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Yards come in all shapes and sizes – flat, sloped, or a combination of rolling terrain. The wide variation may make your land picturesque, but it can also make building a privacy fence quite the challenge.

When you have a sloped yard, you need a fence that can adapt to it. Not all fence designs can adjust to hills, and some types of fences are better to adjust to uneven ground.

If you have a yard that needs a specialized fence design, don’t be discouraged. Although constructing a fence to match a sloped yard is a bit more complicated than building a fence on level ground, there are beautiful options that can still provide plenty of privacy.

Wood Fence Designs For Sloped Yards

Just like yards come in all dimensions, so do wood fences. When it comes to wood privacy fences that jive well with sloped yards, homeowners should seek out certain designs and avoid others.

Let’s examine four popular fencing choices and how well they work for sloped yards.


A standard wood privacy fence is the most common style of fencing throughout many neighborhoods. It’s your everyday 6-foot fence with vertical fencing boards or fencing pickets lined up side by side attached to horizontal fence rails. The horizontal rails are connected to vertical fence posts set deep into the ground as anchors for the entire fence.

The problem with this design is that it doesn’t allow for much variation. Both the top and bottom of the fence boards are placed at the same level for the whole length of the fence.

While that straight, crisp line contributes to the appeal of a standard privacy fence, that design lacks the ability to accommodate uneven ground. If your yard slopes downward, the fence boards are set up in a way that would leave a gap between the bottom of the boards and the ground.


A horizontal privacy fence is another popular style of wood fence. This kind of privacy fence has the fence boards oriented horizontally instead of vertically. Instead of the fence boards side by side, they are placed on top of each other. The fence posts are the only vertical component of this type of fence.

Once again, this fence design doesn’t have much flexibility. A horizontal wood fence only works if the angle of the slope is very slow and steady. The ground cannot jump up in one area, then drop back down in another. Since the fence boards are completely straight, the slope would need to be a gradual decline that can follow the fence board line.


The design and description of this wood fence matches its name. The fence mimics stair steps, with each successive section of the fence lower or higher than the next depending on whether your yard slopes upwards or downwards.

A stepped fence consists of vertical fence boards and vertical fence posts with horizontal rails. Yes, this probably sounds similar to your ordinary standard privacy fence, but the key difference is that the posts are varying heights, which means the panels can be installed higher or lower and accommodate the variance in grade.

This is how it works. The fence is divided into sections, and from one post to another, that particular section contains fence boards lined up at the same height. Then, the next section of fence boards, from one post to the next, is at a different height. The horizontal rails never slope. Rather, they simply attach to the fence posts at different spots, compared to a standard fence where each rail attaches to each post at the exact same spot.

If you want to construct a fence using pre-constructed panels and your yard has a slope, a stepped fence is the way to go. Each stair contains one panel and the posts follow the grade.


A racked fence takes specific elements from the other styles of fences and incorporates similarities and differences to create a unique design.

While a racked fence can be built with pre-constructed panels, a racked fence made of wood is typically custom-built board by board. The horizontal rails are not level, but instead, they purposely follow the slope of the ground. The vertical fence posts are all the same height. The individual fence boards are attached vertically to an angled horizontal rail.

While possibly the most complex to design and build, a racked fence can follow the contour of any yard.

A Fence that Fits Your Sloped Yard

A sloped yard can be a challenge to work with, but building a privacy fence is 100% possible. Just as the finished look varies, the construction process is not the same from fence to fence.

Every style has its pros and cons, and some types of fences will simply not be able to accommodate uneven ground. As a homeowner, it is important to explore all your wholesale fence options to ensure you select a design that will meet your needs and expectations.


Installing a wood fence in a sloped yard can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Split rail, picket, and shadowbox fences work best for these conditions – offering natural charm, security, and privacy. With the right type of wood and construction, you can create a secure and beautiful fence that will last for years!

4 Stylish Wood Fences for Sloped Yards Infographic