“Love your neighbor as yourself; but don’t take down the fence.”
— Carl Sandburg

Gene Autry might have crooned a lovely tune with his hit, “Don’t Fence Me In,” but he probably wasn’t talking about your back yard. Fences can be a wonderful addition to any home and land. They do not have to create a cold barrier, but they do provide an attractive border that creates privacy in your space. Beyond privacy, fences can add safety to your yard, containing pets, children, and those errant balls flying hard and fast off the trampoline. You know what I’m talking about.

Fences come in a variety of shapes, heights, colors, and materials. The same can be said of yards, and that lovely variety can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to building a fence. While it would be nice to have a perfectly flat parcel of land on which to build a perfectly straight fence, life is rarely perfect. Luckily, we can adjust in both life and fencing.

If you have slopes or hills in the land on which you want to build a fence, you have a few options. The first option would be to clear the land and force it to be level. That choice is not often practical or desirable. We like the character of our unique land, that’s why we bought it, right? If the land can’t be adjusted, then the fence can be. There are three main ways to make a fence that works with your land:

Keep the Top Level
This option might work best for land that is up and down and varied. We would build a fence with our eye on the top first, keeping it level. This would result in gaps between the bottom of the fence and the land. Those gaps can be addressed with rocks, soil, flowers, mulch, etc. The filling material would depend on the sizes of the gaps and the design of the yard. It would keep the nice aesthetic of a level fence at the top but require creativity to level out the spaces at the bottom. This might be a good option if your land is mostly flat, but just undulating in spots.

Stepped Fence
The stepped method can be a good approach for a yard with a gradual slope. The fence would be divided into panels, with each section being lowered or raised to move with the land. If the slope is not too steep, the steps between the panels will not be too noticeable, and it will create a smooth look that follows the contour of your unique lot.

Racked Fence
This final method could be better for a parcel of land that has a steeper grade. This is a specific style of fencing that is built with the capacity to move with the land. The fence posts are placed first and then the panels are set up in between. They are constructed with materials that can move to adjust to the land. This choice eliminates the need to fill the gaps at the bottom of the fence, but they are also generally weaker than the more rigid panels. They are often made of aluminum or vinyl, but wood can be an option. The top of the fence will slope with the land, but the bottom will be flush with the land. If you have animals you want to make sure to stay inside the fence, then the bottom of the fence might be more important than the top.

Fences are a valuable addition to your property, and you don’t need the “perfect” lot of land to get the fence you are imagining. Let us help you create a safe and attractive border. Each of these options has benefits and challenges, and we will work with you to choose the path that leads to the right solution, even if there are ups and downs along the way.

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