How to Install a Privacy Fence on Unlevel Ground

Privacy fence is a cost-effective way to provide security and privacy for your property. The most typical fencing used for privacy fences is wooden stockade prefab panels. The standard panel is 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide. A variety of posts can be used. The most common material is 4-by-4 inch treated lumber posts. Proper spacing of the posts is essential to easy installation. You will also need to set your posts 1/3 of their above ground height into the ground with ½ bag of concrete at the foot of each.

Level your posts carefully for an easy fence panel install.

Step 1

Choose fence panels with screws attaching the pickets to the panel. Remove half of the screws in each panel to allow the panel to be racked, or adjusted diagonally. Loosen the remaining screws in the panel.

Step 2

Dig post holes every 8 feet along the line of your proposed fence starting at one corner of the fence. Make them 10 to 12 inches across and 24 inches deep for 8 foot posts, which are standard for 6 foot tall stockade panels.

Step 3

Set one full length 8 foot 4-by-4 treated lumber post into each post hole with ½ bag of concrete. Save the dirt dug from the hole to use as back fill on top of the concrete.

Step 4

Level the first post. Add water to the concrete and mix with a small piece of scrap lumber. Use a post level or a framing level to set the post level right to left and front to back. Fill the remainder of the hole with dirt and pack it tight. Repeat this leveling process with each post in the row and allow them to sit overnight before installing the panels.

Step 5

Start the fence installation on the uphill side of the first panel. Set the panel with the edge on the uphill side against the face of the first post. Attach it to the post with one 3 inch treated deck screw through each horizontal rail in the fence panel, typically there are three, into the face of the post.

Step 6

Allow gravity to pull the panel down to ground level. Notice that as the horizontal rails slant down the pickets maintain their vertical orientation. The end of the panel should be lined up with the center of the second post. Attach the opposite end to the second post with treated deck screws.

Step 7

Start the second panel in the center of the second post, attaching the panel with one screw through each horizontal rail. Rack the panel to meet the tilt of the ground between the second and third posts. Attach in the center of the third post. Continue adding and adjusting panels to the profile of the ground between each pair of posts.

Step 8

Add one screw to each joint between horizontal rail and post along the entire length of the fence. You should now have two screws through each end of each horizontal rail into the face of the fence post. Replace the screws you removed and tighten the loosened screws.