Do You Need a Survey to Build a Fence? Key Concerns

When it comes to building a fence on your property, there’s a crucial point to consider before you start digging or setting up posts: Do you need a survey to build a fence? The short answer is yes, and it’s not just a formality. Knowing your exact property lines can save you from problems with neighbors and legal setbacks.

In this article, we’ll break down why it’s important to figure out your property lines before diving into a fence project. Also, we’ll share why you need a survey and some recommendations to ensure a smooth fence installation. Keep reading to understand why a little upfront planning can make a big difference in your fencing project.

Do you need a survey to build a fence?

Surveying the land is something you need to do before installing a new fence. It helps you accurately determine your property lines, ensuring that your fence is installed within the boundaries of your property. Most fence companies won’t proceed with the work until the property boundaries are properly marked.

In the big picture of your fence project, a survey is a small cost that brings you peace, security, and a smooth installation process. It’s a good starting point. Besides keeping you out of trouble with your neighbors, it will protect you against legal problems. By getting a professional land survey, you save yourself from these problems.

See also our blog post on if you need a permit to build a fence.

Do I need a survey to replace an existing fence?

Whether you’re putting up a new fence or replacing an existing one, having a survey is essential for an accurate installation. Unless you have a survey on hand that clearly indicates the location of the existing fence, you may not know if it’s in the correct position.

One of the first places you can search is your local records office. Contacting the records office in your area is a good starting point because they may have archived surveys that include information about your property. An archived survey may help you avoid potential problems and could provide a solid foundation for a successful fence replacement project depending on the age of the survey.

If you lack a current or archived survey that includes details about your fence, it’s advisable to consider getting one done. A new survey will provide you with precise information about your property lines, ensuring that the replacement fence is installed in the correct location.

What type of survey do I need for a fence?

To build a fence, you need a boundary survey. This specific survey uses specialized tools and technologies to precisely determine the exact location of your property lines. It ensures that you know where your land begins and ends, which is crucial for planning and installing a fence.

How to get land surveyed for a fence?

To get your land surveyed for a fence, we recommend you hire land surveyors. These are experts who use modern tools like theodolites, altimeters, GPS, and 3D printers to quickly and precisely figure out where your property lines are.

A quick Google search will provide you with a list of surveyors in your community. Once you’ve hired them, they’ll do the survey, giving you a clear map of your land to ensure your fence goes in the right place.

Do fence companies do surveys?

Fencing companies typically do not perform land surveys. Surveys are legally binding documents that must be conducted by licensed surveyors. While fencing companies are experts in designing, installing, and repairing fences, the legal and precise measurement of property boundaries falls within the purview of licensed surveyors.

Surveying involves intricate measurements and the creation of official documents that define property lines, ensuring compliance with local regulations and avoiding potential disputes. Fence contractors, handymen, or other parties without the necessary surveying qualifications are not authorized to conduct property surveys.

While fencing companies focus on the physical aspects of fence installation, surveyors specialize in the precise determination of property boundaries, helping to establish a solid foundation for any fencing project. If you require a land survey before installing a fence, we recommend hiring a licensed surveyor to ensure accuracy and legal compliance.

How much does a land survey for fencing cost?

Typically, a land survey can range from $250 to $1,000. The final price depends on a few things, like the size of your land and the characteristics of the terrain.

  • The size of your land: The size of your land is a key factor in determining the cost of a land survey for fence installation. Larger properties generally require more time and resources to survey, which can affect the overall cost. Surveyors may need to cover more ground, set more markers, and use additional equipment to ensure accuracy.
  • Characteristics of the terrain: The terrain features of your property play a significant role in the cost of the land survey. If your land has unique characteristics such as hills, slopes, dense vegetation, or obstacles like rocks and trees, it can make the survey more challenging. Surveyors may need specialized equipment or additional time to navigate and measure these features accurately. The complexity of the terrain also affects the level of expertise and effort required, influencing the overall cost of the land survey.

Before you hire a surveyor, it’s a good idea to ask for an estimate. Once you get the estimate, check the contract to make sure there aren’t any surprise fees. Taking these steps upfront helps you plan your budget and avoids any unexpected costs during your fence project. Remember, spending a bit on a land survey is a small price for a worry-free and smooth fence installation.

Find the right partner for your fence project

Fence installation

When it comes to enhancing your property with a new or replacement fence, the importance of a land survey cannot be overstated. Knowing your property lines is the key to avoiding neighborly disputes and legal entanglements. It also ensures a seamless installation process.

If you choose Top Rail Fence for your installation or replacement needs, we will guide you through the process. Our experienced team can assess your situation, provide expert advice, and outline the necessary steps to guarantee that everything is done correctly. Contact us today, and let’s build a secure and beautiful future for your property.

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