How to install chain link fencing on a hill

Written by robert vaux
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Chain link fencing can be tricky to install on a hill. The webbing between the posts was generally designed for a flat surface, and creates odd angles at the ends when erected on a graded slope. The secret lies in making a bias cut at the end of the post, which gives the chain link an even appearance.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Wooden stakes
  • Chain link posts
  • Chain link webbing
  • Line post top
  • Tension bands
  • Fence ties
  • Bolt cutters
  • Tape measure

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  1. 1

    Measure the placement of your posts. Chain link fencing posts should be no more than 10 feet apart, and if you intend to put wooden slats or similar material between them, they should be no more than 6 to 8 feet apart. Place a wooden stake in each location for your posts.

  2. 2

    Dig holes to plant your fence posts in the spots marked by the stakes. They should be at least two and a half feet deep, but particulars will vary depending on the type of soil involved. The holes should always be below the frost line in your part of the world regardless.

  3. 3

    Plant your posts, making sure that they stick out of the ground at the same height. Measure posts on the hill carefully: they should be at an identical height as measured from a right angle to the ground rather than the post's actual height. Otherwise, they will be too short.

  4. 4

    Fill the holes with dirt and pat them down, checking each time to ensure that the post height is accurate.

  5. 5

    Place tension bands on the end posts. You should use a number of tension bands equal to the height of the posts in feet, minus 1. For example, a 5-foot tall post should have 4 tension bands in place.

  6. 6

    Place terminal caps on the end posts.

  7. 7

    Connect line post tops to the line posts and then attach the line rails, one by one, between posts. This may not be possible with some types of chain link fence, in which case you may need to skip this step and install the webbing directly.

  8. 8

    Unroll the chain link webbing and lay it on the ground beside the posts. Include a little bit of extra material on each end (it can be cut away when you make the bias cut).

  9. 9

    Walk along the length of webbing, raising it up and attaching it to each post as you go. Start with the terminal post at the top or the bottom of the hill, and pull the webbing taut between the posts before securing it with fence ties.

  10. 10

    Make bias cuts in the webbing at the top and the bottom of the hill. As you pull the fence taut, you'll notice that it will extend past the terminal posts at an angle. Insert the tension bar through the webbing at an angle parallel to the post. Then cut the diamonds in the fabric directly along the post. That will allow for an even spacing, making the fence look nice. Do not cut every wire: you need to make sure they can still be held securely on the terminal posts. A simple equation to help determine where to cut is to simply count the number of weaves that go past the post and the number of vertical diamonds in the webbing. Divide the number of diamonds by the number of weaves. That's the number of wires which must be cut.

Tips and warnings

  • If your chain link fencing includes horizontal areas as well as a hill, it pays to install those areas first. Trying to perform a bias cut with webbing longer than necessary makes things extremely complicated. Treat the sloped fencing as a separate, autonomous piece of construction when you install it.
  • When making a bias cut, it's best to proceed conservatively until you have some experience at it. Check the webbing for stress points along the terminal rail as you cut, and always make your cuts in the middle of the wire between the angles.

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