How to Install a Vinyl Fence in South Florida
- by Donald Crepeau
- September 11, 2022
Planning your vinyl fence installation project
Buying and installing a new vinyl fence or PVC fence project on your South Florida property can be a daunting task for first-time do-it-yourselfers. Whether you’re in Broward, Palm Beach, Miami Dade, or Monroe Counties, vinyl fence installation is a similar process throughout South Florida.
You should always start a new fence installation project by setting up a solid plan of action, doing this allows you to see all of your steps from beginning to end, and will prevent common problems that typically occur during the process.
A common timeline for any new PVC fence or gate installation begins with examining your local building code, choosing a style, obtaining a permit, and then finally ends with purchasing and installing the vinyl fence materials that you’ve determined are necessary for your area. The guide below will help you through the steps from beginning to end, but if you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to call us or contact us today.
Check your local South Florida vinyl fence building code
The main counties in South Florida are Broward, Palm Beach, Miami Dade, & Monroe – each with many smaller cities, towns, villages, and other municipalities within their borders. Additionally, certain counties such as Miami Dade and Palm Beach, also contain certain areas that are incorporated or unincorporated, so you will need to do some research at first in order to determine which building department governs your specific vinyl fence building rules.
In addition to broader building code regulations, some properties are subject to more specific limitations. Homes that face major roadways, bodies of water, or are on corner lots may have special considerations such as height, setback, or visibility adjustments where only certain vinyl fence styles are allowed.
All building departments in South Florida have websites that contain specific information on PVC fence permits installed within their borders; simply search for “your city” + fence permit, and you will find the documentation that is available for you in your city.
Choose a vinyl fence style to install on your property
For the most part, all vinyl fence styles are allowed by the South Florida building code, but there are certain cities such as Wellington in Palm Beach County and Coral Springs in Broward County, that have very strict requirements for fencing installed on properties located there.
In Coral Springs, for example, only semi-privacy styles such as vinyl shadowbox fence or privacy with accent styles such as vinyl privacy with lattice accent are viable styles to choose for installation.
After you’ve considered your location-specific restrictions, you can then choose an appropriate vinyl fence style for your needs.
Installing a vinyl privacy fence is the most common option since most homeowners are typically in need of additional privacy and security, but other styles such as vinyl picket fences may be more appropriate when surrounding a pool or when installed in a front yard. Aside from practical considerations, you can also opt for a more expensive but more aesthetically pleasing PVC fence style like a vinyl louvered fence.
Layout your vinyl fence project and determine the required materials
Once you’ve decided on a style, locate your property survey and begin laying out your fence line and determine where you are going to install your gates.
It’s helpful to draw out your lines on a blank sheet of paper and then label each of them with footage for the run and gate areas, if you’re having trouble determining the materials list yourself, feel free to send it to us and we will break it down for you and provide you with a written estimate for the entirety of the installation project.
This is the best time to ask questions and try out different configurations because things are not yet set in stone – for example, try out different locations for your gates, sizes for your gates, or obtain quotes for different vinyl fence styles to see which ones are appropriate for your budget.
If you’re installing your PVC fence and gates yourself, you may also want to factor in the cost of concrete (at least one bag per post) and the cost of tool rental.
Obtain a permit from your county or city for new vinyl fencing construction
All South Florida vinyl fence installation projects need to be permitted prior to installation – there are no exceptions to this rule, and failure to obtain a permit can result in costly fines and could possibly end up with you having to remove your fence and re-install it correctly or not at all.
As with local building code regulations, each city and county has its own permit process, documents, and requirements. Certain cities may require easement agreements should the intended fence be placed on a utility or drainage easement and some cities have HOA requirements or specific affidavits that are required for submittal – so always do your research first.
In addition to city or county-specific documents, you will also need engineering documents that demonstrate to city engineers that you are using code-approved products, you can obtain these from us at no cost with the purchase of an accompanying vinyl fencing material order.
Buy your vinyl fence material from a local supplier
Whether you purchase your new vinyl fence from us or another local supplier, it is always best practice to avoid big box or home improvement stores as their material is typically more expensive but also lower overall quality. Local vinyl fence supply companies buy their PVC profiles from reputable manufacturers who tend to use a superior chemical composition for their profiles that makes for a more durable fence, especially here in the harsh South Florida climate.
All local suppliers are different, some are larger with more machines and inventory, and others are smaller with less ability to create custom products. It’s always best practice to obtain several quotes when planning a large project, but in this case, we believe that we are almost always the best choice; contact us today to find out why we’re confident in our ability to provide you with an awesome product at a reasonable cost coupled with the absolute best customer service in the industry.
Hire a fence company to install your material, or do-it-yourself
Once you’ve done all the necessary preparative work and you’ve received delivery of your vinyl fencing and gate materials, you can then install your fence. Doing it yourself will save you approximately 50% in upfront costs, but you’ll need to be fairly competent with basic construction practices in order to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
Alternatively, you can choose to hire a local South Florida fence company to take care of everything for you – nearly all reputable fencing contractors with obtaining your permit for you, source your vinyl fence materials from a great supplier, and then handle the installation for you once the permit is approved. This can get expensive, but at least you’ll save the time and effort of constructing the fence and handling the (sometimes tedious) administrative aspects of a fencing installation project.
Schedule your final inspection and close your vinyl fence permit
Following the installation of your new PVC fence, you’re going to have to close your permit out by scheduling your final inspection – in certain cases, you will need to also schedule a landscaping inspection as well, but the majority of South Florida cities simply require a standard building inspection. This involved an official city inspector physically coming to your property and making sure that your fence is not only installed to the standards of local building code requirements but also to ensure that you have installed your fence as you described on your permit application – including a check to make sure that you’ve installed the right material that corresponds with the engineering documents that were in your permit packet.
Have additional questions on the installation process, or ready to get started with a vinyl fence quote? Contact us today!