A well-built fence can beautify and add security and privacy to a property, increasing the value and protecting your family.

However, new fences do not just appear. Fencing projects require considerable preparation and planning for a home, farm/acreage, or commercial property in Calgary.

Mistakes at the start of fencing projects can lead to costly alterations or delays later on, not to mention the inconvenience.

Before you start building your new fence, you will need to decide on its purpose, its precise dimensions, your budget, the materials to use, and the professionals you will hire to install it.

Will the fence upset the neighbours, and are there any local regulations you need to know about?

All these questions should be answered before you embark on your fence project. This article will help you consider everything you need to know…

Why install a new fence in Calgary?

Why do you need a new fence?

New fences serve many possible purposes, and your main purpose(s) will help you decide on many key factors before you start.

For instance, do you want to:

  • Add privacy?
  • Add security?
  • Add curb appeal?
  • Keep intruders out?
  • Add protection?
  • Protect your pets?
  • Reduce noise?

The purpose of your fence will go a long way to helping you decide the dimensions, materials, and design/style of your fence.

For a strong and durable fence where privacy or curb appeal is not an issue, you might choose a chain link fence. If low maintenance is the most important factor, vinyl might be an option, and if you want a traditional sturdy fence that provides good privacy and security, a wooden fence might fit the bill. An ornamental fence might be an option if there are no budget constraints.

Are there any rules and regulations when building a fence in Calgary?

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To build a new fence within the Calgary city limits without applying for a permit, you need to follow a few Calgary by-laws that place limits on fence dimensions:

  • A fence cannot exceed the height of 2m (6’-6″) in the backyard
  • A fence cannot exceed the height of 1.2m (4’-0″) in the front yard
  • Inside a corner visibility triangle, the fence cannot exceed the height of 0.75m (2’-6″)
  • The gate cannot exceed the height of 2.5m (8’-2″)

Other fencing and land-use/building regulations may apply to the work you want to do on your Calgary property.

For instance, when digging new fence posts, you must ensure that you don’t hit any underground lines or pipes. If you want to build a retaining wall or garden boxes without applying for a building permit, you need to ensure that:

  • The wall requires no more than 1.2 meters of soil
  • The combined height of the wall and boxes within one meter of each other do not exceed 1.2 meters.

Make sure you select a professional fence installation company like Reliabuilt Fence and Deck Ltd.. We will help you comply with all regulations and avoid potential problems and fines. We can also help you apply for a necessary permit and book an inspection to ensure everything is built to code.

What are the other main challenges when building a new fence?

Meeting City regulations is only one of the challenges you need to be ready for when building a new fence. Pre-empting the types of problems you may face can save time and money in the future…

Annoying the neighbours

Consider your neighbours when building a new fence. If possible, inform them of your plans in advance so that you can address any objections beforehand.

A fence that blocks their beautiful view of the mountains or presents some type of hazard to their property is unlikely to be appreciated.

Choice of materials

One of the biggest decisions you will need to make is which material to use for your fence. As mentioned, the purpose of your fence is likely to be the single most important deciding factor in this.

The planned size of your fence might also influence your choice of materials, as will aesthetic and maintenance preferences.

Your basic choices will be between the following materials:

  • Wood: the most traditional and popular material, it is well suited to the Calgary climate, especially when pressure treated and maintained with sealants, etc.
  • Vinyl: rot-, fade-, and warp-resistant, vinyl provides a low-maintenance fence but with more limited style and colour choices than traditional wood.
  • Chain link: an affordable and durable option that is easy to install and suitable for keeping pets in but lacks privacy.
  • Ornamental: a more expensive option, often made from aluminum, providing a timeless and classic look that comes at a price.

Installing fence posts

Calgary’s dry and cold climate creates certain challenges that fence projects in other parts of the country don’t face.

Setting fence posts is work for professional fence builders — who understand how the ground conditions, soil conditions and climate affect what needs to be done.

At Reliabuilt, our expert team of fence builders knows how to calculate the depth that post holes need to be depending on the height and style of the fence, the terrain, the wind load, and the digging conditions.

Staying within budget

The materials used, style of fence and dimensions all affect the cost of a new fence installation in Calgary.

Even if you choose a wood fence, it’s not that simple. There are different types of wood fences to choose from. Cedar is different from pressure-treated lumber, for instance.

Ask our professionals to provide a quote for the materials/style you are considering based on your dimensions so that you know how much you need to budget for.

How to plan and build a suitable fence for your Calgary property

The three basic steps to installing a new fence on your Calgary property are: design, planning and installing.

There are no cutting corners if you want to build a lasting fence. Here’s a little more information about each of these crucial steps…

Designing your fence

Design your fence and outline exactly where it will be on your property. This is about putting your idea onto paper.

You should understand why you need the fence and any stylistic/design/material preferences at this stage.

Measure the dimensions of your fence (length, width, and height) and add them to your design.

Planning the build

In the planning stage, you prepare for your fence to take shape. The most important aspects of your plan are:

  • Keep neighbours onside and abide by the rules and regulations

Keeping neighbours happy and ensuring you are not contravening any city bylaws are necessary before you get too far down the line with your fence. If you need a permit, that should be secured before you start the installation.

  • Ensure durability

Before you order your materials, ensure that they are durable enough to withstand the Calgary climate. Unless you are prepared to frequently maintain your fence, select a material that doesn’t need much care, like vinyl or chain link.

  • Consider all the factors and possible complications

Are there any factors that could create complications that require planning for, such as special gate requirements or obstacles in the ground that could impact the positioning of fence posts?

Special equipment may be required to install your fence if there are concrete slabs, thick tree roots, or clay deposits.

  • Gather quotes and check that costs come within your budget

Once you have a clear idea of what you need, it’s time to gather quotes for the installation. You will likely have a set budget to come within, making it easier to field quotes.

Select the fence installation company that provides the best value rather than the cheapest (they may cut corners or use inferior materials).

Installing your fence

Finally, it’s time to install the fence. Your fencing installation company will handle everything and likely go through the following steps:

  • Mark out the lines indicating where the fence will be installed
  • Ensure that the utilities are located before digging commences (Alberta One Call)
  • Dig holes for the fence posts
  • Place fence posts level and plum within one-eighth of an inch of the proposed fence line. Set in concrete and backfill.
  • Attach fence panels between two secured posts.

To finish a wooden fence off, you may want to stain or paint it.

Professional fence builders in Calgary

Fence installation is beyond most DIY enthusiasts. It’s best not to plan on doing the job yourself unless you have extensive experience and the right tools.

If you want your fence installed the right way — and do it only once — the Reliabuilt team is here to serve you. From initial advice and quote to installing any type of fence on your Calgary property, we will project manage it from start to finish.

Remember, our estimates are FREE and always will be.