Houston Fence Building Codes

How to Avoid Disputes When Installing a Fence

Unless you live in a rural area and have multiple acres on your property, any fence you build is going to affect your neighbors. There’s no way around that in urban and suburban residential areas. Your project will probably have an impact on two or three neighboring properties. While the codes, ordinances and regulations in each city or other jurisdiction are designed to ensure that only well-designed, safe fences are installed, that’s often not enough to prevent disputes with one or more neighbors. If you live in a development that is governed by an HOA, it’s likely that very strict standards are in place for such installations. Even then, though, you may face objections from a neighbor.

Fences are the sources of more disputes between property owners than almost any other aspect of home ownership. Each year, many lawsuits are filed and arguments are created between neighbors. Sometimes those disputes can last for years and can even lead to real altercations. The old saying that “good fences make good neighbors” is absolutely true. It could also be written as, “good neighbors build good fences.” Below, you’ll find a guide to working with your neighbors to prevent any disputes and ensure good relationships with the people who own property near yours, in most cases.

Remember That You Have the Right to Build a Fence on Your Property

Sometimes, despite all efforts to reach agreements with neighbors are impossible. In some cases, a difficult neighbor may even be the reason for building a fence in the first place. If you have a neighbor who continues to object to your project, you can still go ahead with your plans. However, in such situations, you will have to be doubly careful to follow local building codes and ordinances to the letter and make certain that work on your project doesn’t infringe on your neighbor’s property rights. If you find yourself in that situation, be sure to let your contractor know about it in advance, so installation crews understand the need for extra care. Such conditions make your project more difficult to complete, though, so it’s worth doing everything you can to convince neighbors to approve of your plans.