When designing a fence, there are two ways to deal with sloped land. The first choice is for the slope to be graded. Grading a slope requires cutting, digging and re-directing the ground so that it is level. This method does not however, suit your budget or timetable, as it is time consuming and expensive. The second choice is to design your fence such that it matches your property's slope.
Take the time to assess the slope of your yard before you buy or collect materials to create a fence. Stake out the end points around the fence's circumference. Tie mason line in between the two points. Instruments such as a water level or a transit help you decide whether the line between the two points is level. If the slope is extra steep to get an accurate reading, you can need to run the Mason line between more than two points.
Stepped fences for properties constructed on very steep hills are ideally suited. Stepped fencing comes as pickets or boards are pre-assembled. Each of the bits, following the rise and run of the slope, is mounted parallel to the next. This stepping structure, however, leaves gaps between the ground and the fence's rim. Although aesthetically pleasing, for those who need fencing to protect wildlife, step fencing is not practical to keep critters out of their garden or landscape.
Racked fencing, like step fencing, does not end up with holes at the foot. Racked fencing comes as individual pickets or boards, which are mounted individually, instead of coming in several pre-assembled parts. Such fences are more time-consuming to assemble, but easier to conform to your slope's rise and run. For people with steep yards who want to carry pets or keep animals out this form of fencing is best.
If you're constructing a fence on a hill or on flat land, make sure the fence is within the parameters and standards for building without a permit within your town and county. For example, fences on the front of a San Francisco County property do not need a permit as long as they are less than 3 feet tall; fences on the backyard and side yard must be less than 6 feet tall. A building permit application is required by the planning department of the city when a taller fence is needed. Often review the ordinances of your county before construction.