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Building a fence? Here’s what you need to know

Building a fence can boost your curb appeal, enhance privacy and help keep kids and pets safe. But it can also be a challenging project, especially if your yard has multiple elevations or is heavily treed. Here’s what you need to know before you dig those first post holes. 

construction worker carrying timber.
shank_ali | iStock

Before you start building, your very first step should be to determine the boundaries of your property, says Jay Saveall, president of Green Side Up Contracting, based in Aurora, Ont. If you don’t have it on hand, get a copy of your land survey from your local municipality. “You can go to the town and get one – but then you’re counting on the survey being accurate, so you should double check by measuring and identifying the property line yourself.” (You can also hire a land survey company to place flags along your property line. The cost varies, but can range from a few hundred dollars to upward of $1,000.) 

Neighbors talking between fences
GabrielPevide | iStock

Be sure to talk to the folks next door. The saying “good fences makes good neighbours” may be true, but these architectural additions can also cause strife, so give neighbours plenty of notice and consider showing them your plans before construction begins. You don’t need their approval so long as the fence stays on your property, but it may be worth getting in order to maintain your relationship. 

Couple painting a picket fence
AleksandarNakic | iStock

The final consideration is deciding on a style. Remember, it’s not just about aesthetics. You’ll need to follow your municipality’s zoning bylaws when it comes to fence height and materials, and also think about your greenery. “If you have a lot of gardens around the property, you’re going to want a fence that will allow air to flow through the fence board so your perennials can breath,” Saveall says. 

Get the right coverage

Protect your property inside and out with CAA Home Insurance¹. Visit to get a quote. 

1 Home Insurance is underwritten by CAA Insurance Company. Certain conditions, limitations and underwriting guidelines apply.

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