How to Install Fencing on a Stepped Wall
If you’re wondering how to install fencing on a stepped wall, you’ve come to the right place. Read on, watch the video, and download sketches of two different fence installation options for your fence on a stepped wall.
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The Problem with Installing Fences On Stepped Walls
Stepped walls are a fairly common solution, whether it’s as a boundary wall on sloped ground or part of a retaining wall. Walls are stepped so that they can somewhat follow the contours of the ground, but since ground levels aren’t always an even gradient, that does mean that they often have different size steps, different lengths between steps, and other anomalies.
When you’re installing any fence, you usually want to keep the top and bottom as even as possible and minimize any gaps under the fence. That’s common for fences installed for security and those installed around backyards to keep pets and dogs enclosed. If you have big gaps under your fence, it’s not very secure!
The most common solution for this is to step the fence to follow the wall, but that might not be the best option. Let’s look at two ways to install fencing on a stepped wall.
Fencing on a Stepped Wall Option 1: Installed On Top
The first option for installing a fence on a stepped wall is to use base plates and install the fence on top of the wall.
This is fairly simple because you can usually buy longer posts with baseplates welded onto the bottom of them and simply install them at each step-down.
However, while this makes sourcing materials easier, you are at the mercy of the wall. If each section of the stepped wall is much less than your standard fence panel size, you will probably use a lot of posts and panels, and you’ll have to do a lot more cutting to fit.
If you ignore the steps and install your posts at regular intervals, you will be left with big gaps under the fence, which you will need to close somehow, which also means more on-site modifications.
Installing fence posts on top of a stepped wall is usually only a cost-effective option if the steps correspond with the usual fence post spacing for that type of fence.
Fencing on a Stepped Wall Option 2: Installed On the Side
If you’ve read our article about base plate types for fences, you might already know about side-plated posts. These are fence posts that have baseplates welded to the side of the post instead of the bottom.
This allows the fence posts to be installed on the face of a wall or structure, which makes any steps irrelevant to the spacing of posts.
You still need longer posts, but you can significantly reduce other materials and the labor you need to install the fence.
Things to Look Out for When Installing a Fence on A Stepped Wall
Now that you know some of the installation options for fences on a stepped wall, you need to consider a few other things.
First, you need to ensure that the wall can support the fence. Sometimes, retaining walls are built from precast blocks or have thinner precast capping or copings. These often crack when you try to drill into them, so that might make it impossible to install a fence in either of these ways.
Another issue is whether there is a higher surface on one side of the fence. This dictates where you can install the fence and if it needs to be higher. Your fence might seem very high from one side, but from the other, site features might make it easy to scale.
If you are in any doubt about how to install a fence on a stepped wall on your site or property, it’s always a good idea to ask a professional fence company to do a site visit so they can see the exact situation you’re dealing with, and design the right solution.
Download Stepped Wall Fence Installation Designs
Fence on stepped wall type 1
Fence on stepped wall type 2