Backyard fence permitting - is it needed for easy work?

Winny

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
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Found an interesting question on Reddit you all might like to respond to. It's about a homeowner living in Queens who wants to build a small fence, nothing major, but about 20 feet long and up to 6 feet tall, it will lie along the property like that is shared with the neighbor. But, they discovered they may need a permit and may even need to involve a licensed contractor. But the homeowner thinks it's a waste of time when they could have it completed in a day.

The homeowner is mostly seeking advice about how to navigate this process, as well would like tips or recommendations to avoid any issues with the Department of Buildings (DOB).

You can find the reddit post here - r/AskNYC
 
Location
Queens, New York, United States
First thing I'd do is check to see if your property falls within the zoning areas (R1-R5) and if it's a 1 or 2 family house. This is the first step to take when it comes to building a fence that is around 20 feet long or so and up to 6 feet tall.

If your property doesn't fall within said zones and in turn meets the criteria specified, you likely won't need a permit for a fence this tall. But I'd still look of your property survey to make sure the fence is on your property so you don't have to deal with neighbor disputes or any legal issues for that matter.

Best thing you can do is make sure you know the latest local regulations, and you can do this by checking up on these new rules and consulting your local Department of Buildings, or the permitting office nearest you to make sure the requirements are set. You also don't want to build said fence without looking into it, because it could come back to haunt you with fines or the requirement of modifying or even removing the fence you installed.
 
Getting permit can be very tricky but this is something you should newer avoid. You should check with the officials to make sure whether the construction requires permit or not. If you start working without a permit, just to save time and money, you might end up spending more time and more money. Fencing requires permit, that's for sure but I am not sure if you need a licensed contractor.
 
First thing I'd do is check to see if your property falls within the zoning areas (R1-R5) and if it's a 1 or 2 family house. This is the first step to take when it comes to building a fence that is around 20 feet long or so and up to 6 feet tall.

If your property doesn't fall within said zones and in turn meets the criteria specified, you likely won't need a permit for a fence this tall. But I'd still look of your property survey to make sure the fence is on your property so you don't have to deal with neighbor disputes or any legal issues for that matter.

Best thing you can do is make sure you know the latest local regulations, and you can do this by checking up on these new rules and consulting your local Department of Buildings, or the permitting office nearest you to make sure the requirements are set. You also don't want to build said fence without looking into it, because it could come back to haunt you with fines or the requirement of modifying or even removing the fence you installed.
Appreciate the response. It's very informative. So in this case it's likely the homeowner should obtain a permit, just to be on the safe side. Makes sense.
Getting permit can be very tricky but this is something you should newer avoid. You should check with the officials to make sure whether the construction requires permit or not. If you start working without a permit, just to save time and money, you might end up spending more time and more money. Fencing requires permit, that's for sure but I am not sure if you need a licensed contractor.
Yeah this is a risk you would be taking if you went ahead unpermitted. I think for the homeowner, it's best to just get the permit and get the ball rolling.

I think in some ways, you can hire just about anyone to build the fence, I don't think it needs to be a contractor necessarily. But it probably will still need valid permits.
 
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