Do I Need a Permit to Build a Fence?

Horizontal Style Fence

Looking to add a new fence to your property? You’ll need to decide what type of fence you’d like, find your survey to double-check where your property lines are, and of course, determine if you need a permit to build your fence. Below we will explain instances where you may need a permit to build a fence in the City of Austin. If you’re located in different city limits, you’ll need to check their regulations.

When Do I Need a Permit?

Generally speaking, you do not need a permit to build a fence in Austin if the fence is under 8 feet tall. This applies to fences constructed with any material; wood, metal, and stone are just a few examples. There are a few exceptions to this general rule:

  • You’re located on a floodplain
  • You want to build a solid fence

What is a Solid Fence?

A solid fence is any fence that blocks the view. It is also considered a privacy fence, as compared with an open fence design such ornamental steel.

Don’t worry! You can still build a solid fence that’s under 8 feet tall if you’d like. However, you will need to take one extra step. To approve the addition of a solid fence, you must have written authorization from the property owners that are adjacent to your property. If you happen to be adjacent to land owned by the City of Austin, instead of trying to get that same authorization, you’ll need to go to the Board of Adjustments and ask for a variance.

Can I Build a Taller Fence?

Want a fence taller than an 8-foot tall fence? Unfortunately, solid fences taller than 8 feet are not allowed. However, you can build an ornamental fence over that eight-foot benchmark, but you will need a permit for it. Keep in mind though, that eight feet can provide plenty of privacy and security, and there are few instances that having a fence taller than that makes sense.

Are My Materials Restricted?

The City of Austin doesn’t regulate or restrict the materials used in fencing. While this may seem convenient, it actually makes it all the more important that you select a fence building company that uses quality materials. Luckily, if you’re in the Austin area, you don’t have to look far! Give Sierra Fence a call today to discuss your fencing needs!