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Thinking About Installing a Chain Link Fence?

Chain Link Fence Costs, Maintenance and Installation Tips

Chain-link fences are popular because they are affordable, practical and low maintenance. Also known as the cyclone, hurricane or diamond-mesh fences, chain-link fences are made by weaving a metal wire in a diamond shape.

Chain-link fences are the least expensive of all fences, priced much lower than wooden, aluminum, wrought-iron or vinyl fences. Expect to pay about $8 to $15 per linear foot for a residential chain-link fence, depending on the size and type. We’ll get into more details about pricing later in this guide.

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About Chain-Link Fences

Chain-link fences are used in residential, commercial and industrial settings. The gauge, or thickness of the wire, is typically determined by the use. For residential or light industrial use, a thinner 11-gauge fencing is common. For commercial applications, 9-gauge is more common. For high-security use, 6-gauge is best. The diamond size varies, too, but the most common size is 2 inches.

Chain-link fences also vary in their protective coating:

  • Galvanized chain-link fences are hot dipped in galvanized steel. These are the most common, with the metal, industrial-looking finish you’re used to seeing with chain-link fences.
  • Vinyl-coated (or PVC-coated) chain-link fences are a little more decorative. They come in a variety of colors, although black is the most popular. This type is becoming popular for residential use because it is more attractive, but it is also more expensive.

Stainless steel chain-link fences are available, too. However, they are far more expensive and far less common. Homeowners and businesses seeking privacy can opt for slats woven into the chain links, but this option is pricey, too.

Chain link fences are available in a variety of heights, with most ranging from 3 to 12 feet. Residential fences are typically 4 or 6 feet tall. Special sizes are available on request, but custom work comes with a much higher price tag.

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Cost of a Chain-Link Fence

The price of a chain link fence depends on the gauge, the materials used, the height of the fence, the diamond size and the length of the fence.

  • Galvanized chain-link fences usually cost $8 to $12 per linear foot, including installation. The average backyard is about 150 linear feet, so that works out to about $1,200 to $1,800.
  • Vinyl-coated versions typically cost about $10 to $15 per linear foot, including installation. That works out to $1,500 to $2,250 for 150 linear feet.
  • A 4-foot fence would probably fall on the low end of those price ranges, while a 6-foot fence would likely fall on the high end.
  • Removal and haul away of an old chain-link fence usually costs an extra $2 to $5 per square foot.
  • The price of a commercial chain-link fence is difficult to estimate. But if you’re talking about heights above 6 feet or security-type fences, budget at least $15 to $20 per liner foot.

Pros and Cons of Chain Link Fences

Chain-link fences are great for keeping children and pets safely within the yard. They can also be effective for security, particularly when they’re 6 feet or taller. Tall chain-link fences are difficult to climb. Of course, affordability is a major selling point.

On the downside, chain-link fences are not considered as attractive as other types of fences. In some cases, neighborhood associations don’t allow them, so be sure to check before hiring a company to build one. Chain-link fences also do not provide much privacy, unless you opt for pricey slats between the chain links. And they will start to rust eventually, although that may take 10 or 15 years.

Chain Link Fence Installation

Chain link fences are relatively easy to install because they are so lightweight. A professional installation job might only take a day or two - particularly if your yard is small and ground conditions are good.

If you’re a skilled do-it-yourselfer, you might want to tackle installation yourself. Here’s what you can expect to pay for materials:

  • Fifty feet of fencing costs anywhere from $50 to $250, depending on type, gauge and height.
  • Gates cost about $50 to $200.
  • Steel posts start at about $25 each.
  • Hardware usually runs about $20 per package.

Chain Link Fence Maintenance

Chain link fences are very easy to maintain - simply clean them once a year with soapy water and a scrub brush. Trim any vines or plants that have attached to the fence. Rust can be removed with vinegar.

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