Frequently Asked Questions - Wood Fence

Q: What is the maximum height I can build a fence?

A: It depends on where you live. Each city has its own fence by-law that you must obey. Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge are all 8' high and 6'6" is the maximum fence height allowed in Wilmot Township. Be aware that corner lots have more restrictions.

Q:  How deep do fence posts get installed?

A: Heritage Design sets fence posts 42"-48" deep to get below the frost line. After digging a hole to that depth, we generally put a base of concrete at the bottom and rest the actual post on that foundation. Therefore the post is installed about 36" in the ground.

Q: Why do you offer different post sizes? What's the difference?

A: There are two main reasons why customers choose larger sized posts.  First, a larger post (6x6 or 5x5) will be stronger than the standard 4x4 post and more stable in high winds. Some of our customers are in areas where the winds howl and they need added stability and protection. The second reason is for looks--a larger, chunkier post really stands out on a backyard fence. This style looks even better on a corner lot.

Q: How long will a fence last?

A: We believe a well built fence will last 15 to 20 years

Q: Are there any rules about who gets the "nice side"?

A: No, not really. The only time that it matters who gets the "nice side" is when there is a pool involved.  

Q: How is it determined where on the property line a fence is installed?

A: This is usually determined before Heritage Design shows up. It all comes down to ownership. If a fence is installed completely on your property (generally a few inches in from the property line), it is your fence. Your neighbour should have no claim to it. If the fence is installed on the property line, then it would be considered shared. All we need from you is a property survey and instructions on where you want the fence located.

Q: What is the difference between "board on board" and "shadow box" fencing?

A: They are the same thing. Like "pop" and "soda," it comes down to where you are from. Both terms describe the type of fencing that you can see through from an angle, but can't see through when looking straight on. Some people call this a "good neighbour fence," because both sides of the fence look the same.

Q: In your pictures it seems like all gates look the same, why?

A: Good eye, and there is a reason for this. Gates have a tendency to sag. The weight of the gate pulls on the supporting post and over time the gate comes out of level. This condition could make the gate unusable. We recommend installing a lightweight gate and arbour to help avoid this problem.

Q: Is it better to nail or screw your fence boards on?

A: That depends. Heritage Design installers use air nailers or air guns (like in Happy Gilmore, sorta). This tool installs nails with a lot of force for a very strong and secure finish. They also allow us to install a durable, built-to-last fence quickly. On the flip side, if you're building your own fence and don't have access to an air nailer, we recommend using screws for a longer lasting structure.