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Do I Need a Permit to Install a Fence

Do I Need a Permit to Install a Fence?

Do I Need a Permit to Install a Fence

Are you wondering if you need a permit to install or replace your fence? In Ottawa, you don’t need a permit, but you have to follow the Fence By-law 2003-462, which outlines specific rules and regulations. If you aren’t familiar with them, then it would be prudent to have a seasoned professional, like our experts at Ideal Fence, install your fence for you. Here are just some of the by-laws to keep in mind when installing a new fence.

Height Regulations of Residential Fences

In your front yard of a residential property, you can have a fence up to three feet or approximately one metre in height. For non-residential properties, no fence can go higher than three metres. On the sides of your property and in the backyard, your fence can be up to 7 feet or approximately 2.1 metres high. This provides all the privacy a person needs to feel comfortable. 

Materials You Can and Cannot Use

Even though it may add an extra layer of security, there are certain materials that you can’t use when building your fence. General regulations require that your fence is stable, vertical, made of good quality material, and structurally safe and hazard-free. Any material that could be potentially dangerous to another person or an animal is prohibited. Your fence can’t have barbed wire, chicken wire, or an electric current running through it, for instance. 

There are still plenty of materials on the market that make for secure fencing that is much more appealing. Chain link, cedar or pressure-treated wood fences, PVC and vinyl fences, and iron fencing are all acceptable materials. Iron fences, in particular, are very safe because they are especially difficult to climb.

Local Service Cables in Your Neighborhood

Wires and service cables run underground. Before you dig, ensure you know where they are to avoid hitting one. You are liable for any damage you do to these cables. To get a map of the local service cables, you’ll have to call Hydro One at least five days in advance. Calling in a professional is, therefore, a much safer way of erecting a fence around your property.

On top of electric cables, keep in mind that you also need to get your gas company to identify underground locates. Many contractors, like Ideal Fence, will request this information themselves, so reach out to yours to see if this step is necessary to fulfill on your own.

Speak with Your Neighbours

When building a fence, you need to be considerate of the folks on the other side in addition to your household. While this is not a legal requirement, speaking with your neighbours can help you maintain a good relationship. Talk to them before you start your project, especially if the fence runs between your property and theirs. 

Ottawa’s by-law regulations state that you need to maintain the look of the fence, at least on the side that faces neighbouring properties or a public street. An improperly erected fence can be an eyesore and can result in an offense. 

Keep in mind that if your neighbour doesn’t agree to building a fence along the property line, you have to install it so that it falls completely on your side. The accuracy of locating the property line is crucial to avoid fines. 

What Happens if You Ignore By-Laws?

As outlined in sections 27 to 29, any person who fails to follow the regulations is guilty of an offense. This is enforced by Municipal Law Enforcement Officers. In the case of infringement, you may face a fine and other penalties.

Fulfill all By-Law Requirements with Ideal Fence!

Even though you don’t need a permit to put up a fence, installing it by yourself can come with challenges if you’re not aware of the best practices and the city’s regulations. If you have any doubts, contact us at Ideal Fence! Our many years in this industry mean that we are experts on the ins and outs of fencing regulations in Ottawa and surrounding areas of Eastern Ontario.  Abiding by the rules shouldn’t be stressful. We want to ensure you get the peace of mind you deserve!

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