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jjrbus 09-01-2009 11:34 PM

Frustrated/Confused in FL Fence
So off I go to the building dept and pull a homeowners permit for a 6' wood privacy fence. I got the number for underground locators and call. I do this after cutting a pressurized sewer line at friends house one time.
So anyway the permit says I can use 8' 4x4 posts up to 8' on center, the FL building code says with a 6' fence the posts have to be spaced no more than 4' on center. As I have driven around, I do not recall seeing a 6' privacy fence with posts on 4' centers except a PVC fence in the area.
FL code says horizonal frameing must be fastened with 2-16D nails. No provisions for screws?? I have a bum arm I prefer screws.
FL code says horizontal frameing rails of 2"X4" PT. I do not think I have ever seen 2X4 frameing members on the prefab panels at Lowes or HD. As best I can recall they are 2X3. Can most people in FL be putting up illegal fences??
The code says finshed side of panel must face out. My neighbors unfinished side faces me. I checked the county website. He pulled a permit for the fence, and had a final inspection. His wood fence is inside his chain link fence, does that overrule the code??
It seem's like they could simplify the rules a bit.I'm not looking for ansewers, I just needed to vent. JIm

Just Bill 09-02-2009 06:14 AM

Often, codes make no sense at all, but you either comply, or do what many do, say to hell with them. But if you get caught, it could be expensive.

RetiredKeith 09-02-2009 07:38 AM

After venting, check the dates of the code(s). They may have changed since your neighbor built his fence. I have not seen your code for the fence, but I would bet that it for wind loading of a hundred miles an hour for the next hurricane. Check with your local inspector, but most will allow the replacement of the 16d (3 1/2") nail with a 3 inch deck screw that is rated for the PT lumber you are using.

Termite 09-02-2009 07:52 AM

Sounds like the area has good solid rules (although I'd think they'd allow nails) but perhaps fails to effectively enforce them.

jjrbus 09-02-2009 08:58 AM

After checking this AM it seems in my cyber world wanderings I ended up in the commercial section of the FL building code. There does not appear to be a residential section of the code for fences.

Now the lady at the building dept told me to ask about screws where I buy the fence. So I asked at Lowes, they said they do not get involved in code questions!!

As near as I can tell and do not take this as legal advice. The inspection for a fence seems to for compliance issues only. ie that the fence is not on neighbors property, also the concrete in hole must not infringe on neighbors property, also fence faceing right direction etc.

I will make one more trip to building services to see if they have a handout for fences.

NOw I am wondering how do I install fence next to neighbors chain link fence ?


vsheetz 09-02-2009 09:52 AM

The building department who issued the permit should be the best authorative souce of information. Is there an onsite inspection required? As for a inspector to come onsite for a discussion prior to starting.

As for materials, I suggest you find a supplier who specializes in fencing rather than buying from a big box store. Better quality and selection of materials in my experiences.

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