Residential Fence Regulations and Codes for Des Plaines, IL
Located northwest of Chicago, with O’Hare airport on its southern border, Des Plaines is a thriving suburb with a population of about 60,000. Its location on Interstate 90 makes it a popular commuter community. Residents of this family-oriented city have a higher than average household income than many other Chicago suburbs and take great pride in their attractive homes. The city’s building department is in charge of regulations and codes related fences and all other construction projects within Des Plaines.
General Requirements for Residential Fences
Rules and ordinances for fence projects in Des Plaines are easy to understand and allow a great deal of flexibility in design, but all fences require building permits and the city enforces codes that require all residential fences to be well-maintained. The details below are designed to provide homeowners planning an installation with accurate information to help them create a plan for an attractive fence that will beautify their homes and increase property values. Whether you build your own fence as a DIY project or hire a licensed contractor, it’s important to know the codes before planning begins.
- Building Permit Required? – Permits are required for all projects, including replacement of existing fences. Permit fees vary.
- Permit Documentation Needed – You’ll need two copies of a plat of survey that show the location of the fence to scale, along with a description of materials and methods of construction.
- Fence Materials Allowed – All normal materials are allowed, including wood, chain link, steel, aluminum and PVC vinyl.
- Maximum Height Limits – Maximum height for rear and side yard fences is 6′, with taller fences allowed in specific locations. Lower heights are required for front yards.
- Property Line Issues – Setbacks are not required for most fences, but fences on alleys must be set back at least 3′ from rear property lines.
- Inspections Needed – Inspection is required on completion.
- Building Authority Contact – 847-391-5380
- Building Department Website
Specific Rules and Restrictions
- Front Yard Fences – Height limit is 4′ for front yards, and materials must be open in design, with less than 50% obstruction of view.
- Side Yard Fences – Side yard fences may be up to 6′ in height.
- Back Yard Fences – These may be up to 6′ in height, generally. Where the property abuts a railroad right of way, a solid fence up to 8′ high is allowed along the adjacent property line.
- Corner Lot Restrictions – Corner lots on an arterial street may have a side or rear yard fence 6′ high adjacent to that street.
- Other Restrictions
- Barbed wire and electrically charged fences are not permitted in residential areas.
- Posts must be on the homeowner’s side, with the finished side facing away from the property. Don’t encroach on neighboring properties.
- At least one gate is required facing a primary building entrance.
- Fences must be maintained in good condition at all times.
- Homeowner’s Association Issues – Association rules may differ from city rules. See your HOA contract for details.
- Gates and Access Rules – All fenced enclosures must have at least one access gate for safety and fire reasons.
- Fence Prohibitions – No barbed wire, razor wire, or electrically charged fences are permitted on residential properties.
Commercial Fence Codes
- Maximum Height Information – Height of commercial fences varies depending on zoning rules. Consult building department.
- Security Fence Rules – Barbed wire and electrically charged fences are allowed only with zoning commission approval and when deemed necessary for safety and security. Specific fence designs are required.
Residential Fence Installation Codes in Des Plaines, IL
Whether you’re building a fence around your property as a DIY project or hiring a licensed, trusted contractor to do the job, careful planning and construction are essential. From selecting the type of materials and planning post and gate locations to completing the installation in a way that adds beauty and value to your home, don’t be tempted to take shortcuts. Talk to your neighbors, too, and take their comments and concerns into consideration. In many cases, neighbors share the cost of fencing between properties. Be sure to get the proper permits from the Des Plaines building department and follow the best construction practices to ensure your project’s durability and attractive appearance.