Adding a chain link fence to the home is a great way to increase the security of the yard and help to ensure the safety of pets and kids while they run and play outdoors. The material required is typically more affordable than wooden fence material, and the ongoing maintenance costs are also lower. While you could spend more than $5,000 to have a professional install the fence, it's a project that an experienced DIYer could take on in order to save on labor costs.
The average cost for a DIYer to install a chain link fence is between $1,150 to $3,000, with a national average of about $2,000. However, the final costs are determined by a wide range of factors, including length, height, gauge, material, posts, hardware, and several additional considerations.
Understanding the Parts of a Chain Link Fence
Before trying to figure out the costs of a chain link fence, it's necessary to understand the various parts of the fence, including corner posts, line posts, top rail sleeves, chain link mesh, wire tires, tensioning wire, end caps, loop caps, tension bars, and tension bands.
Corner posts and gate posts are installed in the corners of the fence and on either side of any gates. These posts are larger in diameter than line posts in order to provide better support to these vulnerable parts of the fence. Line posts are smaller, but they also serve to support the fence. These posts are installed about every 10 feet between corner or gate posts.
The top rail sleeve refers to the horizontal post that extends along the top of the fence between the vertical posts. It supports the chain link mesh that makes up the bulk of the chain link fence. Tensioning wire runs along the bottom of the chain link mesh to keep it tightly stretched between the vertical line and corner posts.
End caps are used on corner and gate posts to secure the top rail sleeve, while the loop caps are installed on the line posts to help support the top rail sleeve. Each corner will also need a tension bar installed with tension bands to keep the chain link mesh properly secured and stretched between the posts.
Determine the Length, Height, and Type of Chain Link Fence
In order to find out the cost of the chain link fence, the first thing you will need to do is measure the perimeter of the area that you would like to enclose. This is the amount of chain link mesh and top rail sleeve that will need to be purchased to complete the fence. The height of the fence is also an important consideration because the chain link mesh, posts, and other support pieces will increase in cost with a taller fence. Typically, chain link fences measure between 3 to 6 feet, though chain link fence materials are available in heights of up to 12 feet.
Another factor to keep in mind is the gauge or mesh thickness of the chain link mesh. The thicker the gauge of the wire, the more durable the fence will be, but it will also cost more, ranging from $1.50 to $10 per linear foot depending on the gauge. Similarly, the size of the diamonds in the chain link mesh can be selected from just 1 inch to 5 inches. Smaller diamonds result in stronger fences, but they cost more due to the increased material used to make the fence.
Factor in Gates, Posts, Concrete, and Privacy Slats
After determining the length of the fence, you need to decide how many gates will be installed, where they will be installed, and the size of the gates. Gates can range in price from about $100 for a simple swing gate up to $400, though a driveway gate has a much wider range that can exceed $8,000 for a fully automatic system.
Use the perimeter and gate information to calculate the number of corner, line, and gate posts for the fence. Typically, the posts will cost between $7 to $30 each, depending on the height of the fence and thickness of the posts, with an average post cost of about $3 per linear foot.
Chain link fence posts need to be installed at least 2 feet in the ground and should be set with concrete for support. The concrete mix varies from just $5 to $20 per bag, and then there are privacy slats to consider. After installing the chain link fence it will be secure, but if you want to keep nosy neighbors from prying into your daily life, installing privacy slats will cost about $3 to $5 per linear foot.
Consider Permits and Additional Hardware
Before installing the fence, you may need to get a permit. Check the local by-laws and regulations and be prepared to pay between $50 to $300 for a standard building permit. It's also advised to stick to the guidelines set out within the permit to avoid having to remove a newly installed fence that may be too close to the property line.
Keep in mind that the fence will require additional hardware, like wire tires, tensioning wire, end caps, loop caps, tension bars, and tension bands. This hardware is necessary to secure the posts, chain link mesh, and top rail sleeve together.
How Much a Chain Link Fence Can Cost
With all costs considered, the average expense for a DIYer to install a chain link fence is about $5 to $20 per linear foot, while the cost for a professional to take on the job ranges from $15 to $40 per linear foot. However, fences that are 6 feet or taller can exceed $5,000 for installation.