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Old 03-29-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
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making a fence conform with the land


I'm planning to put in wood 6 foot privacy fence along a 100' stretch across my backyard. However, the ground is not level. If I put a level string across that stretch - the far ends would be about the same height - but along the way, it would drop down 3 feet in places.

I figure I can plan the fenceline and put in posts in cement at even increments along the line. Of course - the tops of some will be 3 feet lower than others. But from ground to top - each of the posts would be exact.

Then I figure I can run my horizontal 2x4 cross pieces at exact distances from the top of the post. Of course, these won't all be level to the horizon.

Finally - I'd have the slats/vertical fence pieces. I'd just assure their tops are all exactly the same distance from the topmost cross piece, and nail them on one-by-one.

But this is all a guess! Is this how it should be done?

Next - there could be small valleys under some of my completed "panels" - enough for a dog or kid to escape So if I want my fence 6 feet high - I'm wondering if I should get 8 foot fence facing. Then just let the bottom sit on the ground (or within an inch) when I install. I'd go with the lay of the land throughout. Once done, I'd mark a smooth line and hit the tops with a circular saw so the top edge was even. Only problem I see there is that the bottom might look "toothy".

Thoughts?

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
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making a fence conform with the land


If you are building the fence stick by stick you can choose whether you want the top edge to match the ground contour with each picket the same length, or have the top edge go straight between any two fence posts where you cut the bottoms of the pickets to match the ground.

Prefab fence panels may or may not have enough trapezoidal give to fit over irregular ground. It does not look good to tilt the entire panel so it remains perfectly rectangular.

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Old 04-10-2011, 07:51 AM   #3
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making a fence conform with the land


I would not go with premade panels - it won't come out looking right, IMO. I would install metal posts each with the same height above the given ground location. Then run the stringers post to post, and attach the face boards to the stringers with equal spacing under the board (I usually just lay a piece of 2x4 down, rest the board on it and screw it in place) - allowing the fence to follow the coutour of the ground.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:40 AM   #4
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making a fence conform with the land


Can I buy longer fence face boards than I need, then sit one end very near the ground, but leave the top rough. Then at the end, run across all of them with a circuluar saw to make one clean smooth line?
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:39 AM   #5
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making a fence conform with the land


Quote:
Originally Posted by denemante View Post
Can I buy longer fence face boards than I need, then sit one end very near the ground, but leave the top rough. Then at the end, run across all of them with a circuluar saw to make one clean smooth line?
This is exactly what I would do (or have someone do!). Since you stated that the location drops approximate 3' in some places, I'd definately buy longer fence panels. I'd also build an 8' fence instead of a 6' one to make up for the 3' you'll be losing. It might look strange having only a 3' high fence in some places.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:11 PM   #6
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making a fence conform with the land


I'm finally green light on this project.
  • How close to the ground is recommended for the bottom on the fence face pieces (it's a privacy fence and they'll be 1"x6"). Someone recommended a 2x4 spacer while I install. I'd guess sitting them on the ground would rot them. But too high and kids, toys and dogs might eventually work their way under. I do plan to lay pine straw on the front side which would cover the gap.
  • The land is a little irregular. If I match it precisely, the middle might dip a good bit. Then if I cut off a straight(ish) line across the top - I'd have to work with that low point as the hightest point. I might then be chopping off a foot or more on either end. So is my only choice to get 8 footers for the "dips" thus allowing me to do a final trim that is mostly level?

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