Chain Link Fencing: A Comprehensive Review

Looking at chain link fencing for your next project? Esteemed for its ease of installation and affordability, chain link fences serve diverse purposes very effectively. In this article our experts are going over all the chain link fence essentials from setup to costs to durability for both residential and commercial properties.

Key Takeaways

  • Chain link fencing offers economical, durable, and versatile solutions for security and boundary demarcation in residential and commercial settings.
  • Some of the many customizable options include height, color coatings, and additional security features like barbed wire.
  • Installing chain link fences is generally cost-effective and more straightforward than many alternatives. However, it still requires adherence to safety and regulatory standards, accurate measurement and secure embedding of posts in concrete for stability.
  • Despite potential challenges like sagging or tension wire damage, chain link fencing remains a practical choice due to its low maintenance, ease of repairs, and adaptability across various applications from sports facilities to high-security areas.

Introduction to Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fencing, with its distinct diamond-patterned mesh, is a common sight around the globe. Known by various names such as wire netting, wire-mesh fence, chain-wire fence, cyclone fence, or diamond-mesh fence, these fences are typically made from galvanized steel wire and sometimes coated with linear low-density polyethylene. The design was first brought to life in 1844 by Charles Barnard, who used cloth weaving technology to create the first machine-made chain link fencing. This innovative approach was refined in the mid-1890s when the American Chain Link Fence Company patented a continuous wire fabric.

The design is favored for various uses such as residential fencing, tennis courts, and utility substations due to its low cost and the open weave design that allows sunlight to pass through.

Unique Selling Points of Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fences are renowned for their strength, durability and adaptability, making them a reliable choice for securing high-security areas such as military installations and warehouses. They serve as a preventative measure against unauthorized access in commercial settings. Yet, the versatility of chain link fencing stretches beyond commercial use. Chain link fencing can be found in residential neighborhoods across the country. It’s also used around sports fields, swimming pools, and other diverse outdoor settings.

The chain link fence design offers flexibility in size and style adjustments can easily be made. Some of the customization options include:

  • Heights of up to 20 feet
  • Incorporation of features like barbed wire for enhanced security
  • Availability of vinyl-coated mesh in various colors
  • Single-door and double-door gates
  • Different gauges for strength

These options allow you to create a chain link fence that meets your specific needs and preferences.

Chain link fencing stands as an economical and practical choice. It offers considerable cost savings and a lifespan that often surpasses two decades.

Who Chooses Chain Link Fencing

A lot of property owners find value in chain link fencing. Homeowners appreciate its affordability and adequate property protection, making it an excellent option for securing residences.

Businesses often choose chain link fencing to delineate property boundaries and enhance security measures, including support for flood barriers. In the education sector, schools implement chain link fencing to ensure a secure student environment while maintaining visibility for supervision.

Beyond homes, businesses, and schools, chain link fences are commonly used in rural sectors such as kennels and farms, providing secure containment for animals and large open spaces, often featuring gates for easy access.

Chain link fencing, therefore, serves a broad audience, offering practical solutions for various needs.

Setting Up Your Chain Link Fence

The material is fairly easy to work with, but setting up a chain link fence requires careful planning and execution. It begins with measuring the length of the required fence in linear feet and determining the exact dimensions of the area to be enclosed. Before the digging begins, you’ll also need to locate underground utilities to avoid any injuries or costly damages. Next you’ll need to mark the fence line and post locations.

To assure stability, posts are embedded in thickly mixed concrete to avoid sinking. The fence installation process includes the following steps:

  1. Embedding posts in concrete
  2. Ensuring even spacing and tautness of the fence material
  3. Fitting posts with rails and tension bands
  4. Attaching the modular fence system

This installation method allows for easy future repairs or modifications if needed. Despite some challenges, such as vinyl-coated wire weight and wind-prone area regulations, the ease of installation and reduced labor costs make chain link fencing a more cost-effective choice than vinyl and other fence options like wrought iron.

