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Wood fence gate installation

Install / August 19, 2022

Sloping fences.The Step Method

The step method is ideal for fence panel installations. In this case, the fence gradually steps up the slope so that each bay section is the same length and the rails are level instead of parallel to the slope.

Fences are installed on slopes using one of two methods. The parallel method has the fence running parallel to the slope. Since this method requires that the fence be constructed to conform to the slope, it can't be accomplished using preassembled fence panels.

When staking out line posts on a slope for a step method installation, you'll need a true horizontal measurement for post placement. Don't measure parallel to the ground slope. To obtain the proper layout:

  • Measure from the previous stake while holding the tape horizontally.
  • Use a 2-by-4 to extend from the proper tape measurement to the ground to locate the placement of the stake. Properly executed, the tape will form a right angle with the 2-by-4.

Continue this measuring method for the rest of the slope until the ground levels out.

Cutting the Posts

When setting posts on a slope, set them so they're taller than you need for the panel so you can cut them to height just before the panels are hung. Some people prefer to use this method for all of their posts.

An easy way to make your post heights uniform on level ground is to run a string at the desired height from corner post to corner post, keeping the string. Mark each line post at the string line, and cut off the tops of the posts.

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