Landscape Challenges: Installing a Fence on a Hilly Area

For many homeowners, a fence is a required component. Installing a fence may seem like a straightforward job. However, depending on the terrain, it can be quite challenging. One common challenge is the contour of the land. Building a fence around a yard in a hilly region necessitates certain installation methods.

Selecting a Material
The material that you choose largely determines the best installation method for your particular property. For example, PVC and aluminum fences are rackable, meaning that the fences are adaptable to grade changes but in limited capacity. This enables the installation to follow the grade of the ground.

Wood fences can work with racking, straight or stepping installation but may need to have the pieces of wood cut individually to enable precise measurements and additional customization. Ready-made panels simply don’t work for fencing in hilly areas as they cannot be customized.
Fence on a Hilly Area

Installation Methods

    • Racking. Running the fence along the slope of the ground produces an unleveled fence top with no visible gaps between the bottom of the fence and the ground.


    • Straight. Straightening the fence at the top offers a more leveled fence at the top with gaps between the bottom of the fence and the ground. If you live on a property with a prominent hill, this method may not be feasible.


  • Stepping. Step installation consists of dropping down fences in areas with prominent grade changes or stepping up the fences in regions where the grade rises.

Things to Consider

Throughout the process of choosing fencing materials and installing your new fence, adhere to the following advice.

  • Avoid using ready-made panels when you’re installing a fence in a hilly area.
  • Stick to one of the recommended installation methods for hilly areas.
  • Let the installation method that you choose dictate the materials.