Facts to know when building shadowbox fences

Here are some Facts to know when you want to build a shadowbox fence or any fence. In order to follow the ideas of the article You should have some understanding on basic provisions for fence height & location.

First of all if you live in a Commerce city, the City requires a building permit for any shadowbox fence constructed.

The 4 steps to obtaining a fence permit are:
1. Apply to the building department for a fence permit.
2. Provide the required information.
3. The Building & Planing Divisions will review the submitted permit for compliance with City codes.
4. Receive approval and pay the permit fee to the Building division.

Where is my property line?
It is importand to know where your property lines are when planning the locationfor a fence. For fences in the front yard, you should know that the back of thesidewalk usually is your property line.

If you do not have a sidewalk, you should consult a survey of your property to identify the location of the front property line.

Fences are normally on the applicant’s property line or with the neighboring property owner’s consent, along a common property line. Property line disputes are a civil matter, not a zoning issue, and cannot be resolved by the city.

What type of Fence may I build on my property?
According to Commerce City’s Fence Ordinance, fences are classified as either an “open-style” fence or a “screen-style” fence. An open style fence is a fence that is designed not to completely conceal the interior portion of the lot. The Community planning & development services shall approve any open style design.

A screen style fence is defined as a fence that provides an opaque surface designed to conceal the interior portion of a property from an adjacent property and the public right-of-way.

Shadowbox fences are included in the acceptable designs for open style fencing.

What are the shadowbox fence requirements for my lot?
1. No fence over 43″(3 1/2′) in the front yard.
2. No fence over 6′ in any side or rear residential yard.
3. No fence over 5′ in height along a park, open space, or along side any street is permitted.
4. Any fence in the front yard, along a park or open space, or a public street must be open-style.
5. Fences must meet the 30″ setback for front yards and the 5′ setback for side and rear yards along a public street.

How High can my shadowbox fence be?
No residential fence or divisional wall structure may exceed 6 feet in height. All measurements of the height of a fence shall be from grade to the top of the fence. Columns or pillars may extend one-foot higher that the fence.

Remember that no fence shall be constructed that obstrucks the visibility of either motor vehicles or pedestrians exiting a property. This requirement includes fences placed in the front, side, or rear yards.

What if there are streets on the front and back of my property?
Any residential or commercial use of property shall have an open style fence next to a public street.

What materials can I use to build my shadowbox fence?
Fences shall be constructed of wood, brick, plastic, iron, aluminum, fiberglass or other materials normally intended to be used for fencing. Fences cannot be constructed from the following materials: Sheet plastic, sheet metal and plywood fencing.

Does my fence have a front or back side?
The finished side (side without exposed rails) of any fence fronting on a public street must face the street.

May I put up a gate on my property?
A Fence may be constructed with a gate in it, which provides access to the driveway. The gate must be far enough to allow a vehicle to completely exit the public street when the gate is closed.

So if you’re wondering how to build a shadowbox fence consider the following steps:
1. Find the best material for your project (e.g. wood)
2. If you want to make a wooden fence then carefully select the right grain for your project.
3. Gather & Learn how to use common hand tools, power tools, and machine tools for your fence effectively.
4. Design your fence in paper.
5. Start measuring & marking.
6. Start building your fence.
7. Finish your fence.

Thor Zosla
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