The Ultimate Guide to Chain Link Fencing
Since 1844, the iconic diamond pattern we know today, known as chain-link fencing, has been used worldwide for various purposes. Yet, believe it or not, only 5% of American homes have any fencing in their front yards. However, that’s changing. If you’re looking to secure your home, you might be considering your different fencing options. Let’s explore chain-link fencing and how it can help improve your home or business.
Are There Different Types of Chain-Link Fences?
Yes, there are plenty of types of chain-link fencing to choose from, which means that we can abolish the myth that chain-link fences are less aesthetically pleasing than wooden ones. Chain-link fencing doesn’t have to look clunky or out of place; it just has to match your desired aesthetic.
Metallic-Coated Fencing: Chain-link fences are most often made of metal and have metal finishes. Galvanized metal finishes are prevalent for their longevity, strength, and resistance to weather. This is also the most economical finish, as you will find they are the cheapest option to install.
Color-Coated Fencing: Color-coated fencing may have a hard or soft finish on the outside, either with a hard gloss or a smooth coating. These are very popular for matching home or neighborhood aesthetics, surrounding gardens or playgrounds, or just for their look. Chain-link fences often come in black and green vinyl coated for a yard or business, which is the most popular option. Natural greens are undoubtedly popular for gardens, but it’s entirely up to you.
What Are the Parts of a Chain-Link Fence?
A chain-link fence has four key components and a few other smaller pieces to hold it together. First, the vertical posts that hold the structure upright are known as line posts. Next, the rails that go along the top of the fence, connecting to each line post, are known as top rails. There may be multiple rails for taller fences, but every chain-link fence has a top rail for support.
Third, you have the tension bar. This is the thinner vertical bar adjacent to the line posts, and they pull on the chain-link fencing to keep them snug and prevent them from bowing in or out.
Fourth, you have the tension wire, which is the most important of the fence parts, as it’s the diamond-patterned fencing we’re familiar with. Usually, this is steel wire folded into a diamond pattern, coming in rolls of 20 to 50 linear feet. These are the main components of the fencing, but the whole system would collapse without additional support.
First, you have the brace band and the tension band. These are both wrapped around the line posts, and the brace band connects directly to the top rail, holding them in place at a 90-degree angle. The tension band holds onto the tension bar, held together with a strong carriage bolt for stability. Next, and quite significantly, tie wires hold the fencing in place. These are wrapped around the top rails and folded over to fit snugly onto the fencing, preventing it from bowing.
Lastly, you have some end caps to prevent any sharp edges. Rail ends, and terminal post caps will create rounded ends to your posts, preventing injury and improving the aesthetic of your system. You will likely have a chain-link fence gate, hinges, locks, gate posts, and other equipment around your gates. You will likely have a concrete foundation for stability, either buried under the post holes or in line with the fence to prevent animals from digging underneath.
Are Chain-Link Fences a Good Choice for your Home?
Homeowners are turning to fences more in recent years, as people increasingly value privacy and security. Unless you have a homeowner’s association or local regulations around chain-link fencing, they are great options for keeping children or pets in and unwanted guests out. Small animals like rabbits and squirrels may come and go, but predators like coyotes won’t be able to get passed a closed chain-link fence.
Whether you’re protecting livestock, pets, children, or the cute birdfeeders in your yard, chain-link fences are an economically sound option for protecting your home. Again, if you’re worried about aesthetics, you can always choose a color-coated option.
Are Chain-Link Fences a Good Choice for your Business?
Honestly, there are few better options for commercial fencing than chain-link. Currently, 88% of businesses are experiencing more significant physical threats like theft, so installing some fencing is a great way to reduce security costs and perform your due diligence. Chain-link fences are easy to see through, meaning your cameras and security can see through to any potential prowler, and the fences make plenty of noise when people try to climb or cut through them. If you have items in your business’ lot or yard that you’re worried about getting stolen, it’s much harder to get items through a small hole in a chain-link fence than drive right through a wooden one.
Are Chain-Link Fences Safer Than a Wooden Fence?
Yes and no. Galvanized metal is far more secure for harsh weather conditions, rot, mold, pests, and natural disasters. However, it is not as secure from potential intruders, as chain-link fences are easier to cut through or climb over. A handy pair of wire cutters can cut through a chain-link fence, whereas a wooden fence may require a more obvious chainsaw. That’s not to say they aren’t as safe as wooden fences in other regards. Both types of fencing will be equally safe for a dog or children you need to keep in, assuming they are both the right height and have an appropriate gate locking system.
How Do You Install a Chain-Link Fence?
To install a chain-link fence, you need to dig several post holes and fill them with concrete. They hold the posts that will support the fence. Once the posts are level and even with each other, you will need to give the cement time to dry. After that, you essentially connect the top rails (and others for taller fences) to the line posts, held together by the loop caps. Then, you simply unravel the chain-link fencing and secure it with tie wires throughout.
How Long Does It Take to Install a Chain-Link Fence?
The entire process should take no longer than three days for a small yard or business property. At most, this is one day to measure and dig the post holes, one day to pour cement and level the fence posts, and one day to install the fence itself. Assuming the cement dries in one day, expect the project to take two days. However, the project could take weeks for a larger yard or commercial property. You will have to discuss this with your fencing contractor ahead of time.
Is Chain-Link Fencing Expensive?
Relative to wooden fencing, chain-link fencing is surprisingly affordable. The cost to install a wood fence is much higher due to the higher labor demand. Of course, that isn’t always the case. When it comes to materials, the costs of chain-link fences are comparable to different types of fences —in other words, the price depends mainly on the height. For a 20-foot chain-link fence designed for maximum security, you should expect to pay more than you would for a 6-foot wooden fence.
Considering the longevity of the investment and the peace of mind you’ll get with the security, it will be well worth it.
Pros and Cons of Chain-Link Fences
We’ve already covered some of the benefits of chain-link fences. They’re durable, affordable, safe, effective, versatile, and quick to install. However, there are some downsides to them.
One downside is obvious, and it’s the lack of privacy. For a home or business that wants privacy on their property, a chain-link fence won’t exactly offer the same benefits as a wooden fence.
However, if privacy isn’t what you’re going for, then a chain-link fence will still be a helpful boundary for your property, deterring passers-by, keeping pets in the yard, and more.
Lastly, a standard chain-link fence may not fit with the aesthetic of your home or neighborhood. But, that’s entirely dependent on where you live and what your tastes are.
Keep It Safe
Now that you know everything there is to know about chain-link fencing, you can make an informed decision for your home or business needs. Chain-link fencing is strong, and it lasts for a long time with minimal (if any) upkeep, so it’s an excellent investment for your wallet. Stay up to date with our latest fencing news, and feel free to contact us with any questions or help with your fencing needs.