Fence Guide

1. Overview

A fence or a wall can make an exciting difference to your property by adding privacy and security. Building a fence or wall can be a great do-it-yourself project. But, before you begin, there are a few things that you should know.

2. Tips to consider before beginning your project

  • Is your property within a historic district or a designated historic landmark? If yes, you will need a Certificate of Appropriateness prior to installing a new fence or replacing portions of an existing fence. See the Historic Preservation Board website for more information.
  • Call 811 for utility locates or visit sunshine811.com.
  • Is your property within a mandatory Homeowner’s Association? Many HOAs require approval prior to moving forward with any project. Be sure to check with your HOA before proceeding with your fence project.    
  • Is your fence material solid? If so, consider raising your fence panels a minimum of two inches above the ground surface to ensure for the natural flow of water during heavy rains.  
  • Is your fence facing the right way? It's customary to build a wood fence so that the finished side faces outward. This gives your neighbors a pleasant view and helps keep the exterior of your house looking great from the road. 
  • Research the property line. Do you really know where your property line is? Make sure you are building your fence on your property line or just inside it. Review and understand your survey before you begin the project. 

3. What type of fence can I build?

  • Typically fences and walls may not exceed four feet in height in front yards. Fences in street side yards may be up to six feet in height. Call our office at 407.246.2271 to determine the allowable height of your proposed fence or wall in the street side yard.
  • Multifamily developments having a building site area of at least five acres and street frontage of at least 200 feet are allowed fences and walls six feet in height in front and street side yards.
  • Walls and fences inside and rear yards may not exceed six feet in height.
  • Typically walls and fences may not exceed six feet in height in front and street side yards. Walls and fences in side and rear yards may not exceed eight feet in height.

 

What else should I know?

  • All heights are measured from the established natural site grade.
  • Pillars and posts may extend up to 12 inches above the allowed height, if the pillars and posts are no less than 10 feet apart.
  • A temporary construction fence up to eight feet in height may be erected during construction in any zoning district.
  • Generally, no barbed wire, razor wire or electrically charged fence is allowed in any location on any building site.
  • Corner site distance areas are established at street intersections and driveways. Site visits are often made by city staff to determine adequate visibility according to generally accepted engineering standards.
  • Driveway gates should be positioned to allow the length of at least one standard size vehicle on the property, behind the property line.
  • All walls and fences should be maintained in good repair and sound structural condition.

4. Do I need a permit?

A fence permit is NOT required if ALL of the items below apply to your fence project:

  • Fence is located on a one or two-family residential property.
  • Fence is six feet or less in height. (All heights shall be measured from the established normal building site grade.)
  • Fence materials are one of the following: wood, plastic/vinyl, chain-link, aluminum, wrought-iron, plant-material.
  • Fence complies with Orlando Code Chapter 58 Part 5B(5).

 

A fence permit IS required if ANY of the items below apply to your fence project:

  • Fence is located on a commercial property, including three-unit or more residential properties.
  • Fence is more than six feet in height. (All heights shall be measured from the established normal building site grade.)
  • Fence materials are one of the following: concrete, masonry or block, including posts or include any reinforcement (concrete/rebar).
  • Fence is utilized as a required pool/spa barrier.
  • Fence is located on or near any or all public easements as depicted on a property survey.
  • Fence includes vehicular gates or powered (electric, solar, etc) gates.
  • Fence is associated with a demolition permit or the demolition of a structure on the property.
  • Fence is required as part of Chapter 33 Safeguards During Construction – Florida Building Code.
  • Fence is located in a floodplain or a floodway (Check if your property is located in one of these areas.)

5. What plans do I need to submit for my permit?

For walls, you will need electronically signed construction drawings.

For fences, you will need a site plan, which can be drawn on top of a copy of your survey. A survey should already have the following requirements:

  • Legal description
  • Existing property lines with property dimensions
  • Location of easements, their purpose (i.e. utility or drainage easements) and dimensions
  • Location of streets that are adjacent to the property
  • Locations and dimensions of all buildings and structures on the site, including the air conditioner compressor units
  • Distance (setbacks) of all buildings or structures from property lines and distance between buildings or structures on the same site
  • Location and dimensions for driveways, patios and decks

You’ll need to add the proposed location and height of the fence or wall.

If you plan to remove any trees, you will need to obtain a tree permit

6. How do I get a fence permit?

Follow our steps to apply for your fence permit.

Get a Fence Permit