Looking to replace your fence in Atlanta, Georgia? As a starting point, you should be familiar with the basic laws and regulations about fencing.
Each different level of government can have different rules and regulations about fencing. For example, there are often state laws that relate to things like fence permits, city laws that relate to things like zoning and then neighborhood rules determined by your Home Owners Association (HOA). You should be sure to check each level to ensure your new fence installation complies with the rules. Reputable fence companies will also be able to help you make sense of different regulations as you complete your project.
For the City of Atlanta, these are some of the specifications to keep in mind.
The City of Atlanta allows property owners to construct fences made from the basic materials: wood fences, chain link fences, and vinyl fences. Always check with your HOA to make sure there aren’t prohibited fence materials in your neighborhood.
The height limit for a front yard in Atlanta is 4 feet, with a maximum height of the retaining wall of 3 feet + 4 feet of fence on top.
For side fences and back fences, the maximum height is 6 feet.
If you live on a corner lot, regulations specify a need for 2.5 feet at visibility areas, measured from Right of Way lines: 20x 20 feet on street intersections and driveway intersections.
There are no setbacks specific to fence in the city of Atlanta. That means there aren’t specifications for how far back from the property line you can construct your fence.
Sometimes, fences are built along a shared property line. Before any fence demolition or construction, you should determine the exact boundary lines on your property. That’s because a fence placed on the property or boundary line between two or more properties is generally understood to be jointly owned by the neighbors. Therefore, no one neighbor can remove or modify an existing fence without the other neighbor's permission. You can find parcel maps at your local or county municipalities. Sometimes your HOA may also be able to provide a copy of the parcel sizes. These maps will provide a general idea of your property lines. For more specific measurements, you should hire a professional surveyor.
If you are planning to repair or replace a fence along a shared property line, talk to your neighbor. In some cases, it’s possible to split the cost of the new fence. There are fence design options that allow for everyone involved to enjoy the new fence!
If disputes arise over a fence on a shared property line, try to resolve them with your neighbor first. Although Georgia does not have laws specifically addressing such shared fences, many related issues fall under state laws on easements, trespass, nuisance, and property damage and any issues may need to be resolved through the legal system if you aren’t able to reach an agreement with your neighbor.
As long as your wood, metal, chain link, or vinyl fencing structure does not exceed the length limits defined by the city of Atlanta, you do not need to complete a permit application for fence installation. Some other municipalities in the greater metro area to require permits, however, so be sure to check the regulations in place for your specific address.
Some fence projects have additional rules that govern them. Some examples:
If you are building a fence around a swimming pool, there will likely be additional regulations to ensure public safety.
Some municipalities don’t allow chain link or other galvanized metal fences in certain residential areas or historic sections- so double check before your construction begins.
There are many reasons why a DIY fence is not advisable, with a main one being safety concerns. Removing fence posts is a tough and potentially dangerous job for someone who is inexperienced. That goes for other parts of the job as well. Whether it’s using a nail gun or dealing with a fence panel falling over, the potential for injury is present throughout the project.
There’s also the issue of underground lines to beware of. Georgia law requires that utility lines be marked before conducting mechanized digging. The law designates that anyone planning to use mechanized equipment for excavation, tunnelling, grading, boring, blasting, demolition or similar work should contact Georgia 811. However, for safety’s sake, they recommend you call for any project in which you plan to break ground. Underground utilities can be damaged while individuals are building fences, installing mailboxes, or even planting trees. Georgia 811 receives notifications, or locate requests, from individuals planning to dig and transmits them to their member utility companies so they may mark their lines and digging can commence, safely. Reputable contractors can help with the process of contacting Georgia 811 and will know best practices to prevent you and your family from harm, prevent utility services interruptions and avoid costly damage.