It can be the homeowner’s nightmare…your phone rings after you have installed your brand new, beautiful fence and it is your neighbor on the other end. “Hello, Joe? Listen, I know you told us you were installing new fencing, and it’s really pretty and all, and we appreciated your giving us the heads up. But…ummm…did you know you installed it on OUR property?”
UGH! Now you have to have the installers come out, rip out that beautiful fencing, re-install it on YOUR property (even though you swore it was on your property to begin with) AND you have to repair the damage to your neighbor’s yard. What a headache! And…WHAT AN EXPENSE!
There is another risk…your fence is installed and your neighbor doesn’t say anything. Down the road sometime you decide to sell your house. Fantastic news! You have the ideal buyer, you got your asking price, you have found your new dream home and you are all set…and your buyers’ lender needs a survey. Yikes! The fence your buyers thought was theirs is on your neighbor’s property. Not only could your sale be in jeopardy, but your new home might be just that…a dream from which you wake up and it is gone.
Our goal is to always protect our clients as best we can which is precisely why it is a standard for all reputable fence companies to require that ALL clients have a survey before the installation of a new fence or before the installation of replacement fencing.
Reputable is the key word here. While you might save money by going with your friend’s friend who does fencing on the side and may not care if you have a survey or not, in the long run this might very well cost you more later on.
I Need a Survey Even if I Replace An Existing Fence??
While the former may be obvious, you may be asking yourself, hey, that fence has been there for 15 years, why would we need a survey to replace it? You would be surprised how many old fences were installed on the wrong property! And, by the way, who is to say that your neighbor didn’t install a fence on your property?
The best, and most cost efficient way to protect yourself (and us) for the long term is to have a survey done. You may not need a brand new survey, though.
Who Already Has a Copy of a Survey for Your Property?
If you have a mortgage on your property, your lender should have a copy of your survey. Also, if there were permits required for work done on your property, check with your municipality. You can look up your property history online, find the work permit number, call your municipality (generally the building department or town assessor) and for a small fee they will provide you with a copy of your file.
Remember, though, if the survey is old, it will behoove you to pay a surveyor to do a reading and update of it to be sure nothing has changed over the years.
Who We Recommend for a Survey
While you are, of course, free to use any surveyor you prefer, we strongly recommend a local, family-owned company that has been in business for over 50 years, Red Stake Surveyors, Inc. Red Stake has an extensive database of surveys and if your property is in their system, you might be able to save some costs with a survey update instead of a full-blown survey.
And if you make changes to your property later on, Red Stake will be able to update their recorded survey accordingly with a lessened “add-on” cost to you, their customer. You can even order your survey online by visiting their website or calling them at (941) 923-9997 and tell Tammy that Florida Fence sent you, won’t you? We love supporting our local businesses, and encourage all of our customers to do the same. 😊
So, avoid that awkward and potentially expensive call from your neighbor—once you have decided to have fencing installed, get that survey done. Your checkbook, and your neighbors, will thank you later!