Get Quotes from Top Fencing Contractors in Los Angeles, CA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Fence Company in Los Angeles

Sleeping with peace of mind every night may begin with having a well-installed fence that can hold off burglars. Los Angeles records over 30,000 burglaries every year; however, a fence gives you and your family security and more, including:

  • Privacy
  • Defined property lines
  • Improved property value
  • Enhanced aesthetics and curb appeal

To get the best out of your fencing project in Los Angeles, you should always ensure that the work is done by a licensed and insured fence Installer that is also knowledgeable about the city's building regulations regarding fencing works. To this end, ensure that your preferred local fence company can satisfactorily answer the following questions:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Fence Contractor in Los Angeles?

The licensing of fence builders in Los Angeles is handled at the state level by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB). Per the requirements of this board, these parties must obtain either a C-13 - Fencing Contractor License or any other appropriate CSLB-issued license before offering or performing services of $500 or more, including the cost of labor and materials, in the city. Any individual or business that bids for or performs fencing work worth $500 and above without being properly licensed by the CSLB is considered guilty of committing a misdemeanor and can face a statutory penalty of up to $5,000 in fines and six months in jail. Offenders can also receive separate administrative penalties of anywhere between $200 and $15,000.

The CSLB issues licenses to interested parties that are:

  • 18 years or older
  • Have a valid Social Security Number or individual taxpayer identification number
  • Have at least four years of fence-related work experience

Eligible parties that meet these criteria can apply to the CSLB by completing and submitting an Application for Original Contractor License Form to the board via the channels provided in the form. These applicants must also comply with specific requirements, which include:

  • Paying a non-refundable application fee
  • Providing acceptable proof to verify their work experience
  • Passing a licensing examination
  • Submitting proof of adequate insurance, bonding, and any other documentation that the CSLB may request

You can contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752 to get additional information on its licensing requirements and procedures for fence contractors in Los Angeles. Likewise, you can use the board's Check a License platform to verify that your intended fence installer has been appropriately licensed by this board.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Fencing Companies in the City?

Los Angeles homeowners typically install new fences on their property for several reasons, such as:

  • To increase their privacy and keep out prying eyes
  • For decorative purposes
  • To improve their security and safety
  • To keep kids and pets from going out and to keep pests and rodents from coming in
  • To enhance the look of their gardens or provide cover for their pool areas

While building a fence in Los Angeles can cost anywhere between $1,600 and $3,500, the actual cost of installing a new fence on your property is influenced by several factors, with the most critical factor being the type of fencing you plan to use. The most common types of fencing materials used by home and property owners in Los Angeles are:

  • Metal and Chain Link: metal and chain fences are known for their security and can cost anywhere from $5 - $50 per linear foot. However, these types of fences are not as aesthetically appealing as other fencing materials and are prone to rust.
  • Wood: wood fences are the most common types of fences found in the area, and they cost from $12 - $32 per linear foot. While this type of fencing is versatile and aesthetically pleasing, it is also more costly than other fencing materials and requires regular maintenance.
  • Composite: composite fences mimic the characteristics of wood fences but typically require little to no maintenance. A significant disadvantage of this fencing material is its price, which stands at about $22 - $40 per linear foot.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl fences cost anywhere from $15 - $30 per linear foot. These fences are durable, easy to install, eco-friendly, and low maintenance. However, they may not be the best choice for security purposes.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum fences are low maintenance and have the added advantage of being rust, corrosion-resistant, and long-lasting. However, while these types of fences add a modern aesthetic look to homes and properties, they are also expensive to install and can cost anywhere from $20 - $90 per linear foot
  • Wrought Iron: wrought iron fences are considered one of the most aesthetically pleasing types of fences and are also known to be durable and long-lasting. However, these types of fences can be expensive to install at a cost of $30 - $60 per linear foot. Wrought iron fences are also high-maintenance, prone to rust, and can dent easily
  • Steel: steel fences are easy to install and low maintenance. They are also able to simulate the aesthetic appeal of wrought-iron fences at a relatively lower price, which usually ranges from $17 - $85 per linear foot, making them a popular choice for homeowners. However, steel fences are prone to scratches and rust

