How to get HOA approval for the fence you want.

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Thu, Feb 12, 2015

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The rise of Homeowner Associations in recent years has seen exponential growth. Before you rush out to install the fence of your dreams, here are some tips of the trade from a Residential fence expert on the possible pitfalls of building that beautiful new fence installation.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners can make when installing a fence is not checking to see what the by-laws of their Homeowners Association (HOA) require.

You can't assume that what your neighbors have previously done with their fence and yard complies with your particular HOA regulations.

Even though a neighbor might have an admirable fence enclosure or gate doesn't mean doesn't mean that your HOA approved that particular fence installation.

We can recall a particular job where a customer scheduled an install for a chain link fence, and as it was in progress, the customer panicked as the HOA just informed her that absolutely no chain link was allowed in their community. Several adjacent yards that had previously used chain link enclosures prior to her request were ordered to remove them and seek other fence options. It turns out that residents were only approved to have vinyl and ornamental aluminum installed in that neighborhood. 

In another instance, a customer submitted her information to the HOA weeks in advance. Due to the fact that she had not heard from the HOA, she assumed that the fence was approved. So, she went forward with the installation. The HOA later stated that they never received her request. The customer then was ordered to redo her fence structure according to her neighborhood's HOA standards, and have the style she selected approved by them.

Typically, a HOA can take anywhere from one week to six weeks to approve your fence project. Generally speaking, you have to to get the HOA's approval whenever you do anything to the exterior of your residence. This can even include painting and landscaping.


Many HOA ordinances and rules prevent you from constructing chain link, split rail, or wire containment fences because they are not aesthetically appealing. If you install a fence without HOA approval, you can almost be sure you will have to tear it down or face serious fines, as well as aggravation and time consumption.



     Read the regulations provided by the HOA thoroughly. Make sure that you have the most updated version. Call the HOA president or another board member with all questions you have regarding the specific regulations. Document the date and time of call, the name of the person with whom you spoke with, as well as what was said during the conversation.

2.     Make notes on what you want to communicate in your letter to the HOA. In your correspondence try to anticipate any questions the HOA board may have about your project. Always include possible solutions to any problem you think the board may have with your planned project.

3.     Enclose blueprints, pictures and project drawings. Also, be sure to include the specific dimensions of your project and any other pertinent details in your letter. Include images or colors of the materials you will be using. Be clear and precise so your letter will be easily understood.

4.     Make copies of your letter to keep for your records. Mail your request to the homeowners association. Be sure you have included the best ways for members to contact you, such as giving them both a home and work telephone number.

5.     Follow up on your letter if you are not contacted within a week after mailing. Confirm your letter has been received and ask for a date by which the board will render a decision on the plans for your property.

6.     Appeal for a variance if your request is denied and you still want to pursue your plans. An appeal hearing may then be scheduled during which you can present your case to the entire board. You can enlist the support of your neighbors to help bolster your argument.

Be sure to get the approval of the HOA first. It is not up to the fence contractor to find out the rules and regulations or to get approval of the HOA for your project. That being said, a longstanding and professional fence company will gladly help advise you in this process and should go out of their way to help you with your installation concerns.  

They can also supply you with fence samples and pictures of existing installations to help you get the approval of the HOA before starting construction so you won't be on the fence with your Home Owners Association.




Topics: Specifications, Residential Fence Choices, Homeowners Association, HOA, Residential Fence, backyard Fence, Fence Permit, Regulations, Insurance, Richmond Fence, fence law, fence regulations, virginia fence code, Maintenance, fences richmond, first time home buyers, codes, hoa fence, fence insurance

What Is A Good Looking Picket Fence Material?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Wed, Mar 06, 2013

pickett fence

The iconic white picket fence is an integral part of the “American Dream”: home ownership, 2.3 children, and a lush green yard with a picket fence. Picket fences are typically made of wooden boards – painted white or whitewashed – but they can also be made out of vinyl (polyvinyl chloride, or 'PVC').

vinyl pickett fence


Vinyl fencing is lower-maintenance than traditional wood, and illustrates an updated look. If your picket fence looks to stark against the garden, you can weave flowers and vines throughout the slats in the fence for a more charming and aesthetically-pleasing look.


How are picket fences constructed?

pickett arbor

Several pickets (or boards) stand vertically with a one inch or two inch space in between each board and are connected with two or three horizontal slabs. This type of fencing usually defines domestic boundaries and is an aesthetically pleasing way to protect children and pets without obstructing views. Residential picket fencing is charming in a backyard or garden setting as well. They also look great when paired with a matching arbor and/or gate. Picket fences stand three feet to four feet tall. Because they are relatively short and transparent, they are not very useful as privacy fences.


Four foot wood concave and convex picket fences (shown above) with gothic-style posts is one of the best-selling residential fence types. This fence is very popular in subdivisions that have HOA/ARC requirements. The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) and the Home Owners Association (HOA) have certain requirements regarding residential fencing in certain subdivision communities. These design boards want to maintain a fence aesthetic that will “protect, maintain and enhance the value of the property, as well as the lives and lifestyles of their residents”. The concave and convex picket fences are perfect in a neighborhood setting because these fences look great on either side. The concave or convex picket fence is 4-feet tall and has gothic or flat style posts.


fence post styles

The gothic fence posts are sturdy, square posts that come to a point on the top – almost like a spade or arrowhead shape. Flat posts simply cap the top of fence posts (some look like a very flat pyramid, sometimes made of wood, copper, or another metal) . The posts we use are 4 x 4 inches or 6 x 6 inches for gates. The convex – or 'arched – fence pickets rises to a crest in the middle of each post. On the other hand, the concave – or 'dipped' – fence pickets sink under in the middle between each post. We use 2 x 4 foot rails and 1 x 4 foot pickets for each fence. We also use double dipped ring shanked galvanized nails and 60 to 80 lbs bags of concrete per post which makes for great durability and minimal required maintenance.

