Project Guide

Building a Fence on a Hill

1
Contoured Fencing
Building Fence Hill - Contoured Fencing

The rails on a contour fence follow the slope of the ground.

2
RUN A MASON’S LINE BETWEEN STAKES
Building Fence Hill - Run Mason’s Line between Stakes
  • Drive 2 × 2-foot stakes at the top and the bottom of the slope.
  • Run a level mason’s line between the stakes, measuring and evenly marking locations for posts along the line with tape.
3
MARK THE GROUND AND INSTALL POSTS
Building Fence Hill - Mark ground and install posts
  • Drop a plumb bob from the tape marks on the line to transfer the marks to the ground.
  • Mark the spot with powdered chalk.
  • Dig holes at the marked spots and install the posts.
  • Once posts are in place, measure up from the ground to lay out the bottom rails.
  • Measure up from the bottom rails to lay out the top rails.
  • Cut the rails so the ends fall at the middle of the posts and fasten them with #8 2 ½-inch deck screws
4
Hillside Fencing
Building Fence Hill - Hillside Fencing

As its name implies, stepped hillside fencing goes down the hill in a series of steps

5
MEASURE FOR THE POSTS
Building Fence Hill - Measure for the posts
  • Drive a stake at the top and bottom of the slope where you’d like the fence to end.
  • String a mason’s line from the base of the top stake to the bottom stake and then level with a line level.
  • Measure the distance between the line and the ground at the bottom stake to find out how much the fence drops along the run.
  • Measure along the line and mark the location of the posts on the line with masking tape.
  • Count the sections of fence you will need and then divide the overall drop of the fence by the number of sections to find the drop per section.
6
INSTALL AND MARK LEVELS
Building Fence Hill - Install and mark levels
  • Dig holes and install the posts where you marked earlier so each one is slightly taller than the finished height of the fence.
  • Measure to find where the top of the upper post will be and draw a line to mark where you will cut it.
  • Measure down by the drop per section, which you figured out in Step 1 and tie a line at that point.
  • Tie the other end to the next post and level the line. The point at which it crosses the second post will be the top of that post.
  • Mark the top, move the line down by the drop per section, then stretch it to the third post and level it. Mark as before.
  • Continue down the hill, marking the top, measuring down and stretching a level line until you reach the bottom of the hill.
  • Cut off the tops of the posts at the layout lines.