Installing a Fence on Hilly Terrain

Posted on November 18th, 2013

In a hilly area like Pittsburgh, fences can be difficult to install. When the elevation rises and dips in various areas with no clear rhythm, it can be quite hard to install a fence in a normal manner. The grade issues might not even be apparent with the naked eye, but can be seen with a level string posted across the yard. Fence by Maintenance has a few suggestions and methods for fence installation in residential backyards with grade issues.

The installation depends on the homeowner’s preference and the ability of the fencing contractor. If the homeowner wants a level top to the fence, the bottom will have random gaps between the bottom of the fencing and the ground. Another method involves making the fence level with the ground uniformly so there are no gaps, but the top of the fence will not be level. Many backyards have such sharp grade changes that the fencing contractor has to be extremely skilled.

Three Fence Installation Methods

Stepping
When using this method, the fence is dropped down in areas where there are valleys and are stepped up when the ground rises. This is useful for very hilly backyards where the grade has frequent, prominent changes.

Racking
A fence installed with the racking method allows no gaps between the ground and the fence, but the top will not be uniform. This method follows the terrain of the backyard’s peaks and valleys.

Straight
Fences installed with a straight method make no allowances for the terrain. Larger posts are used to keep the top of the fence straight and true through the entire yard no matter what the grade. This method almost always has large gaps between the lower fence and the ground.

Materials

Aluminum and PVC fences are rackable and can be used to adapt to any change in the grade of the backyard. They allow the fence to be flush with the ground through various terrain changes. Wood fences can be used for any of the methods above, but the wood has to be cut to adhere to the exact measurements of the grade changes. This means that the installation has to proceed post by post with the material in between cut to fit the exact measurements.

The fence installation method used for the backyard depends on the grade and variations in the terrain. Fence by Maintenance is an experienced fencing contractor that is familiar with the hilly areas around Pittsburgh and is willing to answer any questions to guide a homeowner through the confusing process of picking the right fence for their yard.