Safety Precautions to Take During a Chain Link Fence Installation

The chain link fence installation process places a high emphasis on safety. A thorough land surveying must be conducted before installing a chain link fence to determine the precise boundaries and characteristics of the property for correct placement and adherence to regulations. In some cases, landscaping or land clearing might be needed before installation, primarily if there is vegetation along the fence line. Clearing the area ensures a clear path for installation and improved safety.

Post-installation also requires careful attention to detail. The plumb of posts should be checked with a level before setting them in concrete to ensure they are installed straight, which is crucial for the overall stability of the fence. Sight posts along the fence line should be checked for smooth transitions and adjusted for gradual slopes, avoiding sharp changes that could compromise the integrity and safety of the fence.

Other safety considerations to keep in mind during a chain link fence installation include:

  • Holes for the fence posts must be of the correct depth and diameter for the stability and safety of the fence structure.
  • Stakes should not be disturbed or moved during layout to maintain accurate post placement.
  • Tension bands should be spaced evenly to maintain tension and safety along the fence.
  • Appropriate tools like post hole diggers, spud bars, or augers should be utilized for creating fence post holes, which aids in the safe and effective installation of the fence.

Aesthetic Appeal of Chain Link Fencing

You may not think of high design when you think of a chain link fence, but various design options make them adaptable to different styles. Chain link fences can be vinyl-coated in different colors, you can add reed or bamboo panels, or even adorned with colored cups to add an artistic flair.

Chain link fencing is even utilized in creative and commercial spaces for art installations and sports. Fields and parks use chain link fencing to close in areas without obstructing views and enabling the display of banners.

While the basic appearance of chain link fencing can affect property value negatively, this can be mitigated by landscaping, vinyl coating and privacy measures.

Material Durability of Chain Link Fencing

The longevity of chain link fencing, especially when constructed from rust-resistant galvanized steel, makes it a durable choice for decades in harsh weather conditions. For additional tensile strength and weather resistance, aluminum or stainless steel materials are also utilized for chain link fences, with stainless steel being the most sturdy option.

Maintenance for chain link fencing is generally straightforward, requiring regular cleaning and occasional application of protective sealants to mitigate common issues like rust and corrosion. Damaged sections of chain link fences can be easily replaced, ensuring a consistent appearance and extending the fence’s lifespan. Some options for repairing or enhancing chain link fences include:

  • Replacing damaged sections with new chain link material
  • Adding vinyl-coated chain link for additional resistance to corrosion and UV rays
  • Applying powder coating or vinyl coating to add a layer of protection and color choices to align with property aesthetics

These options can help maintain the integrity and appearance of your chain link fence.

Another benefit is that chain link fences are recyclable, allowing them to be responsibly disposed of or potentially resold as scrap metal.

How User-Friendly is Chain Link Fencing?

The user-friendly features of chain link fencing are what set it apart. It is low-maintenance, eliminating the need for periodic painting or staining. The maintenance costs are minimal, often requiring just cleaning with water and soap, thanks to rust-resistant coatings.

The installation of chain link fencing is definitely easier and less labor-intensive than that of wooden, vinyl or wrought iron fences. Adjustments to chain link fencing, such as removing excess material, can be done by simply unweaving strands, and it is securely attached using tie wires every 24 inches along the top rail.

Repairs to chain link fencing are also relatively simple, often being more straightforward than repairs for other types of fences.

Real-World Performance of Chain Link Fencing

The versatility of chain link fencing is evident in its wide range of real-world applications. Chain link fencing is commonly used for:

  • baseball and softball backstops
  • racetracks
  • parks
  • transportation facilities
  • highways
  • industrial sites
  • construction zones
  • playgrounds
  • public recreational areas
  • commercial properties
  • dog enclosures

Top Advantages of Chain Link Fences

Affordability and versatility aren’t the only reasons that property owners choose chain link fences. Other top advantages are:

  • Enhancing security without causing hazards.
  • Allowing for visibility in commercial and recreational settings while enclosing an area.
  • Providing weather protection with windscreens.
  • Offering increased security for animals and children.

