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Follow the slope or keep top level?


c1351996's Avatar
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FL

12-06-17, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Follow the slope or keep top level?

Hello all,

Planning to replace existing shadowbox fence, parts of which are on a slight slope, which existing does not follow with full length pickets, rather Installer appears to have cut the pickets, on the bottom. along slope, and kept top level. I know it doesn't look like it ,in the pic, but it is level on top.

The fence is only 68.5" at house, then gradually pickets get longer and work up to the allowed 72" as you go away from house down slope, to the gate hinge post. The majority of the fence is on level ground after a 90 degree turn up into backyard, so my main concern is this gate area, especially, if I use PVC. A local supplier says he can only make square PVC gates NOT sloped but I'm still considering wood.

That said,, what would you do, at gate area...Follow the slope with full pickets/panels or cut them to keep top level?

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Marq1's Avatar
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12-06-17, 09:53 AM   #2 (permalink)  
Keep top level as much as possible even stepping vs following slope which looks horrible!

 
Wirepuller38's Avatar
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TN

12-06-17, 11:45 AM   #3 (permalink)  
Keep all pickets the same height and follow the slope.

 
c1351996's Avatar
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12-06-17, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)  
That's what I thought!

FWIW: A quick search seems to tell me, the general rule of thumb is to keep all pickets the same height and follow the slope. That said, if following the slope with PVC, there are a couple of concerns, that come to mind:
1) There's going to be a pizza slice shaped gap, at the house. How would you deal with that gap?
2) What issues , if any, can potentially arise from the PVC gate following the slope?

 
Wirepuller38's Avatar
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12-07-17, 06:55 AM   #5 (permalink)  
When following the slope, all pickets are the same height and all pickets are plumb.

 
beelzebob's Avatar
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CT

12-07-17, 07:50 AM   #6 (permalink)  
Follow the old layout unless you want to move fence posts. Being the fence is enclosing a pool there has to be regulations for allowable gaps at the bottom and minimum fence height. Make sure your replacement meets both.

 
c1351996's Avatar
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12-07-17, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Posted By: beelzebob Follow the old layout unless you want to move fence posts. Being the fence is enclosing a pool there has to be regulations for allowable gaps at the bottom and minimum fence height. Make sure your replacement meets both.
Thanks!
I'm following the old layout as close as I can and have removed first 2 posts. The one just behind house was easy, about a foot of concrete down, it was sitting on top of foundation;. The gate hinge post was a BIATCH! 3.5 feet of concrete down a 7" wide strip of earth between concrete, on 2 sides and pavers on another. Needless to say, some pavers had to come out. That said, whether, I go with PVC or wood will determine exactly where new posts must go. Code here says: wood posts every 4 ft vs PVC post every 6 ft.; I can't put new middle stringer in middle, it must be higher so it can't be used as a step, to climb over. Because of pool, I also believe there's a minimum height requirement on the latch/lock. I'll ask about allowable gap at bottom, as well as, min. fence height.

 
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12-13-17, 07:17 AM   #8 (permalink)  
From the look of the picture it seems the installer did cut the bottom of the fence to follow the grade... But you do not have to.... I mean, there are options.

One, you could move the gate over towards the house... Moving it over about another foot or so would allow the gate to be more on the flat of the grade... thus you could have an even top on the right as well as the left of the gate... Then after that you can slope the top of the fence down to the corner height... then straight around the yard.
You could also bring the gate directly up to the house... making the first post, closest to the house the latch post.... Then the gate surely would be in the flat of the grade... then again, following the slope of the grade down towards the corner.. sloping down on top...
Steps being a good look or a bad look are at the eyes of the beholder... I happen to feel they look very nice if done correctly. Correctly has a lot to do with gradual steps... even steps... and easier on the eyes... At no time should you step a fence unevenly... like one section down 4 inches,. the next down 2 ... and then the next down 6... that would look amazingly horrible.
Much of your fence can be done in either material... If you are looking for privacy, the solid Pvc around a pool looks awesome when installed... But depending on your climate conditions it may or may not have issues with the plastic longer term.

Wood works pretty much all the time.... But its life span is limited ... depending on weather conditions in your area wood could have a long term life, just as it could have a very short term life...

Pool fencing can be aluminum ... Which almost always looks amazing all on its own. Its life span is about as long as imaginable... It may fade after 20 or so years but the fence itself will still be standing long after you leave your home ... maybe even after the home is bought and sold a few times..
Chain link... can last about 50 years or so... like all fencing, chain link may need some repairs somewhere down the line... but chain link fencing repairs are the easiest of repairs.. as long as a post does not need replacement the fence itself is quite easy to fix.

As for the PVC gate being cut to slope....
okay,... the manufacturer says they can not cut the gate to slope... Maybe not... But I bet they could cut the gate to height ... If you need a slope of only 2 inches difference from the hinge side to the latch side, why not just cut the gate 2 inches shorter overall??

The space under the gate will not interfere with code... As long as no one can get through that 2 inch space the code is still enforced... But if you have any reservations about this information you could always call your town inspections office.

So,.,... Follow the slope or keep the top level....

I would keep the top level near the gates... then after the gates I would slope the top down to the corner on an even slope...

Steps would also work... But only if the steps look good with the gate. Being.. the gate is about 4 feet wide... if you must go 4 feet between posts on sections to follow code, those steps would look kind of short.. In that case I would slope the top... But if you are permitted to go 8 feet between posts and you have about 20 feet or so from the house to the corner of the property line I would go with the gate right off the house, then 2 sections stepped down to the corner...

