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  #1  
Old 2015-05-19, 12:26 AM
yunvi yunvi is offline
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Default Fencing five townhouses ourselves

Hello community,

I have a question regarding how perfect (wrt to boundary line) does the fence need to be ?

I live in a townhouse, and we have agreed to build the fence ourselves.. well two of us, out of the five, will build the fences (for all five units in the townhouse block.

What would you describe as an ok discrepancy ?

Say a lot is supposed to be 23 ft wide. and after the fence is built, it measures 23' 3". Is that acceptable ? Or does it need to be bang on ?

Second question. 4 of the 5 owners reside at the property. One owner doesnt live onsite. He is renting. What do you recommend we (the two guys building the fences) do to absolve ourselves of any harm resulting from the fence ?

We will be digging 4.5ft, and using gravel, sono tubes and cement for the posts, so Im not worried about the pressure treated fence toppling over...but I just wanted to get a sense what other people have done.

Looking forward to your input !
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Old 2015-05-19, 09:04 AM
BlkStnBerk2 BlkStnBerk2 is offline
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I can't find the message you sent to me. Not sure if it was automatically deleted or what.

I've built a lot of fences. It's very straight forward.

Do you still have the survey markers for the lot line from when they were built? If not, don't worry about it. All you need is some string, a can of spray paint, and some woods stakes or metal ones, and a measuring tape. I like to use the big measuring reels, since you get a lot of distance out of them. You'll also need your Real Property Report, as well as all the ones from your neighbours.


First step is to use the Real Property Report and measure the property lines. All of the info should be on the report in METRES. Just measure the width of the lot closest to your house, put a stake in the ground, then tie a string to it. Run that string to the back of the property. Make sure to measure from the back property line width as well. Then you put stakes on the back two corners of the lot, attach the one string to one, and another to the other.

You've now made your property line with string.

I'm assuming your builder has already built the back common fence?

Once you have the string there, just dig your holes so the middle of the hole is where the string is. I use 6x6 posts, so it's pretty easy to get the centre. Keep in mind, this is if you want half of the post to be on one side, and the other on the other side. I have built fences where the entire post is on my side of the line, giving the flat side to the neighbour. In this case, it is very easy to be precise.

Dig your holes, install the string again, and level the post so the back of the post sits flush on the string. This way you know the post is fully on your side. You hang your stringers along the back side of the post (along the property line), and you are guaranteed to be right on the line.

The other way of doing it is getting 2x6 hangers, and install them in the centre of the post. Then each neighbour will have half the post on their property.

As for your holes....Just make sure you do this correctly!!!!! Buy the proper length of post for the amount of fence you want above ground. Don't be like my complete moron neighbour, and buy 10 foot posts, dig 4 foot holes, and expect to have a 7 foot fence!!!

In my honest opinion, you don't need to use the tubes. I never have, and I've seen photos of fences I built long ago, that have zero lean. I just use a gravel base, pack it down, then fill the rest of the hole with cement. But it's totally up to you of course.

As far as being off 3". I really can't see anyone making a stink about it, but if you're worried about the other neighbours, then tell them to build their own fences, and worry about the two of you doing the actual build. OR, you could tell them that it is possible to be out a few inches, and get them to sign something stating you are not responsible for this.

That being said, I have never had any issues with this. And this includes Stantec coming back to re-do the Real Property Report for the sale of a home. Measurements were right on and no issue.

If you're out a foot, then that's a different story!!
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Old 2015-05-19, 09:59 AM
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good2know good2know is offline
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There is no tolerence in fencing for 'close'. You are correct when you say bang on.

While current homeowner may be fine with a couple inches, a second or subsequent new homeowner may not be. Theycouldforce it to be moved.

Doesnt take a lot of time to be perfect.

An old fence builders trick is to keep the posts 1/8 inch off the string line. That way you are not pushing it out.
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Old 2015-05-19, 10:08 AM
BlkStnBerk2 BlkStnBerk2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by good2know View Post
There is no tolerence in fencing for 'close'. You are correct when you say bang on.

