Four Mistakes to Avoid When Tearing Down an Old Fence

When you finally decide you're going to replace your fence, it's normal to be excited. That old, rickety fence will soon be gone, and you'll have a fresh, new one to show off to guests. In all of your excitement, it's easy to make mistakes when it comes to tearing down your old fence. Here's a look at four common mistakes to avoid:

Mistake 1: Forgetting to verify that the fence belongs to you.

Make sure it's really your fence, not the neighbor's fence, that you're about to tear down. If the previous owners of the home were aware of common fencing etiquette, they probably faced the finished side of the fence towards the neighbor's property. However, you should not assume that just because the finished side is facing your neighbor's land, the fence is yours. It only takes a minute to knock on your neighbor's door and and verify fence ownership -- don't skip this step, or you may have angry neighbors.

Mistake 2: Not obtaining the proper permits.

Some, but not all, municipalities require that you obtain a permit in order to remove or replace a fence. Call your city or county office, and ask what the regulations are where you live. It's possible that you'll be able to knock the fence down without a permit, but that you will need a permit before the fencing company comes to put up a new fence. It's also possible that you won't need a permit at all, but it's still best to call so you don't end up being charged a fine for non-compliance.

Mistake 3: Failing to make disposal arrangements prior to knocking down the fence.

You don't want the old fence parts lying around in your yard for weeks or months after you tear down the fence.  They could easily attract bugs and rodents, and they'll certainly be an eyesore. To avoid these issues, make plans to dispose of the fence before you begin tearing it down. This is pretty easy with wooden fences – you can burn the lumber, or find someone else who wants it as firewood. Metal fences are often disposed of at recycling facilities. Call recycling centers in your area to check that they accept fencing. Some may even pay you for iron, steel, or aluminum fencing.

If you avoid these mistakes with some careful planning, the process of removing your fence should go much more smoothly. In no time, your backyard will be bare and ready for your new fence. For assistance, talk to a professional like Town & Country Fence.