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acchan01 09-24-2010 08:37 PM

Building Fence on a Slope with Panels... help please.
I'm not much of a handy man. But I'm learning. I just received 17 wooden panels and 18 posts as a gift to attempt to build a fence around my backyard for my dogs. Any extra material will be returned of course. But it's a project that I've decided to take on. Now, my problem is, before I start this, I realize that I have to organize the panels like steps. I want to make this doable... so would it be best to bury a portion of a corner of the panels going up the slope into the ground? Or should I split the panels in half and create a smaller step pattern up the slope? Is it even possible to split the panels in half without ruining them? I'm new at this so please go easy on me. :( The slope is probably at a good 45 degree angle.

Allison1888 09-24-2010 10:39 PM

I think this project is more complicated than you're realizing. It's not easy to split a panel without ruining it, for example. Is there a handyman or contractor you know that would work with you to get it started and help plan it out? Also, those panels are difficult for one person to manage, so you'll need some help just for that reason alone.

acchan01 09-24-2010 10:48 PM

Not really sure what is available around here. I'll look around tomorrow and get some quotes. I'm sure they'll be happy that I'll have a lot of the supplies available. I'm just worried about pricing with a contractor. Although I have been really excited about researching and trying this on my own. But this may be too big of a project for someone with my lack of experience.

acchan01 09-24-2010 10:49 PM

I have my two brothers and a friend that are going to help. But they know just as much as I do haha.

Scuba_Dave 09-24-2010 10:54 PM

I've always disliked the look of a stepped fence
Prefer to have the fence top parallel the slope
But that usually means a built in place fence
Unless your panels "flex"

acchan01 09-24-2010 11:05 PM

Flex? I'm still learning.

acchan01 09-24-2010 11:08 PM

I agree with you. That looks way better. But at this point, I really just need something to contain the dogs. With a baby on the way I need an easier way to keep them outside and contained. What worries me are the gaps under the stepped panels. Can that be filled with something? Some kind of small vinyl fencing panels?

acchan01 09-24-2010 11:16 PM

Honestly, it's probably only 16 feet that needs to be covered with a slope. The rest is flat.

epson 09-25-2010 09:42 AM

You can read up on this link:

BigJim 09-25-2010 12:42 PM

Just a thought, if you have only 16 feet that is sloped you may want to build new panels for just that section as it will cost you more and look really bad by using the panels you have now and stepping them. An 8 foot panel set level on a 45 slope will have an 8 foot gap under it. See what I mean?

I would go ahead and set my post just like the rest of them and just build the new panels, it won't be that hard, although we don't know what your panels look like.

WillK 09-25-2010 08:55 PM

I'll tell you... I think it all depends on what fence style you have as to whether stepped looks better or not, if you have the typical wood fence panels with the dog-eared boards, yeah it looks better to follow the contour, but I built a fence at our previous house with a cap rail because I've come to favor a type of fence I've built twice now where it doesn't have a bad side - but it was an HOA neighborhood, and the HOA wasn't happy when I built it to follow the contour of the land. I consulted an architect and he suggested stepping the fence, which I did and the HOA was happy and I would agree it really looked better.

A 45 degree slope would suprise me... It'd be hard to keep grass on that steep of a slope I'd think! 6' post spacing would mean by the time you went from one end of a panel to another you'd have a fence a turtle could jump over.. It'd be handy to know how much the land rises over whatever post spacing you're planning, and what the fence style is.

Speaking in general, you wouldn't really want the panels to be dug into the ground. Assuming these gifted fence panels are pressure treated, I believe fence boards are usually the grade of pressure treated wood that isn't rated for burial. Your posts should be.

If you're stepping your panels, basicly what you do is set your posts, run level strings from one to the next, measure how much rise, mark your line along the bottom of the panel, cut it with a circular saw then it's read to attach to posts.

If you want to follow the contour, and if it's dog-eared fence boards, you can probably get those boards at HD or Lowes at under $2 each, they're about 6" wide so for 16' it'll cost you about $32, you're going to attach 2x4's to the posts basicly using about the same height and number of rails as your panel, then you'll attach the dog-eared fence posts to those.

acchan01 09-29-2010 02:15 PM

Thank you very much. I'll go purchase the materials today. It shouldn't cost much at all.

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