Issues with Building a Fence on a Slope or Hill
Building a fence yourself has enough pitfalls without needing to construct it on a slope or incline on your property. Whether you’re an avid woodworker and hardware expert or an amateur with a great deal of research skills, there are multiple issues to address which, if ignored, will cause damage to your property and waste your time and money in the project. These issues should be addressed well before you ever purchase any tools and materials. If not, you may have materials in hand that are ill-fitted and tools that are incapable of helping you complete the job.
Highs and Lows
The gradation of your land on the slope is a definitive factor in building your fence correctly. If you are dealing with a slope and also small hills that rise and fall on that slope, you have a great deal of measuring of the land and cutting of individual posts and planks. The height difference alone can be a headache to novice builders and poses problems with the pre-assembled fence kits that have become popular in the DIY world. Add a hill or slope to the equation and you have potential building issues which reach further than a simple construction.
In addition to gradation, the slope itself could cause issues in construction. The best way to assess the incline grade of the slope is to determine the slope percentage. Manually calculating slope percentage can be confusing. You first must determine how many feet the slope rises or falls per 100 feet. If it’s a fairly consistent slope, you can measure horizontally with a level and measure down to the ground from that point. The number of inches to the ground is the slope percentage. Another method uses a stake at the top of the slope and a tape measure or string level pulled to the base of the hill. If you choose to go with a contractor, they will measure this with greater precision and you’ll be sure to have the correct measurements. The percentage of the slope effects a few factors in construction, including angles of posts and planks, positioning of equipment and placement of stakes.
Tools and Equipment
Any grade of slope will pose issues with the use and positioning of tools and equipment. Skill must be used to determine where the stakes should be placed to keep the posts level as they solidify in their foundations. The angle of your posthole digger is imperative in this case. Gaining leverage to use your equipment, especially the posthole digger, will also be affected by a slope. Imagine yourself working with your tools on the hill and determine if you have the strength and skill to position your tools correctly to achieve a straight and level fence. Hiring a fence contractor eliminates these issues and places the use of equipment in the hands of skilled workers.
Drainage and Foundations
Another deciding factor that may encourage you to choose a contractor lies in the drainage of the slope. Although this is a more serious matter when faced with building the foundations of a home, the drainage of your land and amount of saturation in the soil should be assessed by a professional contractor to ensure that the concrete foundations of the fence will be sturdy and firm in time for the fence construction. Knowing that a professional contractor will secure the foundation and construct a level and straight fence for your property may be ultimately more important than proving to yourself that you can do it alone.