Draw it out on paper... imagine it as it would look on paper... Drive around your neighborhood... look at other homes in the area to see what other people did, and how you feel about their way of doing things.

I am sure you will see several variations of installations for the very same conditions as your own home.

I hope this has helped somewhat...

Happy Holidays !

Greg's Fence NJ

Save a life, adopt a homeless animal~

 
c1351996's Avatar
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FL

12-20-17, 05:23 AM   #9 (permalink)  
Posted By: GregsFence From the look of the picture it seems the installer did cut the bottom of the fence to follow the grade... But you do not have to.... I mean, there are options.

One, you could move the gate over towards the house... Moving it over about another foot or so would allow the gate to be more on the flat of the grade... thus you could have an even top on the right as well as the left of the gate... Then after that you can slope the top of the fence down to the corner height... then straight around the yard.
You could also bring the gate directly up to the house... making the first post, closest to the house the latch post.... Then the gate surely would be in the flat of the grade... then again, following the slope of the grade down towards the corner.. sloping down on top...
Steps being a good look or a bad look are at the eyes of the beholder... I happen to feel they look very nice if done correctly. Correctly has a lot to do with gradual steps... even steps... and easier on the eyes... At no time should you step a fence unevenly... like one section down 4 inches,. the next down 2 ... and then the next down 6... that would look amazingly horrible.
Much of your fence can be done in either material... If you are looking for privacy, the solid Pvc around a pool looks awesome when installed... But depending on your climate conditions it may or may not have issues with the plastic longer term.

Wood works pretty much all the time.... But its life span is limited ... depending on weather conditions in your area wood could have a long term life, just as it could have a very short term life...

Pool fencing can be aluminum ... Which almost always looks amazing all on its own. Its life span is about as long as imaginable... It may fade after 20 or so years but the fence itself will still be standing long after you leave your home ... maybe even after the home is bought and sold a few times..
Chain link... can last about 50 years or so... like all fencing, chain link may need some repairs somewhere down the line... but chain link fencing repairs are the easiest of repairs.. as long as a post does not need replacement the fence itself is quite easy to fix.

As for the PVC gate being cut to slope....
okay,... the manufacturer says they can not cut the gate to slope... Maybe not... But I bet they could cut the gate to height ... If you need a slope of only 2 inches difference from the hinge side to the latch side, why not just cut the gate 2 inches shorter overall??

The space under the gate will not interfere with code... As long as no one can get through that 2 inch space the code is still enforced... But if you have any reservations about this information you could always call your town inspections office.

So,.,... Follow the slope or keep the top level....

I would keep the top level near the gates... then after the gates I would slope the top down to the corner on an even slope...

Steps would also work... But only if the steps look good with the gate. Being.. the gate is about 4 feet wide... if you must go 4 feet between posts on sections to follow code, those steps would look kind of short.. In that case I would slope the top... But if you are permitted to go 8 feet between posts and you have about 20 feet or so from the house to the corner of the property line I would go with the gate right off the house, then 2 sections stepped down to the corner...

Draw it out on paper... imagine it as it would look on paper... Drive around your neighborhood... look at other homes in the area to see what other people did, and how you feel about their way of doing things.

I am sure you will see several variations of installations for the very same conditions as your own home.

I hope this has helped somewhat...

Happy Holidays !

Greg's Fence NJ
Thanks!
I don't think moving the gate is a real option because the gate is at the concrete walkway that comes from pool.

As for steps, if I use wood, I must go 4 feet between posts (6 feet with PVC) on sections to follow code. That said, without seeing it, I tend to agree; the steps would look kind of short.

As for material, I've ruled out aluminum and chain link so I'm deciding between PT pine and PVC. Which would you use in South Florida?

As for the PVC gate being cut to slope,
Yes, the manufacturer says they can cut the gate 2 inches shorter overall but talked about me buying an extra piece to attach myself, which would cover the gap, which didn't sound very appealing, to me. Driving around, I saw some with larger gaps at bottom, which I did not like, either.

As for keeping the top level near the gates... then after the gates sloping the top down to the corner on an even slope; that's is like existing, which means I lose some height, as I move toward the house. To do this with PVC, I'd have to get Un-assembled panels and cut the bottom of the fence, just like wood, then Re-assemble, in order to follow the grade,.

That said, how about a PVC fence gate on a slope, like pictured below, which keeps height? FWIW, that looks like the size of my slope from house but mine is about 17-20 feet long.

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c1351996's Avatar
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12-28-17, 08:03 AM   #10 (permalink)  
I've yet to find a supplier, who can replicate the existing gate, with a PVC gate i.e. sloped on bottom but level on top. I'm also learning fast, that all PVC fencing is not the same. From what I understand, "Professional/commercial grade" fences are made of virgin vinyl/PVC; walls are .150 inches (0.4 cm) thick vs .120 or .135 inches (0.3 cm) with added aluminum and/or stainless steel rail supports, while consumer grade could be made of recycled plastics, and/or scraps, for many of the ‘big box’ stores.

T&G vs. brackets, pre-assembled vs. un-assembled, some of which can be "Racked" a small amount. Hollow 4x4 posts, hollow 4x4 posts that come with 4x4 PT pine inserts; hollow 5x5 posts; hollow 5x5 gate posts that take aluminum inserts. Apparently, some PVC fences can be repaired by the piece vs by the panel.

That said, PT pine is starting to look a lot better, just from a research & shopping, perspective.

 
c1351996's Avatar
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12-31-17, 07:56 AM   #11 (permalink)  
Seems, this site is not as active, as it once was.
IIWII
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!

 
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