What are the Best Tips for Chain Link Fence Installation?

Dan Cavallari

Chain link fence is one of the best fencing options for security, and while such fences are not the most visually appealing, they are long-lasting and form an effective barrier. Chain link fence installation is not difficult, but it requires patience and a fair amount of planning. Before installing the fence, look at several different fence options and remember that a fence made from thinner metals will be cheaper but weaker. Thicker metals will be more expensive but will end up lasting significantly longer. When chain link fence installation begins, start by installing the corner posts and measuring the rest from there.

Chain link fence fabric is made from galvanized steel mesh that should be weaved into an even diamond pattern.
Chain link fence fabric is made from galvanized steel mesh that should be weaved into an even diamond pattern.

Spend some time making sure the tops of all the posts are even. If the yard is uneven, some posts will have to be dug down deeper than others; this step will make chain link fence installation much easier and will make the fence look more even when finished. After the corner posts have been installed, measure carefully to ensure the other posts are placed evenly and in line with the corners. Dig post holes that extend below the frost line so the hardened concrete will not be prone to cracking or upward movement. The holes should be wider at the bottom than at the top so frost pushes the concrete down and secures it in place, rather than pushing it upward out of the ground.

The next step in chain link fence installation is pouring the concrete properly. The concrete should extend above the ground slightly so rainwater or other moisture does not collect on top of the concrete, causing cracking later on. Make sure the holes that will accept the concrete are dug far enough away from the property line that they will not extend into a neighbor's yard. Once the concrete is poured, allow it to dry for one to two days before installing the chain links. Installing too early may cause the posts to lean, causing sagging in the chain links.

Chain link fence installation is done properly by pulling the chain links tightly from post to post. If the chain links are not pulled tightly enough, the fence will begin to sag after time, allowing gaps to form. Do a final check to make sure the fence is exactly where it should be; if it is not, dig up the posts and start over. The initial measurements taken before installation began should prevent this step from being necessary, but if a problem does arise, take care of it immediately to avoid boundary disputes.

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