How to Install a Chain Link Fence

Many homeowners and businesses choose chain link fence because it offers security. Chain Link Fence New Jersey visibility allows security guards and cameras to see trespassers. Razor wire or barbed wire often adds further protection. The tension bar woven into the end of the fence fabric makes it rigid. Use one at each end post, gate post and two at the corners.

Fence Installation

A chain link fence requires a series of posts to support the wire fabric. These posts can be metal or plastic, depending on the size of the fence and how much weight it will bear. Metal posts are more durable but require more upkeep than plastic ones. The first step in installing a chain link fence is digging the post holes correctly. The holes must be a third of the post length in diameter and deep enough to accommodate the concrete you will use to set the posts. Prior to digging, contact 811 to have utility companies mark any water, gas or power lines in the area.

End and corner posts are the main supporting poles of a chain link fence. They are made from galvanized steel and are typically 1-7/8-inch or 2-3/8-inch in diameter, though larger sizes can be used for extra strength. Line posts are smaller, usually 1-5/8 or 1-3/4-inch in diameter, and provide intermediate support between the end and corner posts of a fence run. Typically four-foot spacing for these posts is adequate.

A bottom tension wire adds rigidity to the bottom of a chain link fence, and should be ‘hog ringed’ to the line posts every 2′ on center. Typically two strands of this wire are used for each run, but you can choose to use fewer. It is important to use this wire with a proper splice, so that it is as strong as possible when stretched.

For a commercial job, a C-post fencing framework is a cost-effective solution. These posts are a U-shaped version of the standard line post, and are easier to drive into the ground than their larger counterparts. They also can handle heavier loads, making them a good choice for a heavy-duty fence.

A top rail runs along the top of the wire fence, and connects to each terminal post using a sleeve connector or carriage bolt. The loose end of the top wire should be’sandwiched’ between the brace band and bottom tension wire at each terminal post. In addition, the top rail may be connected to itself using a top rail sleeve at each intermediate post.

The chain link fence mesh is woven from coated steel wires that are bent in a zig-zag pattern to create a vertical diamond pattern. It is attached to posts that we embed in the ground for a long-lasting, sturdy support. To help minimize the in and out movement that happens at the bottom of the fence, a bottom tension wire is also stretched between terminal posts. For taller fences, a top horizontal rail is commonly added as well. For added strength and security, barbed wire is a common addition to the fence.

The mesh is available in a variety of heights to suit specific needs and a wide range of finishes to complement the surrounding environment. The most common is galvanized chain link, but other options are available for a more decorative look, such as PVC covered or stainless steel. Stainless steel is a popular choice for environments that are exposed to salt air, which accelerates the process of rusting that occurs in galvanized wire.

It is also possible to add privacy elements to the mesh, such as woven or welded vinyl slats, to reduce visibility and sound transmission. These are often referred to as privacy screens and provide an attractive, economical way to increase the privacy of an outdoor space.

When installing a chain wire fence, the fabric is stretched taught using a come-along cable puller winch and a stretcher bar, or “pole strap”. A length of steel or aluminum wire with a hook on one end, called a tie wire, is looped through each opening above the rail and then tightened to secure the mesh to the pole. Tie wires are usually placed every two feet along the fence.

For a residential chain link fence, determine how many linear feet of fencing you need and price the cost of the fabric in your chosen finish. Then, figure out the number of corner posts you need and the line posts (installed an average of 10 feet apart) to complete the project. Finally, add the cost of any finishing items you wish to include.

Besides the posts, mesh, and rails, chain link fences also require some hardware for structure and stability. These parts and attachments include fence ties, bottom tension wires, and rail end bands. Fence ties are steel or aluminum wires with a hook on one end that connect the line posts and rails to each other. These are then tied around the top of each terminal post and line post to help keep the fence stable. Some installers also use bottom tension wires, which are stretched between terminal posts to help minimize in and out movement of the bottom of the fabric between posts. For taller fences, 10 feet or more, some installers also add top horizontal rails for additional support and stability.

Most chain link fences are galvanized, which is a process that coats iron wires with zinc to help prevent them from rusting. Some are also coated with vinyl for a more attractive look. While these aesthetics are important, the main function of a chain-link fence is to provide security and safety.

A chain-link fence can be topped with barbed wire, which makes it more difficult for spontaneous climbers to scale the fence. Other toppings, such as metal slats, can also be added to increase privacy and security.

When installing a chain-link fence, it’s essential to follow the proper installation guidelines for your specific location. These steps can help ensure that your fence is sturdy and secure, so it will last for as long as possible.

The lifespan of your chain-link fence is going to depend on a lot of factors, including the quality of materials and the skills of the installers. However, the most important factor is how well you maintain your fence. This includes keeping it clean and applying a rust-resistant coating once a year.

When the concrete footings of your terminal posts have been allowed to fully set, it’s time to install the rail end bands and tension bands on each post. The tension band has a long flat surface that should face towards the outside of your fence, and it should be fitted tightly against the top of the terminal post (Fig. 7).

If you’re looking to enclose your home, garden or business, a chain link fence may be the right choice. While not as privacy-enhancing as wrought iron or cedar slat fencing, it offers good security at a more affordable price. It’s also a popular choice for schools, parks and athletic fields. But before you buy a chain link fence, check your local codes. Some cities, like Prosper, have banned all chain link fencing for residential properties, while others have strict height limits in the front and backyard.

Before beginning installation, call 811. This service marks underground water, gas and power lines before digging. If the company finds any of these utilities, they will notify you. Dig post holes using a shovel or two-person auger. Then, set end, corner and gate posts in concrete and brace them with stakes. Use a level to ensure that the posts are plumb. If the concrete seems too weak, add more.

Once the terminal posts are in place, install top rail in all stretches of the fence. During this phase, the installer often stretches a bottom tension wire (also called coil wire) to minimize in and out movement between terminal posts. They may also install a top horizontal rail in some stretches to reduce the amount of in and out movement at the bottom of the mesh. For high security applications the threads on the bolts can be ‘peened’ so that they can’t be removed easily.

Next, the installer installs terminal post rail caps to protect the posts. For added strength and rigidity, they may add a rail extension to connect two runs of top rail. This is especially important on long stretches of fence where the weight from the chain link could cause sagging. To finish off the project, the installer inserts tension bars through the last row of diamonds at one end of the fabric and fastens it to the terminal posts’ brace bands with carriage bolts. For high security applications, the fence ties are sometimes ‘pre-squeezed’ by squeezing the bands with a pair of fence pliers to prevent them from spreading and distorting the fittings on the posts.