Their adaptability and job functionality in diverse settings underscore the exceptional real-world performance of chain link fences.

Potential Challenges With Chain Link Fencing

While chain link fencing offers numerous advantages, it can come with a few challenges as well. Some of these potential challenges include:

  • Extensive damage from time and wear may force the replacement of an entire chain link fence.
  • The fencing can sag or droop over time.
  • Tension wires on chain link fences can stretch or snap from continuous stress, such as large dogs repeatedly jumping against the fencing.

You may run into one of these challenges, but typically they don’t significantly detract from the overall benefits of chain link fencing.

Is Chain Link Fencing Worth It?

Cost is a significant factor in assessing the value of chain link fencing. Chain link fences are more affordable than wood fences, typically ranging from $5 to $20 per linear foot. Installation labor costs can vary, costing between $5 to $25 per linear foot for a chain link fence. Additional costs include:

  • Fence removal at $3 to $5 per linear foot
  • Land surveying fees averaging around $500
  • Permit costs averaging $200
  • Potential excavation costs for uneven land

The overall cost of a chain link fence is influenced by factors such as the length, height, and material quality, with higher-grade materials resulting in increased costs.

Alternatives to Chain Link Fencing

While chain link fencing is versatile and cost-effective, it may not meet everyone’s specific needs or aesthetic preferences. For those seeking alternatives, the options include:

  • Wood fences
  • Vinyl fences
  • Aluminum fences
  • Wrought iron fences
  • Various types of masonry fences

Wood fences, for instance, can range from $20 to $50 per linear foot, offering a more private and aesthetically pleasing option than chain link fences.

For those seeking a more cost-effective solution, simple wire mesh or split rail fences can be cheaper than chain link fences. Vinyl, aluminum, and masonry fences like brick or stone provide long-lasting and custom aesthetic alternatives to chain link fencing at a higher price.


In conclusion, chain link fencing provides a versatile, affordable, and durable solution for various fencing needs. From residential properties to commercial spaces, its applications are vast. Despite potential challenges, the benefits of chain link fencing, such as its ease of installation, low maintenance, and flexibility in design, undeniably make it a viable choice for many property owners.

Whether you seek security, affordability, durability, or a combination of these attributes, chain link fencing presents a compelling option.

One company that has made a significant mark in the field of chain link fencing is the Purple Fencing Company. Known for its professionalism, punctuality, respectfulness, and superior craftsmanship, it has been recognized with 5-star ratings and the title of ‘Best Austin Fence Contractors 2021’.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a 100-foot chain link fence?

A 100-foot chain link fence would cost around $800 to $2,000, with the average cost being approximately $1,200.

Is it cheaper to do a wood or chain link fence?

Chain link fences are usually more affordable than wood fences due to the lower cost of materials and reduced labor. However, additional features like gates or vinyl coating can raise the cost per foot of a chain link fence.

What is the purpose of chain link fencing?

Chain link fencing serves many purposes. The primary reasons people install chain link fences are improved safety, enhanced security and to delineate property lines.

What types of properties can chain link fencing secure?

Chain link fencing can secure the perimeter of various properties large and small such as pools, yards, parks, sports courts, schools, commercial spaces and industrial properties. It is a versatile option for security no matter where it’s installed.

What are the available sizes for chain link fencing?

Chain link fencing is available in several sizes, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs.

Call Today for Your Free,
Same-day Inspection and Quote

At Purple Fencing Company, we have the knowledge and experience in chain link fence installations in Austin, as well as repairs and replacement fences. We are professional, on time, work quickly and efficiently, and are always responsive and available to our customers. The process of quoting a chain link fence installation involves inspecting the property, discussing the overall purpose to determine the best height, and planning where the gates should be placed. Whether for a large commercial property, or to help keep your home, dog run, or pool secure, we do it all.


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