Establish Boundaries

When building a fence, you must make sure that it does not extend into any neighboring property — but how are you supposed to know where your yard ends and the neighbors’ begins? Building a fence, or anything for that matter, on property that doesn’t belong to you can cause tension in the neighborhood, and possibly even result in a legal dispute. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can make sure that your fence stays within your property line, and that your neighbors stay happy!

  1. Most county assessor’s offices will have an official website, some of which will feature mapping tools for all real estate in the region. You can find your property (and its boundary lines) on this map feature, as well as landmarks to help you measure properly. From there you can use a tape measure to find your property lines. You can also go directly to the assessor’s office where they can provide you with a physical copy of a regional map.
  2. Still have your deed lying around (you should!)? It contains detailed descriptions about your property, including measurements from certain landmarks. Similarly to utilizing your county assessor, once you find the measurements, use your tape measure and mark each corner of the property line.
  3. Along with your deed, you should have a property survey that was given to you when you purchased your home. It has even more specific measurements, like the distance from the home to the property lines and to the street.
  4. If you have misplaced such documents, don’t have the time to do the measuring yourself or just simply don’t want to do it, hire a surveyor. They will perform all the measurements and can point out where the property lines are. Make sure you are present when they are surveying so they can show you exactly where your property ends and the neighbor’s begins. The cost of this work will depend on where you live, and the value and size of your property.


Courtesy of SF Gate Home Guides