Other factors that affect the cost of fence installations in Los Angeles include:

  • The length of the fence
  • Labor costs
  • Fence hardware like fence posts, screws, hinges, latches, and locks

It is always a good idea to get and compare charges from several fencing companies in the city when searching for a suitable fence builder for your project. This gives you a fair idea of the market rates for your intended project and helps you avoid being scammed by an unscrupulous fence contractor or company. When comparing these costs, look out for quotes that are significantly different from the others and consider it a red flag if the contractor cannot justifiably explain the price difference. Some popular fence designs and styles that are favored by homeowners in the Los Angeles area include:

  • Picket Fence: this is an extremely popular fence style, and it involves leaving gaps between vertical wood, often with pointed tops, to create the fence. Picket fences are usually short fences and are mostly installed for decorative purposes. However, taller variants of this style can be installed for somewhat protective purposes, such as keeping out medium-sized pests and rodents.
  • Garden Fence: these are low fences that are mostly installed around gardens to keep small animals out and also for decorative purposes
  • Dog-Ear Fence: this design involves cutting the corners of the fence's vertical boards at angles on the side. Wood and composite are the most common fencing materials used for this style.
  • Flat-Top Fence: this is a simple fence design where the fence has a flat top, just as the name suggests
  • Gothic Fence: the fence has a series of points in this style. Metal fencing materials like aluminum and wrought iron are commonly used in this style.
  • Lattice-Top Fence: this design involves adding a lattice top to a regular fence to give it a decorative flair
  • Split Rail Fence: This design involves a horizontal style as opposed to the traditional vertical style of installing fences. Split rail fences typically utilize less fencing material than other fence designs, and they are mostly used on farms and large properties.
  • Scallop Fence: the scallop fence style is a variant of the picket fence that includes slight curvatures where the fence rises from one end to the other as opposed to the traditional straight horizontal top
  • Shadow-Box Fence: this design involves attaching wood fencing material in an alternating fashion on each side of the fence's frame
  • Electric Fence: this design involves using metal materials and wire meshes to create a barrier that deters animals and people from entering an area through electric shocks
  • Custom Fence: fences are specifically designed for a particular landscape and can be customized to suit your particular quirks or taste. While wood and metal fencing materials are the most common options for custom fences, you can use any material you choose when constructing. However, it should be noted that the cost of installing custom fences is typically higher than that of other fence designs and styles.

Fence installers in Los Angeles make an average of $47,260 annually. The following list compares the average hourly pay of these contractors with that of fence contractors in other locations across California and the rest of the United States:

Los Angeles Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
San Diego Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Fresno Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
San Francisco Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Long Beach Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
New York City Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Chicago Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Dallas Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Phoenix Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Philadelphia Fence Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Fencing Services Do You Offer?

When searching for suitable fence companies in Los Angeles, it is crucial to determine the types of fencing services your intended fence contractors are equipped to offer and ensure that these services align with your specific needs. Professional fence builders in the city typically offer a wide range of services that include:

  • New fence installations
  • Old fence replacements or upgrades
  • Fence maintenance and repair
  • Custom fence design and building
  • Fence gate installations

Depending on your arrangement with the contractor, they may also provide services like fence design and installation consultation, property boundary, utility line marking, and obtaining all required permits. To this end, it is always in your best interest to confirm the specific types of services your preferred fence contractor provides and agree on the scope of these services before signing any contract with them. This way, you avoid disputes and unsatisfactory service delivery at the end of the day.

When Am I Required to Have a Fence in Los Angeles?

