Do You Need A Permit To Build A Fence In Florida? (Find Out Now!)
Building a fence can be a huge project to undertake and takes a lot of planning, but many Florida homeowners choose to have fences. Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a fencing company, there is some considerable preparation involved. One of the biggest obstacles to deal with is whether or not you need a permit to build a fence in Florida.
You do not need a permit to build a fence in Florida if the fence is on a one or two-family residential property. Also, the fence must be under six feet and made with wood, plastic/vinyl, chain-link, aluminum, wrought iron, or plant material. However, you need a permit if the fence is on commercial property, over six feet, or made with solid material.
Regardless of whether or not you need a permit to build a fence, there may still be certain codes and restrictions. A visit to your city’s website can help determine certain restrictions and additional resources to better help you plan. Here is some information to help you get started.
Things to Consider When Getting A Permit To Build A Fence In Florida
Do you know where your property line is? If you are unsure, visit your local recorder or assessor’s office and access maps to find the boundaries of your property. Some areas let you access these property lines online as well.
Be sure you are building your fence on or just inside your property line. Before you begin construction, mark your property line to make sure you stay on or inside your property.
Now that you know where your property lines are, next is to find any underground utility lines. These could include electrical, TV/internet, natural gas pipes, and water and sewer mains. Needless to say, accidentally digging into any of these could make your project much more difficult than you planned.
Calling the national call-before-you-dig number 811, or visiting the website, can identify any utility lines that run under your property. You can also request that the approximate location of the buried lines be marked or flagged. This will help prevent you from unintentionally digging into a utility line.
What your fence is built of may have a factor in whether or not you need to apply for a permit. Wood, plastic/vinyl, chain-link, aluminum, wrought iron, and plant-based do not require a permit. However, you need a permit if you’re using concrete, masonry, or block, including posts or any reinforcement (concrete/rebar). You will also need a permit if the fence has a vehicular or powered gate (electrical, solar, etc.).
Florida’s Fence Height Requirements
Most local laws keep residential fence heights no higher than six feet. In front yards, the limit is four feet. In most cases, these restrictions can also apply to natural fences like bushes and shrubs. Any fence that will be more than six feet will require you to apply for a permit.
Historic Landmarks And Districts
Is your home located in a historic district, or is it a historic landmark? If so, you’ll need to research your city’s requirements for building and altering historical landmarks. For example, in Orlando, you will need to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness.
Homeowners Association Approval
If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA (Homeowner’s Association), your project will need HOA approval before moving forward. Most HOAs have committees that control what materials and designs you use in the neighborhood. So make sure your fence project gets HOA approval before going further or applying for any permits.
Conditions That Require A Permit To Build A Fence In Florida
Many factors WILL require you to apply for a permit to build your fence. The property is commercial, including three-unit or more residential, and the height of the fence exceeds six feet. Also, if a fence is required as part of Chapter 33 Safeguards during construction.
Other conditions include whether the fence is a barrier for a pool/spa, located near public easements, and has a vehicular or powered (eclectic, solar, etc.) gate. Materials such as concrete, masonry, or block, including posts or reinforcement (concrete/rebar). Also, if the fence is located in a floodplain or floodway, FEMA flood maps can help you locate it.
How To Apply For A Permit To Build A Fence In Florida
If your fence project does require a permit, here is what you need to apply. First, completely fill out the application for your property type, residential or commercial. Include the height, type of fence, and the fence measurements in linear feet.
There may be some fees, so look into your city’s permit application process for any additional costs. Costs may vary depending on what city you live in. Additionally, your city may have other building requirements to consider when applying for the permit.
If you received your permit for the fence, and your new fence is built, the city may require an inspection. This is protocol in the city of Orlando so that the permit can be closed. Check with your city’s procedures to see if you need an after-work inspection.
You can typically schedule inspections on your city’s website, most likely where you filled out the permit application.
Why Do I Need A Permit To Build A Fence In Florida?
Florida is considered a high-velocity hurricane zone. Codes are updated and issued to make sure that fences can withstand strong winds hurricanes produce. The permit is to make sure the material, design, height, and size of your fence meet the necessary requirements.
Do I need a permit to replace an existing fence in Florida?
You will need a permit to replace an existing fence. Even if the new materials are the same as the old fence. Generally, minor repairs do not require a permit but do your research into city codes to be sure.
Do I need a permit to build a deck in Florida?
Decks below 30 inches and without a roof don’t require a building permit. However, you will need a permit for decks 30 to 60 inches, but you won’t need engineering plans.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
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