While current homeowner may be fine with a couple inches, a second or subsequent new homeowner may not be. Theycouldforce it to be moved.

Doesnt take a lot of time to be perfect.

An old fence builders trick is to keep the posts 1/8 inch off the string line. That way you are not pushing it out.
I'll tell you right now, that a very large percentage of fences in Ottawa are NOT "bang on". This includes those put up by developers and builders as common fences.

I was speaking with the survey guy when he was here, and he said he does A LOT of surveys for home purchases. He said he sees a few inches here and there all the time, but it is sufficient when issuing a new Real Property Report.

That being said, if the method I explained is used, there is no chance of this, unless whoever is building the fence cannot just touch the string with the post.
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Old 2015-05-19, 10:22 AM
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Most people are fine with close enough. But theres that one ahole ......

I watched one in jackson trails few years back being dug up and moved a few inches. All because he could prove it was on his property.

To the question is close ok the answer is no. Easy to make sure it is in the right spot. Your precedure does that.

Yunvi also make sure the neighbours have matching info on their copies of surveys. Ive been in a situation where a builder supplied survey at purchase was slightly different than the final one registered at the city. Its only the registered one that counts.
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Old 2015-05-19, 10:25 AM
yunvi yunvi is offline
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thanks for the info BlkStnBerk2 & good2know.

I do have string marking the lots as you mentioned, but then I realised that the distance I measured from one of the privacy barrier to the other across the lot isnt what's written on the survey plan. It's off by a couple of inches, hence my original question.

I will need to get a second eye on that. I spoke to a couple folks in neighbourhood stores of the orange and white, and blue white type, and they both said I would be looking for trouble if we didnt build the fence bang on.
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Old 2015-05-19, 10:33 AM
BlkStnBerk2 BlkStnBerk2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yunvi View Post
thanks for the info BlkStnBerk2 & good2know.

I do have string marking the lots as you mentioned, but then I realised that the distance I measured from one of the privacy barrier to the other across the lot isnt what's written on the survey plan. It's off by a couple of inches, hence my original question.

I will need to get a second eye on that. I spoke to a couple folks in neighbourhood stores of the orange and white, and blue white type, and they both said I would be looking for trouble if we didnt build the fence bang on.
It's always BEST to do it "bang on". Then you don't have to worry about anything. In some cases, the few inches ends up being unintentional. But this can happen even when you hire someone.

Just make sure to follow the Real Property Report, as this is the actual survey.

DO NOT use what the builder gave you in the beginning. There should be a note on that paperwork that states, "subject to change" or "pending approval"...Something along those lines....Use the one you got at closing, which your lawyer should have handed over to you.
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Old 2015-05-19, 11:05 AM
yunvi yunvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlkStnBerk2 View Post
It's always BEST to do it "bang on". Then you don't have to worry about anything. In some cases, the few inches ends up being unintentional. But this can happen even when you hire someone.

Just make sure to follow the Real Property Report, as this is the actual survey.

DO NOT use what the builder gave you in the beginning. There should be a note on that paperwork that states, "subject to change" or "pending approval"...Something along those lines....Use the one you got at closing, which your lawyer should have handed over to you.
understood. fun times.

will let you know how it goes. thanks again for the info.
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Old 2015-05-19, 11:47 AM
London2Ottawa London2Ottawa is offline
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Don't forget to get utilities located before digging
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Old 2015-05-19, 05:26 PM
dial59 dial59 is offline
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I don't want to highjack your thread, but I have a quick question relating to fences:

Does anyone know if the City of Ottawa audits residential fences? For instance, the height restriction... Would they check your height and make sure it's less than 7 feet?

Also, what is the height measured from, does the height include the posts and post caps? Or is it just the fencing part?

If I go over a couple inches, would that be an issue?

Thanks!
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