Before commencing your fencing project in Los Angeles, it is always a good idea to find out if any local ordinances or state laws may affect or limit the nature and scope of the project. Several laws apply to fencing projects in the city, and these include:

Some key requirements of these laws include:

  • Homeowners are required to have a fence around pools that are deeper than 18 inches, and this fence must have the following features:
    • It must be at least 60 inches high
    • Any access gates through the fence must open away from the pool, and they must be self-closing with a self-latching device that is placed no lower than 60 inches above the ground
    • The vertical clearance from the ground to the bottom of the fence must not exceed two inches
    • Any gaps or voids that it has must not allow the passage of spheres with a diameter of four inches or more
    • The outside surface of the fence must not have any cavities, protrusions, or other physical characteristics that can enable children below the age of five to climb over it
  • Front yard fences are not to exceed 42 inches, while backyard fences are not to exceed 72 inches. Likewise, fences being shared with neighbors must have a minimum height of 60 inches and must also be free of any gaps that small children might pass through
  • Front yard fences that are up to six feet above the adjacent natural ground level may be installed in designated Fence Height Districts across the city provided that they meet specific requirements, which include:
    • They are made of open wrought iron, and any solid portions of the fence must not exceed a height of three and one-half feet
    • They do not have any vertical wrought iron members that are greater than 5/8 inches in diameter nor spaced less than four inches apart on the center.
    • They do not have any horizontal wrought iron members that are greater than one inch in diameter nor spaced less than 18 inches apart in the center.
    • The fence and pilasters must be setback from the front property line a minimum of 18 inches, and a minimum five-foot by five-foot cut corner must be provided wherever the fence meets the driveway.
  • Homeowners with shared fences are obligated to equally share the responsibility of maintaining these fences.
  • Homeowners who wish to repair, maintain, or replace shared fences must inform all impacted parties in writing at least 30 days in advance. This notice should include a description of the problem, the proposed solution, the cost of implementing the solution, a proposed cost-sharing approach, and an estimated timeline for the execution of the project.

One benefit of hiring a professional fence company for your fencing projects is that they are typically conversant with relevant fencing laws and can help ensure that your installed fence complies with them. Nevertheless, you can get additional information on pertinent fence ordinances and laws in Los Angeles by contacting the LA Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) and the LA City Planning Department at (213) 473-3231 and (213) 482-7077 respectively. Suspected violations of these laws can also be reported to the LADBSonline.

Will You Get the Necessary Permits as Required as per the City Code?

Per local ordinances, building permits are required to install concrete fences higher than 42 inches and other types of fences higher than 10 feet. These permits are issued by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS), and they can be obtained at this department's offices located at:

Metro (Downtown) Office
201 and 221 N. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Van Nuys Office
6262 Van Nuys Boulevard
2nd Floor
Room 251
Van Nuys, CA 91401
West LA Office
1828 Sawtelle Boulevard
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
South LA Office
8475 S. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044
San Pedro Office
638 S. Beacon Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

Applicants are expected to take the following steps before obtaining permits from the LADBS:

  • Confirm that their property is located within LA city lines and also get relevant zoning and property information via its ZIMAS platform
  • Prepare all necessary project plans and drawings
  • Complete and submit a building permit application form along with the prepared project plans and drawings. Alternatively, these documents can be submitted to the department online via its ePlanLA portal.

Once these steps have been completed, the submitted documents will be reviewed by the LADBS as well as other relevant agencies. After this review is complete and the application is approved, the required permit will be issued, and the fence can be installed. Note that the payment of a permit fee is typically required. Also, the installed fence is subject to inspection by authorized city officials to ensure that it conforms to pertinent local fence regulations and standards.

Complying with the city's permit requirements for your fence project protects your property value, ensures that public safety and welfare are maintained, and helps you avoid sanctions. These include state-mandated fines of up to $5,000 as well as other locally-imposed penalties. Additional information on the LADBS's permit requirements and procedures can be obtained by calling 311 or (213) 473-3231 for callers outside the City of Los Angeles. Inquiries can also be made in person at any of the LADBS office locations mentioned above.

Will You Contact the City's Utility Companies to Verify the Path of Underground Lines?

