Top 5 Fencing Problems and How to Avoid Them

I have been in fencing for over 40 years, here are the TOP 5 backyard fencing problems and how you can avoid them altogether!

Sounds pretty simple but since the average homeowner installs only 3 fences in a lifetime I have written it down to make it easy on you.

One of the most frequently asked questions is can I set my fence on the property line? Yes you can, but then 

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Knoxville – Nashville

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#1 Mistake – installing your fence outside your property lines

Make sure property pins are clearly flagged and marked.

Everyone gets upset if they think you are intruding on their property, even if you are not!

How to find your property pins? Hiring a professional surveyor is the best way to establish property pins! That will cost you between $300 and $700 on average. What else could you do?

Most of the time the property pins are buried under the dirt a couple of inches to a couple of feet (backfill dirt over top of pins). By looking over your property survey you can approximate the pin location and then look for them. Once you have one pin then you can measure off the survey to locate the rest of your property pins.

Free Knox County property surveys

What if you don’t have a property survey? Normally you can go to the register of deeds office in the county courthouse and get a copy of the recorded deed for a nominal fee ($5).

In Knox County Tennessee they have an online graphics of most properties with the measurements between pins.


Let Neighbors Know You’re Installing a Fence

As a courtesy to your neighbors, give them a heads up and let them know you are having a fence installed soon. Maybe let them know you want to let the children or pets outside, or you are putting in a pool.

If you have an HOA you may need authorization from them for a fence, and it’s great to have a WRITTEN APPROVAL in case of conflict later on. Your professional fence company should be able to handle the paperwork for you. Just make sure it’s approved BEFORE work is started.

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Identify Underground Utilities

Get a copy of the authorization number, valid dates, and who is notified to mark utilities!

Make sure you notify #811 for underground utilities before work is started and holes drilled. Whom ever is doing the work has to call for authorization ticket and give three working days advance notice.

This is great for major utilities, but what is not covered? The utilities companies are only responsible for the lines they install, so anything from their stopping point to the house is your responsibility.
Fence contractors will have in their contract that they are not responsible for unmarked underground utilities since they are drilling blind, so let them know if you have any other lines to watch out for. Get the full article and

Yes! It’s a free download PDF form for your Tennessee 1 call underground utility notification. Fill in all information you need to give them and then the confirmation # and valid dates and who is notified.

Is the fence company calling for the undergrounds? Great! Still fill this out with the confirmation # and valid dates and who is notified and keep in your fence file. Many times over the last 40 years we have had a conflict where we cut a utility line and the confirmation # saved us a costly repair bill!

Choosing the Wrong Fence!

YES! IT HAPPENS! Homeowners order a fence installation without thinking it through. 

For instance if you want privacy from neighbors and need a 6′ privacy fence, but all the neighbors have 2 story houses with decks overlooking your yard. Not really going to be private.

You might order an aluminum fence only to realize that it is open view and offers no privacy. 

A professional fence contractor will ask you your purpose for the fence and steer you to several good options to achieve your specific objectives.

We like to break down our fence projects by objectives... what do you need to achieve with your fence? Privacy, security, pet safety, child safety, swimming pool, marking property boundary are common objectives and each one has certain fences that match up better than others. Check out FENCES BY OBJECTIVES to help you narrow down and decide what fences are right for you.

Choosing the Right Gates and Placements

Once you have decide on the right fence for you, what about gates? I recommend a point of entry gate (smaller - high frenquency gate) near the driveway and back door. Then on the other side of the house a larger landscape gate (5' wide) for riding mowers and such.

How to layout your new backyard fence Southern Fence and Rail Knoxville Best Fence Company

Finally an access for vehicles into the backyard. For infrequent use, maybe once every couple of years a removable access panel (10' - 12' ). This is a bolted up removable section so it will take some time to remove and reset.

For frequent use (weekly) consider a double gate. This is preferred for frequent use like parking a boat or trailer. My preference is for the largest double gate since you may trade up and need a larger opening.


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Southern Fence and Rail
Knoxville – Nashville

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