. This is to ensure the posts are being installed according to the local building departments guidelines. Not every city has post hole inspections. The ones that do range from 24" to 42" deep depending on the height and type of fence being installed. As your fence installation contractor, it is our responsibility to setup and schedule any and all inspections. 

What is a final inspection?

A final inspection is performed by the local building department once the fence is completed. This insures that the fence is located where it was specified on the fence permit as well as checks the overall quality of the fence installation. 

Who marks the underground utilities?

We take care of calling 811 or Call Before You Dig for our customers. This is a service provided state wide to protect anyone who is digging in the ground. Public utilities including gas, electric, water, phone and cable get marked in various colors to show the location of any buried lines a few days before the installation of your fence posts. Private lines such as drain tiles, well and septic, invisible fences, sprinkler lines or any other privately ran electric lines will not be marked by 811 and precautions to avoid damaging these "private lines" should be taken. 

What happens if I have private lines that cannot be located?

Private lines consist of drain tiles, sprinkler systems, well and septic systems, invisible dog fences or any other private utilities running from the main dwelling to sheds, garages or outbuildings. R&T Fence Company does not assume any responsibility for unmarked private lines. Property owners should contract private line marking companies to find and locate these types of lines if there is any chance your new fence may be installed near or across a private line. 

How tall can my fence be?

The height of your fence will be determined by the local building or zoning department and or your homeowners association if applicable. Most cities require fences in residential zoned areas to have a maximum height of 6' tall in the rear and side yards. Front yard fences usually are limited to 3 to 4 foot tall depending on zoning or building codes. Front yard fences and fences on corner lots may also be limited to certain fence styles allowing for more visibility or require that fences have a larger setback away from the roadway or sidewalk. 

Do the fence posts get concreted into the ground?

Almost every type of fence R&T Fence Company installs will have posts that are concreted into the ground. This includes most chain link, wood, vinyl and aluminum fence posts. Split rail fence posts do not get concreted into the ground. However, split rail gate posts do. 

Who gets the good side of the fence?

Almost every city requires you to give your neighbor the "good side" of the fence. This means that the posts and the framework (mainly on chain link and wood fences) will face inward towards the center of the property. However, many of our vinyl, aluminum fences and split rail fences look the same on both sides. In some rare occasions, the good side of the fence can be reversed to face inward. 

How many gates do I need?

Most fences will require at least one gate to allow access to and from the fenced in area. Standard 3',4' and 5' wide pedestrian gates are most popular. However, when access to the fenced area with larger equipment is required, a double gate is the way to go. Double gates are essentially two single gates that meet in the middle without the need for a center post. As a result, allowing for gate openings twice the width of single gate openings. While extra gates are not required, they are convenient, allowing entry and exit to other areas of the fenced in area.

I have a pool. Do I need a special kind of gate?

Yes. Gates for swimming pools are required by law to self close once opened and to self latch once closed. There are also height restrictions that specify how low the gate latch can be installed. These rules help to prevent any accidental or unsupervised access to the pool by small children. When purchasing a new pool fence from R&T Fence Company, we include all of the gate hardware to meet local pool codes. 

What kind of maintenance does my new fence require?

Most of our fences are relatively very low in maintenance. Wood fences require the most upkeep in order to keep them looking their best. Periodically staining or sealing your wood fence will add years to its life expectancy. However, even when left to weather naturally, pressure treated wood fences commonly last  15 - 20 years. Fences constructed from aluminum or chain link require no maintenance. Vinyl fences will need an occasional pressure wash or hose down in order to keep them looking clean and new. 

Can I mount a fence directly onto the concrete?

Many of our fence styles can be mounted directly to concrete. There are two primary methods for installing posts onto concrete. The first is with a bolt down flange. The second is by core drilling the concrete and setting the fence post with a special hydraulic cement. Our sales staff will be happy discuss the best method of mounting your fence to concrete based on your style of fence and your particular application.

How high will the fence be installed off the ground?

The gap between the bottom of your fence and the ground can vary slightly depending on what the purpose of the fence is and how flat the ground is where the fence will be installed. The higher the fence is from the ground, the straighter it can be installed. Which is more pleasing to the eye. If the intent of the fence is to contain small animals, the fence can be installed closer to ground level. However, if the ground below the fence is uneven, the top of the fence will mimic the unevenness of the ground. Finding the right compromise between the two is key. Other than chain link fences, all other styles of fencing should not be installed directly onto the ground. The expansion and contraction caused by freezing and thawing ground we experience in Northeastern Ohio can lead to post movement or heaving. 

Gates require a small gap underneath in order to operate correctly. They should be installed where the ground is flat and level whenever possible. Gates located on slopes or grades can only be installed as low as the high side of the grade. For more information about gates on slopes....Click Here

Can a fence follow the grade of the land? Or does it have to step?

Because R&T Fence Company does not use premade fence sections, all of our fence styles are installed to follow grade. This prevents the stair stepping look associated with panels or sections when installed on slopes or grades. Furthermore, having the fence installed following the grade will prevent larger than acceptable gaps underneath the fence. 

Note: In order to look aesthetically pleasing, some modern horizontal fencing styles must run level. These styles will require stepping on grade changes or slopes.

Can a fence be installed year round?

Yes. We work all year long depending on the weather. Cold temperatures are not as much as a factor as is snow. Snow depths of more than a few inches do not allow us to see the grade of the land where the fence will be installed. Seeing the grade is crucial for us to be able to install the fence at the correct height. Not only that, deep snow makes it almost impossible to push a wheelbarrow filled with concrete to the location of the fence posts.  

Can I tie into my neighbors Existing fence?

Most cities will not allow you to physically "tie" into fences on neighboring properties. However, you can butt up next to neighboring fences as long as they are located on the property line. This can result in huge savings as it prevents you from running a new fence line parallel to an existing fence line. Depending on the style of fence, panels are made to hang in the airspace between two fences when not located directly on the property line. As a result, preventing any large gaps between the two fences. 

My fence line is overgrown. Can R&T Fence clear the lines?

Yes, we can clear lightly overgrown fence lines with small trees or bushes. However, we are not landscapers or tree guys. If the fence lines are heavily overgrown or you have plants, bushes or shrubs that you would like to remain intact, it is best to call a professional landscaper. For trees with diameters more than 4" , we recommend having them professionally removed when in the way of the fence.

Does my new fence have a warranty?

Yes! Every new fence installed by R&T Fence Company comes with an installation warranty and or material warranty. We offer a 2 year installation warranty on all of our new fence installs. Materials warranties are manufacturer based. With vinyl and aluminum manufactures offering limited lifetime warranties. Chain link fencing includes a 15 year material warranty. Wood fence materials have 10 year against rot and decay. Unfortunately, split rail manufacturers do not offer any manufacturer warranty on posts or rails. 

Does R&T Fence offer financing?

Unfortunately we do not offer financing. We do take most major credit cards. However, a 3% service charge will be added to the amount charged to the card. The preferred method of payment is a check.

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