Fence installations are typically completed via the following steps:

  • Fence length estimation
  • Utility line marking
  • Fence permit obtaining
  • Post-hole digging and post-bracket setting
  • Fence building
  • Finishing and cleaning

A key benefit to hiring a professional fence company for your fence installation is properly locating and marking utility lines on your property, mainly underground and unmarked gas, water, and power lines. This is important, as cutting into any of these lines during your project disrupts the supply of vital services to your home and can also lead to fatal accidents.

While many fence companies take on the responsibility of locating utility lines when you hire them, you should always get confirmation on this from your intended fence contractor before signing any contracts with them. Many professional fence builders in Los Angeles will also request a copy of your survey records to help verify exactly where these utility lines are located on your project when preparing project plans for obtaining the required fence permits.

You can also locate these utility lines by contacting the Underground Service Alert of Southern California at 811 or (800) 422-4133. Doing this before digging on your property is always a good idea to avoid hitting any of these lines. Inquiries concerning Los Angeles utility lines can also be directed to the following local utility companies:

  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) - 1-800-342-5397
  • Southern California Edison - 1-800-655-4555
  • Southern California Gas Company - 1-877-238-0092

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Fence Contractors in Los Angeles?

Fence installers that operate in Los Angeles are mandated to comply with the following insurance and bond requirements:

The importance of hiring insured contractors cannot be overstated. More than 460 fatal work-related injuries were recorded across California in 2020, and you can be held liable if these injuries are sustained by an uninsured contractor under your employ. In addition, you will also have to bear the cost of any property damage caused by this uninsured contractor.

Therefore, always request proof of insurance and bonding from any fence contractor that you intend to hire and validate this proof with the appropriate organization. Also, ensure that the contractor has a valid general liability insurance policy that will cover any third-party injuries or property damage that may occur as a direct result of your project.

You can get additional information on the mandatory insurance and bond requirements for Los Angeles fence contractors by contacting the California Contractors State License Board at (800) 321-2752.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Fence Contractor in Los Angeles

Complaints concerning bad fence builders in Los Angeles can be filed with several agencies, including the LA City Attorney's Office, the LA County Department of Business and Consumer Affairs (DCBA), and the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

Home improvement-related scams account for a large number of consumer complaints made in Los Angeles and were second on the list of top complaints made in 2020. In a recent press release, the LA City Attorney's Office announced that it had secured a $6 million judgment against a home improvement contractor that had defrauded several homeowners in the city by receiving payment for jobs they never intended to finish. Fraudulent contractors constantly devise methods and techniques to scam unsuspecting homeowners needing fence installations and other home improvement services. These methods include:

  • Offering free fence maintenance and repair services and suddenly discovering a need to replace said fence
  • Requesting full payment for services upfront or a large down payment and absconding, leaving the work undone or uncompleted
  • Deliberately failing to pull required permits.
  • Deceptively collecting money from homeowners with shared fences by convincing them that they will be reimbursed for part of the cost by their neighbors

As such, when searching for fencing companies in the city, you should look out for certain signs to avoid ending up with a fraudulent fence contractor. These signs include:

  • Unbelievably low quotes: always get and compare estimates for your project from at least three different contractors
  • Avoidance of written contracts: never allow any work to commence before you have a written contract in place, and make sure that you review this contract before signing it
  • Demands for cash payment upfront: never pay more than $1,000 or 10 percent of the total value of your project upfront and avoid cash transactions
  • Lack of proof of licensing: always verify your preferred contractor's licensing status and their insurance and bond status as well
  • Unsolicited offers of fencing services: never hire any contractor that contacts you out of the blue offering fencing services of any kind
  • No physical address: never hire contractors that do not have verifiable physical addresses. Also, request local references from the contractor and check these references

In situations where you end up dealing with a dishonest or fraudulent fence installer in the city, you can file complaints against them through the following methods:

  • By contacting the LA City Attorney's Office at (213) 978-8070, (877) 522-2737, or online
  • By contacting the DCBA at (213) 974-1452, (800) 593-8222, or online
  • By filing a construction complaint with the CSLB
  • By contacting the LA District Attorney's Office at (213) 257-2450
  • By contacting the LAPD at (213) 928-8223