Before ever taking on your own DIY fence installation, the most important thing you need to do is know where your property begins and ends. Randomly deciding to install a fence without knowing how to find your property line can lead to arguments with your neighbor, expensive repairs when you have to tear down and re-install the fence and potential legal fees should your local county gets involved in the issue. In other words, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to not knowing your property lines!
Here are some things you can easily do that will help you when you aren’t sure how to find your property line.
Define Your Property Line with Deeds and Blueprints
The easiest way to define your property line is through your deed, which often contains a description of your property’s measurements and boundaries in words. Most developers also supply property owners with a series of blueprints of both the home and the property itself (also known as a plat), which demonstrate exactly where your property line begins and ends.
If you don’t own a set of plans for your property, the easiest thing to do is visit city hall or your local government building department to find the most recent survey of your property. You can also ask what maps are available for public viewing that include your neighborhood and street. Request a copy of any maps that show clear dimensions of your property lines. Use the maps for reference when measuring your property’s total boundary line on each side.
The maps should show you where potential markers ought to be, but the survey will definitely provide you accurate measurements to follow for establishing your property lines to the edge.
Define Your Property Line with Property Pins
When you purchase a property and receive a copy of your plat, you should see the placement of the survey stakes—known as property pins, which mark where your property lines go. If you’ve recently purchased a property, you should be able to see the property pins as most surveyors mark them with flags or colored posts.
Sometimes property pins are also metal or steel stakes or pipes that licensed surveyors place in the ground. When they initially place them, the top of the stake is flush with ground level, but over time the stake might have been covered with soil and thus could be several inches below the surface. If you can’t see them, you can use a metal detector to locate your stakes. Just make sure that the beeping noise you hear is for the stake and not a dropped tool or an old bottle cap!
Define Your Property Line Through a Survey Company
If you’re still uncertain as to where your fence can go or you’re not sure how to read the plans themselves, the best thing to do is hire a professional state-licensed surveyor to come out and map out your property lines for you. The surveyor will mark the lines at the corners with stakes. I recommend being present when the surveyor comes to measure your property, so he or she can point out where the property lines are for when you eventually build the fence. The cost of a survey varies depending on your location, property value and lot size.
Got Your Property Line Defined? Ready to Build an Aluminum Fence?
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