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Fence Height

Regulations and standard height measurements for residential fences

tall wooden fence
Fence heights vary depending on the purpose of the fence - this tall fence, between 7 and 8 feet, provides privacy. Falling Waters in San Diego, CA.
Fence Height
Fence drawing

There is no set standard for residential fence height. However, each city has its own fence height regulations that you must adhere to. Common heights for front yard fences are around 3 feet, while common heights for backyard fences are between 6 and 8 feet.

Common Fence Heights:

  • Front yard - 3 feet
  • Backyard - 6 feet
  • Pool fence - 4 feet
  • Deer fence - 8 feet

The height of your fence will be largely dependent on the purpose for the fence. If your fence is mainly decorative then the height is not a concern. However, if you desire to add privacy to your yard then your fence will need to be tall enough to block out neighbors' views. Privacy fences are usually between 6 and 8 feet tall. Fence height is also important if you are seeking to contain dogs. The larger your dog is the higher your fence will need to be to prevent him or her from jumping over and escaping. Most dogs can be easily confined in a 4 foot fence; however, large breeds such as German shepherds will require a 6 foot fence. If you're concerned with keeping deer out of your yard or garden, opt for a 7 foot tall fence.

If you wish to add height to your existing fence consider an extension. Fence extensions, sometimes called toppers, are lattice or picket panels that can be fixed to an existing fence. Generally, these panels will add an extra foot of height to your fence as well as a decorative touch. If you need more height consider hiring a carpenter to build a custom fence extension. Before installing a fence extension you should assess the structural soundness of your existing fence. If your fence is in poor shape it is probably a better decision to build an entirely new fence at the appropriate height.

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