Don’t Use the Utility Box to Build Your Fence!

by | Sep 28, 2023 | Boundary survey, Property Lines

I understand that it is tempting to just build the fence using the utility boxes that you can see. Surely the utility companies put those boxes right where your property corners are located…RIGHT?

The thing is utility companies have approximately 10 feet of space on average where they can legally put their utility boxes. You can see the big square green boxes for the electric company, the concrete storm inlets for storm water, and the green pedestal covers that hide the fiber optic and telephone lines. I know it is tempting but those items have nothing to do with where your property ownership starts and stops.

In residential neighborhoods it’s all too often that we come upon this problem where someone has used that box to build their fence up to. Chances are it matches the mow lines and it “looks right” and heck it may even “feel right” but I’m telling you chances are this property does not belong to you!

Look at this example. The homeowners have built the fences to the telephone pedestal located near the back right property corner. Ultimately this has put our fence almost four feet onto the neighboring property in the back and over 2 feet onto the neighboring property on the right side. For our property this looks like a win as we have a bigger backyard than what we have legal deed to, but the neighbors around us might not feel the same excitement with losing the ability to use their land.

Any time you build a fence or make any other improvement to your property without knowing exactly what land you do and don’t own you run the risk of having to move those items in the future. Having a boundary survey performed prior to installing a fence, a retaining wall, landscaping, etc. is the only way to ensure that you are building on your own property.


Cardinal Surveying would like the opportunity to earn your business. They service the greater St Louis Metro area, have been rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau since 2003, have surveyed over 35,000 properties and are a family-owned company who prides themselves on producing accurate results with exceptional customer service. They can be contacted via email at [email protected] or phone at 636.922.1001. They look forward to working with you for all your land surveying needs.