A wood fence can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Some structures may last longer, but eventually, you’ll need to replace your fence. Before you install a new one, the old one needs to come down.
A Portland fencing company will usually offer tear-down services. Removing an old fence is hard work. Posts are buried deep and may be set in cement. Post removal is a job that’s beyond what many homeowners can handle. If you decide to leave the heavy work to professionals, you’ll still need to plan your fence demolition.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Start your pre-demolition work by making sure the fence is yours. If you built the fence, and you’re confident you built on your side of the property line, you’re good to go. If a fence was there when you moved into your home, the situation is less clear. The fence could belong to your neighbors, or it might be sitting on the adjoining lot. Some people share ownership of a fence. Talk to your neighbors before you start your project. Even if the fence is clearly on your property, it’s a good idea to let the people next door know your plans.
Don’t Break Building Codes
Don’t violate building codes. Some areas require a building permit for a fence. Your town or city may have restrictions on fence heights or styles. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, you may need to get approval when you change any landscaping or hardscaping. If you’re in violation of code, you could get a fine.
Call Utilities Before Digging
Don’t start digging until you know the location of utility lines. You always need to call the Before-You-Dig service before a project that requires excavation. A 6-foot fence, a typical height for privacy fences, needs 8-foot posts buried at least 2-feet in the ground. That’s deep enough to hit pipe, power or cable line. It’s possible utilities were installed after a fence was built. Take care of this now, so you’ll have smooth sailing when it’s time to install the new structure.
Should You Do the Demolition?
Once you establish the prerequisites, you might wonder if you should handle the tear-down yourself. Removing fence posts is the most difficult part of taking down an old fence. If the posts were correctly set, they’ll be hard to remove. Before you proceed, consider whether you have the tools, strength and know-how to dig out posts.