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Racking_Fence_Panels_Hills_SlopesAdding a beautiful and safety-enhancing aluminum fence can improve any property, regardless of its shape, size, or elevation. If your property features hills or even more subtle elevation gradients, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to ensure that your fence looks just right and possesses the structural integrity you seek. Thanks to the versatility of many fence components, you can install fencing with ease, even on an incline.


Step 1: Determine the significance of your grade.

The degree to which you’ll have to modify your fencing plan will depend substantially on how serious of a grade your property features. To make sure you get just the right fence panels for your project, it is best to measure your grade carefully.

To do this, you’ll need a six-foot straight edge; a straight board or pipe will do the trick. You will also need a level and a measuring tape. With the level resting on top of the straight edge, place the straight edge at the start of your incline. Adjust the straight edge until the level indicates that the edge is level with the ground. When you’ve accomplished this, measure the distance between the ground and the bottom of your straight edge with your measuring tape. Record this distance in inches.

Repeat this process for any other areas around your property that feature elevation gradients.

Step 2: Measure your graded areas.

You’ve likely already determined the perimeter of the space you wish to surround with your new fence. To ensure you purchase the right panel configuration, you need to know how much of this perimeter features sloping landscapes.

Using a measuring tape, measure all of the areas in which you previously determined grade significance. Record the distances of these sections of landscape in the same document in which you recorded the elevation gradient information because you’ll need to know both the slope severity and the fence section measurement.

Add up all of the sloped sections and subtract these from the total perimeter you previously calculated.

Step 3: Order your pieces.

Now that you’ve done the hard work, you’re ready to order your fence elements. Keep the piece of paper on which you jotted your elevation gradient measurements and distances handy when you go to place your order.

When purchasing your panels, buy standard panels in the lengths of your choice for all flat or low-grade areas. Standard panels can be used on any surface that has a gradient of 6 inches or less for the length of the panel, which is generally six feet. Purchase “rackable” panels for any elevation gradient that is more than six inches but less than 21 inches. For elevation gradients of more than 20 inches, such as steep hills or stairs, order “heavy rackable” panels, which are appropriate for use on gradients of up to 36 inches.  Standard and Rackable configured panels can be used with our prepunched line, corner, and end posts. Heavy Rackable configured panels must be used with our non-punched, blank posts and connected with our metal, powder coated, Vertical Swivel Mounts.

Finish up your order by ordering the appropriate posts. Order one-punched posts of your choice for use with each standard or rackable panel. To ensure structural stability, order one non-punched post for every heavy rackable panel you ordered.

Step 4: Install the pieces.

When your pieces arrive, you can either install them yourself or have the pros do it for you if you lack the confidence or desire to do it yourself. Specific methods of installation will vary substantially depending on which pieces you ordered. If you ordered in-ground posts, for example, you’ll need to use a post hole digger to create holes in which to place these posts. If you ordered welded plate posts, you’ll need to purchase anchor bolts or tapcons locally based upon the type of material you’ll be mounting the post on top of (wood, cement, brick, pavers…etc).

Step 5: Ask for help if you need it.

If this is your first time installing a fence, you might run into some questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your fence provider if you find yourself perplexed as to how to properly install your fence. The quality of your installation will substantially influence the overall function of your fence. To ensure that your fence is a long-lasting and dependable addition to your property, you should take care during the installation process and ask questions if they arise.

Step 6: Enjoy your aluminum fence.

Whether you added your fence to improve your security or just wanted to bring some pizzazz to your homestead, you’ll likely get years of enjoyment out of the investment.