How to support wood fence panels between the posts

Written by chris deziel Google
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How to support wood fence panels between the posts
Making modular panels is the easiest way to build a fence on a slope. (chicken on a fence image by Ruth Ann Angus from

Setting fence posts and extending railings between them is straightforward when you build a fence on level ground. When the ground is sloped, however, it becomes more complicated, and an effective alternative is to build modular panels and attach them to the posts. Building in this way allows you to tier the panels to follow the slope. It's important to build the panels so that the fit between the posts is close. Once you do this, you just have to lift them into position and set them on pre-installed corner brackets.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Carpenter's square
  • Drill
  • No. 2 Phillips bit
  • 1 1/4-inch galvanised screws
  • Spirit level
  • 2-inch galvanised steel corner brackets
  • 3-inch galvanised screws

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  1. 1

    Measure along a post from the ground to the place where you would like the bottom of the panel to be, using a tape measure. This distance should be between 2 to 6 inches. If the ground is sloped, make this measurement on the post on the highest ground. Make a mark on the post with a pencil, then draw a line through it with a carpenter's square. The line should be perpendicular to the post.

  2. 2

    Drive a temporary screw on the line with a drill, tie on the end of a line level, and stretch it to an adjacent post. Make a mark on that post when the line is perfectly horizontal and draw a line through the mark.

  3. 3

    Screw 2-inch corner brackets to the posts on the lines. The bottoms of the brackets should extend downward from the line, and the angle should be on it. Drive 1 1/4-inch galvanised screws into the holes in the brackets with a drill and a No. 2 Phillips bit.

  4. 4

    Lift the panel between the posts and set it down on the corner brackets. Adjust it so the gap between the posts on either side is the same, then level it with a spirit level. Drive 3-inch screws through the panel, near the top, into the posts on either side to temporarily hold it steady.

  5. 5

    Drive screws into the corner brackets into the bottom of the panel. Place two more corner brackets on the top of the panel, against the posts, and affix them to the panel and posts with screws.

  6. 6

    Remove the two screws that were temporarily holding the panel in place.

Tips and warnings

  • If the gap between the panel and the posts is less than 1/4 inch, leave the temporary screws in place and drive two more near the bottom. They will give extra support, and the small gap will make them invisible.
  • The posts must be firmly set. If they are in concrete, let the concrete dry before you place the panel.

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