Oak Forest Requires Fence Permits
In the City of Oak Forest, Homeowners (or their fence company) are required to obtain a building permit for many different types of home improvement projects, including having an existing fence replaced, or a new fence installed.
When you go to apply for a permit, you will need the following information:
Fence Installation Guide
As mentioned above, the City of Oak Forest requires that you submit a building permit application for your next fence project. It is essential to keep in mind when choosing a fence company that they are registered with the City of Oak Forest as a licensed contractor to do business inside the city limits. Once you have gotten a few estimates and selected a fence company, you will need to present a signed contract to the city. They are going to want to see additional details about the fence project, such as what style of fence you are planning to have installed. They will also want to know the type of fence materials you intend to use. Also, you will have to submit the height of the proposed fence. Lastly, they are going to want to see a copy of your Plat of Survey with drawings showing the exact location that you plan to have the fence installed, especially as it relates to your property lines. They want to make sure the proposed fence installation is going to be on your property.
- Fence installation is allowed in the interior side and rear yards (Please note that if your house is on a corner lot, you need to contact the Community Development Planner to learn more about special corner lot requirements)
- The maximum height of a residential fence is 6' feet tall.
- Lastly, you need to check with your subdivision to make sure you understand any special rules and requirements.
Fence Installation Requirements
The finished side of the fence must face outward toward adjacent properties such as your neighbors. The 2x4's and posts must be in the interior of the yard facing your home. It is important to note that the official Fence Guide on the City of Oak Forest website specifically states it is the homeowner's responsibility, not the fence company, to make sure the fence installation happens inside your property lines. You are responsible for making sure not only the fence panels but also each post is on your property. The City of Oak Forest also requires that all post holes must be dug at least 42" inches deep into the ground. The City of Oak Forest wants to make sure that the fence installed is constructed in such a manner that it can withstand considerable amounts of wind pressure without losing its shape or form over time. Please keep in mind the city requires the removal of all excess dirt unearthed during the digging process from your premises. Most fence companies will haul the dirt away from a nominal additional fee and its best to let them handle that part of the process for you.
Utility Box Requirements
Special note about utility boxes, you must in almost every circumstance keep them inside your fence. In cases where this is not possible due to the unique location or underground cables, and the utility box ends up on the outside of the fence, it is the homeowner's responsibility (not the fence company) to make sure the city can access them when needed. We would recommend during the fence installation process that you have removable sections installed in this scenario so that if they need to work on the utilities, they will be able to easily access the boxes without you incurring additional fees to have that section of the fence removed at a later time.
Call J.U.L.I.E. Before Digging
Make sure you call J.U.L.I.E. before the start of any digging on your property so that they can come out and mark all the underground cables. You can reach them by dialing 811 on your touchtone phone. Most likely the fence company you have chosen to work with will handle this part of the process for you!
Oak Forest Inspections and Fees
Once the fence company comes out and digs the holes in your backyard, you will need to have the City of Oak Forest send out an inspector to come and measure the depth of the holes. As mentioned before, each post hole must be dug 42" inches into the ground, and until the post hole inspection passes, the fence company cannot continue to install the fence. As a critical part of the process, in most cases, your fence company will help you facilitate this inspection. Also, upon completion of the fence installation, there will be a final inspection to make sure that the finished project complies with all the rules and regulations of the City of Oak Forest. Please keep in mind that the fence permit application is $235, $100 of which is a retainer that is refundable upon the successful completion of a final inspection. If you fail the inspection, miss the inspector, or need another re-inspection, it will cost you an additional $60 per inspection.
Still Have Questions?
If you have questions or concerns about your upcoming fence installation with Illinois Fence Company, please feel free to call, text, or email us at any time. If you need to speak with the City of Oak Forest, please see their contact details below and reach out to them directly.