Washington Fence Laws – All You Need To Know Before Installing a Fence

Washington Fence Laws – All You Need To Know Before Installing a Fence

Installing a fence is ideal for protecting your property and keeping trespassers away. However, before you choose the beautiful white vinyl privacy fence for installation, knowing the fence laws is of optimal importance. If you live in Washington, you must be aware that the fence laws are pretty straightforward and lay down the fencing rights and obligations very directly. 

In Washington, for a fence needs to qualify as lawful, needs to have the following attributes:

The fence should be between 44 ” and 52 ” in height

The fence posts should be less than 24 inches apart

The fence should be made of four horizontal, barbed, and well-stretched wires and placed at intervals of 12″, 22″ and 32″ underneath the top wire

The wires need to be secured to equidistant posts and must be supported if posts are 16″ apart

Although the above requirements needs to be met, yet the fence must adhere to Section 16.60.011  that describes lawful fences strong and well-calculated structures  as down in RCW 16.60.010. However, determination of this lawful fence can be made only by an inspector.

Fence-in or fence-out?

Fence laws are sorted into two categories – fence-in or fence-out. 

In a fence-in state, the livestock owners are legally held responsible for keeping the animals contained in the area. However, if the animals wander away from the property and cause damage anywhere, then the owner is liable for any damages caused. 

In a fence-out state, the owner protects the property and crops from wandering animals. However, the owner cannot hold the livestock owners liable for failing to contain the animals, and thus the landowner needs to fence the animals out.

Washington is a fence-in state which means the livestock owners are responsible for keeping the animals contained in the yard. However, if the animals are freely roaming and cause damage to a lawful fence or property or cause any injury to anyone, then the livestock owner has to provide reimbursement. 

Partition fences

As per the revised code of Washington, people are not required to build fences between their properties. However, if your neighbor or you want a fence, then there are certain laws pertaining to it.

Firstly, you should speak with the neighbor when you decide to build a fence. Building the partition fence in Washington along the property boundary allows you to ask for reimbursement for ½ of the cost, but again under section 16.60.030, you need to notify the neighbor beforehand. If the neighbor refuses or doesn’t respond, you can erect the fence and collect the reimbursement via the court system. 

If the neighbor shares the cost of building the fence with you, then you will also have to share the cost of maintenance and repairs, which is why installing the white vinyl privacy fence is always recommended.This is because the vinyl fence is virtually maintenance-free and does not need elaborate repairs or repainting. Therefore, a vinyl fence is a one-time investment and a cost-effective choice for the long run. However, if you do not wish to share anything with the neighbor, then don’t build the fence on the boundary line; rather, installing the fence a few feet inside the property line will give you complete ownership of the fence.

If you choose this route, get in writing from the neighbor that you both acknowledge the original boundary line and not the new boundary created by the fence. Keeping things documented is important; otherwise, the neighbor can later argue for land ownership of the boundary created by your new fence. This process is called boundary acquiescence. 

Spite fence

A spite fence is usually built to injure, harass or annoy the neighbor, and it’s illegal in Washington. If your neighbor builds a spite fence, you can request the court to issue an injunction for the fence removal.

Does the Washington law need you to have a fence?

No, the Washington law doesn’t require fences, but if you have animals and need to keep them contained, then a fence is important. Moreover, installing a fence is important if you have a spa or swimming pool. 

A pool fence in Washington needs to have the following traits

The fence should be at least 48″ high

The fence should be self-latching and self-closing 

The fence should completely enclose the pool

The fence latch should be high enough and out of reach of children

Spas and pools are a great way to relax and to ensure safety, so the need to have a strong and durable fence installed is imperative. The white vinyl privacy fence is a great choice as it is waterproof, durable, and does not turn yellow or fade easily. A vinyl fence can make the best pool fence and prevent safety hazards.

Planning to build a fence in Washington? Duramax can help

Firstly, you must survey the land and ensure you can accurately demarcate the property line. Secondly, you must inform the neighbors in writing and tell them you expect them to share the expense. The third step would be to check with the HOA about the rules regarding the fence style and height. Once you clear all three things, you can start with the fence installation. You only need a permit for fence installation in Washington if your planned fence is 6 feet or above. However, a taller fence needs you to have a permit. 

Duramax Fences offer high-quality vinyl fencing that comes with a limited lifetime warranty. In addition, you can order customized fences from Duramax that complement your property and enhance the curb appeal. With a fencing calculator, we give you an accurate estimate of measurements and a free quotation. 

Does homeowners’ insurance cover fences?

Sometimes it does, but it largely depends on the policy. For example, some insurance agencies do not insure fences. In contrast, others can insure the fence for cash value if it is destroyed by any perils listed in the homeowner’s policy. However, many agencies insure fences or other ‘detached structures’ by only 10% of the policy’s coverage limit. For more details, you need to check the policy for exact coverage.

Final Words

In this article, we talked about the fencing laws in Washington. If you are interested in installing a fence soon, contact the experts at Duramax. We will get you a customized white vinyl privacy fence shipped within two weeks from the factory. Moreover, you can save 29% on fencing and labor by installing Duramax Fence over other alternatives. Get in touch with us today. Book a no-cost consultation now.

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