Racking An Aluminum Fence Panel To Follow Yard Grade
In an ideal world, your yard would be level, flat and fence ready. However, that’s rarely the case in the real world. When utilizing our Infinity Aluminum fence you have an advantage due to the construction of the fence panels and their ability to rack.
Let’s take a closer look at how this racking action works. If you look at the face of the aluminum fence rail, you will see that the upright pickets are connected to the rail with a screw. On the iron fence piece you will see there is no screw. On the iron pieces, the rail is welded to the picket. This is the one of the main construction differences between iron and aluminum.
With the aluminum fence panels having this screwed together construction, you can angle the railing while the picket remains upright. This is often referred to a ‘racking’ action and its utilized to follow downhill or uphill grades in your yard.
Holding one end of the panel steady while pushing up or down on the other end will pivot the pickets on the screw in the rail. This effectively angles the fence panel rails while keeping the pickets upright. This is what is referred to a ‘racking’ an aluminum fence panel.
Our standard Infinity Aluminum fence panels can rack 10” over the 6ft panel width. That means that from one side of the 6ft wide fence panel to the other, you can compensate for a change in yard slope up to 10”.
One thing to keep in mind is that the goal isn’t to so much follow every little dip and change in the yard with the fence. The racking action is more for when you have a continual slope over a run that the fence needs to run down.
When shopping for an aluminum fence, you may find other manufacturers have panels that can rack much more than 10”. We don’t offer more than 10” for two reasons.
The first is that the more you rack the panel, the closer the pickets get to each other. So as you keep increasing that racking action, your pickets get closer and closer. Now the racked panel looks out of place because your racked panel has an inch and a half air gap and all the others have almost a 4” air gap.
The second is that to get more than 10” of rack per panel, you have to keep widening the punched hole in your rail to allow the picket to move further. So while it will allow the panel to rack further, you end up with an almost unsightly sized rail punch that is ridiculously larger than your picket. Great for your racked panels, but a bit silly looking on your non-racked panels. That larger punched hole also means a looser connection and a flimsier panel.
So for those reasons, we keep our aluminum panel racking to 10”. It’s a good compromise of functionality, looks and construction.
I hope this has helped illustrate what ‘racking’ an aluminum fence panel means. If your yard’s slope exceeds the 10” over 6ft rack of our panels, have no fear. We have ways in addition to racking to work with steeper slopes. Just give us your project details and we can review different options.
Got more questions about following grade or racking our aluminum panels? Give us a call at 800-261-2729 or shoot an email to email@example.com . We look forward to hearing from you!
Iron Fence Shop®
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