Fence Repair: Troubleshooting the Most Common Fence Issues

We've all seen them: the Leaning Tower of Pisa fence, the sagging hinges fence, the fender-bender fence, the on-the-wrong-property-line fence. Fences are great, but if you don't maintain them correctly, or worse, build them on the wrong side of your property line - you could have some serious issues on your hands!

Let us help you troubleshoot the most common fence issues. If you don't think that you have the time or knowledge to repair it yourself, here's an FYI for you DIYers - Mr. Handyman is an expert in fence repair - don't be afraid to give us a call.

Common Fence Issues:

  • Leaning Fences: This is what we like to call the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" fences. Sagging fences are a common sight, especially if they haven't been properly maintained. The severity of the lean or sag will more than likely determine the "challenge" of the project. Unfortunately these are not always an easy fix. Often, it's easier (although more expensive) to replace the fence entirely. It just depends on the amount of time, energy, and resources that you're willing to spend.
  • Fender-Bender Fences: Did your mother-in-law accidentally back into the fence when trying to pull out of the driveway over the weekend? Or did you blame it on her when in fact it was you who did it last Monday morning when you were running late for work? Either way, you've got a busted fence. These happen all the time from fender-benders, fallen tree limbs, and the like. Again, depending on the severity of the damage done, this could be anywhere from a one hour job to an all-day affair.
  • Sagging Hinges / Gate Won't Close Fences: Ugh. The dog is on the loose again because the dang gate won't close! Sagging hinges are a common reason preventing fence gates from being closed properly. However, sagging hinges might not be the only reason. Be sure to check the actual functionality of the hinge itself. Is something in the way that's preventing the hinge from moving properly? Or is there an issue with the latch on the gate that's preventing it from securely closing?
  • Non-Compliance Fences: Did you decide to build a fence without learning the municipality ordinances? Did your city's Ordinance Officer happen to stop by to inform you that your fence is actually two feet too high? If you are going to build a fence you MUST contact your local municipality office to become informed of the ordinances, and to determine whether or not a permit is required. Height and fence type are probably the top two most important ordinances to remember. If you decide to build a barbed-wire fence around your garage that's two feet too high, you better be prepared to pay the price for not checking with your local Building Department.
  • Fence on Wrong Property Fences: In order to prevent building a fence on your neighbor's property, be sure to contact a local surveyor or civil engineer to find out EXACTLY where your property lines begin and end. Unless your neighbor has the temperament of Mr. Rodgers, this will prevent uncomfortable conversations in the future.
  • Excavating/Damaging Underground Utilities Fences: Do you know what lies beneath? And no, we're not talking about the 2000 Michelle Pfeiffer movie. When you build a fence, you must dig into the ground. But first, you better know what's going on under the surface to make sure you don't damage any utility lines or pipes. You'll have to have your fence area staked by the utility companies first in order to prevent possibly damaging any trenched services.

What's your fence issue? Tell us in the comments section below and we'll do our best to help!