Whether or not you need a permit to build or replace the fence depends on the specific local regulations. In some cases, minor repairs under a certain dollar value may not require a permit.
How long you will get your permit depends on the local building department. The time period in which you will receive your permit can be as little as a day (which is very rare) or it can take a month or more. But usually, it is between one or two weeks.
Every municipality has varying guidelines and codes for its area of jurisdiction. A permit is required because it may be restrictions on the style, type, or height of the fence that they allow, also the distance required from the property line is relevant. The recommendation is to check with your municipality as to whether or not you need a permit and follow their instructions and recommendations.
How long does it take to get a fence permit?
It varies depending on the building department. Once the permit is submitted it can be as little as a day which is rare but can also take a month or more, also rare. Usually, it is between a week or two.
Always keep in mind that there are other things that have to be accomplished before the permit can be submitted. Those may include filing a notice of commencement and obtaining easement waivers.
Ask your fence contractor if he can provide the option to include the permit application within the fence project. They charge an additional fee for that, but it removes all the hassle for you. If your contractor is handling the permit as a third party, it may add a couple more weeks to the process.
What accessory documents do I need?
Below is the list of all the accessory documents that you will need for the fence permit application, and where to find them.
- Fence proposal with the picture of fence style (fence contractor);
- Simple drawing of the fence layout (fence contractor);
- Plot plan (explained below)
- Certificate of insurance COI (fence contractor)
- Contractor license number (usually it is printed on the proposal or if it is not ask the contractor)
If you do not already have a plot plan, inquire with the municipality or your real estate agency to see if the previous homeowner placed one on file that you could access. If all of this fails, you may need to hire a surveyor. If the municipality requires the fence layout to be drawn on the plot plan, forward the plan to your fence estimator.
Can I apply for the permit on my own?
Of course that you can file your own permit. You can perform as an “owner-builder” if you are the owner of the residential property.
You must be aware that there are multiple requirements to complete in order to have a permit application accepted. Some of them include filing a notice of commencement, getting waivers from easement holders, in some cases providing an approval letter from Home Owners Association, and even obtaining a permit first from a drainage district.
For wood and chain-link fencing, a prescriptive drawing showing how the fence will be built and what the fence will be constructed of is required.
For an aluminum fence and for PVC/vinyl fencing drawings are required, verifying that the materials used and how the fence will be constructed, will meet the wind-load and other requirements.
Fence permit cost
Different cities or county different formulas for calculating the permit cost. Some are based in part on the value of the fence job, some base it on the value of the property being improved, and so. That’s why there is a wide range from place to place, from about $100 to as much as $1,500 with the average cost between $200 to $400. The exact cost can’t be known in advance.
Our team has gathered all fence laws and regulations by state, in one place, so you don’t have to wander around. Just follow this link!