Fences on Slopes: Racking vs Stair Stepping
There’s NO SUCH THING as an UPHILL BATTLE with GREATFENCE.COM.
This article explains 2 methods of installing fences on slopes so you can enjoy your GreatFence on any terrain.
Need to install a fence where the ground isn’t exactly flat? No problem. You may use racked or stair stepped panels in Residential, Commercial, or Industrial areas. Here are the basic steps you will take.
First step:Determine the slope where you will be installing your fence
For a low-tech, low cost way of measuring the slope (aka drop) of your property, take a look at this one minute video.
The formula to determine slope is Slope = Rise ÷ Run,
You will use racking when the slope is 30 degrees or less. You will use stair stepping when the slope is greater than 30 degrees.
Second step: Understand your Installation Method:
Racked fence panels keep the bottom of the fence the same distance from the ground at all times regardless of the terrain and regardless of your installation method (cemented in ground or installed above ground on a welded plate).
To allow fences to be shifted to follow the contour of a slight slope, medium slope, steep slope (up to 30 degrees) we over-punch the holes where the vertical pickets go through the horizontal rails. The additional room allows the fence panel to flex or “rack”. Mounts are sold separately.
Stair Stepped Fencing
If your slope is steep you will choose to stair step the fence panels. In stair stepping you are connecting 2 fence panels to 1 post at different heights. Note: You purchase our standard version fence panels but you must order longer posts than the minimum recommendation on our post charts. You will also order mounts because you will be mounting the panels to the post (instead of the typical “insert and set” method).
As with the racked panels, these stair stepped panels can have the posts cemented in the ground or welded to plates.
Third Step: organize your order
Once you know that you will be racking or stair stepping your fence panels, and you’ve measured and measured again, it’s time to put together your order.
- If you are going to rack the panels to accommodate your slope you will order the Rackable or Heavy Rackable versions of your chosen fence style. Note that Styles 7and 8 are not available in Heavy Rackable panels so you will use the Stair Step method for Styles 7 & 8.
- If you are going to stair step the panels on your hill you will purchase the standard version of our chosen fence style. But remember, stair stepping fence panels require longer posts than panels used on level ground. You may read more about this here and our customer service team can help you if you have questions.
If your racked or stair stepped aluminum GreatFence.com fence will be attached to a post, column, wall, or building, you will need to purchase the correct mounts.
- Vertical Swivel Mounts allow you to attach racked fence panels to a blank post, column, wall or building. They come in our 9 powder coated colors to match your fence and gates, and give you or your installer the greatest flexibility for on-site connections.
- Straight Mount Brackets are used for stair-stepping two of our aluminum fence panels on a hill and for attaching the fence to a post, column, wall or building. These come in all 9 of our GreatFence.com powder coated colors to match the fence panels.
We offer a number of accessories for customizing your aluminum fence panels (including scrolls, pickets tops, security screens) and posts (including Post Ball Caps, Solar Post Lights, Plate Covers, and deck mounts) so you can make your GreatFence your own. Want to see them? Click here.
Fourth step, place your order
Simply choose your fence grade (Residential, Commercial, or Industrial) and your panel style (Style 1 through 9), and then use the drop down menus for each component.
We’re here to help if you have questions along the way.
All GreatFence.com brand fencing materials are 100% Made in the USA to the highest quality standards. Our lifetime warranty on workmanship, materials, and paint finishes means that you will never, ever need to worry about rust, cracks, or chipped paint.
Call us at 888-379-1312 for rust-free, easily installed fencing with a lifetime warranty.