We have a townhouse complex that is on the second floor. The building is a "U" shape. There is a central courtyard in the middle of the U that has some private use space for each homeowner, which we need to fence off for each unit. The courtyard base is a concrete slab that has a waterproof membrane on it, which is then topped with 4.5" of rigid styrofoam insulation and then some compacted gravel and a combination of 2' x 2' pavers (for walkways) and artificial turf.

We are looking for a solution that would give us a reasonably solid fence without drilling any brackets into the concrete slab (and thereby penetrating the waterproof membrane). We've been told to avoid doing that at all costs. Whatever base we use could sit ON the membrane/slab, but is not physically attached to it. At the building perimeter, the fence can be attached to brick walls, so it's the posts that hold the panels extending out from the building that need a good mounting solution. This is kinda like a floating fence. Anyone have any creative solutions to this?

  • How tall and what would be the area like 6’ tall 10’ deep and 20’ wide. In my area if we don’t go over 6’ no inspection is required , your issue may end up being a ratio of depth vs width with no footing , or pour a concrete footing and attach the fence to that. – Ed Beal Mar 30 at 21:07
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    Can you post a couple pictures? – Z4-tier Mar 31 at 0:42
  • What kind of fence are planning on? A tall, solid fence like a picket privacy fence will require stronger anchor points than a short, open fence like chain link or split rail. – Nuclear Wang Mar 31 at 15:44

You need to hire a local structural engineer. I am sure that you have codes that you must follow and you need the work inspected and a building permit. This is a multifamily situation where your work effects other people directly, not just yourself as when you own the property and home. Not to mention the liability of a mistake, there is a reason why the waterproof membrane is there and it would be very expensive to fix it, let alone repair whatever the water damaged. We're talking into the millions, as is common in the US for condo repairs due to water intrusion.

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You could build a modified free standing Colonial Style Log Fence. It is basically logs or boards in a zig-zag pattern. Instead of logs it can be built with dimensional lumber 2x4's or 4x4's etc. They were originally used to mark property lines or animal confinement. You could drill a hole in both ends of the boards and use a piece of pipe or re-bar as a pin to align the zigs to the zags. The advantage of this type of fence is wind passes through it. It would take a decent gale to move it. The minus is it uses a lot of material per linear foot of fence line and depending on the lumber used could allow small animals or children through the fence.

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