A fence is a structure that encloses an area, typically outdoors, and is usually constructed from posts that are connected by boards, wire, rails or netting. A fence differs from a wall in not having a solid foundation along its whole length.
A balustrade or railing is a fence to prevent people from falling over an edge, most commonly found on a stairway, landing, or balcony. Railing systems and balustrades are also used along roofs, bridges, cliffs, pits, and bodies of water.
In the United States, the earliest settlers claimed land by simply fencing it in. Later, as the American government formed, unsettled land became technically owned by the government and programs to register land ownership developed, usually making raw land available for low prices or for free, if the owner improved the property, including the construction of fences. However, the remaining vast tracts of unsettled land were often used as a commons, or, in the American West, "open range" as degradation of habitat developed due to overgrazing and a tragedy of the commons situation arose, common areas began to either be allocated to individual landowners via mechanisms such as the Homestead Act and Desert Land Act and fenced in, or, if kept in public hands, leased to individual users for limited purposes, with fences built to separate tracts of public and private land.
GenerallyOwnership of a fence on a boundary varies. The last relevant original title deed(s) and a completed seller's property information form may document which side has to put up and has installed any fence respectively; the first using "T" marks/symbols (the side with the "T" denotes the owner); the latter by a ticked box to the best of the last owner's belief with no duty, as the conventionally agreed conveyancing process stresses, to make any detailed, protracted enquiry. Commonly the mesh or panelling is in mid-position. Otherwise it tends to be on non-owner's side so the fence owner might access the posts when repairs are needed but this is not a legal requirement. Where estate planners wish to entrench privacy a close-boarded fence or equivalent well-maintained hedge of a minimum height may be stipulated by deed. Beyond a standard height planning permission is necessary.
The hedge and ditch ownership presumptionWhere a rural fence or hedge has (or in some cases had) an adjacent ditch, the ditch is normally in the same ownership as the hedge or fence, with the ownership boundary being the edge of the ditch furthest from the fence or hedge. The principle of this rule is that an owner digging a boundary ditch will normally dig it up to the very edge of their land, and must then pile the spoil on their own side of the ditch to avoid trespassing on their neighbour. They may then erect a fence or hedge on the spoil, leaving the ditch on its far side. Exceptions exist in law, for example where a plot of land derives from subdivision of a larger one along the centre line of a previously existing ditch or other feature, particularly where reinforced by historic parcel numbers with acreages beneath which were used to tally up a total for administrative units not to confirm the actual size of holdings, a rare instance where Ordnance Survey maps often provide more than circumstantial evidence namely as to which feature is to be considered the boundary.
Fencing of livestockOn private land in the United Kingdom, it is the landowner's responsibility to fence their livestock in. Conversely, for common land, it is the surrounding landowners' duty to fence the common's livestock out such as in large parts of the New Forest. Large commons with livestock roaming have been greatly reduced by 18th and 19th century Acts for enclosure of commons covering most local units, with most remaining such land in the UK's National Parks.
Distinctly different land ownership and fencing patterns arose in the eastern and western United States. Original fence laws on the east coast were based on the British common law system, and rapidly increasing population quickly resulted in laws requiring livestock to be fenced in. In the west, land ownership patterns and policies reflected a strong influence of Spanish law and tradition, plus the vast land area involved made extensive fencing impractical until mandated by a growing population and conflicts between landowners. The "open range" tradition of requiring landowners to fence out unwanted livestock was dominant in most of the rural west until very late in the 20th century, and even today, a few isolated regions of the west still have open range statutes on the books. More recently, fences are generally constructed on the surveyed property line as precisely as possible. Today, across the nation, each state is free to develop its own laws regarding fences. In many cases for both rural and urban property owners, the laws were designed to require adjacent landowners to share the responsibility for maintaining a common boundary fenceline. Today, however, only 22 states have retained that provision.
Some U.S. states, including Texas, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina, have enacted laws establishing that purple paint markings on fences (or trees) are the legal equivalent of "No Trespassing" signs. The laws are meant to spare landowners, particularly in rural areas, from having to continually replace printed signs that often end up being stolen or obliterated by the elements.
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The sense "enclosure" arises in the mid 15th century.Also from the 15th century is use as a verb in the sense "to enclose with a fence". The generalized sense "to defend, screen, protect" arises ca. 1500. The sense "to fight with swords (rapiers)" is from the 1590s (Shakespeare).
In residential zoning districts, fences may be constructed to a maximum height of four feet in front yards and six feet on the sides and rear of a lot. In mixed-use and commercial zones, fences may be constructed to a maximum height of six feet.
Fences can create privacy, enhance beauty, and provide protection to individual homes and property. At the same time, neighbors and neighborhoods visually share fences. Height and design regulations ensure safety and enhancement for the community as well as the individual.
Reused materials designed for another purpose other than a fence may not be used. Barbed wire is limited to use in commercial or manufacturing zones. It is prohibited in residential zones except when used to repair or replace existing barbed fencing used for agricultural or pasture fences.
In the East Central zones: Fences in the front yard setback or in the side yard facing a street on a corner lot are limited to wood, decorative metal (no chain link), vinyl and plant material that may form a hedge. Brick or stone may be used as columns in the fence design. Chain link fencing is not permitted in the front yard setback or in the side yard facing a street on a corner lot. Owners of property with existing chain link, as of July 31, 2010, shall not expand the use of chain link fencing. If a chain link fence is replaced it may only be replaced with a fence made with permitted materials.
Corner lots are limited to a maximum of four (4') feet in height on each yard that faces a street. However, a maximum six (6') foot tall fence is allowed in the corner side yard setback provided it is located behind the house. If a neighboring driveway is within ten (10') feet of the shared property line, a clear view area is required with no fencing. A clear view area is a triangle whose legs are measured back ten (10') feet from the point where the interior property line shared with the adjacent lot meets the property line along the public right-of-way.
Yes, if: Where a fence is to be built upon a retaining wall or hillside the height of the fence should be measured from a point halfway between the top of the retaining wall or hill on one side and the land or hillside on the lower side of the wall.
(1) Fences, walls, or other structures in the nature of a fence located within the required front yard shall have a maximum height of four feet, six inches (4 ft.) and shall be at least 50 percent open.
(2) Fences, walls, or other structures in the nature of a fence located within the front yard but beyond the required front yard, within a side yard, or within the rear yard shall have a maximum height of six feet, six inches (6 ft.).
(2) Fences, walls, or other structures in the nature of a fence located within the front yard beyond the required front yard, within a side yard, or within the rear yard shall have a maximum height of ten feet.
(1) The height of a fence shall be measured from the finished grade along the exterior side of the fence to the top of the fence; posts or other supporting members shall not be included in such measurement. If a fence is built on top of a berm or wall, the combined height of the fence and berm/wall shall not exceed the allowable fence height. On sloping ground, the fence shall follow the slope or step with the slope so as not to exceed the allowable height at any point along the fence. 041b061a72