Do I need a survey before installing a fence? This is a good question and one that I get very often. The answer really depends on the customer and how close or far they are willing to install the fence from the property line. In all cases, Paramount Fencing, Inc. will attempt to locate the property markers (iron pins or monuments) prior to even conducting/concluding the estimate. The estimate measurements are compared to the property plot plan which is readily available on-line in most cases. An even more detailed map is typically available for free from your township. Based off of the property plot plan we are able to immediately discover larger discrepancies. For example, if our measurement of the rear property line is 104′ and the plot plan reflects the rear line as 140′ then we know we have research to do to determine the true property line prior to proceeding. It is not uncommon for a customer to discover that they have underestimated their property, or in some cases over estimated. Once the property plot plan has been reviewed in detail Paramount Fencing Inc. will use a metal detector to locate the property pine. In 90% of cases we are able to locate enough of the property pins along with the measurements from the plot plan to get a customer comfortable with installing their fence without a survey. Surveys cost about $550-$600 for a property less than a acre.
Want to do a little research on your own? Use the County Tax Map to locate your property lines.
In Montgomery County PA follow the link below to the Montgomery County property search page. You will have to agree to the terms and condition to move forward.
Once you enter your address, you will see all of the ownership information for the property. You may see more than one selection. Select the one that is applicable to you. OH, and don’t be surprised about the amount of information that is available on the internet. Sort of scary.
Click on the “MAP” button on the left hand side menu. You should see a property map with all of your property line measurements.
One shortcoming of the Montgomery County PA plot plan (tax map) is that it does not show you how the house structure is situated on the lot. In order to mitigate this shortcoming we use another free website. Follow the link below to Home Snap. Once you have entered your property address, Home Snap will display the property plot plan as an overlay on google earth. Now you can determine where the corners of your property lye based off of the position of the house or maybe even a bush or tree in the backyard. More often than you may think these corners are marked and you never even noticed.
Need even more info? We have a few more tricks up our sleeve. Now that you know where the property lines lie in relation to the house structure, you can use google earth’s measuring tool to measure the distance from the corner of the house to a sideline or any landmark that will help you find the markers. Use the link below to download Google Earth if you do not already have it.
Once you have downloaded and opened Google Earth, enter you address in the search box in the top left hand corner of the screen and hit “Search”. This will bring you to a distant view of your neighborhood. Use the zoom button on the right hand side of the screen to get a closer view of the property.
From the menu at the top select the ruler. If you want to measure a single line, use the “line” tab of the ruler. If you would like to measure multiple lines use the “path” tab of the ruler dialogue box. The path tab can be used to measure the entire property line or to determine how many linear feet of fence you are considering.