Fences can be extremely useful and attractive additions to your property. They can help provide safety and protection, as well as beautifully highlight landscaping and features. Most communities though have laws and restrictions and requirements with regard to fences that must be understood and adhered to.
For instance, many communities have regulations when it comes to maintaining fences that serve as partitions between properties. Failure to maintain these structures could result in fines or worse.
Dick Malone, owner of Malone Fence Company, says, “Homeowners need to be proactive, and research their individual city or town’s filed city ordinances or adopted bylaws. Often times they supersede state building codes.”
Over the next few months, we are going to review the specific requirements and restrictions within each community that we service in Massachusetts to help our customers better understand what they can and can’t do. But before we do, there are some basic concepts that need to be covered.
All rules and regulations with regard to fences must be documented and enacted into law, but those laws can be State or City, and so they’re not always found in one convenient place. Furthermore, if you live within a Home Owners Association (HOA) they may have additional rules and guidelines that must be followed.
Fence Viewers are individuals appointed within your district whose responsibility it is to assess fence conditions and compliance. Most are mayoral appointments, subject to City Council approval, and server for one year terms.
While the strict definition of a fence may vary from community to community, it is typically considered a fence if the structure is four feet high or higher, and constructed of rails, timber, boards, iron or stone. Landscaped structures including ditches and hedges may also be considered fences, and are determined by the Fence Viewers.
There are instances where a fence is required, such as certain pool installations. This is the area where residents need to pay particular attention. If they’re interested in building something which will require a fence of some kind, they’ll need to plan and budget for that addition.
We will review the specific laws appropriate for each community, and be sure to highlight any differences between that community and others within the State of Massachusetts. In particular, we are going to discuss:
If you have any questions about your specific fence installation or requirements or to speak to a professional fence installer that is experienced in servicing the needs of the North Shore Area, please contact us at 978-744-7339.