Concave, convex, or traditional picket fence costs about $12.00 to $16.00 per foot. The most common colors for these fences are white and natural wood (almond). The use of # 2 pressure treated pine (PTP) and red cedar pickets is common. as well.  

Article Contributed by Richard Belcher

Topics: Fence Design, Homeowners Association, HOA, Residential Fence, backyard Fence, Fence, pickett fence, vinyl pickett fence, hoa fence, wooden fence, white pickett fence

What Is The Most Popular Residential Fence?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Sun, Oct 10, 2010

There are so many popular styles of residential fencing choices.  Anornamental fence richmond virginia attempt to narrow this question down to one fence style is difficult, if not impossible. However, our customers do seem to prefer ornamental aluminum styles as their favorite. This, in my opinion, is due to a local appreciation of all things old-fashioned. A good amount of our residential customers are in the historic Richmond and Williamsburg Virginia areas. The classic appearance of ornamental aluminum fence offers long lasting powder coat finishes that replicate the earlier period look of wrought iron.

aluminum fence virginia



But Keep in Mind…




Those who reside in more rustic areas or who are also keen on tradition, most often prefer Wood fences. Wooden fence styles include stockade, picket, lattice, and post and rail. The sheer beauty of wood is the primary reason to select it as a fencing material. A properly designed, finely crafted and skillfully installed wood fence takes on an individual quality all its own. With proper maintenance, this fence material lasts for years.

Chain-link fence is one of the most practical styles of fence. It is relatively easy to install and very cost effective. Chain link is actually the least expensive of the fencing mentioned. Chain link systems are also available in colors!  Yes, vinyl coated chain link provides an attractive option to galvanized.  Vinyl chain link coatings come in various colors including black, brown and green. Privacy slats and screens can be added to any chain link application, ensuring a sturdy visual barrier.

Vinyl fencing products are virtually maintenance free with warranties not present in other types of residential fence. The most popular vinyl fences selected by homeowners are 4-foot high picket and 6-foot high white privacy fences. Many different styles and colors to choose from will allow you to increase property values while showcasing your home in your neighborhood.

Privacy fencing serves many purposes around the home. Privacy fences provide a visual barrier that protects your property from the simply curious neighbor to the crummy thief who may be searching for things to steal. If the thief never sees, and thereby covets the patio object; he will be much less likely to enter the area in the first place. Privacy fence also helps to reduce wind and noise invasion. Numerous styles of wooden and vinyl privacy fencing give it maximum versatility that can complement nearly any architectural design.  

There are many factors involved when selecting a fence. We have a great deal of professional fence information linked below to explain more of the choice specifics.

  •       Level of security desired
  •       Homeowner Associations (HOA)

Fences help to ensure the security of your family, your home and your belongings. Fences keep unwanted pests and animals out of your yard.  Your children can wander freely or your pool can be secured with pool code gates. The final ‘best fence choice’ for you will be most productively informed by an onsite consultation with a fence professional for a complete understanding of your needs.

Article contributed by fence professional Rick Belcher.

Topics: Residential Fence Choices, Homeowners Association, HOA, Residential Fence, Vinyl Fence, Ornamental Aluminum

Who calls Miss Utility for a Virginia fence installation?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Thu, Sep 09, 2010
Hurricane Fence Company will call Miss Utility on the homeowner’s and general contractor’s behalf. Miss Utility is called for all excavation work anywhere in Virginia. Miss Utility can be reached by calling 811 or 1-800-552-7001.

We will gather the following information from our customers to prepare for the call:

  • Contact information (name, phone number, email address)
  • Address where work will take place along with any cross streets
  • City or County where the work is taking place
  • For new subdivisions, give name of subdivision and lot number) 
  • A detailed description of where the work will take place on the property
  • Has the work area been marked with white paint (required when a specific location of excavation cannot be given)
  • Any special instructions about gaining access to the property (locked gates or unrestrained animals) or driving directions (especially to rural locations).

At the conclusion of the call, we will be given a ticket number and a verbal list of utility companies that are notified by the Miss Utility of Virginia. Not every member has underground lines on your property. Not every company is a member with Miss Utility of Virginia. The marks are valid for 15 working days. If the project is not completed by the end of the 15 working days we will request an updated ticket.

 miss utility

                                                                       WHAT DOES MISS UTILITY DO?

Miss Utility is the “one call” Virginia communications center for excavators, contractors, property owners, and those planning any kind of excavation or digging. The Miss Utility center notifies participating utilities of the upcoming excavation work so they can locate and mark their underground facilities in advance to prevent possible damage to underground utility lines, injury, property damage and service outages.

The Virginia Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act requires that Miss Utility be called at least 3 working days in advance of the planned work to allow time for marking, that the marks be respected and protected, and that excavation is completed carefully. Utility locators have 48 hours beginning at 7 am on the next working day (after our call) to locate the lines and place their response on the Positive Response System

From the website:

miss utility

Topics: Fence Design, Homeowners Association, HOA, Residential Fence, Property Value, Fence

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