How to Install Vinyl Fencing on a Hill

A vinyl fence is an aesthetically pleasing fence that requires less maintenance than wood fences.
Other advantages to the vinyl fence include the fact that they are a lot lighter than wood making them easier to install, as well as the ability to order them in different colors. Installing one on uphill isn’t much different from installing one on level ground.

Step 1

Figure out where the fence should be located. Mark off the area with stakes starting at the corners and then spacing them such that each fence section will fit between them.

Step 2

Determine the grade of your hill. There are a couple of methods for this. One is to measure the height difference from the fence post at the top of the hill to the fence post at the bottom of the hill and divide by the number of sections. This is the distance each section will be raised as you work your way up the hill. The second is to measure the grade between each fence post by placing a stick where each fence post will go and tying a string between the two. Measure the distance from the ground to the string on the lower stick and that is your pitch. The pitch is the distance that the next section needs to be lowered as you work your way down the hill.

Step 3

Dig the fence post holes with the post hole digger deep enough that about 1/3 of the post will be underground. This will vary slightly since the top of the post on the downhill side of the fence section needs to be the same distance from the top rail as all other fence posts and top rails on the downhill side. Put two to three shovels of gravel at the bottom of the hole. Insert the post and then pack with concrete or dirt. Use a level to ensure the post is straight and then brace the post to keep it in place. Pile a small mound of dirt around the base of the post to prevent puddling. Let these set for four to five days.

Step 4

Attach each fence section to the posts using the hardware provided. If the grade is severe, creating a much larger gap between the hillside and the bottom rail of the fence, there are a few options. One option is to cut the sections using a power saw to make them smaller. This would mean that your fence posts would be a lot closer together. Another option is to mount the hardware at an angle using either angle brackets (if one exists with the proper angle), or wooden wedges. This would allow the fence section to more closely follow the hillside. For those very skilled, the fence section could be recreated to follow the hillside by removing all of the fence boards and regluing them with the rails at the same angle as the hillside.

Step 5

Attach chicken wire, other mesh or place rocks to enclose the gaps between the fence and the ground if desired.

Things You Will Need

  • Vinyl fence sections
  • Hammer or screwdriver
  • Power saw
  • String
  • Sticks
  • Nails or screws
  • Vinyl fence posts
  • Post hole digger
  • Concrete
  • Gravel
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Chicken wire, mesh or rocks (if desired)

Tips

  • Make sure you know where your property line is before you start installing a new fence.
  • Call your local government to make sure there aren’t any required permits and to learn the local codes if there are any.
  • To ensure that the gaps under the fence are not too large, you can do a trial run with string tied between sticks.
  • It may work best to install one section at a time to ensure proper fit.
  • The post will be more secure if you make the post hole wider at the bottom than at the top.
  • The bottom rail should be at least 2 inches off the ground to help prevent moisture issues and to make trimming the grass easier.

About the Author

Vicki Elander has been writing software documentation and technical manuals since 1993. In 2008, she wrote product reviews for Sharedreviews.com. Elander has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of North Dakota.