No ground is perfect, but most fencing installers can avoid minor bumps and debris that get in the way of their project. The real problems arise when you attempt to install fence posts on uneven ground.
Fencing companies, like Greenhill Fencing, have been navigating the terrain of the environment around their service areas for years and know the difficulties of working around weird slopes and dips. Fortunately, it is not an impossible task, and with some knowledge and a few tips, you’ll be one step closer to understanding how to navigate the problems associated with uneven terrain.
What Makes the Ground Unstable?
When you think of unstable ground, steep slopes and generally uneven terrain usually come to mind. These are a few main factors that make it hard to build a fence, but they aren’t the only things that can make your project feel impossible. Anything from poor soil composition to deep roots can make even the smoothest looking ground difficult to traverse.
Your fence posts need to be placed on stable ground. Anything too loose or stiff can make it impossible to complete the fence installation. The composition of sand is extremely loose, meaning your fence posts will find it difficult to stay in place unless it’s mixed with gravel. Red dirt is extremely dense, and because of this, it can pool water that causes posts to rot sooner than normal.
Rocks come in all shapes and sizes, and while that may excite rock collectors, it doesn’t help your fence installation. While you can typically navigate small rocks and gravel, larger rocks must be removed with much tougher methods. If the rocks can’t be removed, you can either contact a professional installer or try a non-traditional fencing pattern.
Roots are relatively easy to overcome, as you can simply cut through them while digging the post hole. Depending on the type of fence post you have, roots may need to be removed to prevent damage later on. If the roots are dug deep into the ground or are extremely tough, you may not be able to get the posts as deep as needed.
Level Topped Fence
One of the most common ways to build fences on uneven ground is by installing a level topped fence. This works best for surfaces with plenty of dips and rises and, with a bit of landscaping trickery, is a simple option you can try.
To build a level topped fence, install the posts as normal before cutting off the tops of the posts afterward to an appropriate height. Use a measuring tape to determine the height of the lowest post; mark it off on the others. You can also fill the low spots in the ground with soil or grass seed to get posts to the appropriate height. Bring out rocks or gravel for much larger dips to make the leveling process easier.
If you’re building a fence on a slope, a stepped fence is a cool design that works perfectly and is relatively easy to install. Not every homeowner prefers stepped fences, but for steep slopes, it’s the best option to counterbalance the terrain. Keep in mind that when installing a stepped fence, there may be a small triangular space left at the bottom of each fence. Discuss this with your installer if you have pets or small children, as the space can be blocked off with plants, rocks, or other strategic landscaping methods.
Racking fences are a newer technology that makes it much easier to deal with slightly sloping or intermediate terrain. Your fence won’t need to be leveled out as racking fences are placed based on the landscape and follow the slope. Most homeowners are urged to turn to stepped fences when the slope is more than 10 degrees, and local fence installers can narrow down the best option for you.
Don’t Let Uneven Ground Stop You From the Fence You Want
Uneven terrain shouldn’t mean settling for a hideous-looking fence. At Greenhill Fencing, our professional installers have the tips, tools, and experience to install the right fence for your terrain. Want to see more? Check out our most popular fencing styles and contact us today to discover how Greenhill Fencing can take your yard to the next level with a beautiful fence.