We all know the phrase “good fences make good neighbors.”
But what if you have no fence to speak of? Or what if your existing fence is looking a little worse for wear? Or what if you notice that the privacy fencing at your new home isn’t quite as private as you thought it would be?
When it comes to building or replacing a fence in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metro area, you’re going to find out that the rules for doing so are as varied as the communities you live in.
One general rule is that you will need a permit from the city or county before construction can begin. After that, you’ll need to check for details to make sure your fence will be built to code.
Let’s take a look at the various fencing restrictions and quirks you can expect in the DFW area.
Most Common Fence Restrictions
After surveying 33 cities and suburbs in the DFW metro, there are several common threads to fencing permits.
Many areas specifically ban electric fences, and new chain-link fences are a no-go. You may replace existing chain-link fences in most cases, but there are usually lots of guidelines to follow in doing so.
Forget about building a fence in easements, areas where other people can legally cross your property. And most cities are strict with setting back a certain distance at intersections so your fence does not impede the “visibility triangle” of traffic coming around the corner.
You’ll likely need additional approval to build in flood zones, if at all.
Front-yard fences are most likely required to be at least 50 percent transparent and shorter, so don’t even think about a secure perimeter fence or an 8-foot-high solid-wood fence out front.
Is your home in a historical district? Double check all the rules — your district likely has stricter guidelines to maintain the design of your neighborhood.
Least Common Fence Restrictions
In newer planned or wealthier suburban communities, you may run into some hyper specific rules.
For instance, be prepared to pick from a narrow field of wood and color options.
- In Coppell, composite fencing can be earth-tone colors only. Metal fencing may be off-white, black or earth tones only. And masonry fences cannot be painted.’
- In Arlington, you have two choices for wood fencing: cedar or redwood. Additionally, composite and vinyl fencing can only be flat white or natural tones like rust or tan.
- Irving mandates that wood must be either cedar or redwood.
- Midlothian does not allow pine wood fencing. You can choose between spruce or cedar.
- Prosper calls for an insect-resistant wood such as cedar or pressure-treated yellow pine. Spruce is not permitted.
- Rockwall wood fences must be cedar. The city doesn’t allow spruce.
- In Flower Mound, the code calls for pre-stained western red cedar in medium brown color or composite material in redwood color.
Additionally, some communities do not allow front-yard fencing of any kind. Coppell, University Park and Highland Park are a few of them.
In Prosper and Rockwall, any front-yard fences must be approved by the city or town council.
And Allen only allows a front-yard fence or wall up to 3 feet as part of an unenclosed front porch or uncovered patio.
Standard Fence Maximum Heights
When it comes to maximum fence heights, there tends to be a standard most cities in the DFW metro area have adopted: front-yard fences max out at 4 feet, and side- and back-yard fences max out at 8 feet.
Of course, there are always exceptions.
In Lewisville, you may build a taller back-yard fence, up to 10 feet. Dallas also allows for a taller back-yard fence, up to 9 feet (over 9 feet will need special permission).
Meanwhile, on the shorter side, Westlake maxes out back-yard fencing at 7 feet.
Trophy Club allows for the tallest front-yard fencing, at 8 feet.
On the other hand, Bedford and Colleyville cap their front-yard fencing at 2.5 feet, or 30 inches. In Carrollton, Saginaw, Aledo, Richardson and Cedar Hill, front-yard fences are restricted to 3 feet tall.
Fencing Restrictions by City
Looking for more specific details on your city, town or village? Find your location on our service area page and discover fencing rules for your community.
Also, you can find a list of permit applications and links to the latest regulations here: https://buzzfence.com/fence-permit-information/